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On January 29th, actor Jussie Smollett, known for his role on the FOX show Empire, reported that he was assaulted by two masked men who beat him while using racial and homophobic slurs in Chicago.  After weeks of investigation, the Chicago Police Department has now issued Smollett a felony disorderly conduct charge. 

Joining Joe on this episode of Pop Life is Bob Thompson, Director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, and Leslie Streeter, entertainment writer for the Palm Beach Post out of West Palm Beach, FL to help make sense of it all.


Not too long ago The Oscars was frowned upon for it's lack of diversity. With that in mind this years nominees look to reflect the response from Hollywood. WAER's Joe Lee is joined by  graduate student Alazia Williams and Lisa Respers France from CNN to discuss some of the "firsts" represented at this years award show.

"Black Panther", Spike Lee, and more, they'll discuss it all on this special Oscars preview episode of Pop Life.


2018 was a year filled with high profile celebrities getting themselves into hot water. From Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey to Roseanne Barr and Kevin Hart, we certainly had a lot to talk about. And, even though 2019 is still young, it looks like we are in for more of the same.

This week on Pop Life, Joe Lee is joined by Leslie Gray Streeter from the Palm Beach Post to discuss the power of documentary storytelling.  The explosive documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly" demonstrates how the genre can bring new life to an old scandal.  R. Kelly's career has been plagued with rumors of abuse, pedophilia, and predatory behavior toward women. Now, survivors are stepping forward to detail new allegations about his physical, mental, and sexual abuse thanks to the 6 part Lifetime television special produced by Dream Hampton.


If we've learned anything from films such as Terminator or Star Trek, it's that artificial intelligence is going be a part of our future. But even with exposure to those science fiction films, I'm not sure we've thought too much about how AI might work its way into the actual content we consume.  

This week on Pop Life , Joe Lee is joined by Doug Clark- Global Watson and Cloud Platform Soluntions leader for IBM. They'll chat about artificial intelligence's ability to write movie scripts and how it played a role in latest World Cup.


Flickr- Gage Skidmore

The iconic Stan Lee passed away earlier this month after a lifetime of creating classially well known characters. His work ranges from the likes of Iron Man and Professor X to  The Fantastic Four and Luke Cage.

This week kicks off Season 2 of Pop Life as Joe Lee welcomes Bob Thompson to discuss the body of work that Stan Lee created and how it's become a staple of entertainment. 

Plus the guys recommend their picks for shows to binge watch in this week's edition of 'Invitation to Binge'. 

Just a few months ago the reboot of the popular television show Roseanne was the talk of the town. It was commended for its wit and humor, while addressing the currently political climate.  Fast forward to today and it is still the talk of the town but this time due to its cancellation. 

This week on Pop Life Joe Lee is joined by Bob Thompson to discuss the fallout from the controversial tweet from actress Roseanne Barr

If you like what you hear make sure and subscribe in iTunes for automatic delivery of new episodes. 

As the political climate has shifted so has the perception of what is acceptable in terms of comedy. This week on Pop Life, WAER's Joe Lee is joined by  Jeff Kinsler of the Salt City Improv Theatre to answer the question, "can America take a joke?"

They'll also rewind the tape on Michelle Wolf's performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner to examine if her routine crossed the line. 

The entertainment community has been buzzing recently with the return of the beloved TV show Roseanne.  This week on Pop Life Joe Lee is joined by Bob Thompson to discuss the return and how it's being received with the political angle the show now features.

They'll also chat about the upcoming Netflix reboot of Lost in Space. What's different this time around? And what staples of the original show remain intact? 

Alice Cooper. Madonna. And Miles Davis. What do these three musicians all have in common? They are all members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Voting is underway for the 2018 inductees and we're here to discuss it with you.

Who did Joe Lee and Geoff Herbert vote to send to the Hall of Fame? Find out this week on Pop Life.

Pop Life continues this week as Joe Lee and Geoff Herbert discuss the current state of singing competition shows. What makes The Voice, a different kind of show than American Idol? And what's our reaction to Fox's new singing show The Four? 

Also this week the guys dive into Season 2 of Stranger Things, but no spoilers on this show! If you like what you hear make sure to subscribe in ITunes for automatic delivery of new episodes.

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