After working for years as an OB/GYN for inmates at San Francisco Jail, author Carolyn Sufrin wanted to tell the story of the women she helped. She talks about what health care for pregnant women in jails and prisons looks like, and the changes she hopes to see in the system.
Carolyn Sufrin, medical anthropologist, former OB/GYN at San Francisco Jail, and author of Jailcare: Finding the safety net for women behind bars
The right to an education is guaranteed to all students, regardless of disability, by federal law. But experts and parents are now wondering if we are doing enough to help autistic students maximize their abilities to live their best possible lives. We discuss the current status of public schooling for students with autism and how the systems in place can be optimized to help students grow even more.
Mark Claypool, CEO of ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education and co-author of How Autism is Reshaping Special Education
Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.
We live in an era of expanded universes. We have Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Extended Universe, and so, so many others. Multiple shows and movies all connecting into one timeline has been an incredibly successful business model, especially for blockbuster movies.
But now TV shows are starting to spin their own sort of inter-connected universes, as well. One such show is the cult favorite Veronica Mars. Originally a UPN show, Veronica Mars ran two seasons before UPN and WB joined together to form The CW, where the show aired its third and seemingly final season. Season 3 ended in 2007 and the series went dormant until a 2013 Kickstarter campaign raised enough money to convince Warner Brothers to fund a movie version. In 2014, Veronica Mars the movie was released and then, emboldened by the show’s cult following, creator Rob Thomas and writer Jennifer Graham wrote two novels continuing Veronica’s story. Since then, there has been a meta-web spinoff and now, Hulu is producing another season of the show. From there, who knows? Maybe Hulu will be the end, and maybe Veronica will live to see another day. At a minimum, Veronica Mars will be a series that spanned four seasons of TV across three networks, plus a feature film and two novels. That’s not too shabby.
The other show creating a universe for itself is Breaking Bad. The show famously picked up fans over its initial run on AMC by streaming on Netflix. Breaking Bad’s first season never broke 1.5 million viewers, but by the time the show ended its run, it was regularly drawing about 5 million viewers, with the finale attracting 10 million. After its finale, Vince Gilligan expanded the story of Breaking Bad into a spin-off prequel series about the origins of everyone’s favorite shady lawyer, Saul Goodman. Now, Gilligan and co. are creating a Breaking Bad sequel movie, which will reportedly follow the story of Jessie Pinkman for debut on Netflix.
We live in an age of streaming TV and on-demand movies. It has never been more lucrative to continue an existing franchise, and I don’t expect Veronica Mars or Breaking Bad to be the last shows to try to keep spinning new yarns across various formats and media. Expanded universes aren’t just for comic books anymore.