News & Politics

The Blogger Beat: Pop Candy

Ready for a sugar rush? This week’s Blogger Beat devours music, television, movies, and more with Pop Candy blogger Whitney Matheson.

Whitney Matheson in her natural habitat—in her office at in McLean. And, yes, that's a lightsaber on her desk. Photograph by Chris Leaman

Whitney Matheson, the pop-culture guru behind the Pop Candy blog, started in the news section at USA Today in 1999. Within a few months, she moved over to entertainment to write a weekly pop-culture column called Pop Candy. It quickly gained a following, so she started a blog, Hip Clicks, to write daily digests and commentary on music, movies, and more. In 2005, she merged the two, and the Pop Candy blog as we know it today was born.

Whitney posts on a wide range of topics, from comic books to indie films to mustaches. But the common thread is this: If it’s something she’s passionate about, Whitney will blog about it. Luckily, her interests seem to translate to the masses—she’s found a big audience and built a cult following among pop-culture addicts.

We caught up with the 31-year-old to gorge on TV, music, books, and more. Read on to find out her favorite local celebrity, where she gets her own pop-culture fix, and where she goes in Washington to get away from it all.

Reality show you’d most like to be a contestant on:
“Though I’m way too old for it, MTV’s Made. I might like to be made into a chef or a cab driver, mainly so I could acquire a new skill. (I’m a terrible driver who never cooks dinner.) I also wouldn’t mind being on Deadliest Catch, but I don’t know how to swim.”

Favorite podcast:
“Aside from my own? Probably This American Life."

Five most-played songs in your iTunes:
“That Handsome Devil’s ‘Wintergreen,’ Tilly and the Wall’s ‘Pot Kettle Black,’ Quitzow’s ‘Sponsor (It Didn’t Mean a Thing),’ the Duchess and the Duke’s ‘Reservoir Park,’ and Vivian Girls’ ‘Where Do You Run To.’ ”

Last TV show you watched:
“I watch way too much TV, but my current obsession is Gavin & Stacey on BBC America and Mad Men, of course—this season is too delicious to ignore.”

Last movie you saw:
"Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I see all of the Woody Allen movies, even the ones I’m told to avoid.”

The Hills or Gossip Girl?
"Gossip Girl, even though I think all of the characters are evil and soulless, and Chuck Bass is totally channeling James Spader."

Project Runway or America’s Next Top Model?
"Eh, neither. I’m not really a fashiony person."

Twitter or Facebook?
"I Twitter at least twice a day ( I like Facebook, but sometimes I get freaked out by all the poking and exchanging of imaginary plants."

Law and Order or Law and Order: SVU?
"Neither one, though I still mourn Jerry Orbach."

The new 90210 or the original?
"I'm not digging 2.0, so I guess I’ll pick the Kelly Taylor classic."

American Idol or Dancing With the Stars?
"I consider both shows utter torture and try to avoid them at all costs."

TV show you’d watch straight through in a 24-hour marathon:
"24 is fun for that, but I’ve held several Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons in my apartment."

Favorite spot for a pop-culture fix:
"I dig Melody Records for music and DVDs and Big Planet for my comic-book needs."

Favorite spot to get away from it all:
"Wherever the DC Rollergirls are brawling. In winter, I love watching the ice skaters at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden rink."

Place we would most likely find you on a Sunday afternoon:
"Either the folk-art wing of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the E Street Cinema, or Hank’s Oyster Bar. On a good Sunday, I hit all three!"

Local celebrity you’d most like to meet:
"Maybe Willard Scott or Bob Ryan. Is it weird that I can only think of weathermen?"

Show that made you cry—or almost cry—when it went off the air:
"Veronica Mars, because it ended before its time. So did Arrested Development, though at least that show didn’t end on a cliffhanger!"

Best book you’ve read in the last year:
"The Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw. It’s an epic graphic novel—700 pages—but is so touching and funny, and I wish it had been twice as long.”

Favorite Web site or blog for a pop-culture fix, other than your own:
"Daytrotter, when I need a musical escape."

Next week in the Blogger Beat, we get our game face on with sports guru Dan Steinberg, who writes the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog. We talk Nats, Caps, United, and more, and we find out which hometown team Dan thinks has the best fans. Check back Wednesday for the interview!

Earlier interviews:
14th & You
Beer Activist
All Blogger Beat interviews

Have a favorite local blogger you’d like to hear from? Send an e-mail to

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