This week we return to the pit of despair to talk about the college admissions scandal and all the ways it’s offensive and gross. We’re talking celebrities who are not immune to the status race, the celebrity kids who just don’t care, the particular combination of dark humor and rage this scandal ignites, and the broken system that has turned higher education into a status symbol. We also dive into James Gunn being rehired by Disney months after he was sacked for bad tweets, and what it means for the culture war that he now has two high-paying franchise gigs. Join us as we work through a lot of residual feelings about the cost of our college experiences, and laugh at the spectacular way in which the James Gunn hit job backfired.
After a short break, we’re back talking Captain Marvel, from the movie itself to The Discourse surrounding it, as well as Steven Spielberg’s efforts to change Academy rules so Netflix finds it harder to win Oscars. We cover the best and worst of the modern movie-going experience, the inevitable and almost complete superhero domination of the multiplex, and why Spielberg’s effort is too little too late. Join us as we reluctantly defend a corporation against a billionaire, accidentally walk into a pit of despair, and look to Carol Danvers to get us through a very weird time in cinema history.
The 91st Academy Awards have come and gone, and all that’s left is to pick up the pieces and make sense of a very up and down, back and forth show. On the one hand, the no-host experiment paid off. On the other: Green Book won Best Picture, which will almost instantly age into a poorly remembered choice. This week, we dive into the Oscars, the good, the bad, the Bohemian Rhapsody of it all. The show was not a disaster, but some retrograde winners reveal a divided Academy pushing back against the recent membership inclusion effort. Join us as we break it all down and get into what worked, what didn’t, and just why it is that Green Book will soon be joining the ranks of worst Best Picture.
Last year, romantic comedies came back in a big way, fueled by the success of Crazy Rich Asians and Netflix’s “summer of love”. This week, we take a look at the rom-com revival and how this once-great staple of the cineplex is now fodder for streaming platforms. We dig into how Netflix fueled the revival by releasing several rom-coms within a few months, the landmark success of Crazy Rich Asians, and how streaming rom-coms are propping up a new generation of young stars. But we also get into the limits of the genre and wonder how long Netflix can really keep it up before they kill rom-coms just like traditional studios once did. Roll into Oscar weekend with a comparatively light-hearted episode about the one genre of film dedicated solely to making you feel good.
Netflix and Hulu each released a documentary about the catastrophe that was Fyre Fest in the same week, giving us a very good look into the con that fell apart in part due to the incessant social media posting of the very influencers meant to bolster the event. This week, we take a look at Fyre Fest, social media influencers, sponsored content, and the nightmare world we live in where there are no more hobbies, only side hustle. We get into online plagiarism, the Fuck FuckJerry movement, con men, and the inevitable robot takeover of human industry. Join us as we stave off despair on the frontier of social media influencer culture.
Do you remember the McConaissance? That halcyon time when Matthew McConaughey reinvented his career as a dramatic actor, won an Oscar, and starred in True Detective just before Peak TV swamped us with movie stars on TV shows? This week we revisit the McConaissance and take a look at the perfect storm of conditions that made it possible for Matthew McConaughey to reinvent his career after a string of bad movies, almost all of which happen to be romantic comedies. We talk about that, auteurs, whether or not McConaughey counts as a proto-Chris, WTF was Sea of Trees, and who, if anyone, could pull off their own version of the McConaissance. We start our episode with a discussion of McConaughey’s latest film, and a Hall Of Fame flop, Serenity.
The Bryan Singer expose finally arrived, published by The Atlantic after Esquire, or rather, Hearst Communications, declined to release it. Alex French and Maximillan Potter put a year’s worth of work into connecting the dots and laying out the trail of human destruction strewn in Bryan Singer’s wake. We discuss the article, Singer, the system that enables and protects him, and how that system will continue so that people can make money and win prizes. There is also some discussion of the Oscar nominations, which are also tainted with Singer’s presence because Bohemian Rhapsody earned five nominations, including one for Rami Malek and another for Best Picture. So one year after #MeToo and #TimesUp, this is what’s happening. Listen as we try and stave off existential despair and the creeping nihilistic belief that nothing is getting better. This is a tough subject, so be kind to yourselves.