Sunday, October 19, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
SEATTLE—Deftly switching from topic to topic from the moment he answered his phone until ending the call 20 minutes later, local man Andrew Heltman reportedly spent the entirety of a recent conversation with his parents changing the subject. “Yeah, things are fine at work, the usual—but hey, aren’t you guys leaving for vacation soon?” said Heltman, 26, who while speaking to his father did nothing but redirect discussions of his career, personal finances, and political views to more innocuous areas such as the Kansas City Royals’ postseason run and Ken Burns’ recent documentary series The Roosevelts. “No, I’m still not sure what my plans are for Thanksgiving yet. You going to invite Aunt Jean? How’s she doing?” Once the phone was handed over to his mother, sources confirmed Heltman spent the remainder of the call steering the conversation away from his romantic life with repeated inquiries about the family dog.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Hulu's The Awesomes just wrapped its second season (directed by my best bud Sean Coyle!), but as co-creator Mike Shoemaker explains, there's still plenty of super-comedic action on the way for the animated offering, which features voice work by comedy greats such as Seth Myers (also co-creator of the show), Bill Hader, Kenan Thompson, and many more. Shoemaker, a lifelong comic book buff, first conceived of the idea along with Meyers in the early 2000s when the pair was working on Saturday Night Live. But as he explains, the show's journey from concept to cult favorite was long and circuitous before finally becoming a Hulu original. Keep reading for some highlights of our conversation:
Monday, October 13, 2014
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Saturday, October 11, 2014
The intergenerational family drama, written by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque from a story by Dobkin himself, features Downey as hotshot defense attorney Hank Palmer, who is forced back to his Indiana hometown following his mother's death, and must work through lingering issues with his father, no-nonsense Judge Joseph Palmer (Duvall).
The Judge also has such respected performers as Vincent D'Onofrio and Vera Farmiga in the cast, and my first question for the director was regarding the top-tier talent he had lined up in front of the camera, including two of the greatest actors of all time headlining. Read on for his answer, as well as other highlights of our conversation:
Friday, October 10, 2014
Bill Maher and Ben Affleck (which conspicuously had no Muslims actually involved in the conversation), we celebrate one year of the Diffused Congruence Podcast by chatting about the rise of anti-Muslim and Islamophobic invective from mainstream media figures, and why this podcast is meant at least partially as a response to that. In addition, we also delve into the secret origins of the show, and and what we hope to achieve going forward. Download or stream the show below, or listen at iTunes (don't forget to leave us a review!) and Stitcher Radio. Feel free to send any comments or questions our way at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Facebook page!
Thursday, October 09, 2014
iTunes and Stitcher to write us a review, and hit "like" on our Facebook page to tell us how we're doing!
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Max Fisher at Vox runs us through the gauntlet of recent cringe-worthy cable news segments to make the point that these orgs are instrumental in fostering a pretty toxic (and uncritically tolerated) air of Islamophobia which could, per Fisher, "further normalize bigotry against Muslims in America, making it the default."
Monday, October 06, 2014
The West Wing is up there as one of my favorite TV series of all-time, and the only show I've watched the whole way through multiple times. (Here's what I said when it wrapped up back in 2006.) Well, hard as it is to believe, this fall marks fifteen years since the Aaron Sorkin-created political drama first aired on NBC. To celebrate this auspicious moment, James Dyer of Empire has compiled the definitive oral history of the series, getting on-the-record remembrances from just about everyone who was ever associated with the skein for lengthy deep-dive of a read that any fan needs to set aside time for.
Sunday, October 05, 2014
|One of my prize possessions, natch|
Here's the intro of the resultant series:
Saturday, October 04, 2014
his vocal anti-Muslim views from author Sam Harris (who once said "We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim"), but the pair faced some welcome pushback from the rest of the panel, which included journalist Nicholas Kristof, former RNC chair Michael Steele, and Batman himself, Ben Affleck. Watch highlights (lowlights?) of the exchange below, which one friend of mine rightly referred to as "maddening."
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
a particularly dunderheaded Fox News anchor. Well, if Aslan's appearance on CNN yesterday is any indication, Stupid Anchor Syndrome isn't confined exclusively to Fox. For some context, Bill Maher engaged in his usual brand of anti-Muslim invective on last week's Real Time, wherein he called out liberals for not broad-brushing all Muslims for the actions of their most extreme elements. Aslan, who's been a frequent guest for Maher, was brought on to CNN to respond, and well, this is what happened next:
Monday, September 29, 2014
as this segment from last night's Last Week Tonight makes clear, Rand's presence at the forefront of conservative thought is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Woman Worried Student Loans Could Prevent Her From One Day Owning Entirely Different Kind Of Crippling Debt
PHILADELPHIA—Lamenting that she will spend the foreseeable future paying off her college expenses, local 23-year-old digital marketing assistant Ashley Orlinsky expressed concern Wednesday that her student loans will prevent her from ever owning an entirely different type of utterly crippling debt. “Realistically, it’ll take years or even decades to fully repay $50,000 of loans, which makes me worried that I’ll never qualify for a backbreaking mortgage on a house that I can in no way afford,” said Orlinsky, adding that with $350 in monthly student loan payments, she will likely struggle to even borrow money to purchase a new car that will destroy her credit rating and may one day be repossessed by the bank. “I have dreams of starting my own company at some point in the future, but I just don’t see how I’ll have the opportunity to be saddled for my entire adult life with a suffocating high-interest small business loan if my student debt is following me wherever I go. It’s awful.” Orlinsky was reportedly encouraged, however, after coming to the mistaken conclusion that she could just default on her student loans and have them discharged in a bankruptcy filing.
Sahil Kapur's in-depth interview with King demonstrates, King knows exactly which way his crazy crumbles, and he's speaking directly to the voting Republican base.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
I reminisced about The Cosby Show on the occasion of that show's thirtieth anniversary, so I figured I'd keep the Cosby conversation going this week by briefly remembering Bill Cosby's follow-up to his groundbreaking family sitcom. Unfortunately for the Cos, this one didn't enjoy quite the same pop culture shelf life, and the only real mystery today is that The Cosby Mysteries once existed. Don't believe me? For proof, watch the intro below, and keep reading after the jump!
Thursday, September 25, 2014
For this week's show, we pick apart the premiere episode of Fox's new Batman-minus-Batman TV series Gotham. We look at what worked, what didn't, and where we hope things go in the weeks ahead. In addition, I discuss how Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington have cornered the market on "Old Guys Beating People Up" movies via A Walk Among the Tombstones and The Equzalizer. Oh, we also have an exclusive interview with Mike Shoemaker, co-creator of the hilarious Hulu original series The Awesomes. All that, plus listener letters, and the latest headlines out of Hollywood, including word that Matt Damon is set to return as Jason Bourne, and rumors that William Shatner may again don his space suit to play Captain James T. Kirk. As always, please hit up iTunes and Stitcher to write us a review, and drop us a line at our Facebook page to tell us how we're doing!
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
For this episode of the show, Parvez and I shine a spotlight on Muslim authors who've successfully broken through into the mainstream. First, we chat with Ayesha Mattu, co-editor of Love, Inshallah and its new sequel Salaam, Love about how the two books came about, what the reactions have been, and what she's learned from her audience. After that, we have a conversation with Ali Eteraz, author of Children of Dust and the upcoming Falsipedies and Fibsiennes. You can download or stream below, and also listen at iTunes (don't forget to leave us a review!) and Stitcher Radio. Feel free to send any comments or questions our way at email@example.com or via our Facebook page!
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Per author Bill Carter in his book The War For Late Night, that quote was uttered by former ABC exec Lew Erlicht after being approached by a homeless person seeking help. And while Carter couches that anecdote as likely apocryphal, the truth behind the probable fiction is that Erlicht did indeed (much to his regret) reject a pitch by producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner for a family comedy centered on comedian Bill Cosby. He passed, the show was picked up by NBC prexy Brandon Tartikoff, and the rest is TV history.
One Year Ago in Nostalgia Theater: XX Years of The X-Files
Three decades of history, in fact. In news that's sure to make a lot of folks of my vintage feel positively decrepit, last night marked thirty years to the day that The Cosby Show premiered on the Peacock, introducing America to the upper-middle class Huxtable family, headed by doctor dad Cliff (Cosby) and lawyer mom Claire (Phylicia Rashad), with four (later five) children. On its journey the '80s, it revived the sitcom format, changed the playing field for African-Americans on TV and, depending on the telling, rescued NBC, which had spent the better part of the last decade on-the-ropes, from insolvency.
Here's one of my fave bits from the very first episode:
Friday, September 19, 2014
I think this was me last month, when I visited Chicago.
MANSFIELD, OH—While walking through his old neighborhood, Mansfield, OH, native Peter Grogan, 37, was reportedly surprised Thursday to find that each and every one of his childhood insecurities remains in his hometown. “I was heading down Marion Avenue, where Jeff Bilderman used to pick on me every day, and noticed that my old anxieties, fears, and constant sense of shame are all still here,” Grogan told reporters, marveling that the dozens of uncertainties that plagued him throughout his adolescent and teenage years were still thriving exactly where he left them. “I haven’t been back for long, but it doesn’t seem like my timidity and self-doubt have changed even a bit. And it looks like my feelings of inadequacy are still going strong, judging by the fears of rejection that came flooding back when I walked past my old high school. It’s all exactly the same as it was almost 20 years ago.” Grogan added that the one difference he could identify was that walking through his hometown now fills him with newly established insecurities regarding his financial situation, relationship with his parents, and own impending mortality.
Jonathan Chait looks at the peculiarities of polling coming out of Kansas, and how changing political winds could be blowing against the state's deeply-entrenched Republican establishment.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
the 1959 feature adaptation starring James Mason and released by 20th Century Fox (which also produced the 'toon). For an overview of the premise, look no further than the intro below, with narration by the late, great Ted Knight:
Friday, September 12, 2014
The family drama stars Wiig and Hader as titular twins Maggie and Milo, reunited in adulthood due to extenuating circumstances and forced to deal with the repercussions of two lifetimes of questionable choices. I had opportunity to chat with Wiig, Hader, and director Johnson last May for the film's San Francisco premiere, and what follows are some of the highlights from the hilarious roundtable discussion, which often dissolved into spontaneous comedy routines from the two stars:
Thursday, September 11, 2014
For our first episode of the fall season, the MovieFilm Podcast is proud to present a roundtable interview with actors Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, and director Craig Johnson, about their new film The Skeleton Twins. After that, we dive into the latest headlines out of Hollywood, including our thoughts on the newly-revealed Batmobile from Batman v. Superman, word that Sylvester Stallone may be getting ready to strap on the machete and play Rambo one last time, and some new rumors about what to expect from Star Wars: Episode VII. After that, it's onto the main event, as we continue our annual tradition of looking back at the just-concluded summer season's spate of releases, from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, offering a post-mortem on what worked, what didn't, and why. It's loose, it's fun, it's under two hours, and you can stream it below or download at the link! As always, please hit up iTunes and Stitcher to write us a review, and drop us a line at our Facebook page to tell us how we're doing!
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Man, ain't it the truth.
WASHINGTON—Reportedly racking their brains in an attempt to figure out how they knew that name, a puzzled American populace admitted Monday that while they definitely remembered hearing the word Ferguson, they could not quite put their finger on where. “Ferguson, Ferguson—God, I know that word from somewhere. It’s right on the tip of my tongue,” said Virginia Beach resident Mark Brown, one of millions of citizens nationwide who reportedly paused during the day and furrowed their brows in bafflement, before venturing guesses that the familiar-sounding term might have been a thing from TV or someone they heard a friend talking about. “Yeah, that definitely rings a bell. Hmm. Boy, I’m drawing a big blank on this one. Oh, well.” At press time, each citizen agreed that wherever they had heard the name Ferguson, it probably wasn’t worth any more of their time trying to remember.
Sunday, September 07, 2014
Thursday, September 04, 2014
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
|L-R: Mykelti Williamson, Donnie Wahlberg, Neal McDonough, Lana Parilla, Jason Gedrick, Nina Garbiras, Gary Basaraba|
Friday, August 29, 2014
Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institute and author of Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East for a far-ranging chat on the foreign policy events that have been playing out in the Middle East over the last few years, including the Arab Spring, the rise of ISIS, and the escalation of conflict between Gaza and Israel this past month. Whether you're a policy wonk or just have a mind to learn more about what's been going on lately, this is a conversation you're certain to enjoy. As always, download or stream below, and listen at iTunes and Stitcher Radio. Send any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Facebook page!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Scott Mendelson lays out the biggest marketing hails and fails for the season that just concluded. Can't say I disagree with anything on his list, from Godzilla getting props, to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 getting plopped.