Pretty Much Pop #159: Watching “How To with John Wilson”

Watch the unedited video of the discussion:

Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al all watched the three seasons of this groundbreaking, polarizing documentary show that serves as a visual diary and collection of essays by its creator John Wilson. While episode titles promise that you’ll learn things like “how to track your packages” and “how to make small talk ,” what starts with a little investigative journalism about how these processes work gradually morphs over the half hour into some philosophical, often poignant musings about a larger area of human experiences that is only tangentially or symbolically related to the original topic.

It’s a groundbreaking format, and the show has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, but at least one of us loathed it, so what gives? Are the many very weird people featured on the show being exploited? Is the “let’s show grotesque nudity and lots of feces” aesthetic a bit too much? Are we really being shown a truthful portrayal of John’s personality and life, or is this just reality show engineering?

Read what the NY Times and AV Club have to say about the show.

Follow us @law_writes, @sarahlynbruck, @ixisnox, @MarkLinsenmayer.

We’ve decided to share the Aftertalk with you this time, where we talk about Joyride, What We Do in the Shadows, Reservation Dogs (which we’ll cover next episode), Top Boy, Talk to Me, Haunted Mansion, Only Murders in the Building (and the Martin Short controversy), Wheel of Time, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Madonna.

Get bonus talking for this and nearly every episode at, or you can sign up directly via Apple Podcasts for a subscription for ad-free and bonus material for three of Mark’s podcasts together on the Mark Lintertainment Podcasts Channel.

Audio editing by Tyler Hislop of Pixel Box Media.

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