Brian, Erica, and Mark reflect on this weird sci-fi HBO Max series by Aaron Guzikowski and Ridley Scott. How much are we supposed to understand? Can we identify with any of the android and/or wild child and/or murdering characters? Is the imagery too heavy handed? How does it compare with Westworld, The Walking Dead, etc.? Warning: Spoilers ahoy! So watch it yourself or let us reveal its craziness to you.
Mark, Erica, and Brian address critically acclaimed Adult Swim show. What kind of humor is it? Can we take the sci-fi and family drama elements seriously? How smart are the show and its fans? Is Rick a super hero, or Dr. Who? What will this serialized sit-com look like in longevity?
Something’s strange… Is it a dream? If it’s a morality tale with a twist ending, you’re probably in the Twilight Zone.
Brian, Erica, Mark, and guest Ken Gerber are in it this week, discussing the thrice revived TV series. Does the 1959-1963 show hold up? What makes for a good TZ episode, and does Jordan Peele’s latest iteration capture the spirit? We talk about episodes new and old, the 1983 film, plus comparisons to Black Mirror and David Lynch.
Brian, Erica, Mark, and Seth from The Partially Examined Life interrogate the 10-part ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan’s Bulls’ six championships.
Was it worth ten hours? Does its time-jumping structure work? Is it really hagiography, or is the vision of ultra-competitiveness repulsive? Why are sports amenable to creating cultural icons? Does the doc’s success mean many more?
Sitcoms traditionally provide a cozy, relatable, changeless environment, but streaming and serialization have changed this. What are the limits on the format?
Mark, Erica, and Brian consider After Life, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Community, the Parks & Rec reunion, the Space Force pilot, the stain of Chuck Lorre, and much more. Plus, which weird premises are real: a quiz!
In light of Star Trek: Picard, Brian, Erica, Mark, and Drew Jackson discuss our most philosophical sci-fi franchise. What makes a Trek story? How do you world-build over generations? How did Picard measure up? Plus Trek vs. Wars and step-children like The Orville and Galaxy Quest.
Why are we now seeing a resurgence of musical TV shows? Craig has created musicals for many TV shows (like Glow, Shrill, and Wet Hot American Summer) and joins Mark, Erica, and Brian due to his work on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.
We talk about narrative excuses for breaking into song, musicals on TV vs. film vs. stage, musical episodes on non-musical shows, and more. Watch Craig’s daily Sabbath Sessions at facebook.com/craigwedrenmusic.
Heavily watched media like Bombshell, The Morning Show, Unbelievable, and 13 Reasons Why attempt to cover sexual assault and harassment while still entertaining. Does that work? Erica, Mark, and Brian consider what makes for a sensitive as opposed to a sensationalized portrayal.
A discussion of what to watch during lockdown is what happens when you’re busy making plans about what to include in a hypothetical discussion of what to watch during lockdown.
Join Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk Tiger King, Star Trek, Parks & Recreation, Devs, Zoey’s, 13 Reasons Why, Ozark, Westworld, Larry David, endless tributes to the dead, anthology shows, unreleased pilots, and circus arts. Plus Tyler returns to talk Buffy, video games, and more.
How has Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey” as famously leveraged for Star Wars evolved with more female action heroes in film? Vi Burlew joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk not only about Rey, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Mulan, but also bring in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, Little Women, Jane Eyre, Working Girl, and of course Road House.
Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss Michael Schur’s NBC TV show. Is it good? Does it actually teach moral philosophy? We talk sit-com tropes, TV finales, the show’s convoluted structure, the puzzle of heaven, and more.
What’s the deal with images of powerful women in media? The trope of the tough-as-nails boss-lady who may or may not have a heart of gold has evolved a lot over the years, but it’s difficult to portray such a character unobjectionably.
Margaret was a lead in Independence Day and The Devil’s Own, is a mainstay on Broadway, and has appeared on TV roles like the mother of the Gossip Girl and as an unscrupulous newscaster on the final seasons of VEEP. She leads Mark, Erica, and Brian through an instructive tour through her career playing assertive women.
http://podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/partiallyexaminedlife/PMP_027_1-3-20.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 47:45 — 44.9MB) Mark, Erica, and Brian grasp the low-hanging fruit in pop culture to talk about Star Wars: The unique place that these films have in the brains of people of a certain age, how we grappled with the prequels, and why we feel the need to fill in and argue Continue Reading …
Covering Alan Moore’s 1986 graphic novel, the new HBO series and the 2009 film.
Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by David, psych prof at Cornell and host of Very Bad Wizards. How does Moore’s style translate to the screen? How well did the show handle politics? Should there be a second season?
Time travel rules in The Terminator franchise are notoriously inconsistent. Can we change the future or not?
Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by Ken Gerber to talk through time travel rules and plots, covering the randomness of Dr. Who, being your own grandfather, time travel comedies, time loops, freezing time, historical tourism, and more.
Sponsor: Visit mackweldon.com and enter the promo code POP for 20% off underwear, sportswear, and more.
Are YOU the target audience of what you watch? While shows used to be aimed at a white majority or “niche group,” now much media aims itself seemingly at everyone.
Rodney Comedian/actor/writer/producer Rodney joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the experience of watching outside your demographic, whether identifying with characters requires physical commonalities, “black voice,” and the evolving TV landscape.
Mark, Erica, and Brian examine the conventions, techniques, and staying power of the beloved ’90s sitcom. Are we supposed to identify with, or idolize, or merely like these people? What makes the formula work, did it sustain itself over its 10-year run, was it successfully replicated, and what parts haven’t aged well?
Sponsor: Visit mackweldon.com and enter the promo code POP for 20% off.
Revivals (not to be confused with reboots) can bring us back to the comfort of old friends, who are now really old. But is reviving a show really ever a good idea? Mark, Erica, and Brian consider some successes, failures, and hypotheticals.
What counts as binge watching? Why do we do it? Is it bad for us? Mark, Erica, and Brian, the hosts of this still-not-formally launched new entertainment podcast for the PEL Network, think about what we get out of binge watching, whether it’s bad for us, what kind of shows taste better in bulk than others, and much more.
This presentation includes a bit of the bonus content that you’d hear, along with PMP #3 with Yakov Smirnoff, were you to sign up RIGHT NOW at episode 1, and if you go pledge a little support on patreon.com/prettymuchpop. One and all can hear the first episode free there and also at prettymuchpop.com.