Survivor may be in its 26th season, but this week's episode showed no signs of fatigue. I suggested a few theories about what could have motivated Jeff Probst's intense back rub of Brandon Hantz, and Jacoby ably analyzed them to determine what was really going on. Of course, any discussion of people touching led directly to the Bachelor finale, which featured at least one "I love you" Sean Lowe must already regret. Somehow, we still had energy to once again profess our fondness for Yolanda on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, mention a few Weird Watches, and remember reality shows past. Enjoy!
Molly, Tess, and Emily had a long gabfest over cosmos this weekend about branding and gender identity and decided to rename the podcast Girls in Hoodies. Now that we finally have a name that won't possibly annoy anyone on the Internet, we can focus on more important things, like this week's Academy Awards, and why exactly it's pretty much impossible not to love Jennifer Lawrence. We also chat about the now-infamous Onion tweet and the pifalls of the infectiousness of Hollywood snark. Finally, we rehash Girls’ road trip to Manitou, where we thankfully didn't run into any murderous demon babies, but where there was still plenty of irresponsible behavior on display.
This week on the Hollywood Prospectus Podcast, we're going east, young men and women. Andy and I, both having seen Silver Linings Playbook (don't worry, we don't talk about it) (but go see it!) have some brotherly love pumping in our hearts (3:30). The film is set in Philadelphia, in the weeks between Halloween and Christmas, and Andy I were nostalgic for our Thanksgiving breaks back in our hometown. So we decided to make a Spotify playlist celebrating the mid-'00s hip-hop that soundtracked so many of those trips home. We talked a little about why this was such a special time for rap music, salute the glory that is hip-hop one-hit wonders, and talk a little about the Philly premier of the dystopian Brad Pitt flick Twelve Monkeys. Nostalgia is in the house.
We get back to regularly scheduled programming with a whip-around through Sunday-night TV. I am kind of out on Homeland (19:35), and when it comes to The Walking Dead (29:45), Andy is wandering around in the forest covered in zombie entrails.
I'll just say it: This week's episode of The Challenge was my favorite one in recent history. There was a crazy tirade from Camila, an Emmy-worthy performance from T.J. Lavin, and a trivia challenge that prompted Sarah to deliver what may or may not be my new catch phrase. Thus Jacoby and I could not resist the magnetic pull of the podcast studio. We also talked about Survivor, Bad Girls Club, Jersey Shore, and what it's like when your counselor leaves summer camp early.
Sean Howe's brilliant and comprehensive Marvel Comics: The Untold Story (HarperCollins) tells the secret origin story of the comics giant, from the creative chaos of a bunch of '60s dreamers to the globe-conquering house of ideas it is today. I've known Sean since this book plan was just a tiny (Omega the) unknown in the dusty longbox of his mind, so getting the chance to talk to him about Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Merry Marvel Bullpen, and the time one staffer pulled an all-nighter manually erasing Hellcat's nipples was a blast. It's a fun conversation even for those who don't know their Jim Sterankos from their Paste-Pot Petes. I'm only sorry we didn't have time for my hard-hitting series of questions about the true motivations of Batroc the Leaper.
Since Bill Simmons is gorging on crumpets, Chuck Klosterman guest hosts the B.S. Report and chats casually with Grantland writer Alex Pappademas. The conversation begins with an analysis of Robert Pattinson's wrecked romantic life and eventually touches on Jennifer Aniston, Total Recall, and the undocumented history of sports and culture in Gotham City.
With Bill in London covering the Olympics, the B.S. Report will be guest-hosted by various Grantlanders in his absence. We start this experiment with Kevin Wildes and his half-baked ideas. For those unfamiliar with Mr. Wildes, he's been a recurring guest on the B.S. Report for years, pitching his sometimes brilliant, sometimes less than brilliant ideas to Bill. This week, Grantland editor David Jacoby joined Kevin to pitch a few ideas of his own, and since everything he and Kevin do turns into a competition, they had mutual friend David Chamberlin award gold, silver, and bronze medals to the best of the bunch. Some were better than others, but all led to some learning and some laughs. The following are some of the topics discussed:
In a late-week, holiday-hangover episode of the Hollywood Prospectus Podcast, Andy Greenwald and I get together to talk about how we spent our (brief) summer vacations. I went to see The Amazing Spider-Man (2:40), along with most of America, while Andy checked out a special screening of the '90s indie cult classic Kicking and Screaming (12:00) (not the Will Ferrell soccer one). Both of these cinematic experiences are discussed in depth, with much mirth and reverie.
We then checked the pulse on Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom (20:20), wondering whether Alison Pill has ever been drunk in real life or if Dev Patel could have ever imagined things could have gotten worse after The Last Airbender. We also discussed the world of music (and what a world it is), praising the holy verses of Pusha T and Kanye West on the new G.O.O.D. Music track, "New God Flow," (29:20) and taking in Frank Ocean's personal revelations (36:26). There was also a bit of talk about Andy's excellent Fourth of July Spotify playlist and the role '90s indie rock band Velocity Girl played in my brief stint as a high school film auteur. Ask about me.
We wrapped it all up with some Double Down Book Club. This week's author is British spy-novel-master John le Carré (45:40); we heaped praise on his masterpiece Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as well as some lesser-known works, The Tailor of Panama and Absolute Friends. Check it out: The podcast fireworks have only just begun.
A little more than six months ago, you might remember, Louis C.K. came on the B.S. Report to promote his new comedy special and discuss Season 2 of Louie. Well, we got the band back together — this time around, we discussed Season 3 of Louie (premiering Thursday on FX at 10:30 p.m.), his ambitious strategy to bypass all the ticketing agencies for his 2012 comedy tour (check out www.louisck.com for details), the year of the Backlash to the Backlash to the Backlash, why he loves hate-watching Aaron Sorkin shows, why he was fine with Bradley stealing the last Pacquiao fight (and why it made him like Manny more), what lessons he's applied from boxing to help his own career, and a few other curve balls you might not expect.
We had such a great guest this week — filmmaker and creator of HBO's Girls Lena Dunham — that we fired up the Grantland Studio on a Sunday. Lena was surprisingly candid about how she got the pilot together, the loud and occasionally hostile initial response to the show, and which aspects of the show are based on her real life. Check out one of the best and most interesting young voices in TV.
Joe Walsh is the definition of a laid-back weirdo genius, assuming anyone feels the need to create a definition for that personality type. In this oddly focused podcast, the freewheeling Eagle breaks down the lyrical content of "Life's Been Good," reminisces about cocaine and spray paint, expresses bleak economic perspectives, eviscerates technology, and takes a mild shot at LeBron James.
Chris Ryan and I had a lot on our table this week. Luckily, we got a good deal on the factory showroom model of Stannis Baratheon’s conference room-sized Stratego board. In this week’s podcast, we talk about Stannis’s power-grab in Game of Thrones (1:00), as well as Mad Men’s fever dreams (12:35) and The Wire creator David Simon’s contentious quotes (22:15). We also big-upped HBO’s new series Girls (29:55) and broke down Rembert Browne’s excellent essay on Drake finally becoming a man (35:25). This led to bar mitzvah memories of free fuzzy socks and doing the cabbage patch and, eventually, a quick take on the return of Kanye West (42:25). L'chaim! Manischewitz shots for everyone!
With Saturday Night Live on vacation this week, we ruined Bill Hader's Los Angeles trip by forcing him to stop by the B.S. Report studios and tape a 70-minute podcast that covered life at SNL, Stefon's evolution into a breakout character, his recent collaborations with the South Park guys, the Apatow comedy factory, creepy Internet stalkers, Jame Gumb, Jaws, ghosts, the NBA playoffs and even Hader's desire to become Oklahoma City's most famous courtside fan (a la Jack Nicholson). I'm almost positive the position is open.