TV news reporter Paul Beban (ABC, Al Jazeera, Yahoo, and now featured on the Discovery Network's Contact) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the appeal of UFO narratives, both at the peak of their popularity in the 50s and in the current resurgence. Why do they make for good TV? Do you have to believe to be entertained? Is belief in UFOs related to religious belief? To … [Read more...] about PMP#14: UFOs on TV with Investigative Journalist Paul Beban
A crazy number of shows are now being continued long after their deaths. Revivals (not to be confused with reboots) bring us back to the comfort of old friends, who are now really old. What can a revival's success tell us about why the show was appealing in the first place? Wouldn't you rather see a new work by the same creative team than more of the same? Mark, Erica, and … [Read more...] about PMP#13: TV Revivals Revived!
Mark, Erica, and Brian take on both Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel plus the Bruce Miller/Hulu TV series through season 3. There's also a graphic novel and the 1990 film. We get into what's needed to move a novel to the screen like that: The character can't just remain passive as in the novel in order to keep us suffering with her past the first season as storytelling beyond … [Read more...] about PMP#10: The Handmaid’s Tale
Are cartoons an inherently juvenile art form? Even animation aimed at adults is still typically considered genre fiction--a guilty pleasure--and the form enables tones and approaches that might simply be considered awful if presented as traditional live action. So what's the appeal? Dee's voice can be heard in substantial portion of today's cartoons, especially for animal or … [Read more...] about PMP#9: Cartoons with Dee Bradley Baker (from Clone Wars, American Dad)
Jonathan built his career playing 19th century Indians on horseback and is best known for his voice acting as John Redcorn III in King of the Hill (starting season 2) and then for his recurring role as Chief Ken Hotate in Parks and Recreation. Erica, Mark, and Brian talk to him about those roles plus acting in The Magnificent Seven, True Grit, and his current role as … [Read more...] about PMP#7: Native Representation w/ Jonathan Joss (King of the Hill, Parks & Rec)
Lucy Lawless (Xena the Warrior Princess, currently starring in My Life Is Murder) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to think about the true crime genre, of both the documentary and dramatized variety. What's the appeal? Why do women in particular gravitate to it? We touch on Making of a Murderer, Serial, The Staircase, Amanda Knox, Ted Bundy Conversations with a Killer, I Love … [Read more...] about PMP#5: True Crime with Lucy Lawless
On the HBO mini-series Chernobyl. Mark, Erica, and Brian first get into the various degrees of looseness in something's being "based on a true story." Does it matter if it's been changed to be more dramatic? We then consider the show as entertainment: Why do people enjoy witnessing suffering? Why might a drama work (or not) for you? We also touch on Game of Thrones, The … [Read more...] about PMP#4: “Chernobyl” and the Art of Suffering
What counts as binge watching? Why do we do it? Is it bad for us? Mark, Erica, and Brian reveal their watching habits (growing up and now) and marvel at crazy-high stats about how much people watch. We think about what people get out of this activity, what shows work do and don't taste good in bulk, and whether watching is best done in solitary despair or as a bonding … [Read more...] about PMP#2: Binge Watching