Category: Original Content podcast

June 9, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Always Be My Maybe’ is a surprisingly sweet romantic comedy

By Jill T Frey

“Always Be My Maybe” — a new film starring and co-written by Ali Wong and Randall Park — continues Netflix’s streak of solid romantic comedies.

That said, anyone expecting it to match Wong’s delightfully dirty stand-up (showcased in the Netflix specials “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife”) might be disappointed. Instead, “Always Be My Maybe” feels like a throwback to ’90s romantic comedies; after all, Park and Wong have cited “When Marry Met Sally” and “Boomerang” as inspirations.

On this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Catherine Shu to review the film, which tells the story of Marcus (Park) and Sasha (Wong), two childhood friends who grow up together in the Bay Area, lose their virginity to each other and then drift apart — until they cross paths again in their 30s.

We didn’t all love the movie: Anthony, in particular, found some of the … Read the rest

June 6, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: Director Grant Sputore explains how ‘I Am Mother’ draws from real-world robots

By Jill T Frey

When I first watched the new Netflix Original film “I Am Mother,” I assumed that the robotic Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne) was a CG creation. How else could you create a robot that looked so inhuman, and that could also run around the film’s post-apocalyptic environments so gracefully?

But in a bonus interview for the Original Content podcast, director Grant Sputore estimated that 99 percent of the shots of Mother are completely practical, consisting of nothing more than a person wearing “a fancy bit of costume.”

“It’s both a budgetary thing, because we knew how we were planning to make the film — but also, we’re children of ‘80s and ‘90s cinema,” Sputore said. “So we worship at the altar of ‘Robocop’ and ‘Predator’ and the first ‘Terminator’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ and all of Stan Winston’s work, which is most of those movies … It’s for our own … Read the rest

May 23, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: Dragons love symbolism, and other lessons from the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

By Jill T Frey

This post and podcast include spoilers for “Game of Thrones.”

Remember how it felt six weeks ago, right before “Game of Thrones” returned for its final season? The excitement? The anticipation? That was so, so long ago.

Darrell Etherington, the original co-host of the Original Content podcast, joins us once again to wrap up our week-by-week discussion of the show’s final season. And while there were critics who liked the finale, we weren’t among them.

Anthony, at least, defends the first half of the episode, which deals with the fallout from “The Bells” and takes the story to its tragic conclusion. We might wonder why, exactly, a dragon would want to melt the Iron Throne, but it’s a bold, striking image — and the moments around it, with Drogon grieving for Daenery’s death, are genuinely moving. In fact, this opening half of the episode is full of striking … Read the rest

May 18, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: ‘Game of Thrones’ burns it all down

By Jill T Frey

This post and podcast contain spoilers for “Game of Thrones.”

Our original co-host Darrell Etherington returns for this week’s Original Content podcast, which is all about “Game of Thrones” — specifically “The Bells,” an episode that seems to have prompted more fan outcry than anything in the last seven-and-a-half seasons.

The controversy, of course, comes from watching Daenerys (Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, the closest thing the show has to a hero) and her last remaining dragon burn King’s Landing to ash.

But we didn’t just spend 40 minutes venting of our anger and frustration. After all, in a series defined by its ruthless subversion of traditional fantasy narratives, how could the conquest of Westeros end in anything other than mass slaughter? And like “The Long Night,” “The Bells” is full of haunting, beautiful images — except this time, the devastation unfolds in broad daylight.

Plus, as the … Read the rest

May 11, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: We’re not impressed by Netflix’s ‘Extremely Wicked’ Ted Bundy movie

By Jill T Frey

Despite its grandiose title, Netflix’s “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” turns out to be surprisingly forgettable.

In this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Brian Heater to review the film, which features Zac Efron as serial killer Ted Bundy and Lily Collins as his initially unsuspecting girlfriend Liz Kendall.

The film is ostensibly about their relationship, but director Joe Berlinger and screenwriter Michael Werwie can’t quite seem to commit — they end up dramatizing the broader story of Bundy’s capture and trials, while only intermittently returning to Kendall in the film’s second half.

Bundy’s actual murders also get short shrift. While one might argue that we already know he’s a killer and don’t necessarily need to see grisly recreations of his work, by being so coy about Bundy’s murderous side, the film ends up feeling strangely unbalanced and empty.

We also continue our discussion … Read the rest

May 4, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: The battle of opinions over ‘Game of Thrones’ and the Battle of Winterfell

By Jill T Frey

This post and podcast contain spoilers for “Game of Thrones” and  “Avengers: Endgame.”

“The Long Night,” the much-anticipated “Game of Thrones” episode where the living and the dead meet in a desperate, epic battle, wasn’t entirely embraced by the show’s fans. Instead, many have complained about the episode’s (literal) darkness, while others were disappointed by the apparent disappearance of the show’s old ruthlessness.

But your hosts at the Original Content podcast (joined this week by our original co-host Darrell Etherington) were pretty happy with the episode, as revealed in an appropriately super-sized discussion.

Yes, the darkness was an issue, but the creative team used that darkness to eerily beautiful effect. On the right screen, everything in the episode was a grand and terrifying spectacle. And while we quibbled with some of the storytelling choices, we also screamed with surprise at the episode’s ending.

The other big question is … Read the rest

April 27, 2019 Off

Original Content podcast: ‘Game of Thrones’ delivers one of its best episodes yet

By Jill T Frey

We’re barely more than 24 hours away from what’s widely expected to be the most spectacular and devastating battle that we’ve seen on “Game of Thrones,” but before then, the Original Content podcast revisits last weekend’s episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.”

In the past, we’ve tended to discuss TV shows in a more general way, covering entire seasons in a single segment of the podcast. But given the general obsession over “Game of Thrones” (and we’re certainly among the obsessed), it seemed worthwhile to give ourselves the time to get as detailed as we wanted.

“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is certainly worthy of that discussion — we both felt it was one of the show’s best episodes thus far. While it may even cover less ground plot-wise than the season premiere, the episode gives us haunting moments with virtually all of the surviving cast members … Read the rest