My Favorite Podcasts

I always feel like I came into the podcast game a little later than everyone else, listening to some for the first time about two or three years ago. In actuality, I think there was a huge surge in podcast production over the last year or so, and the forum has gained so much more attention as literally anything in the pop culture world seems to have a well-known fan podcast now.

I’m not a huge fan of podcasts that consist of “unknowns” talking to a long-distance friend/relative/whatever. I also don’t really enjoy ones produced by bigger publications that might have a more serious reputation and think podcasts will get the “young folk” interested. I’ve also never listened to Serial or any podcasts that are like a radio play, and I don’t think I’m really interested in trying them out. My favorite ones tend to focus on a certain theme I’m already a fan of, and I love hearing deep discussion about a production’s little inconsistencies or fun facts.

That being said, I’d like to share my four favorite podcasts with you and talk about why they’re so great!

1. Gilmore Guys 

Arguably the greatest podcast success story out there, Gilmore Guys is so popular that the titular guys, Kevin T. Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe, partner with Up TV for its Gilmore Girls airings and have interviewed several of the show’s stars. Coming from the perspective of a longtime fan (Kevin) and a first-time viewer (Demi), the podcast goes through each episode of Gilmore Girls and discusses characters’ fashion, pop culture references, how an episode was originally advertised, general critique of the episode’s storyline, and more. The guys are hilarious and have great chemistry with each other and their guest co-hosts, and they’ve even done live shows for some later episodes that are absolute must watches (I recommend this one if you have the time!).

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What I Love Lately

Hi friends! My first post-college summer is in full swing and amidst weekly (or daily) freakouts about life, I’ve finally emerged from a rough slump where I really wasn’t in the mood to take in any kind of cultural stuff. I wanted to share some things I’ve been loving lately that have made this transition into real life a little smoother.

Jill Mansell books

I read my first Jill Mansell book years ago and remember thinking it was just okay. Last month, I found myself in the mood for some of my beloved British contemporary fiction (the mood strikes whenever I’m particularly homesick for London, and what with everything going on in the UK in June, I guess it hit me hard). Having come across Mansell’s section on my library OverDrive, I downloaded one at random, Three Amazing Things About Youand quickly fell in love with Mansell’s style. It’s lighthearted, funny chick lit, but still so satisfying – I call her books the written equivalent of films like Love Actually. 

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What’s New: A Catch Up

Welcome back to my blog, friends! I’ve had a crazy month and a half or so of schoolwork, internship projects, and freak-outs about life that kept me from blogging regularly, but with summer on the horizon, I’m trying to get back into a nice writing routine!

Recently, I purposely made a post about my Tony nomination predictions so it was out before award announcements, and am planning on a reaction post to seeing the Broadway musical Bandstand. For now, as a nice catch-up to get the blog back in order, I wanted to do a News Worthy-esque post about recent cultural news or events that excited me!

Theatre

Jessie Mueller and Joshua Henry are starring in a Broadway revival of Carousel next year. The sound that came out of my mouth when I saw this headline was not human. I love Jessie Mueller, and recently fell in love with my birthday buddy Joshua Henry through his HamJams on Instagram. I love how this is a pairing no one would have really considered in casting speculation but now that it’s happening, everyone loves it! The fact that a black man was cast as Billy in Carousel is also huge and amazing. With a My Fair Lady revival already announced for next season as well, the 2018 musical revival category is looking pretty strong.

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Latest Pop Culture Obsessions

The last few weeks have been pretty crazy. I produced weekly news packages on my own for class, kept up on freelancing and intern duties, and – a moment I’m pretty darn proud of – interviewed Imposters star Rob Heaps for Her Campus (and have another exciting potential interview in the works!).

After keeping busy quite consistently, my “spring” break this week was very welcomed and needed. Aside from applying to “real world” jobs, I don’t have much going on this week, so I’ve found the time to get obsessed with some new things!

CBS Sunday Morning profiles

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News Worthy: 1/16 – 1/20

Unlike last week, today’s News Worthy is far more aligned with my typical format for the series!

Articles

Like so many others, I was so excited for the premiere of This Is Us back in September. My roommate and I even watched the first few episodes live, which, if you’ve been around here long enough, you’ll know is a privilege usually reserved for PBS dramas. After the pilot finished and that big twist was revealed, I even felt motivated to write a blog post in response (which never happened – whoops). We fell behind on watching when the semester’s work piled up, but I caught up over Christmas break and was finally convinced of the show’s power by the time I finished the mid-season finale.

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3 Obscure Childhood TV shows 

Speaking as a kid raised on a lot of PBS and now-extinct cable channels (I miss you, Discovery Kids), some of my favorite programs growing up were things other kids rarely knew about. Essentially, you could call me a TV hipster before the word was even a blip on the radar.

Aside from the occasional Spongebob references someone may make in random conversation and my first “celebrity” crushes being boys on Zoom rather than somebody on Disney Channel, a lack of exposure to well-known shows didn’t deepen my home under a rock too much. A lot of the young people involved in my old shows still pop up in other TV projects, so it sort of becomes like hearing news about a kid you went to high school with but didn’t really know on a personal level – in this case, it’s actors popping up, and you get to feel special that you “knew them when.”

Discovery Kids was a branch of the Discovery Network and, after 2010, morphed into other networks until it finally became a completely different entity in 2014. The programming style could not be more different from the types of shows aired when I was young. I think its typical schedule includes a My Little Pony rerun and random kids’ movies from the ’80s. While we still watched Disney Channel in the mid-2000s, Discovery Kids was still a strong contender for the channel that got the most airtime in our house. The first two shows I’ll talk about aired on Discovery Kids, which I think displays just how diverse its programming used to be.

1) Endurance (2002 – 2008) 

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What Entertainment I’m Looking Forward to in 2017

Is it too early to start getting excited about all of the new releases / premieres / openings of 2017? As far as I can remember, I’ve never really known of so much stuff that excites me this ahead of the new year. Most of my list relates to the first half of the year, meaning that time should fly leading up to these dates!

1) After Anatevka

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I first mentioned this in my post about seeing Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway, and after seeing the cast’s emotions online after the production closed on Dec. 31, I’m even more excited for this book to come out. Written by the revival’s Tzeitel, Alexandra Silber (who also played Hodel in the last London production), After Anatevka explores what happens to Hodel and Perchik when they’re together in Siberia. I love historical fiction, and although it is one of my favorite musicals, Fiddler on the Roof has a pretty sad second act, ending with all of the characters’ fates up in the air.  Even if this book does have a grim ending, I think this is such a cool and personal project for someone like Silber to take on. The book comes out on the Fourth of July, and I’ll definitely be trying it out!

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Emmys 2016: A Reaction

In the last nine years or so of regularly watching award shows, a lot of ceremonies inevitably blend together. When an Emmys ceremony once again has Jimmy Kimmel as host – or any late night comedian, for that matter – it feels like something we’ve seen one too many times. Is it because, even if it’s only happened once before, any late night host at an award show is a safe and familiar prospect? Does our (perhaps daily) habit of watching their interview or viral clips give us the feeling that we’ve seen any and all things a host is capable of?

I found Jimmy Kimmel to be a strong host of Sunday night’s 68th Primetime Emmy Awards. I’ve given up on truly critiquing an award show host simply because, in today’s TV climate, I feel that the same old jokes will be recycled, no matter who is on that stage. This leaves me with no judging system besides equating host success to few cringe-worthy moments.

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News Worthy: Catching Up

I started my News Worthy posts back in February, and posted weekly updates pretty consistently until April, when I finished school. The posts were a great way to talk about any and every thing I found interesting from that week, and it was a guaranteed addition to my blog.

Working full time this summer swept up any ambition I had to maintain News Worthy, but with the start of the school year in sight, I’m going to try to post weekly posts again. For now, I’m highlighting some recent-ish news / tidbits that was exciting to me!

Theater

I’ve spoken a lot about my love for The Last Five Years, from the original cast album to the film adaptation, so the announcement that Cynthia Erivo and Joshua Henry are starring in a TLFY  benefit made my life. Like the rest of America, I’ve basically become obsessed with Cynthia Erivo through her lead role in The Color Purple revival. Joshua Henry has done several Broadway shows and will be playing Burr in the Chicago production of Hamilton this fall.

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Reactions to 2016 Emmy Nominations

Much like last year, the recent announcement of Emmy nominations wasn’t even on my radar. After seeing the complete list, I understand why – nearly all of the shows nominated are just not on my spectrum at all.

I was out of the country for last year’s Emmys, so maybe I’m just out of the loop about what’s the norm now, but when did these categories widen to include so many slots? Although it’s great that this allows for more deserving people to be recognized, I almost find it overwhelming, particularly with the categories for Best Comedy and Drama. Although I’m terrible at keeping up with current shows, I do like to have at least some exposure to the nominated works and their actors, and that has become increasingly difficult to do with these kind of nominations.

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