A Wrinkle in Time, Jessica Jones, Sade, Meshell Ndegeocello, Carousel, Vulfpeck – IP 114

This week’s episode of Inside Pop has the following Inclusion Rider: Our 114th episode must celebrate the creativity and diversity of women in film, music and television.

The show begins with a review of Ava DuVernay’s epic adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Amita discusses what she most loves about the film and Sean questions whether the film’s box office performance and overall reception was affected by the phenomenon that is Black Panther. Amita also shares some of the insight she got from Ava herself at DuVernay’s Times Talk last week.

Then, Amita and Sean rejoice over Sade’s new song, ‘Flowers of the Universe’ (Amita loves this remix of the song).

Next, the Pop Insiders move on to TV and Sean provides a spoiler free review of the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Will he convince Amita to give the show a try? Stay tuned.

The co-hosts also review Meshell Ndegeocello’s new new album of covers, Ventriloquism, which touches their Gen-X hearts with innovative and emotional covers of songs from the 80’s and 90’s including Prince’s “Sometimes it Snows in April”, Force MD’s “Tender Love” and Janet Jackson’s “Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun)”.

Plus, Sean talks about seeing the new revival of the musical Carousel on Broadway starring Renée Fleming and Joshua Henry (his Instagram is a must follow if you love soulful acoustic versions of songs from Hamilton and of course you love that) and discusses the challenges of enjoying a musical from the 50’s that has domestic abuse as a main plot point.

And the Big Sell returns from its month long sabbatical with a bang! Hear Sean’s review of Vulfpeck. And guess which new podcast he’s selling to Amita? The answer will NOT surprise you!

As promised – Sean’s favorite Mama tribute song.

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Oscars 2018 Special – IP 113

Inside Pop’s annual Oscars wrap up is here! Listen to get our take on the fashion, the snubs, the rightful victories, the highlights and the awkward moments. We’ll rate Jimmy Kimmel’s performance as host and also discuss our favorite musical performances of the night.

Who was the presenter that left Sean speechless? Which acceptance speech made Amita stand-up and cheer? Listen to this special Oscars episode to find out!

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Queer Eye: An Interview with Queer Eye Producer James Barker – IP 112

In this special Producer to Producer episode, we interview friend of Inside Pop James Barker about one of the most popular shows currently on television, Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye. James produced multiple episodes of this season and he gives us a behind the scenes look at the making of this pop culture phenomenon.

Listen to hear:

  • How hundreds of hours of footage got edited down into 8 brilliant episodes.
  • The differences between the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and this new version.
  • How producers captured the heartfelt moments that have America sobbing
  • An update on fan favorite AJ
  • And James’ tips on a few special things to look for while watching this series.

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Black Panther Box Office records, Janelle Monae, Musicians turned Actors, Vulfpeck – IP 111

We can’t help but discuss Black Panther again- from the shattered box office records to the worldwide reaction-
Wakanda Forever!

Plus, Christmas came early with the 30 second teaser trailer for Janelle Monae’s latest ’emotion picture’ Dirty Computer. We speculate on when we’ll get new music from Monae, and some of the themes in the trailer.

Then, we discuss musicians who became actors- some successfully and some…not so much.

And Amita gives her review of the Atlantic article about Black Panther Costume Designer Ruth Carter and sells Sean on a feel good funk album from the band, Vulfpeck.

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Black Panther Special, Hamilton’s Hamildrops – IP 110

From the moment the Black Panther cast took a group selfie at Comic Con the anticipation and expectations for this film began to grow; and over the past year the buzz has reached a fever pitch (especially for these two podcast hosts). Well, the film has arrived and Inside Pop is devoting this episode to everything Wakanda!

We share our review of the film (just moments after seeing a special screening) and discuss the highlights and the themes that most resonated with us.

Then we review the soundtrack for the film which is curated by Kendrick Lamar and features Lamar, Sza, 2 Chains, Jorja Smith and Khalid.

The only way we would divert from our Black Panther deep dive is to review last week’s Hamilton related Big Sell.

And Sean ends this episode with a Black Panther related Big Sell which he hopes will help Amita appreciate the film even more than she already does.

Wakanda Forever!

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Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake, This Is Us – IP 109

It’s the day when Pop Culture fans and Sports fans join forces to create what feels like a national holiday! In this episode, we dive into the Superbowl and discuss:

  • The pre game turn up in Philly that Sean experienced first hand
  • Justin Timberlake’s Halftime performance (guess which Inside Pop co-host couldn’t even bring himself to watch the entire thing)
  • The Prince tribute that should’ve happened

Then, we seamlessly segue into a review of Timberlake’s latest release, Man of the Woods.

Plus, Amita reviews one of the most heartbreaking hours on television, the post Super Bowl episode of This Is Us.

And finally in the Big Sell, Amita reviews an essay on Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. And speaking of sports – she pitches a softball to Sean with a Hamilton inspired Big Sell.

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Oscar Nominations, Black Panther, Kelela – IP 108

It’s been a long, strange, sometimes underwhelming trip to the Oscar Nominations but we’re here to share our immediate reactions. We give you our thoughts on why certain movies are heading to the red carpet and others got snubbed and we also try to make sense of why the film Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri has become a frontrunner. We celebrate nominations for Get Out, The Big Sick, Logan, Mudbound and Lady Bird and share our gratitude to whomever was genius enough to book Tiffany Haddish to announce the nominations.

Plus, Sean makes his case for why Black Panther should have received an Oscar nomination THIS year! He’s not joking!

And we end the show with The Big Sell. Sean rates Amita’s Big Sell from last time, Kelela’s “Frontline,” and then Big Sells Amita an article by Alissa Wilkinson (one of his favorite culture critics) on the backlash against Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. Read it HERE

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#TimesUp, Golden Globes, Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Cardi B, Bruno Mars – IP 107

This week, Hollywood flexed its social justice muscle once again when it turned the 75th Golden Globes ceremony into a rally for gender equality. We’ll debate the effectiveness of the black clad ceremony and revel in the glory of Oprah Winfrey’s memorable speech.

Then, we’ll review new songs by some of the biggest stars in music including Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s “Finesse (Remix),” Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s collaboration, “All the Stars,” from the upcoming Black Panther film and Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl appetizer, “Filthy.”

Plus, Amita reviews last week’s Big Sell, the uplifting new age song by Laraaji, “I Can Only Bliss Out (F’ Days)” and then Big Sells Sean on a new song by Kelela.

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Black Mirror, The Chi, Forgotten Films of 2017 with Dave Karger, Pop Culture Resolutions – IP 106

Did you resolve to put more time and energy into staying on top of the best pop culture stories of the week? Lucky for you, The Pop Insiders are here to help you keep that resolution with our brand new episode!

First, we give our spoiler free reviews of the new Lena Waithe Showtime drama – The Chi (please feel free to listen and then correct our pronunciation of the title of this show) and the first episode of the new season of Black Mirror.

Then we speak with IMDb special correspondent and frequent Today Show awards commentator – Dave Karger – about the movies of 2017 that may not be front-runners for the big awards, but are definitely worthy of your attention. From Detroit to Wonderstruck to Downsizing, Dave will tell you why you should give these flicks a second – or maybe first chance.

We also share our pop culture resolutions for the new year and hold each other accountable for how successful we were in keeping our 2017 resolutions.

And the Big Sell returns – Sean recommends (wait for it) a new new age song (nope that isn’t a typo) to start Amita’s year off on an optimistic and blissful note.

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Best Movie Performances of 2017 – IP 105

We have spent hours upon hours sitting in dark theaters watching some of the most talked about films of the year and are ready to share our final “Best of” list of 2017!

This year, we’re focusing on the performances that captivated us, made us laugh, cry and gave us all the feels. From Daniel Kaluuya’s portrayal as a boyfriend slowly awakening to the horrors of his girlfriend’s family in Get Out to Saoirse Ronan playing a emotional teenager in Lady Bird, to the complex relationship between Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in Logan, 2017 has gifted us with some incredible performances by some of our favorite actors and a few new faces as well.

Amita’s Favorite Performances:

  • Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri 
  • Michael Stuhlbarg in Call Me By Your Name
    • Read how Michael Stuhlbarg and Director Luca Guadagnino crafted this pivotal scene here
  • Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project
  • Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird
  • Kumail Nanjiani in The Big Sick
  • Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq.
  • Betty Gabriel in Get Out
  • Allison Janney in I, Tonya
  • Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

Sean’s Favorite Performances:

  • Patrick Stewart & Hugh Jackman in Logan
  • Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of James Baldwin in I Am Not Your Negro
  • Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name
  • Jason Mitchell in Mudbound
  • Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird
  • Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out 
  • Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water

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