The Best Television & Music of 2018 – IP 141

Inside Pop presents our year end special highlighting the very best Television and Music of 2018! That’s right – this one episode brings you our picks for  the most binge-worthy TV shows ( including Atlanta, Dear White People, Barry, The Haunting of Hill House, Killing Eve, Queer Eye, Sense8) and most addictive music (including Janelle Monae, Cardi B, Meek Mill, Florence and the Machine, Ella Mai, Jacob Banks, Chloe X Halle) of the past 12 months. Listen to hear new insights into the shows that sit on top of the TV peak, plus we’ll celebrate our favorite albums and each declare our Song of the Year!

Sean’s Top TV

black-ish

Dear White People

Castle Rock

Daredevil

Glow

The Haunting of Hill House

Killing Eve

Sense8 (Series Finale)

Amita’s Top TV

Atlanta

Barry

The Handmaid’s Tale

Killing Eve

Murphy Brown

Queer Eye

Amita’s Top Albums

A Star is Born (Soundtrack) – Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

Championships – Meek Mill

Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae

Invasion of Privacy – Cardi B

Ventriloquism – Meshell Ndegeocello

Sean’s Top Albums

Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae

High as Hope – Florence and the Machine

Lean on Me – Jose James

Piano & a Microphone – Prince

Remain in Light – Angelique Kidjo (Remain in Light X 2 playlist)

Ventriloquism – Meshell Ndegeocello

Village – Jacob Banks

Sean’s Song of the Year

Happy Without Me – Chloe X Halle

Amita’s Song of the Year

Boo’d Up – Ella Mai

 

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Inside the World of a TV Casting Director: A Conversation with Evan Majors (Rhythm + Flow, The Real World) – IP 140

Have you ever wondered what minds were behind the casting of your favorite unscripted TV shows and how they found the personalities who’ve grown to feel like family?

In this episode, we chat with Casting Director Evan Majors to find out his approach to finding talent worthy of TV screens and pop culture obsessions. He shares how he approaches meeting and interviewing talent, the need for more representation in film and TV and a little insider info on his latest project, the recently announced Hip Hop reality competition show, Rhythm + Flow for Netflix featuring Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. as judges. He also reveals the one casting video he’d love to get his hands on.

Then, in this week’s Big Sell, Amita gives her review of Sean’s suggestion- an article about Stan Lee after his passing- and then sells Sean on an honest conversation between Gina Rodriguez, Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo and Emma Roberts about equal pay and representation in front of and behind the camera.

Links:

Find and follow Evan Majors on Twitter, Instagram and check out his website here.

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Movie Trailers: An Insider’s Guide to How They’re Made – IP139

Have you ever wondered how a movie trailer is created? Have you ever questioned why you see a shot in a trailer that doesn’t exist in the film or fretted over the amount of plot detail a trailer reveals? Well wonder no more! This week, we speak to Nati Braunstein, Co-President and Creative Director at the Creative Advertising agency, Aspect, and get a look inside the process of making memorable movie trailers.

Nati discusses the collaborative effort behind the production of  trailers and reveals some inside info about the trailers and TV spots for the highly anticipated Aquaman and Mary Poppins Returns.

Plus, in the Big Sell, Sean reviews the new Riz MC single, “Mogambo” and sells Amita on an article about Stan Lee after his passing.

Aspect Website

Aspect on Twitter

Aspect Instagram

If you enjoyed this episode check out:

Our conversation with the Music Supervisor of The Florida Project and Tangerine

Our conversation with the Cinematographer of 20 Feet From Stardom and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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Interracial Relationships in Pop Culture – IP 138

Why is it still rare to see a romantic relationship between a black man and a white woman on TV? Is Netflix more progressive depicting interracial relationships than other networks?  How did the casting of a Cheerios commercial ignite a racist backlash?

In this week’s episode, we chat with Lori Tharps, a former Entertainment Weekly and Vibe Magazine writer, novelist and Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University about how interracial relationships are portrayed on film and TV.

Lori breaks down the positive and negative aspects about the depiction of some of the more memorable interracial relationships in pop culture including Tom and Helen Willis on The Jeffersons, Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard and Aziz Ansari’s love interests in Master of None.

Then, Amita gives her rating and review of Jose James’ latest covers album Lean on Me and sells Sean on a new single from her multi-talented fantasy husband- Riz MC aka Riz Ahmed.

Links:
Follow Lori on Twitter & Instagram
Lori’s blog- My American Melting Pot

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Riz MC- “Mogambo”

Women in the Director’s Chair: A Conversation with Queen Sugar’s DeMane Davis – IP 137

In this encore episode,  we speak with DeMane Davis, the director of the hit OWN series Queen Sugar. We chat with DeMane about the unique way she connected with Ava DuVernay to get the opportunity to work on the series and also discuss how she approached directing the premiere episode of the most recent season.

DeMane also discusses her new role as the series Producing Director and the responsibilities and creative challenges that come with the job. And she also dissects one of the most emotionally impactful moments of Season 3  – of course we’re talking about that infamous paternity test reveal scene!

Plus, Amita gives her rating and review of Sean’s Big Sell – Angelique Kidjo’s cover of the Talking Heads hit- “Once in a Lifetime” and sells a powerful TED Talk from Tracee Ellis Ross in the midst of the #MeToo movement.

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Netflix Goes for the Oscar, How to Watch a Movie, Jose James Covers Bill Withers – IP 136

This week we tackle the age old, innuendo laced question – ‘Does size matter?’ Our resounding answer is – ‘yes!’ – especially when it comes to the size of the screen on which one watches feature films. This week news broke that Netflix is considering releasing Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma and the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs in movie theaters before these films play on its streaming service. This would be an unprecedented move by the media behemoth that might give these movies a much better chance of getting some awards love.

Is a movie still a ‘movie’ if it plays on your tablet before it hits theaters? Is the motion picture academy ready to change the way it defines films? Should movie directors have a say in how their works are distributed? We tackle all of these issues in this episode and discuss our ideal way of watching movies (fyi – if it’s The Conjuring 2 Sean likes it in the dark, on his couch).

Plus – Sean reviews Jameela Jamil’s “I Weigh” movement and Big Sells Amita a new Bill Withers cover by the great vocalist Jose James.

Links:

Watch the trailer for Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma

Watch the trailer for The Coen Brothers The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Listen to Jose James’ rendition of Bill Withers’ ‘Hope She’ll be Better

I Weigh Instagram feed

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Music Matters: An Interview with Music Supervisor Matthew Hearon-Smith- IP 135

Ever wonder how some of your favorite songs in films and TV shows are chosen? This week, Sean sits down with Music Supervisor Matthew Hearon-Smith, who has selected songs for the award winning films Tangerine and The Florida Project and also has curated the soundtracks for various television shows including Viceland’s My House. We discuss his process for finding the right song for the right moment and how he collaborates with directors and showrunners to create the mood for specific scenes.

Then, we share some of our top picks for popular songs that have been featured in films and TV programs that have been embedded in our brains ever since.

Plus, Amita gives her rating and review of Sean’s Big Sell- Fantastic Negrito’s latest album, Please Don’t Be Dead and big sells an honest and revealing interview from “The Good Place” actress Jameela Jamil about the standard of beauty that women have been held up to and how she’s trying to rise above to help women love themselves for who they are, as they are.

Links:

Matthew Hearon-Smith’s IMDb

Matthew Hearon-Smith’s Website

Matthew Hearon-Smith’s Twitter

Sense8‘s use of the song- “What’s Up?”

Blue Velvet’s use of the song – “In Dreams”

Blue Velvet’s use of the song – “Blue Velvet”

Captain Fantastic‘s use of the song- “Sweet Child o’Mine

Little Miss Sunshine‘s use of the song- “Super Freak

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Fall TV Preview & Primetime Emmy Predictions with Norman Baker – IP 134

September has arrived and Fall is right around the corner! (Yeah, we said it, FALL! Where does the time go!?)

So, we’re getting you ready for the Fall TV season with special guest Norman Baker- who, as a self-proclaimed ‘Pop Culture Genius’, utilizes his entertainment prowess every day as a Senior Producer on The Wendy Williams Show. We find out what it takes to put together the Hot Topics segment of the popular daytime talk show and what inspired Norman to get into television production.

Then, Norman shares which new Fall TV shows he is looking forward to checking out including ABC’s A Million Little Things, CBS’s Murphy Brown and The CW’s All American and then we discuss who will win and who should win Best Comedy and Best Drama at this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards.

Plus, in this week’s Big Sell, Sean gives his rating and review of Ibeyi’s “River” music video and shares a new album by soul/rock artist, Fantastic Negrito, who also performed at this year’s AfroPunk festival.

Follow Norman @normmaker on Twitter and Instagram

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Shining a Light on Cinematography: A Conversation with Graham Willoughby – IP 133

If you’ve ever been struck by the beauty that fills the screen while watching a particular film or television show you have the cinematographer to thank. The cinematographer – or Director of Photography – is responsible for helping the director achieve their vision; and whether the goal is to create an eye catching effect or to simply make natural light look ‘natural’ on film, the cinematographer commands a unique combination of creative intuition and technical expertise to achieve success.

This week- Amita and Sean speak with Graham Willoughby, the cinematographer of a number of incredible documentaries including the Oscar winning 20 Feet from Stardom and the hit doc of the summer, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Graham discusses the road that led him to be one of the most sought after non-fiction DPs working today. He also discusses television projects he has worked on (Abstract, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas) and how he manages to work in a number of different genres including music, biography and comedy.

And in the latest Big Sell, Amita reviews the Frank Ocean-centric podcast Dissect and Big Sells Sean a song and video combo by the group Ibeyi.

Check out Graham Willoughby’s Official Site

Follow him on Instagram @nationalpleasure

Check out Sean’s overly precious, non-collaborative Afropunk Warm Up 2018 Playlist

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The (Immediate) Future of Television: Highlights from the TCA Press Tour – IP 132

If you love Television, our report on the 2018 TCA Summer Press Tour is a must!

This week, the TCA (Television Critics Association) gathered to hear all of the major networks break news with casting announcements, plot line revelations and promises that their new and returning shows will be the peak-iest in this era of Peak TV.

We discuss the highlights of the TCA tour and breakdown what all of this news means for the television industry, and for fans of the medium. We’ll answer all of your binge-worthy burning questions including:

  • What are the new shows creating the most buzz?
  • How much money is Netflix planning to spend on original programming next year?
  • What are the details about the new Game of Thrones spin-off?
  • Which series will end after this season?

Whether you’re geeking out over Sir Patrick Stewart’s return to the captain’s chair in Star Trek or cheering Alex Garland’s reboot of a classic miniseries, this episode is for you!

Plus in this week’s Big Sell – Sean loves Chaka Khan – but how does he feel about the new song Amita Big Sold last week? Plus find out why he is Big Selling a podcast that combines info about trills, Gregorian chants and Frank Ocean.

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