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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Queen Sugar Season 3 Premiere – IP 125

We’ve been waiting for months and it’s finally here! The Queen Sugar Season 3 Premiere aired on Tuesday night and we have an exclusive interview with the director of the hit OWN series- DeMane Davis.

We had the privilege of watching the Season Premiere in advance of our interview with DeMane so be warned, there will be spoilers in this podcast! We chatted with DeMane about the unique way she connected with Ava DuVernay to get the opportunity to work on the series, her approach to directing the premiere episode, being the newly appointed Producing Director and learned about the many hats she has to wear in that role. And of course, we talked about how she shot the paternity test reveal scene that everyone is talking about!

Plus, Amita gives her rating and review of Sean’s Big Sell from last week- 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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Deadpool 2, Janet Jackson at the Billboard Awards, Vulture Festival – IP 124

We have an embarrassment of pop culture riches this week!

First up, Amita provides a spoiler free review of the box office record breaking Deadpool 2. Sean hasn’t seen the film yet, but it doesn’t stop him from asking deep probing questions (you guessed it – Josh Brolin’s physique is a point of discussion!).

Then, Sean and Amita discuss Janet Jackson’s appearance at the Billboard Music Awards. They rate her red carpet look and give what may be considered a surprisingly objective review of her performance.

The Pop Insiders also discuss their time at the two-day pop culture celebration in New York City known as Vulture Festival. They share the inside info they heard at panels featuring the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Younger, Queer Eye and Queen Sugar.

And in The Big Sell, Sean rates Madison McFerrin’s song, “Insane,” and sells a new cover song by the one and only Angelique Kidjo.

Plus – a surprise announcement about an appearance the Pop Insiders are making this summer!

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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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Blade Runner 2049, Riz Ahmed, Vegas Baby documentary, Big Sell 30 – IP 95

This week we dive inside Box Office Busts, a bold new doc and #BigSell30 is underway!

First up,  Sean and Amita examine why the highly anticipated, sure-fire hit Blade Runner 2049 actually failed at the box office. Why did the masses stay away from Denis Villeneuve’s artistry and Ryan Gosling’s baby blues? And are the masses actually missing out on a great film? We’ll discuss!

Also,  Amita was in the same room with her celebrity husband, Riz Ahmed, and didn’t faint! Find out how she got to see him in person and what happened.

Then, Amita interviews Oscar nominated director, Amanda Micheli about her new documentary, Vegas Baby, which follows multiple stories of women and couples and their struggles to have a child.

Plus, Amita reviews last week’s Big Sell from Sean, an early film from Ava DuVernay, Middle of Nowhere, and then sells him on a new single from Lin-Manuel Miranda featuring a slew of popular Latino singers and hip hop artists, who came together to raise funds for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. And we review some of our favorite Big Sells thus far in the Big Sell 30!

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Favorite Pop Culture Families, Queen Sugar Interview Part 2, Tom Petty, Big Sell 30 – IP 94

It’s a family Affair this week on Inside Pop!

We start off with a discussion of our favorite pop culture families – both real and fictional including The Jacksons, The Fischers, The Pearsons and The Knowles Sisters (Beyonce AND Solange).

Then we bring you the second part of our interview with Kat Candler, the producing director of Queen Sugar. We dive into the mid season premiere and illuminate the character development, storylines and memorable scenes from the episode which was directed by film legend Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust).

Then Amita shares her favorite Tom Petty songs in tribute to the recently deceased singer.

And finally we check in on the Big Sell 30 Day Challenge and discuss how our daily intake of new pop culture is changing our lives for the better. And Sean shares the Big Sell Day 4 of 30 – Middle of Nowhere by Ava DuVernay!

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Star Trek: Discovery premiere, Battle of the Sexes, Queen Sugar Interview – IP 93

The Fall season is already delivering on its promise of bringing us prestige, platinum perfect pop culture and we’re all over it!

First up, Sean reviews the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery while teaching Amita some Trek etiquette in the process.

Then, Amita talks about the special screening of Battle of the Sexes she attended, which has made her a huge fan of one of the legends of tennis (Billie Jean IS her girl!).

Plus, we’re ecstatic to share our interview with Queen Sugar Producing Director, Kat Candler about her work on Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed series. Kat discusses the experience of working with an all female directing crew; the job of helping multiple creative visions coalesce into one consistent series; and the indie film vibe that  permeates the set. Sadly, Kat refused our pleas to reassure us that Aunt Vi is going to be okay. This is an illuminating discussion on what goes into creating one of the great shows on TV right now and the perfect thing to listen to for Queen Sugar fans (like ourselves) who are excited for the show’s mid season premiere on Tuesday, October 3rd. But have no fear  – – our discussion is spoiler free!

Sean also shares details about seeing Queen Sugar on the big screen and the Bordelon siblings in the flesh at the Tribeca TV Festival.

Also, the Big Sell 30 Day Challenge – #BigSell30 –  begins October 1st. Listen to hear how you can participate in the pop culture event guaranteed to fill your brain with the very best TV, music, film, comics and more!

And in this week’s Big Sell, Amita rates Haaz Sleiman’s coming out video. For weeks Sean has been unendingly intrigued by the unconventional way the actor (Nurse Jackie, The Visitor) announced his sexuality to the world. But how does Amita feel?

And finally, in the spirit of paying tribute –  Amita Big Sells Sean an album by the recently deceased musician Charles Bradley.

Game Of Thrones: The Spoils of War, Queen Sugar mid-season 2 finale, Detroit reactions, The Suffers – IP 86

This week, we have a spoiler FILLED discussion about the latest episode of Game of Thrones (You’ve been warned!) Reunions, Deaths (?) and Dragons- oh my!

Plus, we discuss the mid-season finale of one of our favorite shows- Queen Sugar and talk about how the series is taking it up a notch in its 2nd Season.

And we read some listener feedback to our discussion last week about the portrayal of South Asian relationships in Film and TV.

Then, we talk about the lackluster box office for the film Detroit and our thoughts on why audiences may not have embraced the film as expected.

And of course, we have another brand new Big Sell! Sean gives his thoughts on last week’s suggestion- the band, The Suffers, and sells Amita on a playlist that features artists from the upcoming AfroPunk music festival.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PopInsiders

You can also find us at MaximumFun.org

Links:

Den of Geek Game of Thrones Death prediction article
Spotify AfroPunk Playlist

Game of Thrones Returns, Emmy Nominations, A Wrinkle in Time, Best Music of 2017 (So Far) – IP 83

Join us and raise a glass to toast the return of Game of Thrones – but before you take a swig just make sure you’re not on Arya’s sh*t list!

On this episode of Inside Pop, we dissect the Season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones which has us talking about everything from filthy chamber pots to Ed Sheeran cameos to Vermeer paintings to the one thing Daenerys has in common with Prince and the Revolution! (There are Spoilers in this conversation- you’ve been warned)

Then – we give you many reasons why you should be over the moon (just like us)  for the the new trailer for the Ava DuVernay epic, A Wrinkle in Time.

We’re also joined by special guest, DJ and Television Producer James Barker (aka DJ Chaotic) who shares his favorite albums and singles of the first half of 2017. A must listen if you’re looking for thoughtful, upbeat, quality tunes to add to your playlists!

Plus, we give you our thoughts on the Emmy nominations.

And it’s quid pro quo time in The Big Sell. Amita rates Sean’s Big Sell from last week (an episode of the Amazon series, I Love Dick) and in turns sells Sean on an Emmy nominated episode of Atlanta he (shamefully) has not yet seen.

 

James’ Best of 2017 (So Far)

Albums:

Harry Styles – Harry Styles

Lorde – Melodrama

Qveen Herby – Qveen Herby

Singles:

Maty Noyes – The Making of ‘London’

Geordie Kieffer- Red Line

Carly Rae Jepsen- Cut to the Feeling

 

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www.insidepoppodcast.com

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Favorite Movie Moments of 2016 – IP 57

In this special year-end episode we take a look at our favorite moments from some of our favorite movies of 2016. And we’re joined by film critic Dave Karger, who not only shares his top 3 movie moments, but also gives us a list of his favorite films of the year that fell under almost everyone else’s radar.

This is THE podcast episode to listen to if you’re a) looking for recommendations of new films to check out, and b) want to revisit a film you loved and see it in a new light!

We have a diverse roster of films for our discussion including:

  • Moonlight (hands down – Sean’s favorite film of the year)
  • Lion
  • Manchester By the Sea
  • Patriots Day
  • La La Land
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Hidden Figures
  • The Witch
  • 13th
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Julieta
  • Jackie

Those are the films  – but you’ll have to listen to see which moments gave us the feels, the chills, the laughter and the thrills.

moonlight  hidden-figures

la-la captain-america-civil-war-black-panther-poster

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Make sure to check out our other year-end episodes:

Top TV Shows of 2016

Essential Music of 2016

Links

This scene from Moonlight features Mahershala Ali and Alex Hibbert and depicts the main character, Little, learning how to swim.

Dave Karger and Amita Patel want you to pack the kleenex and enjoy Lion’s heart tugging story and gorgeous cinematography. Check out the trailer.