Avengers: Infinity War, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, Tribeca Film Festival, Kanye West- IP 121

We’ve witnessed (and survived) a huge week in pop culture and are here to tell the tale!

First, we share our SPOILER FREE thoughts about the latest chapter in Marvel’s Avengers series- Avengers: Infinity War, and find out if the superhero filled sequel succeeded in meeting our expectations

Then, we’re all about Janelle Monae’s latest album, Dirty Computer, and the accompanying emotion picture.  We predict the songs we want to be the next single and chat about her musical evolution from her first album to this new offering.

Plus, we had the privilege to see a Tribeca Talk featuring Oscar winning screenwriter & director Alexander Payne and legendary talk show host Dick Cavett and share some of the tidbits from their conversation.

And Sean gives his thoughts on Kanye’s latest public statements.

And of course, The Big Sell. Amita shares the musical journey she went on with Sean’s three tiered Prince video project and shares an EP from a young jazz/soul/pop singer from New Zealand named Wallace.

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @PopInsiders

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And you can also find us on MaximumFun.org

 

Atlanta Season 2, Avengers: Infinity War trailer, Saturday Night Live, Wolverine Podcast – IP 115

This episode is the ultimate pop culture to do list for the week!

DO listen to our review of the second season of Donald Glover’s series, Atlanta. We discuss whether the show overcomes the dreaded sophomore season slump.

DO hear our reaction to the latest trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. Who will live and who will die? We share our guesses and also estimate how much screen time Doctor Strange will get since he is sharing the screen with 8,000 other heroes.

DO NOT feel any jealousy as Sean tells you what it was like to attend a taping of Saturday Night Live.

DO wonder whether Amita will enjoy Sean’s Big Sell from last week – the new podcast, Wolverine: The Long Night. And also find out which heroes they think should be next to have their own podcast. The inspiration for Sean’s answer can be found in this amazing comic written by Greg Pak.

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @PopInsiders

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You can also find us on MaximumFun.org

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.

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @PopInsiders

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You can also find us on MaximumFun.org

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Sense8, The Dark Tower, The Defenders, South Asians on TV & Film, Broadway, Game of Thrones – IP 74

The May pop culture hot streak continues so we discuss the release of the trailers for the highly anticipated film adaptation of the Stephen King series, The Dark Tower; and The Defenders on Netflix.

Then, Amita gives her immediate (and spoiler free) reaction to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and also shares her exciting experience winning a Broadway Lottery. Meanwhile Sean is incapable of containing his excitement over the premiere of the 2nd season of Sense8.

The Pop Insiders also share the details of the recently announced Game of Thrones spin-offs and share which GoT characters they’d most want to see Frasiered.

Plus, Amita celebrates the influx of South Asians on TV and Film and the joy and inspiration they have given her.

And Sean reviews  last’s week’s Hall & Oates big sell and sells Amita on a climate change focused Instagram feed.

Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram @popinsiders

Links:

The Defenders trailer

The Dark Tower trailer

Big Sell: Everyday Climate Change Instagram feed

Favorite Television Shows of 2016 – IP 55

We’re excited to share the first installment of our annual BEST OF lists- our Top 10 Television Shows of 2016! If you need some new shows to binge watch over the winter, look no further! In this era of Peak TV we had a plethora of options to choose from and after much thought, we each put together our 10 favorite TV shows of the year.

A few of the series that made the cut- Queen Sugar, Luke Cage, Insecure, This Is Us and Atlanta- are some of the most critically acclaimed new shows of the year.

luke-cage queen-sugar atlanta_oabpgv

We also have a few established shows on our lists that continually deliver incredible drama week after week like How To Get Away With Murder, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

game-of-thrones htgawm the-walking-dead

Comedies and dramas, dragons and murderers, families and superheroes- there’s something for everyone!Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @PopInsiders and let us know what you think of our picks and share your top TV shows of the year.

If you like this episode you may want to check out:

  • Our interview with Marvel’s Luke Cage creator and EP, Cheo Hodari Coker, HERE: http://wp.me/p7Uq7E-8g

 

AMITA’S TOP 10 LIST

10. Speechless

9. How To Get Away With Murder

8. Insecure

7. This is Us

6. Luke Cage

5. Queen Sugar

4. Game of Thrones

3. The People V OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

2. Stranger Things

1. Atlanta

SEAN’S TOP 10 LIST

10. black-ish

9. O.J.: Made In America

8. The Walking Dead

7. Insecure

6. Luke Cage

5. Game of Thrones

4. Lemonade

3. Black Mirror

2. Stranger Things

1. Queen Sugar

 

Links

Sean thinks his number 4 pick, Lemonade, owes a debt to Janet Jackson’s Got Til It’s Gone and Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust.

Amita think Sarah Paulson should win an award for the Emmy Award acceptance speech she gave when she won Best Actress for The People V OJ Simpson.

If you’re trying to decide whether Sean’s Ralph Angel impression is a) great b) really great or c) fantastic – watch this dramatic scene from Queen Sugar featuring a remarkable performance from Kofi Siriboe.

An Interview with Cheo Hodari Coker, Creator of Marvel’s Luke Cage – IP 54

We are very happy to finally share our next Producer to Producer interview with the creator and executive producer of Marvel’s Luke Cage, Cheo Hodari Coker. The interview was conducted at the Producers Guild Produced By Conference in New York City on October 29th.ip-with-cheo

Whether you’re a fan of Luke Cage or think that Misty Knight is a bad weather pattern – this is a MUST LISTEN.  Cheo has been in the game for years and has worked on a variety of popular and critically acclaimed shows including – Southland, Almost Human and Ray Donovan.

luke-cageHe has imbued Luke Cage with a creativity and thoughtfulness that has resulted in a ‘superhero’ show that sits firmly within our current golden age of television. Tune in to the show for the bulletproof Black man who can punch through walls, but you’ll also get an education on African American crime writers; a celebration of 90’s Hip Hop; some of the most layered female characters on television; Mahershala Ali’s star turn; a new definition of ‘getting coffee’; an Alfre Woodard master class in how to play a conflicted (but not really conflicted) villain; a love letter to Harlem; Mike Colter owning the title role; and one of the most gorgeously shot shows you’ll see all year.

Coker’s eloquent and insightful conversation touches on:

  • How Shonda Rhimes influences the way he writes female characters.
  • How being a showrunner is like being the captain of a Federation Starship.
  • The use of ‘the N word’ in Luke Cage.cheo

Plus, there’s nothing better than getting a pop culture suggestion from one of our great pop culture creators. Make sure you listen to the end of the episode to hear Cheo Hodari Coker Big Sell us three things he’s loving.

If you’re new to our podcast, visit our website where you can subscribe and listen to additional episodes. www.insidepoppodcast.com

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And on Instagram here.

Big Sell 30 Day 7: A.O. Scott reviews The Birth of a Nation

#BigSell30 is one week old! Say it with me – one new piece of pop culture, once a day for 30 days!
Sean David Johnson aka @therealseanjohn here with our Day 7 Big Sell.
birthEarlier this week Amita and I saw a screening of The Birth of a Nation. After the screening and the cast & crew Q &A she and I stood outside the theater and wrestled with our feelings about the film. My conclusion – the film was solid, but not great. Well made, but not extraordinary. Moving and glorious in parts, but also flawed throughout.
If I’m going to sit through a film that assaults me with scenes of emotional and physical horror, that film better be transcendent (like 12 Years a Slave, for example). Unfortunately, The Birth of a Nation does not transcend its limitations or the news surrounding the former sexual assault trial of director Nate Parker.
My big sell for today is the A.O. Scott review of the film. It’s a superb essay on the considerations we make before we see a film and the baggage we bring into the theater.
You can read the his NY Times review: here
Finally, even though I’m not recommending The Birth of a Nation,  I have to say this is still a great weekend to support Black Creators and subject matter. Ava DuVernay’s documentary, 13th, is essential viewing. Issa Rae’s Insecure premieres on HBO this Sunday and contains some of the biggest laugh out loud moments I’ve experienced all Fall.  And if you haven’t binged the entire season yet – Luke Cage on Netflix provides you the opportunity to revel in the fantasy of a bullet proof Black man who fights crime and reads Walter Mosley novels.

Follow Inside Pop on Twitter and Instagram @PopInsiders and don’t forget to send us your Big Sells for #BigSell30!

The Week in Black Excellence – IP 47

13thThis week, we are reveling in the gifts of Black Excellence bestowed upon us by the pop culture Gods in film, television and music! We had the exclusive opportunity to watch visionary director Ava DuVernay’s latest documentary, 13th, and discuss why we were so extremely moved by this powerful film.

luke-cageThen, it’s hoodies up as we geek out over our immediate (and spoiler free) reaction to the premiere of Marvel’s Luke Cage.
solange

 

 

Plus, Solange drops her latest album, A Seat at the Table, and we immediately put it on repeat!

All that and Sean gives his first Big Sell in the #BigSell30 Day Challenge!

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PopInsiders and don’t forget to send us your Big Sells for #BigSell30!