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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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”

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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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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Strong Black Lead, Sense8 Series Finale – IP 129

Please note that this episode of Inside Pop is NOT sponsored by Netflix despite the fact that we’re celebrating the network’s content throughout the half hour!

First up – we examine the Strong Black Lead promo Netflix released at the beginning of the week. We discuss its impact, what iconic photo inspired it, who created it and yes – how it caused some controversy.

Then, Sean says good-bye to one of his favorite series of all time in a completely non-objective review of the Sense8 series finale. Sean will answer the following questions:

Did the cluster’s final synchronized bow meet all of his expectations? Did the finale provide a sense of closure? When is an orgy more than an orgy?

Plus Amita reviews Sean’s Big Sell from last week and sells him on a (say it like Oprah) MOOOVIE MOOOONTAGE!!!!

Links:

Find our more about A Great Day in Hollywood HERE

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Luke Cage Season 2, Won’t You Be My Neighbor – IP 128

We’re heading straight to Harlem for this special Luke Cage edition of Inside Pop. We’ve seen the second season of Marvel’s Luke Cage and we’re bringing you an exclusive preview of the first two episodes. We’ll also provide some fascinating behind the scenes info about the show’s music and production crew and theorize why vocal fans of the first season may have inspired the more volatile Season 2 Luke Cage. Plus, we question why we’re anti-shipping Mariah and Shades.

Then, Amita reviews the new documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, about legendary children’s TV host Fred Rogers.

Plus, we have a brand new Big Sell that tackles one of the ugliest, and sadly most prevalent problems in Hollywood.

Fans of Luke Cage will want to check out our interview with showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker.

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Queer Eye Season 2, LGBTQ Pop Culture – IP 127

We’re celebrating Pride Month in this episode by highlighting some of our favorite queer pop culture.

First up, we’ve had an advanced look at the second season of Queer Eye on Netflix and we’re giving you an exclusive preview of the series that consistently gives everyone the feels. We’ll tell you how the series is breaking even more new ground than ever before.

And then we bring you a special rainbow colored Big Sell in which we recommend some under the radar pop culture with an LGBTQ focus that you will definitely want to put on your must watch/must listen list.

Big Sells:

Bronski Beat – The Age of Consent

A Time to Leave – Trailer

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Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”, Big Screen vs Living Room films – IP 122

From the visceral imagery to our initial reactions- we discuss and try to decode the video that everyone is talking about- Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”. We give our thoughts and praise to Donald Glover’s latest music video/artistic statement.

Then, we discuss what films are big screen worthy and which films you can watch at home. Amita shares her thought process on how she determines which films pass the big screen test.

And finally, Sean gets brutally honest about last week’s Big Sell and suggests a new Netflix Japanese anime series, Agretsuko.

Links:
5 Things to know about ‘This Is America”

The Swimmer trailer

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Spring 2018 Pop Culture Preview, Max Fun Drive – IP 117

In honor of the Max Fun Drive- we are proud to present our Spring Pop Culture Preview! We’ll share some inside info on the highly anticipated TV, Film and Music due out this Spring. And to help us out- our special guests – the hosts of  Long Distance POPcast and JoJCast also share their picks!

Spring is no longer the season to bide your time while you await the big summer blockbusters and concert tours. Some of the most innovative and surprising pieces of pop culture are about to slide into your earbuds and onto your television and movie screens and we’ll tell you what cannot be missed!

Spring is also the time to support your favorite podcasts by becoming a member of Maximum Fun! We’ll tell you the glory (and gifts) that await you if you decide to become a member or renew your membership.

Take a look below at all of the upcoming pop culture packed into this special podcast!

Music

Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer

Elton John Revamp

Lake Street Dive

 

Movies

Tully

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Ocean’s 8

 

Television

Patrick Melrose

Lost in Space

Being Serena

Howards End

The Handmaid’s Tale

My House

 

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