Rebellion! Stonewall on MSNBC, Split Screens Festival, Handmaid’s Tale, Queen Sugar, When They See Us & Late Night – IP 153

June is bursting at the seams with pop culture and we are here for it! We’re celebrating Pride month with a conversation with the producers behind the MSNBC documentary special- Rebellion! Stonewall. Katherine Linton & Joe Danisi share their journey to making this important and timely film, the queer history surrounding the Stonewall Riots and how it directly connects to present day politics and our future. The documentary premieres on MSNBC on Sunday, June 16th at 10pm, but can also be found on demand and will have multiple airings throughout the month- Tune In!

Then, Amita shares some of her pop culture escapades over the last few weeks including the screenings she attended as part of the Split Screens Festival in NYC. She took in the Season 3 premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, the Season 4 premiere of Queen Sugar and the highly acclaimed mini-series from Ava DuVernay, When They See Us

Amita also attended an early screening of the Mindy Kaling/Emma Thompson comedy- Late Night, had the privilege to meet the fabulous writer, producer and actor afterwards and lived to tell the tale!

Plus, in the Big Sell, Sean gives his review of R&B artist Masego and shares a custom playlist that he curated featuring the best guest verses by the uber talented André 3000.

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Killing Eve & Fleabag: The Worlds of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Costume Design of She’s Gotta Have It, Netflix’s Special – IP 152

If you’re tired of hearing about the collective disappointment of a certain dragon-centric TV show – have no fear – in this episode we celebrate successful achievement of some of the most satisfying shows on television!

First up, Sean and Amita discuss the second seasons of Killing Eve and Fleabag, two creations of the absurdly talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge (ok – and maybe we go on a teeny tiny tangent and discuss how some series are better than others at concluding).

Then, Amita interviews costume designer Marci Rodgers about her work on Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have it and BlacKkKlansman.

Finally, Amita reviews Sean’s Big Sell from last week – the new Netflix series, Special, and then sells him a new singer, Masego, who is headed to the Afropunk stage later this summer.

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Game of Thrones: The Bells, Tribeca Film Festival premiere of ‘Only’ – IP 151

Fan anticipation is at a fever pitch as Game of Thrones races towards its final episode. This week we review the show’s penultimate episode, “The Bells” which may go down as one of the series’ most divisive episodes. We breakdown why so many fans of the show were disappointed and also highlight what worked well.

Then we present a one-on-one interview with Takashi Doscher, the writer and director of the film Only which premiered this month at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film stars Freida Pinto and Leslie Odom Jr. as a couple fighting to survive in a world in which Pinto’s character may be the only woman left alive. Takashi and Sean discuss the inspiration of this apocalyptic romance, the six year journey from screenplay to its premiere and the experience of showing one’s film at one of the word’s most prestigious film festivals.

Plus Sean review’s Amita’s Big Sell about pop plagiarism and then sells her a very Special new show on Netflix.

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Takashi Doscher’s Official Site

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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