Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere, Guava Island – IP 149

The wait is over and the end is also near. The season premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones has arrived and we have oh so many thoughts! [Do we need to say there are spoilers ahead? Cause there are.]

We dissect the record-breaking premiere episode – the call backs to the very first episode, our favorite lines, which moments gave us joy and also which ones left us asking questions. We also share some bold predictions for the rest of the season including who we think will claim the Iron Throne. And of course we discuss the dragon riding scene. Whether you love it or hate it you will definitely want to check out the dragon ride mashup Amita references here).

Plus, we review Guava Island, the tropical fable starring Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino and Rihanna which leads us to discuss the risks of setting high expectations for our favorite artists.

Then, Sean gives his rating and review of last episode’s Big Sell- the Kore Conversation between Queer Eye’s Tan France and The Good Place’s Manny Jacinto about Asian representation in pop culture and shares his Big Sell for this week- a 2019 Spotify playlist from our friends and fellow podcasters JoJCast featuring their favorite tracks so far this year.

Links:
The White Walkers spiral theory

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A Conversation with the director of American Horror Story, Mayans M.C., and Raising Dion – IP 147

This week, we are excited to bring you our conversation with Rachel Goldberg, a successful TV and Film director who has worked on episodes of American Horror Story, Mayans M.C., and the upcoming Netflix series Raising Dion. Rachel discusses how she approaches directing in different genres, the recent shift in Hollywood when it comes to hiring female directors and gives some sage advice on how to be successful in the industry.

We are also in the midst of the Max Fun Drive! Take the time right now to head over to maximumfun.org/donate to become a member, renew or upgrade your membership. We appreciate your support!

Then, in this week’s Big Sell, Sean gives his review and rating of a recent album from the soul/funk band with an international vibe, Khruangbin, and sells Amita on new music from Tierra Whack.

You can find more info about Rachel Goldberg here.

Check out Khruangbin’s Tiny Desk Concert performance of Maria Tambien here.

Sean’s Top 4 female bass players:

4. Melissa Auf der Maur

3. Gail Ann Dorsey

3. Tina Weymouth

1. Meshelle NdegeOcello

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Inside the Production Design of Fargo, American Crime, Strange Angel + Casting Disabled Actors – IP 145

In this episode we speak to Warren Alan Young, the production designer of some of the most beautiful television shows and films we’ve ever watched. From Fargo to Strange Angel to American Crime to the upcoming film Harriet, Warren has been responsible for creating, designing and executing a look that propels the plot, illuminates the characters and elevates the overall storytelling of all of his projects. He shares the secrets of the craft of production design and reveals his journey as one of the only production designers of color in Hollywood.

And in this week’s Big Sell, Sean rates an article on Hollywood’s Disability problem and recommends the Oscar nominated animated short, “Bao”, to Amita.

Warren Alan Young’s Official Site

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Winter 2019 Pop Culture Preview – IP 143

We kick off the new year with a special Winter Preview edition of the Inside Pop Quiz! Sean tests Amita’s knowledge of major upcoming releases in TV, Music and Movie. Play along and see how much you know (and how much you find out) about some of the most anticipated offerings of the season.

Plus – the Big Sell returns in a big way! Find out why Amita’s Big Sell of a conversation between  Gina Rodriguez, Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo and Emma Roberts gets four stars! Plus hear all about Sean’s Oscar campaign season influenced Big Sell – a revealing discussion between actors Mahershala Ali and John David Washington.

Links/Info:

The Horror films Jordan Peele asked Lupita Nyong’o to Watch Before Filming Us:

Dead AgainThe ShiningThe BabadookIt FollowsA Tale of Two SistersThe BirdsFunny GamesMartyrsLet the Right One In, and The Sixth Sense.

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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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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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