Show Rundown: In this week’s episode, we chat about “S-Town,” a podcast from This American Life and Serial. All seven episodes dropped last Tuesday, and we listened to every episode. Is it addictive listening like Serial season one, or is it disappointing like Serial season two? In our second segment, we review the live-action remake of “Ghost In The Shell, and talk about the controversy surrounding the casting and more importantly - is it a good movie? And we end our show by sharing what we are dorking out about, including the series finale of “Big Little Lies,” which concluded LAST NIGHT! We have thoughts and feelings about it.
Topic 1: S-Town and Podcasting as Art
For a podcast which prides itself on talking about stories from far and wide, movies and TV, books and podcasts, we’ve done precious little chatting about podcasts. And now, we may never do it again, because after our discussion of S-Town, it may be obvious the chances of ever finding anything as good as S-Town in this podcasting medium is slim. Yes, this is only supposed to be an intro, but S-Town is a medium defining masterpiece.
It’s been known for awhile the team behind the true crime podcast, Serial, was working on a new podcast which would be released using the Netflix model… all 7 episodes at once. Executive produced by much of the Serial team, Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig among them, S-Town is actually produced by host Brian Reed and his co-producer Julie Snyder. On the surface, it’s about the investigation of a rumored murder by the son of a rich business owner in a small Alabama town. But as anyone who’s listened, it soon bleeds out into something much more revealing, and much more special, than a true crime story.
We won’t reveal much more than that, because the surprises are one of the things which make this so special.
Topic 2: Ghost in the Shell and Americanizing Culture
“Ghost In The Shell,” starring Scarlett Johansson and directed by Rupert Sanders, whose previous directing credits include “Snow White And The Huntsman,” is a live-action remake of the 1995 Japanese anime and book series by the same name. Set in a Blade Runner-inspired future in a Japanese city, Johansson stars as Major, a robot with a human brain, who is trying to stop a criminal who is hacking into people’s minds and controlling them. The movie also stars Juliette Binoche, Pilou Asbæk and Michael Pitt. If that cast for an adaptation of a popular Japanese anime sounds unusual to you, well you are not alone. There is a lot of controversy around the casting of this movie, which puts four white actors in the lead roles with Japanese actors filling out the supporting roles. Some Asian groups this is another example of Hollywood whitewashing, and after seeing the movie I don’t think they are wrong. On top of that, I think this is another example of Hollywood taking a good foreign film, removing the story aspects that made it interesting and special, and creating a boring, lifeless remake. This movie could have addressed the serious topic of what it means to be human; how much technology is too much; and about losing our humanity to technology like HBO’s “Westworld” or the movie “Ex-Machina.” Instead, it’s just a sci-fi action movie that I found to be uninspired and even worse, kinda boring.
What We’re Dorking Out About This Week:
Big, Little Lies Finale
Joss Whedon Is Directing a Batgirl Movie
Ken Burns’ Vietnam Documentary is 18-hours Long
Rick and Morty April Fools Surprise
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