Ep. 12 – Ghostbusters

This week we’re thrilled to report that we saw and loved the new Ghostbusters movie from Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy. Spoilers for the movie are discussed in the podcast, so please go out and see it before listening if you want an unspoiled experience. In this episode, we talk about the new Ghostbusters movie, and the collaborations that Paul Feig, Melissa McCarthy, and writer Katie Dippold have worked on in the past. Do yourself a favour and check out The Heat and especially Spy if you haven’t done so already. Jeff gives us a Harry Potter-style sorting of Melissa McCarthy’s characters in these films, because he’s great.

We touch briefly on Ghostbusters as a reboot, and why/if that matters at all here. I’m particularly thrilled that an all-female ghostbusting team took on a franchise that I only ever knew as a “boy movie” that I was uninterested in. We then talk about the four women in the cast, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, as well as the comedic performance turned in by Thor.

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If it seems like we’re always talking about the importance of representation in Hollywood, it’s because we are, and because it matters dearly to us. One amazing example of this is the “Scully Effect” where the performance by Gillian Anderson as a straight-laced scientist and FBI agent Dana Scully in The X-Files has had a measurable impact on the number of women going into the so-called STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). That’s cool enough on its own, but to find out that a young Kate McKinnon idolized Gillian Anderson, and that young girls might also idolize her in return and create a “Holtzman Effect,” that’s just icing on this particular cake.

In our second segment, we take a quick look at the recently announced Emmy nominations for 2016. Here’s the FULL list, including the unglamorous but still very interesting technical categories. We talk about the most nominated series, Game of Thrones, which happened to be what we talked extensively about on the last episode of The Pop Cult Podcast. It’s worth noting that in that last episode, we were kind of down on HBO’s current line up of programming, but this list of nominations shows that they have other series getting critical acclaim that we were unaware of (like the comedy Getting On). In fact, HBO lead the way with the most nominations by a network, with FX (American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson) and Neflix (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Master of None) a ways behind HBO.

We talk a little about the concept of an awards “snub” and whether or not that is a useful marker in the time of Peak TV. We failed to mention that while Full Frontal with Samantha Bee was snubbed out of the Outstanding Variety Series category, the writing team did snag a nomination, which was great. After that, we highlight good surprises and less exciting non-surprises, and generally praise the fresh group of nominees and performances.

Here’s the Tatiana Maslany tweet I mentioned from the savvy Orphan Black social media team.

We close out our Emmy nominations chat with a not unexpected deep dive by me into the banner year Laurie Metcalf is having. You’ll just have to give it a listen and judge for yourself if I’ve officially lost it. pcr_lauren_podcast_gb_metcalf Ghostbusters

Kool Aid Picks

This week, I caught the 2015 HBO documentary Everything is Copy, about the life and death of Nora Ephron. The film was made by her son, Jacob Bernstein and blew me away with its narrative structure that interweaves the stories of her life and her career as a writer and then later a screenwriter, producer, and director. The documentary was utterly fascinating and gave me an even greater respect for a woman I already adored. 

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Jeff is drinking in Glen Weldon‘s Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, and roundly praises Weldon’s writing. Jeff is particularly enjoying his philosophy that all versions of Batman are valid, and that each Batman is best understood as a reflection of its time. Weldon’s unique voice comes through the book, and Jeff thinks many of us would enjoy. 

Thanks so much for joining us this week! Don’t want to miss an episode? Go ahead and subscribe on iTunes or on Google Play!  Check back on August 4th for our next episode, all about the 2016 Olympics.

We’d love to hear from you! If you want to get in touch, Jeff is @jlabryan, and I’m @laurencheal.

You can find more great stuff from The Pop Culture Reference on Twitter @ThePopCultRef, on Facebook, and on Tumblr too.

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