It's not every week you get to hear me go full-on fan-crazy. (Okay, it's some weeks, but usually not about the people who are in the studio.) But this week, I am extra-excited because Stephen Thompson and I are joined for our pop-culture roundtable podcast by Gene Demby and Kat Chow, both from NPR's race, ethnicity and culture team that writes the Code Switch blog.
Over the course of the podcast, you'll hear us talk about some of their terrific work, including Gene's pieces on fried chicken and Scandal and Kat's great social media project about questions people are asked about their race. If you'll pardon my enthusiasm, it's an absolutely marvelous thing, headed up by our pal Matt Thompson, who you might remember from various discussions of Iron Man.
But anyway — this week! We start off with a discussion of the new season of Arrested Development — not in its particulars (no spoilers!), but as a phenomenon in the trend toward binge viewing. Gene and I finally get to talk about Scandal, Kat explains how she came to gobble up Mad Men, Gene makes a very surprising admission about fish, and Stephen describes new strides in indoctrinating his children into the culture he loves most. (I must say, my favorite moment in this entire discussion is Kat putting me firmly in my place when I try to explain that she might have a different perspective on this show having been younger than the rest of us when it was on. Do not mess with Kat Chow.) I almost feel like I should apologize for how much I laugh hoarsely in this episode/discussion, but I just can't, because it was too enjoyable and I couldn't help it. So many great things come up — House Hunters, Friday Night Lights, Law & Order ... the list goes on.
Because it's summer, we then turn to a quiz about the very goofy and weird television that always comes around at this time of year. Will Stephen's ongoing attempts to guess which answers come from my brain defeat Gene's alert competitiveness, or will Kat rally for the win? And who's hotter anyway, Ed Asner or Ed Begley, Jr.?
We close the show, as always, with what's making us happy this week. Stephen gives me a lovely shout-out and also is happy about his advice column, The Good Listener. Kat is being made happy by this remarkable (sharp and also funny) video. Gene is happy about a "gorgeous, bewildering novel" called Long Division, which comes out shortly. I am happy about Behind The Candelabra (which is kind of great, despite some reservations) and also a book I am enjoying a great deal.