The Queen's Gambit, based on Walter Tevis's novel, is the latest hit from Netflix.
Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller and Moses Ingram, the miniseries explores themes of addiction and isolation through the experience of chess prodigy Beth Harmon.
Stevie and Emmet discuss the show, its treatment of addiction and the subsequent criticism of it within the press, and why Emmet is reluctantly going to watch The New Mutants.
First off, we open the episode with the ambition of reviewing The Queen's Gambit. That did not happen. We had too much to say about Lovecraft Country. So check back in with us next episode for that!
Instead Stevie and Emmet get stuck into a discussion of Misha Green's Lovecraft Country. Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Wunmi Mosaku and Michael K. Williams are among the excellent cast-members of this horror series that centres the genre legacy of Lovecraft against the lived experience of Black Americans.
In our Emmy Awards round-up episode we mentioned the Hugh Jackman vehicle Bad Education. Here we go into the story of Frank Tassone – and shout-out to Laci Mosley's excellent show Scam Goddess which brought the Roslyn school district scandal to our attention.
But like everyone in Melbourne, we are still in lockdown, so instead of risking our lives to go see Tenet, we binged seasons 1 & 2 of Battlestar Galactica.
(Seriously don't risk your life to see a movie, it's not worth it).
Does the show live up to our memories of it? How about the controversial ending to the show, or how it handles politics, religion and paranoia as a genre show in a time before Game of Thrones mainstream plaudits?
Next month on Monday 21 September 2020, the 72nd Emmys will be held.
We haven't really discussed the Emmys before but this year has a cohort of nominees that caught our eyes.
From Succession, to Schitt's Creek, Watchmen to The Mandalorian, we give a quick accounting of our picks from the bunch.
Nick Hornby's High Fidelity was adapted to film in 2000, and now Ugly Betty's Sarah Kucserka and Veronica West have brought it to Hulu as a vehicle for Zoe Kravitz.
Stevie and Emmet talk about the television series, comparing it to the Stephen Frears/John Cusack flick from 2000 and the original novel. The gender-swap conceit is addressed, as well as the ensemble cast (Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Jake Lacy, David H. Holmes, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Rainbow Sun Francks) and how the show fails to properly update material to the times leaning on nostalgia.
Thinking to put their money where their mouths are, Stevie and Emmet then share top five lists for one another.
To listen, check out this playlist on Spotify.
Also, here is a list of album cover art by Elaine 'Sgraffito' Nic Cuana.
Oh and this was our 100th episode! Thanks for listening folks.
First thanks as always for listening folks. In this episode Emmet and Stevie relate a personal bereavement and how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted them. The eulogy for Gerard Cooney can be found here https://www.emmetocuana.com/news/2020/3/20/rip-gerard-cooney-1942-2020
In the meantime, now that we're all shut-ins following social distancing protocols, some recommendations:
Shout-outs also to Jason Franks and Neevon Mohtaji for....well helping us with groceries from our quarantine.
Jason Franks https://jasonfranks.com/
Neevon Mohtaji https://player.vimeo.com/video/240460026
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens was a favourite book of Emmet's back in the 90s and over two decades later it has landed on Amazon Prime. Last year Justin Cronin's vampire apocalypse epic The Passage also was adapted to television (sadly it has since been cancelled. As a fan of both books, Emmet has thoughts on their televised iterations (Stevie didn't read the book, but also has opinions on the shows).
*Also Emmet messed up - the nod in the Roman sequence of Good Omens was to Spartacus, not Ben Hur*
Last season the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling were trying to get a show together.
This year they are fighting to not get cancelled.
It's a show about gender politics, the vagaries of the entertainment industry, discrimination - and lots of wrestling.
Also this episode -
ACMI's Alice exhibition, Wonderland, which is wrapping up in Melbourne this October.
And Emmet retracts a book recommendation.
Does Insatiable, a vehicle for star Debby Ryan that caused a wee stir with its headline grabbing trailer, challenge fat-shaming in society?
Or is this a show that wallows in discrimination while claiming to be satire?
We talk all things Insatiable this week, as well as give shout-outs to -
Glow season 2 from Netflix
Giant Days volume 8 from John Allison and Max Sarin
Oh and Stevie's side project.
David Chang's series on Netflix sparks an unlikely conversation encompassing politics, culture and identity.
It also has Chang, food critic Peter Meehan, and other chefs in beautiful locations around the world eating fantastic looking meals. So far, so Bourdain.
But this show organically develops into a far more wide-ranging discussion - and Stevie and Emmet are fully on board.
(so on board they took a break on their wedding anniversary to discuss).
Also in this episode:
And the charming film Pork Pie (which we reviewed in episode 13)
Inspired by the release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Stevie proposed this show should concentrate on how films and television handle morality tales (seeing as churches are more concerned with who is sleeping with whom like institutional Hedy Hoppers....but I digress).
Singling out The Good Place, Lucifer and the second season of Preacher, Stevie and Emmet tackle how pop culture today deals with morality and religion.
Sadly Star Trek: Discovery gets short shrift, but we'll get back to that sooner rather than later.
Twin Peaks The Return on Showtime inspired a resurgence of interest in the cult 90's classic television show. Finally fans would get answers to questions like "Where's Annie?" and what happened to "the good Cooper"....or maybe not.
This week's interviewee, writer Maura McHugh, has a new book out on the film prequel Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me. Famously booed after its premiere at Cannes, the story of Laura Palmer's last days has become an unexpected cornerstone of the overall series - and The Return.
In this episode Maura McHugh discusses her interest in Fire Walk With Me, the highs and lows of the new season - including controversial casting choices and Kyle MacLachlan's performance as Dougie Jones - David Lynch's fascination with what lies beneath the surface of polite society - and what does it all mean in the end.
Game of Thrones is done and fans will have to wait at least another year for the final season to reach their screens.
In this week's episode a GoT obsessive and a viewer blissfully free of any attachment to the series react to the events of season seven after a two day binge.
What lies behind the appeal of the television series?
Has fantasy fiction gotten darker to draw in a wider audience and what does that mean for the genre?
And with the war of the five kings ended - seeing as the kings are all dead and only women are left in positions of power - how does Game of Thrones treat its women characters?
Can an ice-zombie be an effective villain?
Spoilers for season 7 - we go deep on this episode.
We discuss Girl Boss from Netflix, Preacher, iZombie and American Gods as adaptations to television - and the return of Twin Peaks.
Is this the advent of a second 'Golden Age' of television?
Or are we looking at the diversifying of media to cater to all tastes.
Shows discussed in this episode include -
* Girl Boss
* Designated Survivor
* American Gods
* Twin Peaks seasons 1/2
* Twin Peaks: The Return