Spontaneanation bids a fond farewell with Busy Philipps and a crop of improv all-stars

Dark Tank is precisely the comedy podcast America needs. Perched on the knife’s edge between hilarious and uncomfortable, it is one of the most deliciously daring shows of the moment. Built around the formula of the hit entrepreneurial television show Shark Tank, it instead convenes a panel of black writers and…

Why a NY Times recipe for chickpea stew went viral, and how we’d change it

Dishes that make the leap from being cooked in people’s kitchens to being photographed and posted and shared online enough times to become internet phenomena often involve some sort of gimmick. These are recipes so easy that making them feels akin to partaking in trickery. There was the single-ingredient banana “ice…

The author of The End Of The Fucking World raises more uncomfortable questions in I Am Not Okay With This

B

Netflix had a surprise success with The End Of The Fucking World, the adaptation of Charles Forsman’s graphic novel of the same name made in partnership with U.K.’s Channel 4. Late in 2018 came the announcement that Netflix will adapt another Forsman graphic novel, 2017’s I Am Not Okay With This (Fantagraphics). It …

Rejoice, for Alfred Molina makes two different Podmass appearances this week

Perhaps the most exciting trend to watch for in 2019 will be the continued maturation of the narrative fiction podcast. As this still burgeoning medium finds purchase with wider audiences, it signals to creators that podcasts aren’t simply niche entertainment, leading to greater buy-in and attention paid to the craft,…

A dopey wellness guru misleads his minions in Sam Lipsyte’s latest satire

B-

“Every age gets the savior it deserves,” Sam Lipsyte writes late in his fourth novel, Hark. Born in 1968, Lipsyte grew up during the era of Kool-Aid cults and sannyasin sects. He attended college in the decade when greed was God, and published his first novel, The Subject Steve, on that terrible Tuesday when suicidal…

Lust breeds monsters in the full-length debut from the author of “Cat Person”

C+

It’s a tale as old as Facebook: An unknown author at the start of their career writes a story. It becomes a viral phenomenon, launching a thousand hot takes and think pieces about whether it rightfully or not reflects These Troubled Times. Amid the tsunami of debates, analyses, and debates over these analyses, a…

The Big One is your handy survival guide for California’s inevitable downfall

Never forget that film critic Roger Ebert gave Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace four stars upon its release 20 years ago. While Episode I disappointed many longtime Star Wars enthusiasts, Blast Points hosts Jason Gibner and Gabe Bott are celebrating the film’s 20th anniversary with 12 monthly episodes focusing…

Sex addiction turns tiresome in Adèle, from the author of The Perfect Nanny

B-

Adèle, by the French-Moroccan author Leila Slimani, is set to be released in English tomorrow, coming to English readers after Slimani’s Prix Goncourt-winning novel, The Perfect Nanny. But chronologically, Adèle came first. It was the author’s debut novel, apparently one inspired by the well-publicized scandal…

Natalie Nourigat creates an engrossing guide on how to break into animation

B+

If you’re at all curious about a career in animation but don’t know where to start for information, Natalie Nourigat’s I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation is a great first step. Nourigat has a talent for effervescent autobiographical comics (see: her 2012 collection of diary comics, Between Gears), and her new…

Hollywood’s Eve captures the “lewd angel” who embodied the soul (and sexuality) of L.A.

B+

If Eve Babitz had never existed, Los Angeles would have had to invent her. The Joan Didions and Nathanael Wests of the world have had their say, their razor-sharp indictments of Hollywood and the City Of Angels standing as the de facto depiction of a West Coast culture that leaves its denizens as vapid and soulless…

Gay Future is the fictional comedy podcast of Mike Pence’s nightmares

TV writer and Fatman On Batman co-host Marc Bernardin has been threatening to start a Battlestar Galactica rewatch podcast for years. His desire to talk BSG in podcast form clearly comes from his personal love of the show, but it also comes from the fact that he’s friends with one of the show’s stars, actress Tricia…

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