Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
<i>Depresh Mode</i> is a new series with the best name for the worst feelings

Depresh Mode is a new series with the best name for the worst feelings

Photo: Topical Press Agency (Getty Images)
PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Depresh Mode With John Moe
Patton Oswalt Talks About It Because It Happene‪d/Kelsey Darragh Lives Out Lou‪d

Illustration for article titled Depresh Mode is a new series with the best name for the worst feelings
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Along with providing an inviting space for comedians, musicians, authors, and others to discuss how the organ that fuels their creativity can also turn against them, John Moe’s The Hilarious World Of Depression made it plain that there is no destination when it comes to mental health. And the end of that show and Moe’s tenure at American Public Media will not represent a terminus in the arenas of destigmatizing brain talk and finding some humor and commiseration with people getting to know their own minds, moods, and emotions. Enter Depresh Mode (to activate the title pun, reach out and touch faith), a new variation on the same theme released with greater frequency and covering a wider range of topics—Moe promises future episodes on “things like workplace burnout, risks and rewards of online therapy, and what kind of trauma effects to expect after COVID”—on the Maximum Fun network. The premiere builds a bridge between the two shows: Patton Oswalt was to be one of Hilarious World’s first guests, but the death of his first wife, Michelle McNamara, disrupted those plans. Grief and coping form a large part of the episode’s conversation, which Moe conducts with the reassuring ease of a seasoned interviewer and the sympathetic ear of a host who knows where his guests are coming from—but never at the expense of their time on the mic. And there may be even more unexpected gems unearthed in the second of the two episodes dropping this week, in which Moe’s public-radio sensibilities contrast and complement the extremely online extroversion of Kelsey Darragh, a kindred spirit in laying a sideways track to mental health discourse through candor and laughter. [Erik Adams]

Drag Her! A RuPaul’s Drag Race Podcast
Pop! Goes The Queens (w/Mano Agapion & Oscar Montoya‪)

Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

In the most recent episode of RPDR, the drag queens compete in a trivia game called “Are You Smarter Than the Pit Crew?” Mano Agapion, host of Drag Her!, and guest host Oscar Montoya make it clear that they could easily win such a game, bouncing around references and trivia from past seasons casually and confidently throughout their conversation—though once the two actually start playing their own version of the game, Montoya finds himself struggling. Next they each share their opinions on what it really takes to do well in the soda-branding challenge from season 13. Although there are a number of RPDR recap podcasts out there, Drag Her! brings a lot of personality, and it’s fun to hear Agapion and Montoya brainstorm all the potentially genius ideas that the queens might have used. Montoya is a frequent guest of the show, and this episode makes it easy to see why. [Jose Nateras]

The Spectrum Lounge
Falcon And The Winter Soldier Review

Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

With the series premiere of Falcon And The Winter Soldier having just dropped on Disney+, this episode of The Spectrum Lounge, a podcast hosted by ReBecca Theodore-Vachon and which fosters conversations among game-changing BIPOC creatives, focuses on the latest MCU property. Representation in the stories we consume is vital, but one area where representation is often overlooked is in criticism and commentary. As important as seeing ourselves on screen, consideration and discussion of those narratives from the BIPOC perspective is equally important. Being a person of color requires discussion that is complex and nuanced, and Theodore-Vachon’s conversation with guest Robert Young demonstrates that perspective. Young, like the character of Sam Wilson (Falcon), is also a Black veteran. He offers insight into the difficulties of fighting for a country that discriminates against you, and recognizes the value of a scene between Sam Wilson and Brody (War Machine), another Black superhero. [Jose Nateras]

Total Massacre
Hard Boiled

The films of Hong Kong action director John Woo seem to be prime fodder for film podcasters these days. Not too long ago, Travolta/Cage finally got to talk about the Woo-directed Face/Off, where stars John Travolta and Nicolas Cage meet on screen. Now, this new action movie podcast devotes its debut episode to Woo’s 1992 masterpiece Hard Boiled, a.k.a. the last film he made in Hong Kong before he went Hollywood. Host/critic Rowan Kaiser and fellow writers Abby Olcese and Rob Zacny spend a good two hours discussing why this is perhaps the greatest action movie of all time. A huge factor is the dual casting of stars Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung Chiu-wai as the cops who battle bad guys (and each other) all over Hong Kong. But, of course, it always comes back to Woo and how he weaved together a bullet-filled melodrama—mostly inspired by, believe it or not, Woo’s love of musicals—complete with insanely orchestrated, over-the-top action sequences and a mild hint of homoeroticism. (Somebody mentions how the two leads drawing guns on each other is “the most romantic and intimate thing in a John Woo movie.”) [Craig D. Lindsey]