Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Timothée Chalamet in Dune

You’ll never guess which trailer Dune Pod spends a whole episode dissecting

Timothée Chalamet in Dune
Screenshot: Dune Official Trailer (Other)
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.

Dune Pod
Dune Official Trailer Reaction Episode

Illustration for article titled You’ll never guess which trailer iDune Pod/i spends a whole episode dissecting
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Denis Villeneuve’s much anticipated adaptation of Dune is set for release this December, and Dune Pod was created with the intent to prepare future audiences, as if anything could. Hosts Haitch and Jason are joined weekly by special guests to discuss Frank Herbert’s seminal work of sci-fi literature, Villeneuve’s filmography, and the prior work of those cast in the new film, including Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. However, it’s just the hosts this time around, in an episode dedicated to picking apart the recently released official Dune trailer. They’ve got opinions on its use of a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse,” and they dissect specific details momentarily spied in the trailer, wringing a 21-minute episode from three minutes of footage. Considering the massive cultural impact of the original novel as well as the iconic 1984 David Lynch adaptation—not to mention the legendary failed adaptation by Jodorowsky—there’s a wealth of pop-culture context to unpack before December, and Dune Pod has a team particularly well-suited to unpacking it. [Jose Nateras]


EXILE
Part 1: The Luncheon

Illustration for article titled You’ll never guess which trailer iDune Pod/i spends a whole episode dissecting
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

In this eerie new audio fiction series from Kelly Nugent (Teen Creeps, Hellmouthy) a young woman wrongfully accused of a violent crime in a “post-post-post-apocalyptic future” is forced into exile in the Wilds. Desperate to survive, she begins the long walk home to her village, Haven, from the hut where she was abandoned, but soon becomes trapped in a strange house with elderly twin sisters and something that has woken. EXILE is written, mixed, produced, and performed entirely by Nugent herself, along with a haunting score by composer and podcast producer Annalise Nelsen. Nugent, who consumes a massive volume of Young Adult horror novels for her work on Teen Creeps, now shows off her own exceptional storytelling skills, turning the seemingly mundane into a terrifying audio experience. You’ll want to wear headphones to fully immerse yourself in this one. [Nichole Williams]


Hank The Cowdog
Part 1: Lost In The Dark Unchanted Forest

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Really more of a book on tape, this star-studded “podcast” makes good fun out of Hank The Cowdog, a long-running series of children’s books written by John R. Erickson. The radio play—which is set in the Texas Panhandle and stars Texas native Matthew McConaughey—kicks off with Erickson’s 11th Cowdog book, Lost in the Dark Unchanted Forest, which will be told over five 20-minute episodes. McConaughey’s cowdog is the “self-declared ‘Head Of Ranch Security’” who fails his way through misadventures alongside his mutt pal Drover (Jesse Plemons) as they protect their owners (Kirsten Dunst and Rich Poland). McConaughey is charming as ever, but Plemons is the standout as the meek sidekick. The series also features original songs and the voices of Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Jordan, Joel Edgerton, Scoot McNairy, and Michael Shannon. The books were written for children, but the fast-paced storytelling—as well as the detailed foley work and sound mixing—make for an entertaining listen for the adults in the room too. Hank is a worthy cheat option for that “free reading” time any kids in your life may be assigned by their teacher over Zoom. [Patrick Gomez]


Schmaltzy
A Very Texan Rosh Hashanah with Zoe Kanan

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

In previous years, Schmaltzy, a storytelling series from the Jewish Food Society, took the form of a live event where celebrity chefs and grandmothers alike shared stories about the intersection of food, family, and tradition. But now (for obvious reasons) it’s a podcast, and the audio version of Schmaltzy is more than just a collection of recordings. This first episode debuted just before Rosh Hashanah, which marks the start of the fall holiday period and its celebration of togetherness among families and chosen families; the stories told by guests on Schmaltzy are capsules of both laughter and tears at a time when no one is certain when we might experience human connection in its old forms again. Infused with undeniable care, Schmaltzy is the podcast version of a meal that somehow always tastes better when someone you love cooks it for you. [Alma Roda-Gil]

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