This week, your friends in podcasting definitely put the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour, not only with the topics they discuss but by recording the show in, you know, Hollywood! That’s right, the “Turlock” drinking game might need to take a couple weeks off, while Dean and Phil discuss jury duty, a forthcoming X-Files/Lone Gunmen virtual convention and a spate of recent “Celebrity Deaths” (including a Supreme Court justice, a founder of Women’s Studies, the founding figure of reggae, a controversial jazz journalist and cultural critic, and more). Phil and Dean sing the praises of the late, great Bea Arthur (discussing both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls”). A comparison of Martin Scorsese to David Lean leads to a conversation about Robert Mitchum. A conversation about last week’s show leads to a discussion of the Vincent Price/Diana Rigg vehicle Theatre of Blood, which leads to a discussion of what it will take for movie theaters – and moviegoing – to survive the pandemic and the digital streaming age. Finally, there is the return of “Lawsuit of the Week” featuring everyone’s (real? phony?) favorite heavy metal act, Spinal Tap! 

 

California is on fire and Phil gives a full report from Turlock. Meanwhile, Dean Haglund is singing for charity along with the entire cast of “The X-Files” to benefit the World Central Kitchen. And speaking of “The X-Files” Dean wants to discuss the films of former “X-Files” director Rob Bowman in anticipation of a series of shows about the movie directors that are the all-time favorite filmmakers of your friends in podcasting. As promised last week, the implosion of the SAG-Aftra health plan gets dissected and analyzed from several angles. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, a classically trained star of stage of screen, a young star of 70’s independent cinema, a 70’s sitcom fixture, a sex symbol of early TV, a Beat Goddess and Canada’s First Lady of the Blues all get remembered and celebrated.

Because he’s been driving all over California, Phil tackles the insane, apocalyptic weather racking the Golden State, and Dean updates on the building of his steam room and his graphic novel (both of which are long-awaited) on this week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour. The madness of America is addressed through the oddly appropriate lens of Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ and speaking of Scorsese, his mentor, John Cassavetes is very much a subject of discussion, from his directing of the under-seen classic The Killing of a Chinese Bookie to his acting in such crowd-pleasers as the 1964 version of The Killers and The Dirty Dozen. And one of the “Dozen”, the great music star-turned-actor Trini Lopez gets remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Robert Altman’s penultimate film, The Company, receives some fascinating analysis. And speaking of fascinating analysis, somehow a discussion of TV’s “Columbo” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” allow Dean and Phil to figure out once and for all why the Back to the Future sequels are so bad! At the close, your friends in podcasting preview next week’s show when they will be discussing the series nominated for the Emmy in the “Best Comedy” category and the dire circumstances threatening SAG-Aftra in the wake of the union’s health plan implosion.

Your friends in podcasting reconvene to celebrate the lives of three performers (one a beloved star of Broadway, another a musical star of television, and the third a movie star who was part of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated marriages), a roboticist, a news magazine host, an iconic designer, and several truly heroic Civil Rights activists. Dean and Phil then roll up their sleeves to analyze why it is that Netflix episodic series are so often delightful and charming, while so many Netflix original movies are listless and perfunctory. And, oh, yeah, they also discuss why good manners might just be the cure for a lot of the troubles that seem to plague the modern world.

Phil’s unexpected need to spend summer away from Los Angeles took another turn on Friday when his father died. On this week’s show, he shares memories of his dad. He and Dean also celebrate the lives of the director of numerous box office blockbusters, a giant in animated filmmaking, a legendary comic book artist, and an influential novelist. They will discuss a couple great television series that may be worth your time. Finally, they champion the absurdist cinema of Roy Andersson. From the heartfelt to the absurd, we trust there will be something for everyone on this week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!

What other show covers such a wide range of topics as Doberman puppies, road trips, swimming with dolphins, “Cancel Culture”, movie theater mask-wearing, data mining, internet “cookies”, iconic World War II singers, legendary actors, surrealist cinema, silent movies, the language of dreams, stage fright, and does so in less than an hour?! It’s what longtime listeners have come to expect from YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!

Dean may be in the Motor City, and Phil may be conveniently located “between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge”, but they definitely still put the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour. Of course, first they will share their latest thoughts on the social unrest and social evolution taking place, including what Phil terms his “7 percent solution” and Dean describes as “Quantum Life”. From there, and in the wake of some truly disturbing deaths and disappearances in California’s San Bernardino county, Dean and Phil will offer a “Black Lives Matter” edition of “Celebrity Deaths”, remembering the lives of a trailblazing screenwriter, a chart-topping singer, an award-winning dancer and choreographer, and an Olympic bobsledder who once helped inspire a Hollywood box office hit. Then the show becomes all about movies … And car culture! Drive-in theaters are having a moment. Will that moment continue? What will happen to theater chains, especially AMC which is close to going out of business? This year’s The Invisible Man, about which Dean has a compelling theory, will get discussed, as will the 1920 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Thoughtful, elevated discourse on the evolution of society, insightful analysis on two movies 100 years apart and irreverent banter from your friends in podcasting – Who could ask for more?

Best laid plans … Phil had to hit the road for an emergency trip this week, which inspires him to ask Dean whether “plans” are a thing of the past, a luxury one is foolish to consider in our contemporary world. Of course plans are being made to re-start motion picture and television production, and your friends in podcasting will analyze these plans and how movies and TV shows will be different both on-screen and behind-the-scenes as the industry moves forward. A headline-making shakeup in show business occurred at the vaunted comedy institution Second City in the wake of recent social justice protests. This will get discussed in depth, as will America’s empathy deficit, with some insightful analysis and heartfelt and hilarious stories about empathy, or the lack thereof, from Dean and Phil. So, buckle up, and if this week’s show seems a bit all-over-the-map topically (technically?), well rest assured, that’s because it IS coming at you from … all over the map!

Longtime listeners know that Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness are often at their best when things in the world seem their worst. If an hour of insightful, inspiring, heartfelt and humorous conversation is something your soul could use at present, give a listen as your friends in podcasting try to make sense of a world torn apart by pandemic, shaken to the core by violence, and held spellbound by explorers slipping the surly bonds of earth, as for the first time in a decade, America sent astronauts into space. Dean and Phil discuss all of it and share an essay by a good friend of the show about a passage in history more than 50 years old that seems more relevant than ever. They also tackle the important question, “Can a puppet show provide healing?” And that leads to Dean’s detailed analysis of a particular song. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean and Phil remember one of Phil’s very favorite character actors, a man who began and concluded his acting career with Best Picture Oscar winners. They also remember a groundbreaking playwright, screenwriter and activist, as well as an Asian-American pioneer for civil rights and social justice. Finally, they commend Netflix for their social stance and for a brand new comedy series.

Phil Leirness is joined by music journalist (and friend of the show) Yoshi Kato, who briefly fills in for a tardy Dean Haglund, to discuss the lives and legacies of six notables from the world of music in “Celebrity Deaths”, as well as to set the table concerning a later discussion of Asian Pacific American Heritage month and the 1961 film Flower Drum Song. Dean then arrives just in time to remember a prolific character actor, the decorated police officer who played Eddie Haskell on TV’s “Leave it to Beaver”, and the great Fred Willard. Dean and Phil then answer an email from a loyal listener about an upcoming Michael Bay film set in the world of Covid-19. This leads to a fascinating discussion and argument before attention is turned to the ramping up of film and TV production and the announcement that the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned this September. Dean then sings the praises of two different television series, Phil sings the praises of two classic movies about gambling. Then the conversation turns to the careers of Sessue Hayakawa, one of the first heartthrobs of the silver screen, the hilarious and brilliant Jack Soo, and the tragically overlooked Reiko Sato.