Reunited and it feels so good … ” Your friends in podcasting convened on a rooftop in historic Los Feliz, overlooking the skyline of downtown Los Angeles to pre-record this week’s episode of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour. Pour yourself a pitcher of Lord Turlocks (the cocktail Dean and Phil have made up to honor the recent creation of the Chillpak Hollywood Drinking Game wherein listeners take a shot every time the town of Turlock gets mentioned), sit back and relax as Dean and Phil shoot the breeze about jury duty, air travel in the age of Covid-19, Monday Night Football, Las Vegas, Liberace, “Fargo” season 4, “Schitt’s Creek”, “Crashing”, the Emmy Awards, deconstructionism, ageism in Hollywood, a lawsuit against IMDB, and more. They wrap things up by discussing several of Dean’s favorite filmmakers of all time.
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.
Sure, Covid-19 may be no laughing matter, but Phil Leirness gets things started with a quarantine lockdown joke nonetheless before he and Dean Haglund dig down into the protests surrounding stay-at-home orders, the hopes they have for how society might change in the long-term, and about the dangers of placing your faith in “distrust”. Ageism in Hollywood gets discussed, and then “Star Trek: Picard” and season 2 of “Star Trek: Discovery” get compared and get praised before the commercial break. In the back half of the show, Phil regales Dean with “Star Trek”-related tales involving the likes of JJ Abrams and … Toshiro Mifune?! In “Celebrity Deaths”, two of the all-time great character actors, three legendary jazz musicians, a ground-breaking sculptor, a pop-culture influencing illustrator, an award-winning cinematographer, and a glass-ceiling breaking animator get remembered. Keep calm, stay safe, and enjoy YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
Things get serious as “Captivity” continues to irk Phil. Letter writing and petitions ensue.