We hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season. This week, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness make merry by discussing the very best in episodic television as they count down their Top Ten Television Series of the Decade! And trust us, it’s a truly globe-trotting adventure!
This week’s show is a little more than one day late, but we think it proves worth the wait! Dean gets things started with a “Live Event of the Week” review of Madonna in concert (in Chicago) and a preview of his own Halloween night improv episode of “The X-Files” (in Detroit). In “Celebrity Deaths” the lives and accomplishments of a giant of the U.S. Congress, a country music radio legend, a television creator and a sitcom star are remembered. This leads to a brief discussion of two current television series that are absolute crushing it (the second of which is a must-see for fans of “The X-Files” and which leads to an appraisal of the tone shifts in “The Lone Gunmen”)! A short while back, Dean and Phil dipped their toes into the National Basketball Association’s strained relationship with China and posited that rough days could be ahead for Hollywood in its never-ending quest to open the Middle Kingdom. And that was before Quentin Tarantino got involved! So, this topic gets re-visited and re-examined before Dean and Phil launch into an all-out analysis of the restored “classic”, The Cotton Club Encore.
This week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour is a 75 minute, globe-trotting, space-faring, time-traveling adventure. 12 years ago this week, your friends in podcasting were discussing San Diego Comic-Con and “Star Trek”. This week, they are STILL discussing Comic-Con and “Star Trek”! They are also discussing the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, great space movies, the Emmy nominations, great comedy shows, racism, freedom of speech and binge-watching. If you are going to be in Detroit this week, why not see Dean perform his live improv episode of “The X-Files”?
Oh, man, is this week’s show a good one! 72 minutes long and featuring a “cold open” AND an “Easter egg” (post-credits scene?), this epic installment boasts big laughs,. two poems, celebrations of the lives of poet Mary Oliver, Tuskegee Airman John “Jack” Lyle, Broadway legend Carol Channing, CIA Operative Tony Mendez, and a tribute to good friend of the show John Girodo, who was feted as one of L.A.’s Impact Makers to Watch in 2019. There is all that, PLUS Dean and Phil engage in a thoughtful, fascinating discussion about recent movie casting controversies and Dean regales us with reviews of three TV series available now for binging!
It’s the penultimate episode of the Australian Era of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour and your friends in podcasting are offering something for everyone on this particularly nourishing and personal installment. First Dean Haglund shares a bit about what he will miss about being “Down Under” and regales with descriptions of some of his favorite places in Australia. Then, Phil Leirness shares an email from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU) about editing techniques, a continuation of a discussion about how editing affects actors’ performances that began on last week’s show. Somehow both fascism and democracy get discussed in the context of film editing! From there, Phil celebrates the 25th Anniversary of “The X-Files” by asking Dean about his favorite episodes and who his favorite character is (other than “Langley”, of course). Dean’s answers might just delight you! Then, Dean and Phil weigh in on how the show’s influence is still being felt on television today in shows as disparate as Vince Gilligan’s “Better Call Saul” and NBC’s sitcom “The Good Place”. The final “Lawsuit of the Week” of the intercontinental era is a re-visitation of Shari Redstone’s efforts to re-merge CBS with Paramount and what the failure to do so means for the companies and for their flagship franchise, “Star Trek”. The show concludes with a fascinating discussion of prolific television writer, producer and show-runner Gregory Berlanti’s hit feature film Love, Simon. The film’s themes are celebrated, and what the film’s style says about the state of, and future of, big-screen storytelling is questioned.
We were going to say that after a one-week absence (during which they released a spectacular pre-recorded episode with a special guest), your friends in podcasting come out with guns blazing … And then, as they were getting set to record, ANOTHER mass shooting in the USA occurred. Dean and Phil address the event and get into a seriously fascinating conversation about rage and despair and about how people can obtain the tools necessary to explore these bedrock emotions without being taken by them. Then, in the return of “Live Events of the Week”, Tchaikovsky and a non-binary gender identifying performer are celebrated, and Dean discusses his “Down Under Bucket List”, including scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef (a list item he has checked off, thank you very much!). Romantic comedies and diversity both get discussed in the wake of Crazy Rich Asians‘ box office success (and surprisingly decent reviews) and the documentary profile Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda gets recommended. Finally, the Chillpak Morgue is opened for “Celebrity Deaths” where the lives, accomplishments and lasting impacts of a true American hero, a giant of international diplomacy, the Oscar-nominated actress who founded modern improv, the journalist who coined the phrase “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” and the Queen of Soul are all remembered. All that AND Phil finally learns the usage of modern-day pronouns!
This week, we promise that Dean will NOT spend half the show working on home construction while on the microphone! He will regale us with tales of his final iprov comedy performance in Sydney prior to his move back to the USA. Then, your friends in podcasting discuss “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, NBC’s “The Good Place”, Patrick Stewart’s return to “Star Trek”, Q Anon (no, not the villain in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” – at least we think not) before turning their attention to movies. Such releases as Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp the elephant documentary Love & Bananas, the coming-of-age Eighth Grade, the sci-fi mind-bender The Endless, the award hopeful Leave No Trace and the early Denis Villeneuve films Incendies and Enemy all get discussed.