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I Think You're Interesting

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I Think You’re Interesting is a weekly interview podcast hosted by Vox critic at large Todd VanDerWerff, featuring both well-known and more obscure figures from the worlds of the arts, entertainment, and pop culture. Each week, guests will dive into their influences, their inspirations, and their careers, in frank, uncensored fashion.

I Think You’re Interesting is a weekly interview podcast hosted by Vox critic at large Todd VanDerWerff, featuring both well-known and more obscure figures from the worlds of the arts, entertainment, and pop culture. Each week, guests will dive into their influences, their inspirations, and their careers, in frank, uncensored fashion.
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I Think You’re Interesting is a weekly interview podcast hosted by Vox critic at large Todd VanDerWerff, featuring both well-known and more obscure figures from the worlds of the arts, entertainment, and pop culture. Each week, guests will dive into their influences, their inspirations, and their careers, in frank, uncensored fashion.




Aisha Tyler on Archer, standup comedy, and being Aisha Tyler

Does Aisha Tyler sleep? That’s a question you might reasonably ask after looking at her IMDb page for a moment or two. She’s a regular on two TV shows — FXX’s Archer and CBS’s Criminal Minds — while also hosting Unapologetic, a new talk show for AMC. And that’s in addition to all the other one-off hosting gigs she takes on. And yet she’s always fresh, funny, and on point. Tyler got her start as a standup comic in the late '90s, at a time when, she says, black women were often pigeonholed...


How to make great TV, according to the showrunners of Black Lightning, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Vida

Another TV season is over. You might not have noticed its end, thanks to the way TV never goes away any more, but technically, the TV season wraps at the end of May. So it seemed like a good time to get some of the best TV showrunners together and ask them how they create great standout TV, when there's way too much of it. Salim Akil of Black Lightning (CW), Aline Brosh McKenna of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' (CW) and Tanya Saracho of Vida (Starz) join Todd for a lively discussion about this era...


The Americans' showrunners and star bid farewell to TV's best show

If you've listened to this show ever, or read anything Todd has ever written, then you know The Americans is one of his favorite shows of the past several years. Last night, it ended. For this special episode of the show, Todd is joined by star Matthew Rhys (who plays Philip) and writers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, who run the series, to talk about the series' incredible final season and its even more remarkable finale. There are spoilers if you haven't watched the entire series, but...


What great horror looks and sounds like, with the makers of The Terror and A Quiet Place

Sometimes, the scariest thing is what you don’t see onscreen. It’s a lesson taken to heart by the folks behind two of the best horror projects of the first half of 2018 — the AMC miniseries The Terror and the gigantic hit movie A Quiet Place. In this special horror showcase episode, Todd talks to Soo Hugh and David Kajganich, the showrunners and head writers of The Terror; and then with Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, the sound designers of A Quiet Place. All four talk about how to...


Veteran comedy writer Nell Scovell on 30 years of being "the only woman in the room"

Writer Nell Scovell has worked for some of the best, most popular TV shows of the past 30 years. She wrote for David Letterman. She wrote for The Simpsons. She created the '90s show Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She wrote on NCIS. And at too many of those jobs, she was the only woman working in the writers’ room, countering Hollywood’s endless boys’ club. Scovell’s new memoir, Just the Funny Parts, is an excellent chronicle of her time in the TV trenches, as well as the times she’s branched...


The Magicians' Sera Gamble on making great fantasy TV without Game of Thrones money

“This shit should not be cheesy,” Sera Gamble says. She’s talking about the visual effects and production design on the terrific Syfy fantasy series The Magicians, which just completed its third season, a cinch to make Todd’s top 10 of the year. While the show is one of TV’s most inventive, it has a fraction of the budget of something like Game of Thrones, which makes finding interesting ways to present otherworldly scenarios without breaking the bank a creative challenge. Fortunately,...


Thanos and Roseanne: how two mad titans took over pop culture

This week on I Think You’re Interesting, we’re trying something different, by dissecting two of the biggest pop culture stories of the spring. First, Vox culture writer Alex Abad-Santos joins Todd to talk about the fallout from Avengers: Infinity War. The conversation is full of spoilers, particularly when it comes to the film’s controversial ending, which some love and some hate. If you haven't seen the movie and want to avoid spoilers skip ahead to 24:29 to hear Todd's conversation...


Why 2001: A Space Odyssey is still one of the greatest films ever made, 50 years later

Even if you haven’t seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s mind-melting 1968 science fiction epic, you probably know at least something about it. It’s one of those movies, like Star Wars or Citizen Kane, that has become so thoroughly dissolved into our pop culture that you’ll have heard of the villainous computer HAL or know the famed music cue (Johann Strauss’s “Also sprach Zarathustra”) that plays over its most indelible images. But how were those moments created? The story of...


How Jean Smart beat Hollywood's age biases to build a nearly 40-year career

Designing Women, Frasier, 24, Fargo, Legion, some of the best TV shows of the past 30-plus years have one terrific actress in common: Jean Smart. Tall, striking, and bold, Smart has carved out a path in Hollywood that involves never doing the same thing twice — to the degree that her immediate follow-up to the sitcom Designing Women was a role as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in a made-for-TV movie. Smart is currently one of FX’s Noah Hawley players, bouncing between the TV producer’s...


Wonderful Midwestern moms, explained by comedian Louie Anderson (who plays his own mom on TV)

One of the most sympathetic, compelling portraits of motherhood on television centers on a performance by a man. On FX's Baskets, which recently completed its third season, comedian Louie Anderson plays Christine Baskets, mother of twins Chip and Dale (both played by Zach Galifianakis), and he describes the experience not as trying to put on a character but, instead, as channeling his own mother, Ora, a South Dakota native who spent most of her life in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota....


The 5 best coming-of-age movies about teen girls

Lady Bird was one of the surprise hits of 2017, with its bittersweet, deeply funny depiction of teen girl adolescence. And that got Todd to thinking: Why is it so rare to see good movies about teen girls coming of age? To answer that question, he brought in Kay Cannon, director of the new comedy Blockers, a very funny gross-out raunchfest, which just so happens to be about teen girls figuring out their sexuality while their parents wrestle with the sexist double standards we apply to...


Jason Katims, showrunner of Friday Night Lights and Rise, on why teens make great TV

Few TV heavyweights have done as much to tell thoughtful, moving stories about teenagers as Jason Katims. While he was a young playwright, Katims broke into the television industry as a staff writer for My So-Called Life — ground zero for realistic depictions of adolescence on TV — then quickly went on to work on any number of iconic teen shows, culminating in his five-season stint as the showrunner of the gorgeous small-town drama Friday Night Lights, following football players in a Texas...


How to write a joke for President Obama

How do you write a joke for the president of the United States? How do you come up with something that will seem perfectly cutting but not too cruel, silly but not stupid? How do you not denigrate the highest office in the land with — sniff — comedy? Those were all questions David Litt, a speechwriter for President Obama and one of the folks most instrumental to Obama’s comedy monologues at the White House Correspondents Dinner, had to face when he worked in the White House. And after he...


Bill Nye, on becoming the Science Guy and Saving the World

If you don't hear the words "Bill Nye" and automatically fill in, mentally, "the Science Guy" (ideally with the exact right tune and rhythm from his old theme song), then you probably weren't alive during the 1990s, when Nye's series (Bill Nye the Science Guy, naturally) became a hit with kids, parents, and teachers throughout the country. A former engineer and stand-up comedian, Nye's ability to blend introductions to scientific concepts with goofy humor made him a favorite. Since that...


Designing the worst workplace in the world. (Only for a TV show. Don’t worry.)

Comedy Central’s Corporate is a deep, dark dive into American corporate life that is one of the most promising new comedies to debut in years. Set in the nondescript but completely soulless corporation Hampton DeVille, Corporate finds dark yet incredibly funny humor in the concept of just trying to survive within the sorts of corporate structures many of us work in every single day. The series was co-created by Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman (with series director Pat Bishop), and...


The "I Think You’re Interesting" Oscars Spectacular

Todd loves the Oscars, so this week's episode features not just one but two Oscar nominees from this year's crop. First, Todd talks with Vox film critic Alissa Wilkinson about the year's biggest prizes. Then he's joined by Julian Slater, the Oscar-nominated sound designer and sound editor of the action-musical Baby Driver. Julian tells Todd all about crafting the sonic world of one of 2017's most ambitious aural experiments, then he explains the difference between the Sound Mixing and...


Bonus: Today, Explained. "Black Panther Is the Most Important Movie of 2018"

Our Bonus episode today is a new show from Vox.com called Today Explained, which comes out Monday through Friday. It's going to tell you all about what happened in the news that maybe you didn't know about. It's got a great team of people working on it, and I wanted you to get a chance to listen to one of their first episodes. So here's Today, Explained's edition from earlier this week, all about the movie Black Panther (which we covered this week in our episode with the movie's costume...


Love the look of Black Panther's Wakanda? Meet the woman who designed its costumes.

If you've seen Marvel's new movie Black Panther, you know that one of the best things about it is its use of costumes and sets not just to create the fictional world of Wakanda, but also to tell little stories about its history and culture in every single frame. Just looking at this movie, which opened to the second-biggest four-day box office in film history, is half the fun. That's why for the first episode in a post-Black Panther world, we wanted to talk to Ruth Carter, the designer of...


Finding work — or just creating your own — as a deaf actor in Hollywood

Though 20 percent of the American population has some form of disability, just 2 percent of working actors represent that population on screen and stage. Is it any wonder so many roles for those with disabilities are played by actors without them? And is it any wonder that this discrepancy is causing more and more controversy and discussion? That's what makes the new Sundance Now series This Close so interesting. It's the first show in American television history to be created and showrun...


Bonus: The Podium, from the Vox Media Podcast Network and NBC Sports

Opening Ceremony co-host Katie Couric discusses what to expect from the broadcast (8:30 ET, NBC), the unified team of North and South Korea, and her interview with figure skating star Nathan Chen. We'll also take a look back at some pivotal moments in Olympic history and how the Winter Games have evolved from 1924 to today.