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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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United States

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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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Christmas music you won't get sick of, with R&B star PJ Morton

12/6/2018
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If you've talked to Todd at all, you know how much he enjoys Christmas music. And, sure, he enjoys the stuff that gets overplayed year after year, but he gets why you're sick of it. Finding good music often means going a little off the beaten path. That's why Todd talked to PJ Morton, a musician who's recorded with Stevie Wonder and was a member of Maroon 5, and who has his own successful, Grammy-nominated solo career. He asked Morton both about his new Christmas album (Christmas with PJ...

Duration:00:55:04

Losing is hard. But comedian Chris Gethard says it’s necessary.

11/29/2018
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The Chris Gethard Show might have been Todd’s favorite talk show of the decade, a weird, tossed-off calamity that emerged every week like an odd magic trick. It made the trip from New York public access TV to more traditional networks. And then earlier this year, it ended, as its network, TruTV, and comedian Gethard opted not to continue with it. It ended up being the most weirdly appropriate promotion for Gethard’s new book imaginable. Lose Well, published in October, is a self-help book...

Duration:01:11:30

How to not screw up Thanksgiving dinner, with Salt Fat Acid Heat's Samin Nosrat

11/22/2018
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This episode originally ran in November of 2017. It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means home chefs all around the United States (Todd among them) are trying to find a way to hew to tradition without turning their plates into a giant pile of indistinguishable starches. In this Thanksgiving Spectacular, we’ve invited Samin Nosrat to join us and offer her hints and tips for a successful Thanksgiving meal. Samin’s book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, is one of the best cookbooks Todd’s ever read, and the...

Duration:01:04:49

Hollywood’s past can help us understand its present. Karina Longworth shows us how.

11/15/2018
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Karina Longworth’s Hollywood history podcast, You Must Remember This, is one of the most essential shows out there for movie fans. Each week, Longworth dives into a story from the film industry’s past, revealing the truth behind legends, the hidden stories that weren’t reported at the time, and the often corrupt systems Hollywood has always been built upon. Long a terrific film critic, Longworth turned what was initially an extreme DIY operation into one of the top film podcasts. Now...

Duration:00:49:44

Writer Diablo Cody, on Jennifer's Body, Juno, and Jagged Little Pill (the musical)

11/8/2018
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Diablo Cody's career took off into the stratosphere when her very first produced script — 2007's quirky comedy Juno — led to a massive box office hit that also won her the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Since Juno, she's written numerous movies, including the cult favorite horror flick Jennifer's Body, the moody comedy Young Adult (one of Todd's favorite movies of the decade), and this year's twisty comedy Tully, which stars Charlize Theron as a mother of three who hires a...

Duration:00:59:13

How to build a civilization from scratch

11/1/2018
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Imagine you're a time traveler whose time machine has functioned somewhere in Earth's past — after humans have evolved but before they've, say, invented language or agriculture or any of the other pillars civilization was built upon. How might you try to kickstart that process with all these hominids you keep meeting? And how would you avoid rebuilding civilization with all of the flaws of our current world? That question is the basis of Ryan North's new book How to Invent Everything, a...

Duration:01:19:23

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

10/25/2018
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With Halloween right around the corner, we felt it's as timely as ever to revisit this episode from earlier this year. 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;...

Duration:00:58:13

Why Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, launched a true crime podcast

10/18/2018
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Yeardley Smith is one of the most famous women on Earth — though you might not know it if you just bumped into her somewhere, at least until she said something. See, Smith is the voice of Lisa Simpson, the precocious 8-year-old middle child of the Simpson family and the center of some of the show’s very best episodes. (“Lisa’s Substitute”! Sob!) But Smith is more than the famous kid she’s played for more than 30 years now. She’s starred in numerous films and other TV shows, including the...

Duration:01:00:05

Better Call Saul's showrunner tells us everything about the show's amazing finale

10/11/2018
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Few TV shows are better than AMC's Better Call Saul. But if you told that to someone in 2015, when the show debuted, they might look at you askance. Yes, the show was a spinoff from Breaking Bad, one of the most acclaimed TV shows ever made, but it was still a spinoff, a format with an oft-indistinguished legacy. It was so easy to see how this series could have gone wrong. Instead, the show's writers, led by co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, have turned Better Call Saul into a...

Duration:01:05:21

The history of the American circus, with the people who worked there

10/4/2018
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The circus! At one time, it was one of the country’s most reliable forms of mass entertainment, crisscrossing American backroads to perform for people all over the nation. Everything from the circus train to the people who put up the big tent made its way into American legend. But the American circus isn’t in great shape anymore. The treatment (or mistreatment) of animals tarnished the image of the once-venerable Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, which closed down in 2017 after it...

Duration:00:37:11

BoJack Horseman's sly, funny brilliance, explained by the people who make it

9/27/2018
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This episode is a rebroadcast of an episode from 2017, but with BoJack Horseman's fifth season recently debuting, we thought it was a great time to revisit it. Todd loves few TV shows more than BoJack Horseman, Netflix's weird animated comedy about a sad horse. Its recently completed fourth season, which delved into the histories of many of the characters and talked about the roots of trauma and depression, just might be the best the series has ever done. To understand why the season was...

Duration:01:11:15

Jon Batiste, Stephen Colbert’s bandleader, on making music in New Orleans, on the subway, and on late night TV

9/20/2018
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Jon Batiste makes some of TV’s best music, night in and night out. As bandleader of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the multi-instrumentalist comes up with perfect tunes to introduce guests, to complement Colbert’s jokes, and to keep the audience hyped up. (Many of the tunes fitting that last category are Batiste originals, performed by him and his band, Stay Human.) But Batiste’s career stretches beyond late-night TV. He started out making music at a very young age in his hometown of...

Duration:00:51:56

Janet from The Good Place and Kelli from Insecure on making TV's funniest shows even funnier

9/13/2018
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We're focusing on TV scene stealers this week, as we head into a new fall season. These two performers take some of the best shows on TV and make them even better, sidling into any given scene and swiping it right out from under everybody else with a perfect one-liner or pratfall. First, we're talking with D'Arcy Carden of NBC's The Good Place and HBO's Barry. Her work as Janet (and Janet's evil twin, Bad Janet) on The Good Place is some of the funniest stuff you'll see on TV. As what...

Duration:01:12:32

TV ratings, explained

9/6/2018
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The Nielsen ratings might not have as much power as they once held, but they still can decide the fate of your favorite TV show. If nobody's watching, it could be canceled. That's always been true. But what's also always been true is that the Nielsen data-gathering procedure is a little opaque and hard to understand. Don't worry, though, because we've got your back. This week, Todd and guest Joe Adalian, of New York Magazine's Vulture, take you through how the Nielsens work, how they decide...

Duration:00:56:37

One of the best TV shows of the year is a documentary about racial inequities in education

8/30/2018
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Steve James is one of the best documentary filmmakers to ever have lived. His movies examine the fault lines that underlie American society, often (but not always) those of race and class, and how those who have power often attempt to maximize the amount they wield over those who do not. His seminal 1994 film Hoop Dreams, one of the greatest movies ever made, served as a kind of calling card for his interests going forward. He was going to tell stories about what it means to grow up and to...

Duration:00:35:04

How to make a movie starring the internet, with Eighth Grade director Bo Burnham

8/23/2018
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The new coming-of-age comedy Eighth Grade is one of the surprise success stories of the summer, turning a tiny story of a 13-year-old girl’s last week in the titular grade into a much larger tale of the universally awkward and cringeworthy experience of being an adolescent just trying to figure shit out. Its hero, young Kayla (played by the remarkable Elsie Fisher), deals with trying to launch her YouTube channel, with a crush that goes nowhere, and with her feelings of inadequacy when...

Duration:00:54:56

The incredible true story behind Spike Lee's new movie BlacKkKlansman

8/16/2018
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The new movie BlacKkKlansman is careful to let you know very early on that, yes, its story is a true one, with a few embellishments for film. And it likely does so because said story — a black man goes undercover and becomes a trusted confidant of people in the Ku Klux Klan, including David Duke himself — would be written off as preposterous if it occurred in a fictional context. But, no, that man really existed. His name was Ron Stallworth, and as an officer with the Colorado Springs...

Duration:01:03:08

Why the binge model doesn’t always make the best TV

8/9/2018
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There’s a reason TV critics and reporters call FX Networks president and CEO John Landgraf the “mayor of television” — and it’s not just because that’s kind of a funny title to give to somebody. Of all the executives in the TV game right now, Landgraf has a reputation as the most thoughtful about the past, present, and future of television, and his semiannual addresses to TV journalists have coined the term “Peak TV” and first raised the issue of Netflix not measuring its viewership. In...

Duration:00:50:32

Sharp Objects’ Patricia Clarkson on finding the mom roles worth playing

8/2/2018
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Adora Crellin is a difficult woman to love. The monstrously suffocating mother of Camille, the protagonist of HBO's terrific murder mystery miniseries Sharp Objects, Adora keeps finding ways to undercut her damaged daughters and to visit the deep-seated trauma in her soul upon the women who should be able to rely on her most. So just imagine playing Adora and how that might seep into your soul. Fortunately, we've got Patricia Clarkson, one of America's finest actors for portraying...

Duration:01:01:48

Sorry to Bother You director Boots Riley on labor unions, capitalism, and his hit movie

7/26/2018
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The riotously funny, incredibly inventive new movie Sorry to Bother You has become one of the summer’s most acclaimed films, as well as an unlikely hit in arthouses. The movie’s tale of a young man named Cassius Green (played by Lakeith Stanfield), who takes a job in a call center, drifts wildly from genre to genre, sometimes seeming like a comedy, sometimes like a call to political action, and sometimes like a near-future science fiction movie. But uniting all these ideas is a commitment...

Duration:01:04:31