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Episode 103: How to make the Bachelor franchise better

After the deep frustration of watching the Bachelorette finale, we talk about how the franchise failed its first black lead and the particular missteps of the final episode. Given the unpleasantness of that season, and of the direction of the franchise more broadly, we then share ideas for how we'd improve the series.

Duration: 01:23:30

Episode 102: The best and the worst of the fall premieres

This week the three of us look at all the brand-new shows that are coming out this fall and pick some winners and losers—show’s we’re excited for (or at least interested in) and shows that seem determined to be as bad as they could possibly be. We’ll be revisiting all of our favorite and least favorite pitches later this fall, so pay attention!

Duration: 01:54:36

Episode 101: Confederate nonsense and grief on TV

We have a real upper of an episode for you this week. First, we discuss the controversy around the recently announced new HBO project from the creators of Game of Thrones. We are decidedly underwhelmed. In our second topic, we talk about the way television deals with stories about illness, death and grief - frequently not very well, as it turns out!

Duration: 01:23:38

Episode 100: The 100th episode

In honor of our 100th podcast episode, we're spending most of this week's show talking about 100th episodes! It has traditionally been the magic number for syndication, a phenomenon we dig into in depth; we then talk about shows that we would never, ever want to see make it all the way to 100 episodes.

Duration: 01:45:20

Episode 099: Please Like Me Book Club Part 3

Our final maternity leave episode is the wrap-up for our Please Like Me Book Club, and we talk about the final two episodes of the first season. Geoffrey is a real sports boy, Niamh continues to be *the worst*, and at the end, things get unexpectedly poignant.

Duration: 00:56:02

Episode 098: Handmaid’s Tale wrap-up, lady parts, and menses

This week we share our final thoughts on season one of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale adaptation, and talk about our hopes and fears for the second season. Then, we dive headlong into the way menstruation is handled on TV - both the better, more incidental/passing references in some recent shows and the exaggerated jokey references in most others.

Duration: 01:23:01

Episode 097 - Please Like Me Book Club Part 2

Here's our second of three episodes on the first season of the Australian comedy Please Like Me! This week we talk about episodes three and four, in which the show gradually reveals its beating heart and Niamh once again proves to be Just The Worst.

Duration: 00:16:54

Episode 096: Bachelor in Paradise grossness and what we watched on maternity leave

After our recording hiatus, we come back to talk about some really gross, disturbing, concerning stuff surrounding this season of Bachelor in Paradise. Heads up - this includes some descriptions of alleged sexual assault. We talk about our collective lack of surprise that this has happened and how this makes us feel about the franchise more broadly. If this discussion is not something you're comfortable listening to (trust us, we get it), please skip ahead to 21:55, where we talk about all...

Duration: 01:12:00

Episode 95: Please Like Me Book Club Part 1

For a brief maternity leave hiatus, we're doing a lightning-round TV Book Club - the first season of Australian comedy Please Like Me. In our first episode we talk about episodes one and two, and chat about coming out stories, awkwardness, the comic potential of suicide attempts, and Margaret's fear that she's actually Niamh.

Duration: 00:51:13

Episode 094: Shows to catch up on and social justice criticism

The first part of our conversation this week is about the shows we intend to watch during our recording hiatus, a wide-ranging list of stuff we really should have gotten to by now. Then we talk about socially conscious TV criticism, how it breaks from previous traditions of criticism, and how issues of representation and social justice affect our viewing habits.

Duration: 02:00:12

Episode 093: Star Trek TNG Book Club: The End

Our trek through the stars comes to a conclusion this week, as we chat about the double-length time-hopping series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation. How does series newcomer Margaret feel about this sci-fi touchstone? Does the finale help to make up for the pilot? And how would we rate every character's old age makeup?

Duration: 01:50:30

Episode 092: When TV gets tech so wrong you just can’t ignore it

This week, we zoom and enhance on how TV uses modern tech to tell good stories (or to do the opposite, as the case may be). Why doesn’t anyone on TV lock their phone with a passcode? What does it say when a character leaves their phone’s sounds on? And are crime shows even trying to get it right?

Duration: 02:02:09

Episode 091: Star Trek TNG Book Club: Q Week

This week we spend a little more time with Q, everyone’s favorite trickster (Captain Picard notwithstanding). As the series went on, Q was softened and given more dimensions than he had in early appearances, and he was helped along by his chemistry with Patrick Stewart. This will all be good stuff to keep in mind as we warp toward the finale!

Duration: 01:52:40

Episode 090: Listener Q&A week!

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! This week we hit the pause button to do a little navel gazing, getting into some listener questions about how we met and how our show came to be, and then we dive a little deeper into what we like to watch and how.

Duration: 01:53:46

Episode 089: Star Trek Borg Week

It's Borg Week on Star Trek TV Bookclub! We skip our usual short segment so that we can cover four episodes of Borg-y goodness, which includes thoughts on why Picard is such a fitting Borg opponent, what exactly is going on with Guinan's hats, and why no one thought to program "this is what a Borg cube looks like" into the Enterprise computer. Margaret and Kathryn also have several thoughts about Picard's wardrobe and physique. Spoiler: they are complimentary thoughts.

Duration: 01:54:59

Episode 088: Our least favorite tropes and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale

This week we start things off by talking about conventions, tropes, and storytelling techniques that get in the way of the action and pull us out of shows we otherwise really like. Then, we chat about what makes Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale adaptation unique and effective, even in a field crowded with Peak TV dramas.

Duration: 02:06:02

Episode 087: Star Trek Gettin' Comfy Week

We've got four Star Trek TV Book Club episodes to get through this week, so it's All Trek, All the Time. We cover some TNG greatest hits, including the much-lauded episode The Inner Light. We may or may not have some feelings about the costuming choices there. Kathryn has some thoughts about poker.

Duration: 01:41:18

Episode 086: A farewell to Girls, and a hello to finales

This week’s show is about endings. Resident professional TV critic Kathryn VanArendonk tells us how she feels about HBO’s Girls wrapping up, and then the three of us discuss the finales that we feel wrap their respective shows up right (and also wrong).

Duration: 01:49:56

Episode 085: Talking about Mrs Maisel and TV we've fallen out of love with

After speculating wildly about the new Amy Sherman-Palladino pilot for Amazon, we watch and discuss the first episode of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and talk about how it (mostly) exceeded our expectations. We then move to a discussion about television we once loved, and then found our affections had soured.

Duration: 01:31:15

Episode 084: Checking in on TV in Trump’s America, and Star Trek TNG Week 2

This week we do the briefest of check-ins with the state of TV in Trump’s America—specifically, the post-election cancellation of Reza Aslan’s ABC sitcom about a Muslim-American family. Then, we jump to warp with week two of our Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Book Club, in which we discuss season 1’s The Big Goodbye, season 2’s Measure of a Man, and season 3’s Yesterday’s Enterprise.

Duration: 02:27:04

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