By some cruel convergence of fates, two of the Internet’s best sources for culture criticism closed their doors yesterday. First, Grantland’s Alex Pappademas bid farewell to his colleague longtime and friend Wesley Morris, who’s departing for the New York Times, on the series finale of their podcast Do You Like Prince Movies?. Just hours later, current HitFix TV critic Alan Sepinwall and now-former HitFix editor Daniel Fienberg dropped their 302nd (!) and last Firewall and Iceberg podcast.
Both episodes were fitting farewells, combining a last attempt at the show’s typical rhythms followed by a more introspective look back at how the podcasts came to be and what they meant to the people who created and listened to them. No one cried, though Morris came closest, or so it seemed. There were thank-yous, callbacks, jokes, running gags and moments of sentimentality.
After an entire TV season of speculation, the 2014 Primetime Emmy nominations were finally announced at the ungodly hour of 5:30am Pacific Thursday morning. (Perks of being on the East coast: waking up was no big deal!) As usual, the nominations provoked a mixture of reactions: surprise, resignation, disapproval, even bitterness. As Alan Sepinwall put it in his pessimistic but reasoned analysis, the television business is evolving too quickly for the Emmys to keep up, especially given that the TV Academy has a history of being slow to adjust to major changes in the industry. With a higher volume and wider array of TV shows than ever before, some quality shows are always going to get left behind. But when the Emmys continue to make apologies for shows that they previously loved, it’s worth wondering how long these awards can stay relevant.
Below, here are five of my thoughts about the nominations list. For more on the list’s weirder surprises, here’s my USA Today article from Thursday. For my dream ballots, click here and here.
The M&M Report, my podcast with my friend Devin Mitchell, is on hiatus this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. In case you’ve missed our first eleven episodes, you can catch up here. We’ve scrutinized TV pilots, debated the merits of Kanye West and Justin Timberlake, dissected thrilling Oscar contenders and revealed our pop culture preferences. Our friends Matt Waskiewicz, Chloe Johnson, Rachel Lomot and Alex Patel have joined us to chat about Breaking Bad, Arcade Fire, Gilmore Girls, Key and Peele and more. I’ve really enjoyed working with Devin to put together a fun and (hopefully) substantive show each week, and it’s been very exciting to see the podcast evolve.
Now that we’ve taken a week off, though, you’ve probably got a 40-45 minute hole in your weekly schedule. (Right? Roll with me here.) I’ve got you covered. Here are three pop culture podcasts worth checking out in your spare time.