The M&M Report: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “The Post”

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West Coast correspondent Erin Vail returns to nerd out with me and Devin over Star Wars: The Last Jedi (0:00-23:20). Then they poke gentle fun at The Post for being, well, not unsubtle (23:20-38:50). Before she leaves, Erin drops a few pop culture recommendations of her own (38:50-end).

For more Erin content, check out her podcast, writing for The Prompt and consistently delightful Twitter feed.

Listen here and subscribe on iTunes and Spotify.

The M&M Report: Highlights from a Tumultuous Year

hero_917d0d43fac07d9b38e726d62367ffb766cc8a26cd0834013c0b7e93b2d06dd18ff73654868ecfcbf425d91d95ffece5.jpgAs 2017 draws (crawls? barrels?) to a close, the time has come to reflect on what made us laugh, cry and think — or all three — in the last 12 months.

Devin Mitchell and I recorded 19 episodes of The M&M Report in 2017. Highlights included all-out fisticuffs over La La Land, a look back at the pop culture legacy of President Obama and a look ahead at the impact of President Trump; a long-awaited deep dive into Game of Thrones; a sober reflection amid the Harvey Weinstein allegations; and a truly revolutionary take on the acclaimed movie Lady Bird.

But there’s plenty more entertainment we didn’t have time to address on air. Here’s a look back at a few more of our favorite cultural items of the year.

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2015 in Review: My Ten (Okay, Eleven) Favorite TV Shows

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Diversity of many varieties was on the brain for many spheres of television this year. Network executives, showrunners, critics and audiences alike engaged in thoughtful discourse about what it means to make diverse television in 2015. There are more places than ever to watch TV, and more places than ever to distribute it. It makes logical sense that TV offerings this year would touch on a wider range of issues, feature a wider range of character types and demographics and explore a wider range of stories and universes than ever before.

But with great power comes great responsibility. My favorite shows in 2015 were the ones that used the expanding boundaries of what’s possible on television to their fullest advantage, crafting rich and surprising worlds, telling stories that dovetail with the themes, ideas and controversies guiding our daily lives. In relatively arbitrary order of preference (who’s to say whether a dark comedy about an animated horse is superior to one of the most beloved drama series of all time?), here are my ten favorite shows of 2015.

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“The Leftovers”: Piping Hot

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Some of 2015’s buzziest dramas stumbled when they were expected to soar. True Detective followed up a thrilling first season with a turgid retread. Game of Thrones tested viewers’ patience with an uncomfortable rape scene. The Walking Dead “killed” a fan favorite character just long enough to convince people he had actually died before bringing him back to life.

Defying the trend is HBO’s The Leftovers, whose second season has delivered one extraordinary episode after another. Read the rest of my essay at The Week.