Devin and I are far from the shallow now.
Mark and Devin celebrate the five-year anniversary of their podcast (!) by exploring their pop culture origin stories and uncovering a few embarrassing secrets along the way.
Here are some things that were true on Sept. 15, 2013 — the day Mark and Devin released the first episode of The M&M Report:
The #1 song in America was “Roar” by Katy Perry.
The #1 movie in America was Insidious: Chapter Two.
The host of The Tonight Show was Jay Leno.
The host of The Late Show was David Letterman.
The most recent Beyoncé album was released following months of advance notice.
Cardi B was not yet of legal drinking age.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were not married.
Justin Timberlake was kinda cool — but only for a couple more weeks.
Drake’s music career consisted of one mixtape and two studio albums.
Jonas Brothers were still together.
Bill Cosby was months away from NBC announcing his comeback in a new sitcom.
Donald Trump’s most recent trip to Russia was in 1978.
It’s been an unusually active year for major motion pictures. Looking at the box office receipts might not tell the whole story — many of this year’s most interesting movies have drawn low grosses, thanks to some combination of weak-willed marketing and ill-considered scheduling.
Money doesn’t tell the whole story, though. Allow The M&M Report to fill in the rest. We’ll walk you through a non-comprehensive list of 2018’s highlights. But first, Devin, let me throw it to you — any theories on why we’ve been so excited to head to the multiplex so far this year?
Devin: Good movies are coming out! People realize that it’s possible for a film released early in the year to be commercially and critically successful. Get Out, which came out February of last year, probably did a lot to shift expectations, but the early months have been underserved relative to the rest of the year for awhile. Maybe there was an outdated perception that good movies didn’t come out during Oscar season? But to some extent this is just speculation.
In any event, I think it’s a positive development, even if all of movies covered here didn’t land in the way Black Panther did. Mark, what do you think is going on? And is there any credence to the idea that the plethora of good films this spring has anything to do with middling television?
Mark: I think it’s always tough to make blanket assertions about The State of Film or The State of TV. But I myself feel more engaged in what’s happening on the big screen right now. As summer movie season has become increasingly engulfed by massive spectacles designed to attract international audiences, the weirder, smaller movies that tend to draw me to the theater get pushed to spring and fall (or to Netflix, but that’s a separate conversation). The increasing fragmentation of the TV landscape means it’s now far easier to be “caught up” on movies worth seeing than it is to be “caught up” on new television that might be worth watching. And you don’t need a plethora of cable subscriptions or passwords from your friends and relatives to go see a movie — it’s hard to beat the simplicity of walking up to a counter and purchasing an immediately redeemable ticket.
I’m pleased about the number of intriguing films from respected or interesting directors that have come out recently, because it’s a reminder to check yourself whenever you’re tempted to utter the phrase, “Movies are bad now.” Rome wasn’t built in a day, and an entire medium doesn’t crumble in one either. Here are a few examples to prove the point.