Goodbye, 2017

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I couldn’t let 2017 slip away without indulging one more look back at the year in pop culture. Here are a few things that brought me joy. (And here are a few more.)

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The 2014 Tonys: Expectations Are Everything

Iglehart

The producers of this year’s Tony Awards faced a challenge akin to cooking a perfect souffle and then being asked to do it all over again, without several of the key ingredients, a year later. Host Hugh Jackman, despite his dazzling physical features, sizable vocal chops and endless charisma, was never going to top the achievements of last year’s emcee Neil Patrick Harris, who managed to follow what was perhaps the greatest awards show number of all time with two more numbers of nearly equal entertainment value. No one was going to top the majestic Cicely Tyson’s towering acceptance speech or Audra McDonald’s show-concluding mic drop. Why try?

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The M&M Report, Episode 27: Write What You Don’t Know (Or Don’t)

Listen to this week’s M&M Report here.

Letterman

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I discussed David Letterman’s retirement announcement, our mixed feelings about the modern obsession with superhero movies and our opposing perspectives on Matt Zoller Seitz’s recently published manifesto “Please, Critics, Write About the Filmmaking.”

Timecodes:

David Letterman and late-night — 0:57 – 19:00
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (completely spoiler-free) — 19:50 – 26:15
Debating Matt Zoller Seitz’s film/TV criticism piece — 26:20 – end

2013 in Review: The Moments That Made Lame Awards Shows Worth Watching

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

What’s the point of sitting through countless awards show every year if not to celebrate the few moments on those shows that actually justify our investment? As much as I like to complain that most awards shows are poorly structured, improperly paced and ineptly directed, I watch too many of them to argue that they shouldn’t exist at all. I watch them because I’m hoping to see something that will make the time go by more quickly, be it a spontaneous reaction or an exceptional performance. In chronological order, here are five moments from this year’s awards shows that had that effect.

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The M&M Report, Episode #3: The Adventures of Soy-Soy

Hostages

Devin Mitchell and I are back with another lively episode of The M&M Report. This week, we briefly talked about the terrible Emmy awards. After Devin was too traumatized about Jeff Daniels to continue on that subject, we dissected six new fall shows, from the pretty good Brooklyn Nine-Nine to the awful Dads. Be sure to watch out for our discussion of the CBS drama Hostages, which inspired genuine fits of uncontrollable laughter from both of us.

Best of all, we kept it efficient this week, at least in comparison to our mammoth overrun last week.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to comment or let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or criticisms.

Also, an update from last week: Devin won our Emmy Predictions contest! Granted, he did it with only six correct guesses out of fourteen categories, but it beats my paltry score of 4 out of 14. I grudgingly admit that Devin is better at predicting the Emmys than I am…until next year.

See below for a breakdown of our topics:

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The M&M Report, Episode #2: The Emmys Are Coming, The Emmys Are Coming!

M&M

Welcome to the second installment of my podcast with Devin Mitchell. This time around, thanks to our friend Eric Saltzman, we’ve got a snazzy podcast title. And thanks to the Emmy nominations, we’ve got lots of things to say. So much, in fact, that we recorded TWO podcasts!

Check out the first one for our thoughts on who will win and who should win in the Miniseries and Movie, Variety Series and Supporting Actor Comedy and Drama categories. In the second episode, we delved into the Lead Actor and Series categories. Things we learned: Devin loves Connie Britton, Mark loves the name Deacon Claybourne, and we both love Mad Men.

(Bonus: you can download the podcast now! Just click the “Download” button on the player.)

Comments, questions or criticisms? Let us know! Thanks for listening.

Part 1:

Click for the second part!

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Outstanding Leading Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
Outstanding Variety Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Part 2:

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series