This week we talk about train-adjacent murder, starting with Paula Hawkins’ immensely popular new novel, The Girl on the Train, a murder mystery full of unreliable narrators, metaphor-laden commuter trains, and suburban ennui.
Then we head back to 1951 for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, Strangers on a Train. Is there more to see than the famous strangers switching murders setup? And why does Hitchcock put his scary bad guy in a monogrammed, lobster-patterned neck tie?
We finish up a Pulitzers quiz full of high-falutin’ literary trivia you can definitely use to impress strangers at bars. (Go ahead, get your Cliff Clavin on! Everybody loves that guy!)
So mix yourself an ironic gin and tonic and get comfortable: it’s time for Après Culture.
This week on Après Culture, we’re taking a look at two canon-worthy movies based on the same fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast.
Criterion’s restored version of Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast is streaming on Hulu Plus. Disney’s version isn’t streaming anywhere (nothing streams from the vault), but it can be borrowed from your local library, or almost any friend who has young children.
Get more of-the-moment wit and wisdom on Twitter @apresculture, plus our between-episodes blogging at our website, apresculture.com. Thanks for listening!
This week we’re talking Gilmore Girls past and present, from the ecstasy of season 1 Dean (so dreamy!) to the agony of spending even one more minute with the Life and Death Brigade in 20-fricking-16 (you know every one of those guys was peddling subprime loans back in 2007).
Pull up a chair and order your tenth coffee of the day—it’s time for Après Culture.
Pour scotch in a glass. Taste it. Realize it tastes terrible. Go see if you have the ingredients for a Rob Roy or something...
This week we’re lobbing y’all a short bonus episode in the form of a chat with Sara Ann’s Chinese friends about pop culture in the People’s Republic. Movies? TV? Piracy? Kung Fu Panda? We’ve got it all, plus the best explanation of the Cultural Revolution and its impact you’ll hear on any pop culture podcast this year (guaranteed).
Pull up a chair and prepare to ganbei—it’s time for Après Culture.
Chivas and Green Tea
1 ½ oz Chivas Regal
5 oz bottled green tea
Sugar to taste
Combine in a tumbler and enjoy.
To Live (1994, dir. Zhang Yimou)
Raise the Red Lantern (1991, dir. Zhang Yimou)
Farewell My Concubine (1993, dir. Chen Kaige)
Blue Kite (1994, dir. Tian Zhuangzhuang)
The Empress of China (2014)
This week, with special guest April Maguire, we’re spoiling the heck out of a pair of zeitgeist-y TV shows. We talk rape, CGI, fan theories, and zombie Jon Snow in an uneven season of Game of Thrones. Then we dig into OITNB’s twisty treatment of its very human characters, the importance of faith this season, a much smarter and more considered treatment of rape, and one very unfortunate lapse in the show’s usually smart approach to racial stereotypes.
Pull up a chair and keep an eye on that one kid who SO CLEARLY RESENTS YOUR NEW WILDLING POLICIES—it’s time for Après Culture.
This week we’re filling those no-new-TV spaces in our lives with relentless marathoning, of new stuff like Stranger Things and The Crown, old stuff like Star Trek TNG, and, for one of us, a whole lot of Hallmark movies. I’ll let you guess which of us.
Pull up a chair and put on your snuggie—it’s time for Après Culture.
Combine 2 oz gin, 1 oz lemon juice and 1 tsp superfine sugar over ice in a tall glass, then top off with club soda or fizzy water. Garnish with a lemon slice.
This week we’re assigning each other pop culture homework, and discussing the results. First, Sara Ann made everyone watch Korean drama Secret Garden, a romantic comedy about a snobby department store CEO and humble stuntwoman who can’t stand each other -- at first. Did Kasey and Margaret find it worth putting up with the subtitles?
Next we debate the attractions of Kasey’s assignment, lifestyle blogs The Everygirl, Into the Gloss, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Style Me Pretty Living, Elements of Style, and of course, Goop. Turns out Margaret has OPINIONS on lifestyle blogs.
And lastly, Margaret’s picks: British teen dramas Misfits, about a bunch of delinquents who find themselves with superpowers and proceed to not exactly save the world, and Skins, about actors you’ve seen in other things, but as teenagers, and doing very non-teenager-appropriate things (very). Kasey and Sara Ann are fans--except for the one part Sara Ann REALLY IS NOT a fan of.
Pull up a chair and start humming your favorite Korean theme song—it’s time for Après Culture.
This week we’re going jock with special guest Greg Barnett, who’s introducing us to the Kevin Costner golf movie Tin Cup and ESPN’s original sports shouting show Pardon the Interruption. For a bonus, Kasey gives Sara Ann a sports quiz (which she’s sure to ace) and we take a look back at season two.
Pull up a chair and do a little penguin dance—it’s time for Après Culture.
Nothing! Because season 2 is over. But we’ll be back in the spring! Look for it!
This week we’re saluting Sadie Hawkins Day with a nod to gender flipping. First we’ve got Emily Blunt demonstrating why it doesn’t need to be a “girl part” to cast a woman, in the War on Drugs thriller Sicario. Then we flash back to Dustin Hoffman casting himself in the girl part, and doing it smashingly, in classic cross-dressing comedy Tootsie.
Pull up a chair and manspread to your heart’s content—it’s time for Après Culture.
Important Note: We don’t want to risk spoiling anything for our listeners, so outlined below are the time-stamps of when we talk about each movie - listen at your risk or feel free to skip around!
Thanksgiving marathoning: the best streaming Turkey Day shows to entertain and/or distract
TIPPLE OF THE WEEK: Hard Cider Sangria
***DISCLAIMER*** We apologize, we've been encountering some sound technical difficulties this week in particular. The beginning of the episode will sound a bit "echo-y" however, as the podcast continues you will notice it evens out. We are working on creating a better sound experience in the future. Thank you for bearing with us!
This week we’re talking Nora Ephron, with HBO bio-doc Everything Is Copy, directed by her son Jacob Bernstein as a search for why veteran personal essayist Ephron kept her terminal diagnosis secret until the very end, and then a look at Ephron’s most enduring work, seminal rom-com When Harry Met Sally… We have thoughts, we have feelings, we have another season 3 connection to Carrie Fisher (never bad).
Pull up a chair and order what she’s having—it’s time for Après Culture.
Apple Pie a la Mode Cocktail
Adapted from Aimee Broussard’s recipe
Blend together 3 cups ice-cream, ¼ cup Fireball whiskey, ¼ cup Jim Beam Apple Whiskey, ¼ cup Apple Jack, 1 ½ cup Apple Cider, teaspoon of Cinnamon, and ice, and serve with a dash of cinnamon.
Maus, by Art Spiegelman
Bitch Planet, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine de Landro
TIPPLE OF THE WEEK: Red Headed Sluts
This week we’re succumbing to the pop culture inevitable and talking about Star Wars. That’s right, we've marathoned the movies to date in Machete Order and we’re ready to talk about what made us smile, what made us wince, and what we’re looking forward to as Disney unleashes a new round of Star Wars films on the world.
Next Week: We're taking a break for the holidays. We’ve got travel, we’ve got family, we’ve got to put the podcast on hold. But we’ll be back with the back half of Apres Culture season two in January, with episodes on Martin Luther King Day, on sports movies, and on Girlhood Novels. If you want to read along with us, download Little Women and Little House on the Prairie now.
This week we’re looking at a pair of classic documentary films. First up is seminal true crime drama The Thin Blue Line, which examines the politics and personalities that put a man on death row for killing a Dallas police officer -- and asks whether it might have all been a horrible mistake. Then we’re diving into Los Angeles Plays Itself, a simultaneously cantankerous and swoony look at the history of Los Angeles as it appears on film. One grumpy film professor and native Angeleno sets out to make the definitive case for what’s wrong with the movies’ take on LA, permissions be damned, and 200+ clips later, a cult classic was born.
Pull up a chair and google “fair use laws”— it’s time for Après Culture.
Important Note: We don’t want to risk spoiling anything for our listeners, so outlined below are the time-stamps of when we talk about each documentary - listen at your risk or feel free to skip around!
02:22-19:16 - The Thin Blue Line
19:36-39:35 - Los Angeles Plays Itself
Our special Pop Culture Gift Guide, with suggestions for every age range and most of the personalities (seriously, we got you covered)
TIPPLE OF THE WEEK: Mulled Wine
This week we’re putting our snooty pants on and talking a pair of literary classics (or alternately, a romance novel and the fanfic it spawned): Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, and Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys. We’ve got spooky atmospherics, questionable love interests, Jamaican history, and sisters getting theirs. It’s the literary canon at both its smartest and dishiest.
Pull up a chair and be ready to explain those funny noises coming from the attic—it’s time for Après Culture.
Adapted from this Bobby Flay recipe:
½ c lime juice
1 c grenadine
1 c Jamaican white rum
½ c light rum
1 c pineapple juice
1 c orange juice
Combine in a pitcher and chill 1 hour before serving.
Finding Dory (2016)
Disney princess movies
TIPPLE OF THE WEEK
Arnold Palmers or John Dalys (dirty Arnold Palmers)
This week we’re donning our literary canon sports coats (do they have elbow patches? Of course they do) and digging into some short stories. There’s lots to unpack in these tales of war, tradition, madness and bad decor, and we’re just the wine drinking gals to do it.
Pull up a chair and think up a meaningful story for everything in your pockets. It’s time for Après Culture.
This week we’re doing you a solid with pop culture gift recommendations for everybody on your list. We’ve got kids’ books from toddlers to teens, and film, TV and movie picks for adults of every personality and type of gift obligation. Whoever you’ve got to buy for, we’re here to point you in the right direction.
Pull up a chair and pop open your Christmas gift spreadsheet—it’s time for Après Culture.
Important Note: We don’t want to risk spoiling anything for our listeners, so outlined below are the time-stamps of when we talk about each book or movie/show - listen at your risk or feel free to skip around!
Pre-School (Picture Books) 11:15-15:52
-Waiting by Kevin Henkes 11:15-12:55
-The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt 12:56-14:29
-Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner 14:35-15:52
Early Grade-School (ages 5-7) 16:45-24:24
-Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems 16:45-18:50
-Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems 18:56-20:36
Upper Grade-School (ages 8-12) 24:45-34:18
-National Geographic: Weird But True series 25:24-26:40
-Who Was? series 26:42-29:15
-From The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L Konigsburg 29:57-30:55
-Are you There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume 30:57-32:24
-Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene 32:26-34:18
Middle School 34:32-48:20
-Nimona by Noelle Stevenson 36:19-39:41
-Lumberjanes series by Noelle Stevenson 39:43-42:53
-Drama by Raina Telgemeier 43:00-46:10
-Hatchet by Gary Paulsen 46:19-47:24
-The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien 47:27-48:20
-My Friend Dahmer by Derg Backderf 49:15-53:50
-The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison 53:57-58:25
-Eleanor and Park / Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 58:30-1:02:46
-Dune by Frank Herbert 1:02:49-1:03:19
-The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson 1:03:21-1:05:42
-Agatha Christie books 1:05:47-1:07:25
-Dorothy L. Sayers books 1:07:29-1:09:32
-Please Like Me (PIVOT series) 1:09:32-1:13:09
-Silicon Valley (HBO series) 1:13:14-1:14:28
-Nova (PBS series) 1:14:35-1:16:25
-A Room With A View (movie) 1:16:39-1:18:00
-Trainwreck (movie) 1:18:28-1:19:26
-Between The World and Me (book) by Ta-Nehisi Coates 1:19:35-1:21:01
-Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN series)1:21:10-1:24:45
-Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It (book) by Mark Goodman 1:25:00-1:26:42
-Spotlight / Brooklyn (movies) 1:26:58-1:29:21
-Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 1:31:40-1:36:07
Pop Culture Swap!: Christmas Edition
Sara Ann’s Pick: Die Hard (1988)
Kasey’s Pick: A Princess for Christmas (2011)
TIPPLE OF THE WEEK: Sara Ann’s Homemade Eggnog
This week in a short mid-season check-in, we toss our two cents into the overflowing giant novelty piggy bank of rage that is our collective internet reaction to Netflix’s Making a Murderer. We talk murder theories, we talk prosecutorial misconduct, we talk RAGE. Are there spoilers? Oh, you betcha.
Pull up a chair and brush off your Importance of Due Process speech — it’s time for Après Culture.
We resume full-length eps with an MLK Day-themed ep on:
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Love and Basketball (2000)
TIPPLE OF THE WEEK: Assortment of Blue Moon Beer
This week we’re honoring our mothers (or at least the general idea of motherhood): we talk seminal weepy Terms of Endearment, including John Lithgow’s unexpected role and the genteel way one died of cancer in 1983. (SPOILERS) Then we do a totally comprehensive survey of the sitcom Mother’s Day, from Golden Girls to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to The Middle. We found some sharp writing and some affecting insight, and also a whole lot of PG-rated masturbation jokes. And it wouldn’t be Apres Culture unless Sara Ann tried a kind of booze she’d never had before (white wine spritzers, y’all!). Pull up a chair; it’s time for Apres Culture.
This week we’re tipping our hat to Pride Month with a visit from a couple of guests: Ryan Michaud, who boldly pits Taylor Swift against Beyonce in a bid for one gay man’s affections, and Shelby Vasko, who introduces us to lifestyle vloggers Shannon Beveridge (https://www.youtube.com/user/flips8trgrl3) and Cammie Scott (https://www.youtube.com/user/CammieScott), and talks about why their relationship (and breakup) has been so important to young lesbians growing up in red states like her.
Pull up a chair and prepare to defend Lemonade to the death—it’s time for Après Culture.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
This week we’re diving into the wide, wonderful world of graphic novels with Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust memoir Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, and Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s exploitation-style feminist face-punch Bitch Planet.
Pull up a chair—it’s time for Après Culture.
Tipple of the Week:
The Redheaded Slut: In a cocktail shaker, combine 1.5 oz Jagermeister, 1.5 oz peach schnapps, 3 oz cranberry juice and ice. Shake until frosted and serve in shot glasses.
Ghostbusters and Freaks and Geeks