Episode #154

no bad guys, or all bad guys, depending on the scene

Broadcast News is an episode focusing on the movie of the same name, as part of the Podcast News miniseries covering the films of James L. Brooks. Posted 25 March 2018.

Summary

Katey Rich is back, joining the three-timer's club - as usual, she was flown in first class together with the guest's celebrity-of-choice (Big Chicago is Katey's pick) courtesy of the extravagant Blank Check travel budget. She also offers support for the idea of Blank Check continuing far into the future - and David has a lovely #TheTwoFriends anecdote along those lines as well. Katey is sans Baby Charlie this time, but at least Griffin does an impression of him. Katie is here to talk Broadcast News, by acclaim the best film in Canyon Jim's oeuvre.

Holly Hunter. Wow. A pint-sized dynamo, lightning in a bottle, the tiger in your tank. And the fashion in this movie! The movie was based on the real-world experiences of a journalist named Susan Zirinsky, who's still in the business today, and Katey wanted to know whether Susan actually had the 1980 professional wardrobe Holly has. An interesting sidenote: Griffin's mother bore a startling resemblance to Holly Hunter, to the point where high-school-freshman Griff used that resemblance to run a long-running con on his new classmates. It was so successful that to this day some internet search results list "Hunter" as one of Griffin's many middle names.

After introductory discussions of Albert Brooks, William "The Big Hurt," and under-the-radar Joan Cusack, it's on to the movie itself. David's mother worked in New York media for 28 years, so the boy's-club newsroom atmosphere in this movie rings true to him. And it's a movie where people are good at doing their jobs, which everyone in the studio is a sucker for. Isn't it neat how Hurt's character is not, like, a bad guy? Because he so easily could have been, yet the movie doesn't really take anyone's side. And the scene where Albert Brooks gets his shot on camera only to crash and burn, it reveals how difficult Hurt's job is - they're all good at different things. And they all have moments where they are generous with each other, then awful jerks to each other, in different ways.

How did James L. Brooks intend to get the ending to this movie, and what happened on set for them to get to the ending that it has? Which filmmaker of today might want to try making a movie like this? Which parts of the news media work environment on display in this film resonated most with The Atlantic writer David Sims?

Milestones and Ephemera

  • Eating on-mic: Ben, with a banana
  • Muffled voice in your ears: Producer Ben, producing
  • The billing for season 2 of "Damages": so many 'withs' & 'ands'
  • Albert Brooks impression, but pitched upward: muppet Grover
  • show-stopping reasons why Blank Check can't continue just as long as Katey's seven-years-running-strong Fighting In The War Room podcast: zero
  • Insight into the recording process, via Instagram

Sponsors

  • Oh my. Luigi Mario rings the doorbell, looking for tech support - he needs to transfer his Wii Games. A Wii transfer! How interesting, because David tells him about We Transfer, an online large-file sharing service. No sign-ins, no passwords, promo codes, no fees - yes, it's free! Luigi's excited because he could share his new EP too - he's a SoundCloud rapper, you see. And Griffin and David use the service too - David shares movie clips, Griffin shares his Mario & Luigi slashfic. wetransfer.com.
  • Griffin yawns in the middle of the episode. Can you use some sleep, buddy? Try out a Casper mattress, like The Wave or The Essential. 100-night trial, try it out risk-free, guaranteed. Griffin's a jingoist, so thankfully it's designed developed and made in the USA. And yet, he's got friends in Canada - but they ship there too! And David uses one, he's a satisfied customer. Listeners get $50 towards select mattresses, casper.com/check with promo code CHECK at checkout.


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