NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast: Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Broad City' And Required Reading
January 26, 2015 10:48 PM - Subscribe

On this week's show, the Comedy Central half-hour Broad City and the many hours we spent reading classics because we had to. (And sometimes wanted to.)

Blog post that goes with this episode, it gives a bit more detail. Of note: Margaret H. Willison joins the panel to discuss books.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (8 comments total)
Unusually fun episode. Re: Broad City - I'd only recently tried viewing some of the series and I thought they were pretty good, so I was especially interested in this podcast episode.

The comparison (Margaret makes, I think?) of the show to the UK's "Spaced" is apt, and the best 'x is like y' suggestion from the panel. I tend to think it's more like the UK's "Peep Show", which deals with all sorts of embarrassing and uncomfortable topics with some unique/fun characters.

But she also nailed something else (again this is Margaret but I'm not 100% certain, will give it another listen) - that there is a warmth to the show that is lacking in other similar shows - it has heart. It's for this reason that Broad City stands apart from other similar shows.

What did you all think of this week's episode? Are there other PCHH fans on metafilter? (I hope so.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:11 PM on January 26, 2015

I have never seen Broad City before, but will try it out after listening to this. One of the things I love about PCHH is the kind of insightful distinction Linda makes in this ep about "I love the idea of this show, I'm glad that it exists, I'm glad it's a hit, but it's just not really for me." Because I definitely have that reaction to things.

The required reading discussion is also cool. It's something that I think about a little now and again as I ponder why we do such a bad job of inculcating appreciation for art here in the US. I remember sophomore year of high school our English teacher tried to teach about metaphor and symbolism but it just came out rather dry. Symbolism became things you tick off on a checklist, which just contributed to the phenomenon of students just wanting to know the "right" answer so they can pass the test.
posted by dnash at 10:46 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Broad City is probably just not my type of show, mostly for the reason that Linda stated w/r/t drugs and finding that just boring. (I think Glen also said fart and poop jokes feature prominently, which is another area of complete non-interest for me.)

I do love Spaced, for whatever that's worth.

I don't know anything about Margaret (or any of the panelists, really), but I was surprised to hear how much she liked the show. I guess it didn't seem like that would overlap with the rest of her Venn-diagrammed interests from what I've heard, but I am happy to be surprised.

I wish the required reading discussion had been longer - I think it could have been at least an entire episode by itself. I love smart conversations about anything, really, but I especially like PCHH's conversations about books, which seem to occur less frequently than topics about other media.
posted by minsies at 10:57 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I suspect in part the book discussions happen less often because Stephen Thompson is famously -- in PCHH canon, at least -- not much of a book reader? So those discussions are more dependent on having a bookish guest and/or fourth-chair; often that's been Barry Hardimon.

(ISTR also one episode where Stephen stepped out to be replaced by their producer -- I'm sorry that I can't remember which one, maybe Jess Gitner? -- for a segment on books.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:17 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

(I do deeply miss the presence of Trey Graham on the show. Not that I don't love the varying fourth chairs. But it used to lead to moments where Graham would share some piece of high culture, like opera, and you could kinda hear the eyerolls from the others. And the thing is, among my close friends, I'm that guy too. I'm the one who goes to the opera and Juliet Binoche movies and my friends are all just "yeah, ok, enjoy yourself." So I enjoyed having Trey on there so I could occasionally feel "yay! One of my true people!")
posted by dnash at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh my god I hate Ethan Frome so much. I spent this past year reading as much Edith Wharton as I could get my hands on, loved all of it, so I figured I should reread Ethan Frome, and nope. Still the worst.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:43 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

*waves* Hi you guys! It's really fun to see a post here with my name as a "tag"-- thanks for that, Melinda!

I just wanted to weigh in on two things. (1) Yes, I am the person who pointed out show's warmth and (2) that is a BIG reason why I love it so much, despite the fact that it doesn't seem, thematically, like something I'd be into. Typically, drug humor and poop jokes aren't my thing, but-- despite the fact that they're part of the show-- seeing them in the context of the relationship between Abbi and Ilana makes all of it work for me. Much like, actually, football and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS-- if you care about the characters and like spending time with them, you can come to care about their concerns, even if in real life pot just makes you sleepy and football just makes you CATATONIC.

I really think that, if you like SPACED, you might like BROAD CITY. Try the third episode, when Abbi agrees to wait for her neighbor's package and Ilana briefly becomes a dog-walker. If that works for you, the series as a whole might, too. Because again-- it's not typically content I'd seek out, but I really love it.
posted by MrsFridayNext at 4:55 PM on January 27, 2015 [12 favorites]

I do deeply miss the presence of Trey Graham on the show. Not that I don't love the varying fourth chairs. But it used to lead to moments where Graham would share some piece of high culture, like opera, and you could kinda hear the eyerolls from the others.

Yes, this; plus he balanced out the low-culture moments by being the audible-eyeroller when (for example) Linda and Stephen digress into their shared love of The Batchelor.

I miss Trey too.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:45 AM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

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