I Think You're Interesting

I Think You're Interesting

www.vox.com/i-think-youre-interesting
The entertainment industry is brimming with interesting people who are responsible for your favorite movies, TV shows, and more. Join Vox’s critic-at-large Emily VanDerWerff every Thursday as she speaks with the very well known, up-and-coming and need to know folks responsible for the most exciting projects in art, entertainment, and pop culture – diving deep into their influences, inspirations, and careers in a frank, uncensored fashion. The series finale aired in December 2018.


Mahershala Ali, from Moonlight to True Detective
Dec 20, 2018 • 57 min
Few actors have had as surprising a past few years as Mahershala Ali. Known for his parts on TV shows like The 4400 and House of Cards and in movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the Hunger Games films, Ali went from steadily working actor…
What do The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Parks and Rec have in common? Michael Schur.
Dec 13, 2018 • 67 min
Michael Schur is one of the most adept minds in TV comedy. From his early days producing the Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon-era Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, to his work as one of the key writers on The Office, he charted a career that touched some of…
Christmas music you won’t get sick of, with R&B star PJ Morton
Dec 6, 2018 • 55 min
If you’ve talked to Todd at all, you know how much he enjoys Christmas music. And, sure, he enjoys the stuff that gets overplayed year after year, but he gets why you’re sick of it. Finding good music often means going a little off the beaten path. That’s…
Losing is hard. But comedian Chris Gethard says it’s necessary.
Nov 29, 2018 • 71 min
The Chris Gethard Show might have been Todd’s favorite talk show of the decade, a weird, tossed-off calamity that emerged every week like an odd magic trick. It made the trip from New York public access TV to more traditional networks. And then earlier…
How to not screw up Thanksgiving dinner, with Salt Fat Acid Heat’s Samin Nosrat
Nov 22, 2018 • 64 min
This episode originally ran in November of 2017. It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means home chefs all around the United States (Todd among them) are trying to find a way to hew to tradition without turning their plates into a giant pile of…
Hollywood’s past can help us understand its present. Karina Longworth shows us how.
Nov 15, 2018 • 49 min
Karina Longworth’s Hollywood history podcast, You Must Remember This, is one of the most essential shows out there for movie fans. Each week, Longworth dives into a story from the film industry’s past, revealing the truth behind legends, the hidden…
Writer Diablo Cody, on Jennifer’s Body, Juno, and Jagged Little Pill (the musical)
Nov 8, 2018 • 59 min
Diablo Cody’s career took off into the stratosphere when her very first produced script — 2007’s quirky comedy Juno — led to a massive box office hit that also won her the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Since Juno, she’s written numerous…
How to build a civilization from scratch
Nov 1, 2018 • 79 min
Imagine you’re a time traveler whose time machine has functioned somewhere in Earth’s past — after humans have evolved but before they’ve, say, invented language or agriculture or any of the other pillars civilization was built upon. How might you try to…
What great horror looks and sounds like, with the makers of The Terror and A Quiet Place
Oct 25, 2018 • 58 min
With Halloween right around the corner, we felt it’s as timely as ever to revisit this episode from earlier this year. Sometimes, the scariest thing is what you don’t see onscreen. It’s a lesson taken to heart by the folks behind two of the best horror…
Why Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, launched a true crime podcast
Oct 18, 2018 • 60 min
Yeardley Smith is one of the most famous women on Earth — though you might not know it if you just bumped into her somewhere, at least until she said something. See, Smith is the voice of Lisa Simpson, the precocious 8-year-old middle child of the Simpson…
Better Call Saul’s showrunner tells us everything about the show’s amazing finale
Oct 11, 2018 • 65 min
Few TV shows are better than AMC’s Better Call Saul. But if you told that to someone in 2015, when the show debuted, they might look at you askance. Yes, the show was a spinoff from Breaking Bad, one of the most acclaimed TV shows ever made, but it was…
The history of the American circus, with the people who worked there
Oct 4, 2018 • 37 min
The circus! At one time, it was one of the country’s most reliable forms of mass entertainment, crisscrossing American backroads to perform for people all over the nation. Everything from the circus train to the people who put up the big tent made its way…
BoJack Horseman’s sly, funny brilliance, explained by the people who make it
Sep 27, 2018 • 71 min
This episode is a rebroadcast of an episode from 2017, but with BoJack Horseman’s fifth season recently debuting, we thought it was a great time to revisit it. Todd loves few TV shows more than BoJack Horseman, Netflix’s weird animated comedy about a sad…
Jon Batiste, Stephen Colbert’s bandleader, on making music in New Orleans, on the subway, and on late night TV
Sep 20, 2018 • 51 min
Jon Batiste makes some of TV’s best music, night in and night out. As bandleader of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the multi-instrumentalist comes up with perfect tunes to introduce guests, to complement Colbert’s jokes, and to keep the audience…
Janet from The Good Place and Kelli from Insecure on making TV’s funniest shows even funnier
Sep 13, 2018 • 72 min
We’re focusing on TV scene stealers this week, as we head into a new fall season. These two performers take some of the best shows on TV and make them even better, sidling into any given scene and swiping it right out from under everybody else with a…
TV ratings, explained
Sep 6, 2018 • 56 min
The Nielsen ratings might not have as much power as they once held, but they still can decide the fate of your favorite TV show. If nobody’s watching, it could be canceled. That’s always been true. But what’s also always been true is that the Nielsen…
One of the best TV shows of the year is a documentary about racial inequities in education
Aug 30, 2018 • 35 min
Steve James is one of the best documentary filmmakers to ever have lived. His movies examine the fault lines that underlie American society, often (but not always) those of race and class, and how those who have power often attempt to maximize the amount…
How to make a movie starring the internet, with Eighth Grade director Bo Burnham
Aug 23, 2018 • 54 min
The new coming-of-age comedy Eighth Grade is one of the surprise success stories of the summer, turning a tiny story of a 13-year-old girl’s last week in the titular grade into a much larger tale of the universally awkward and cringeworthy experience of…
The incredible true story behind Spike Lee’s new movie BlacKkKlansman
Aug 16, 2018 • 63 min
The new movie BlacKkKlansman is careful to let you know very early on that, yes, its story is a true one, with a few embellishments for film. And it likely does so because said story — a black man goes undercover and becomes a trusted confidant of people…
Why the binge model doesn’t always make the best TV
Aug 9, 2018 • 50 min
There’s a reason TV critics and reporters call FX Networks president and CEO John Landgraf the “mayor of television” — and it’s not just because that’s kind of a funny title to give to somebody. Of all the executives in the TV game right now, Landgraf has…
Sharp Objects’ Patricia Clarkson on finding the mom roles worth playing
Aug 2, 2018 • 61 min
Adora Crellin is a difficult woman to love. The monstrously suffocating mother of Camille, the protagonist of HBO’s terrific murder mystery miniseries Sharp Objects, Adora keeps finding ways to undercut her damaged daughters and to visit the deep-seated…
Sorry to Bother You director Boots Riley on labor unions, capitalism, and his hit movie
Jul 26, 2018 • 62 min
The riotously funny, incredibly inventive new movie Sorry to Bother You has become one of the summer’s most acclaimed films, as well as an unlikely hit in arthouses. The movie’s tale of a young man named Cassius Green (played by Lakeith Stanfield), who…
How Neko Case writes her beautiful, brilliant songs
Jul 19, 2018 • 44 min
Neko Case’s nearly 20-year career has been marked by some of the best songs of that time frame, chronicles of a country and world that often seem to be plunging into chaos but always manage to just avoid doing so. Her solo albums, including the brand new…
The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 and the summer’s biggest movies, discussed and explained
Jul 12, 2018 • 61 min
Believe it or not, the summer entertainment season is half over. Fall TV will be firing up in just a few short weeks, and the summer movies of 2018 have just about run out. (Mission: Impossible — Fallout is the only big release still coming.) That makes…
Inside the world’s best true-crime podcast
Jul 5, 2018 • 39 min
Call the APM Reports production In the Dark a “true crime” podcast, and everybody involved in it will bristle, just a bit. Yes, it starts from the place of exploring crimes that really happened. But it’s not interested in exploring the crimes so much as…
You may not immediately recognize Bob Balaban’s name. But you know his voice
Jun 28, 2018 • 44 min
Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Gosford Park. Moonrise Kingdom. The original cast of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. These might seem like wildly different projects, but they have one man in common: actor Bob Balaban. Balaban is one of the…
Stand-up Hari Kondabolu is so much more than The Problem with Apu
Jun 21, 2018 • 53 min
Hari Kondabolu identified a problem. His self-hosted, self-produced 2017 documentary, The Problem With Apu, which aired on TruTV, discusses how The Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon created a caricature of South Asians and perpetuated a stereotype…
Aisha Tyler on Archer, standup comedy, and being Aisha Tyler
Jun 14, 2018 • 58 min
Does Aisha Tyler sleep? That’s a question you might reasonably ask after looking at her IMDb page for a moment or two. She’s a regular on two TV shows — FXX’s Archer and CBS’s Criminal Minds — while also hosting Unapologetic, a new talk show for AMC. And…
How to make great TV, according to the showrunners of Black Lightning, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Vida
Jun 7, 2018 • 63 min
Another TV season is over. You might not have noticed its end, thanks to the way TV never goes away any more, but technically, the TV season wraps at the end of May. So it seemed like a good time to get some of the best TV showrunners together and ask…
The Americans’ showrunners and star bid farewell to TV’s best show
May 31, 2018 • 54 min
If you’ve listened to this show ever, or read anything Todd has ever written, then you know The Americans is one of his favorite shows of the past several years. Last night, it ended. For this special episode of the show, Todd is joined by star Matthew…
What great horror looks and sounds like, with the makers of The Terror and A Quiet Place
May 24, 2018 • 55 min
Sometimes, the scariest thing is what you don’t see onscreen. It’s a lesson taken to heart by the folks behind two of the best horror projects of the first half of 2018 — the AMC miniseries The Terror and the gigantic hit movie A Quiet Place. In this…
Veteran comedy writer Nell Scovell on 30 years of being “the only woman in the room”
May 17, 2018 • 51 min
Writer Nell Scovell has worked for some of the best, most popular TV shows of the past 30 years. She wrote for David Letterman. She wrote for The Simpsons. She created the ’90s show Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She wrote on NCIS. And at too many of those…
The Magicians’ Sera Gamble on making great fantasy TV without Game of Thrones money
May 9, 2018 • 37 min
“This shit should not be cheesy,” Sera Gamble says. She’s talking about the visual effects and production design on the terrific Syfy fantasy series The Magicians, which just completed its third season, a cinch to make Todd’s top 10 of the year. While the…
Thanos and Roseanne: how two mad titans took over pop culture
May 2, 2018 • 49 min
This week on I Think You’re Interesting, we’re trying something different, by dissecting two of the biggest pop culture stories of the spring. First, Vox culture writer Alex Abad-Santos joins Todd to talk about the fallout from Avengers: Infinity War. The…
Why 2001: A Space Odyssey is still one of the greatest films ever made, 50 years later
Apr 25, 2018 • 65 min
Even if you haven’t seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s mind-melting 1968 science fiction epic, you probably know at least something about it. It’s one of those movies, like Star Wars or Citizen Kane, that has become so thoroughly dissolved into…
How Jean Smart beat Hollywood’s age biases to build a nearly 40-year career
Apr 18, 2018 • 46 min
Designing Women, Frasier, 24, Fargo, Legion, some of the best TV shows of the past 30-plus years have one terrific actress in common: Jean Smart. Tall, striking, and bold, Smart has carved out a path in Hollywood that involves never doing the same thing…
Wonderful Midwestern moms, explained by comedian Louie Anderson (who plays his own mom on TV)
Apr 11, 2018 • 47 min
One of the most sympathetic, compelling portraits of motherhood on television centers on a performance by a man. On FX’s Baskets, which recently completed its third season, comedian Louie Anderson plays Christine Baskets, mother of twins Chip and Dale…
The 5 best coming-of-age movies about teen girls
Apr 4, 2018 • 41 min
Lady Bird was one of the surprise hits of 2017, with its bittersweet, deeply funny depiction of teen girl adolescence. And that got Todd to thinking: Why is it so rare to see good movies about teen girls coming of age? To answer that question, he brought…
Jason Katims, showrunner of Friday Night Lights and Rise, on why teens make great TV
Mar 28, 2018 • 44 min
Few TV heavyweights have done as much to tell thoughtful, moving stories about teenagers as Jason Katims. While he was a young playwright, Katims broke into the television industry as a staff writer for My So-Called Life — ground zero for realistic…
How to write a joke for President Obama
Mar 21, 2018 • 57 min
How do you write a joke for the president of the United States? How do you come up with something that will seem perfectly cutting but not too cruel, silly but not stupid? How do you not denigrate the highest office in the land with — sniff — comedy?…
Bill Nye, on becoming the Science Guy and Saving the World
Mar 14, 2018 • 47 min
If you don’t hear the words “Bill Nye” and automatically fill in, mentally, “the Science Guy” (ideally with the exact right tune and rhythm from his old theme song), then you probably weren’t alive during the 1990s, when Nye’s series (Bill Nye the Science…
Designing the worst workplace in the world. (Only for a TV show. Don’t worry.)
Mar 7, 2018 • 57 min
Comedy Central’s Corporate is a deep, dark dive into American corporate life that is one of the most promising new comedies to debut in years. Set in the nondescript but completely soulless corporation Hampton DeVille, Corporate finds dark yet incredibly…
The “I Think You’re Interesting” Oscars Spectacular
Feb 28, 2018 • 71 min
Todd loves the Oscars, so this week’s episode features not just one but two Oscar nominees from this year’s crop. First, Todd talks with Vox film critic Alissa Wilkinson about the year’s biggest prizes. Then he’s joined by Julian Slater, the…
Love the look of Black Panther’s Wakanda? Meet the woman who designed its costumes.
Feb 21, 2018 • 61 min
If you’ve seen Marvel’s new movie Black Panther, you know that one of the best things about it is its use of costumes and sets not just to create the fictional world of Wakanda, but also to tell little stories about its history and culture in every single…
Finding work — or just creating your own — as a deaf actor in Hollywood
Feb 14, 2018 • 60 min
Though 20 percent of the American population has some form of disability, just 2 percent of working actors represent that population on screen and stage. Is it any wonder so many roles for those with disabilities are played by actors without them? And is…
“Narnia was not up to code”: The Magicians’ Lev Grossman on building fantastical worlds
Feb 7, 2018 • 61 min
Few fantasy series of the past 10 years have had the reach of Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy, beginning with The Magicians in 2009, continuing with The Magician King in 2011, and concluding with The Magician’s Land in 2014. The books, which attempted to…
Justina Machado is giving one of TV’s best performances. Here’s her acting advice.
Jan 31, 2018 • 65 min
“I have people that are not Latino arguing with me about what we’re like,” Justina Machado says about two-thirds of the way through her chat with Todd. The actress, who joins ITYI to talk about the latest season of her Netflix sitcom One Day at a Time,…
How Hans Zimmer found the music of the ocean
Jan 24, 2018 • 64 min
Blue Planet II is one of the most stunning visual achievements of the year. The new BBC America nature documentary takes viewers deep beneath the waves to observe strange creatures and the delicate balance that keeps the world’s largest habitat in…
The best film and TV performances of 2017, according to our critics panel
Jan 17, 2018 • 61 min
Awards season is once again upon us. We’ll soon know which films and performances have been nominated for the Oscars, and the Golden Globes are receding into the past. But let’s talk about what’s really important: Which performances from 2017 did our…
Phil Rosenthal created Everybody Loves Raymond. Now he hosts a food and travel show. Can we have his life?
Jan 10, 2018 • 73 min
Phil Rosenthal is one of Todd’s favorite people within the TV industry to talk to, because he loves making television — whether he’s writing it or starring in it. He’s probably best known for creating the Emmy-winning series Everybody Loves Raymond,…
Ask Todd Anything, with guest host Caroline Framke
Jan 3, 2018 • 57 min
It’s a very special episode of I Think You’re Interesting, as guest host and Vox culture writer Caroline Framke asks Todd all the questions you asked about criticism, great TV, and life itself. Along the way, they’ll discuss whether Todd can possibly…
Is the secret to battling climate change a better promotional strategy?
Dec 27, 2017 • 58 min
The ways climate change is altering our planet can be hard to see, since they happen so incrementally, and often far away. That’s what’s made the documentaries Chasing Ice and Chasing Coral (a finalist for Best Documentary Feature at the 2018 Oscars) so…
What happened in Hollywood in 2017 — and where it might go in 2018
Dec 20, 2017 • 70 min
From the Oscars mixup to the Disney-Fox deal, and from Netflix’s continuing inability to launch major movie hits to the seemingly endless stream of sexual misconduct revelations, 2017 was a big year for entertainment news, arguably the biggest in decades.…
How 2017’s best animated film came to be
Dec 13, 2017 • 60 min
Director Nora Twomey and her colleagues at Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon have made a habit of turning out some of Todd’s favorite animated films. From 2009’s The Secret of Kells to 2014’s Song of the Sea, the mini-studio makes beautiful, evocative films about…
John Ridley, Oscar-winning screenwriter, on how Los Angeles has and hasn’t changed since Rodney King
Dec 6, 2017 • 66 min
John Ridley has been active in Hollywood since the early ’90s, to the degree that he wrote for one of the best obscure sitcoms of that era, The John Laroquette Show. But his career hit turbo speed when he wrote the script for the 2013 Best Picture winner…
Exploring the role of religion in the Trump era with Matt Carter, co-host of the Bad Christian podcast
Nov 29, 2017 • 70 min
Few religion podcasts have proved as vital to understanding evangelical Christian America in the Donald Trump era as Bad Christian, a podcast hosted by three friends, who all used to be in a band together. (Two of them still are in that band.) Hosts Matt…
Holly Hunter, Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano, and Emily V. Gordon talk about their movie The Big Sick
Nov 22, 2017 • 65 min
The Big Sick is a little slice of romantic comedy perfection and one of 2017’s best movies. Based on a very real story from the life of very real couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the movie boasts a script by the two, with Holly Hunter and Ray…
How to not screw up Thanksgiving dinner, with chef Samin Nosrat
Nov 15, 2017 • 66 min
It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means home chefs all around the United States (Todd among them) are trying to find a way to hew to tradition without turning their plates into a giant pile of indistinguishable starches. And for our first annual I Think…
The man who wrote the West Wing theme tells us how TV music is made
Nov 8, 2017 • 65 min
W.G. “Snuffy” Walden doesn’t read or write music. That didn’t stop him from writing the theme for The West Wing. Or Friday Night Lights. Or My So-Called Life. Or Thirtysomething. Or, really, many of your favorite TV shows. Walden’s career began as a…
Glenn Gordon Caron reinvented TV in the ’80s. Now he’s reviving the case-of-the-week show.
Nov 1, 2017 • 66 min
You may not know the name Glenn Gordon Caron, but if you’re a TV fan, you’ve heard of one of the shows he’s worked on, especially his groundbreaking ’80s detective dramedy Moonlighting, which popularized the will-they/won’t-they relationship, introduced…
Russell Brand on life, addiction, and the pursuit of happiness
Oct 25, 2017 • 64 min
Comedian Russell Brand would probably bristle at being described as a comedian. It’s not that he’s not funny, or doesn’t occasionally perform stand-up. It’s more that in the years since he’s achieved fame, he’s become just as notable for his wonderfully…
BoJack Horseman’s sly, funny brilliance, explained by the people who make it
Oct 18, 2017 • 68 min
Todd loves few TV shows more than BoJack Horseman, Netflix’s weird animated comedy about a sad horse. Its recently completed fourth season, which delved into the histories of many of the characters and talked about the roots of trauma and depression, just…
The 5 best superhero performances of all time, according to The Tick’s Griffin Newman
Oct 11, 2017 • 54 min
One of Todd’s favorite actors for elucidating, perfectly, what makes one performance work where another doesn’t is Griffin Newman, who plays Arthur, the moth-man sidekick on Amazon’s The Tick. Newman also co-hosts the podcast Blank Check With Griffin and…
Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet on making it as a heavyset actor in Hollywood
Oct 4, 2017 • 66 min
Fans of ABC’s Modern Family, which just entered its ninth season, know Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker, the role for which he’s won two Emmys. The neurotic but good-natured Cam was half of one of TV’s first major married gay couples, and over the…
Novelist Tom Perrotta on white privilege, gender identity, and Tracy Flick 20 years later
Sep 27, 2017 • 58 min
Tom Perrotta’s books have become one of our most consistently enjoyable dissections of a very specific sort of America — upper-class, wryly comic, and white. Even when his books dig into a world where something very much like the Rapture has happened (as…
Ken Burns’s name is synonymous with American history. His new film is eerily prescient.
Sep 20, 2017 • 67 min
For a large number of people, just seeing the name “Ken Burns” is mark enough of quality. Whether Burns is producing or directing, his long, multi-part documentaries have been PBS mainstays since the 1980s. His breakthrough film, The Civil War, released…
Nancy Cartwright is a grandmother — who plays the world’s most famous 10-year-old cartoon boy
Sep 13, 2017 • 65 min
Even if you’re the least pop culture–aware person in the world, you know who Nancy Cartwright is. You just might not know why you know. In the late ’80s, Cartwright, a voice actor, went on an audition for the role of an 8-year-old girl in a series of…
Actress Kellie Martin has been working since she was 7. Listen to this, and you’ll love her as much as we do.
Sep 6, 2017 • 64 min
If you have been watching TV — like, at all — since the 1990s, you’ve probably seen (and loved) Kellie Martin in something. After beginning her career as a child in the ’80s, she landed the role of Becca on the critically acclaimed family drama Life Goes…
How The Handmaid’s Tale traveled from page to screen, explained by showrunner Bruce Miller
Aug 30, 2017 • 73 min
Few of 2017’s new TV shows have hit with the impact of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which went from “they’re making a TV show out of _that_” territory to 13 Emmy nominations (including Drama Series) in what seemed like record time. Taken from the book by…
Actress Ann Dowd on how she builds her twisted, darkly iconic characters on The Handmaid’s Tale and The Leftovers.
Aug 23, 2017 • 60 min
After more than 20 years building her stage and screen resume, Ann Dowd has become a star thanks to her roles as Patti Levin on The Leftovers and the menacing yet maternal Aunt Lydia on The Handmaid’s Tale. Her characters are a product of the fractured…
How beloved book The Glass Castle became a movie.
Aug 16, 2017 • 62 min
Director Destin Daniel Cretton made 2013’s Short Term 12, one of Todd’s favorite movies of the 2010s. For his follow-up film, he reteamed with that film’s star, Brie Larson, and adapted the beloved memoir The Glass Castle. The film follows the story of…
How PBS is navigating an especially hostile political era.
Aug 9, 2017 • 61 min
By many standards, PBS has had a pretty great 2010s. Downton Abbey was its biggest hit since The Civil War (which aired way back in 1990), Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election (and thus could never follow through on his threats against the broadcaster), and…
How one small town recovered from being gutted by the Great Recession — and how it didn’t.
Aug 2, 2017 • 55 min
Janesville, Wisconsin, was one of the towns hardest hit by the economic collapse of the late 2000s. When the local GM plant closed, thousands of jobs that supported the entire city evaporated, leaving residents struggling to stay above water. That’s where…
Michaela Watkins on audition rituals, her worst college party, and playing a “coastal elite”
Jul 26, 2017 • 65 min
What Michaela Watkins does in Casual, Hulu’s dramedy about self-involved Los Angelenos, is low-key remarkable. Her character, Valerie, is outwardly pulled together and the smartest woman in the room. But inwardly, she’s falling apart, constantly dragged…
How did a sheet with eyeholes come to be the symbol for a ghost? Director David Lowery explains.
Jul 19, 2017 • 51 min
A Ghost Story is that most unusual thing — a tiny movie that seems to encompass the entire universe. Made for a modest budget, the movie shows what happens to a young couple when the husband dies. It starts as a standard romance — then somehow comes to…
Errol Morris, one of the best interviewers ever, on true crime and the art of the documentary.
Jul 12, 2017 • 47 min
Academy-Award winning documentarian Errol Morris is one of Todd’s favorite filmmakers ever, not to mention a world-class investigator and interviewer who’s managed everything from getting Robert McNamara to admit he could have easily been branded a war…
Tired of boring blockbusters? Our critics pick the best summer movies of the 2000s.
Jul 5, 2017 • 63 min
It’s a special edition of I Think You’re Interesting as Todd is joined by David Sims of The Atlantic and Alison Willmore of Buzzfeed to pick the top summer movies of the 2000s. Each critic picks their five favorites, and then the arguing begins. Learn…
Comedian Maz Jobrani on making people laugh in a deeply divided America
Jun 28, 2017 • 64 min
Maz Jobrani comes by his love of political humor honestly. He studied political science in graduate school, before deciding to pursue his dreams of comedy instead. This week, Maz joins Todd to talk about figuring out how to make Trump supporters laugh as…
Alan Sepinwall, on why he doesn’t like the Netflix model of full-season stories
Jun 21, 2017 • 46 min
Alan Sepinwall’s blog What’s Alan Watching launched in 2005, when he was working as a TV critic at Newark newspaper The Star-Ledger. The site would take the TV episode recap, something popularized on sites like Television Without Pity, and turn it into a…
Fear the Walking Dead’s cast on shooting in Mexico in the era of Trump
Jun 14, 2017 • 56 min
No matter your thoughts on Fear the Walking Dead, the zombie show spinoff now entering its third season on AMC, it’s hard to argue with the show’s cast, which is filled with great actors from top to bottom. Recently, three of those actors — Kim Dickens,…
Damon Lindelof
Jun 7, 2017 • 78 min
The first TV show Damon Lindelof co-created was Lost, ABC’s seismic, game-changing series about mysterious islands and the plane crash survivors who love them. Hence, his 2014 follow-up series, HBO’s The Leftovers, was hotly anticipated. What TV fans got…
The Americans showrunners
May 31, 2017 • 65 min
Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields have spent five years at the helm of The Americans, the ’80s-set spy series which many (Todd included) would call TV’s best drama. And somewhat fittingly for a show about an arranged marriage made for business purposes, the…
Alan Yang
May 24, 2017 • 74 min
Alan Yang’s series, Master of None, might be the best TV show of 2017. Yang, who co-created the series with its star, Aziz Ansari, also worked on all seven seasons of the beloved NBC sitcom Parks & Recreation, as well as the first season of The Good…
Ane Crabtree
May 17, 2017 • 63 min
Ane Crabtree has worked on so many of TV’s best shows — Rectify, Masters of Sex, Westworld, and Hulu’s new The Handmaid’s Tale to name just a few. And though you’ve seen her work every week on those shows, you might not have known it. She’s the costume…
Chris Parnell
May 10, 2017 • 59 min
Chris Parnell’s long comedy career has taken him through a surprising number of venerable comedy institutions. He started out in the improv troupe The Groundlings. He was a major player on Saturday Night Live for years, appearing in some of the show’s…
Ezra Klein
May 3, 2017 • 66 min
Ezra Klein isn’t just the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Vox (the site that produces this podcast, in case you were unaware). He’s a major fan of superhero comics and the films based on them. For this week’s episode, Todd sat down with his boss to…
Full Frontal
Apr 26, 2017 • 44 min
Since it debuted in early 2016, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee has become one of the most vital voices in late-night television. The show’s trenchant but hilarious dissection of an America merrily flying off the rails has proved to be a proud heir to the…
Richard Kelly
Apr 19, 2017 • 58 min
Richard Kelly’s first feature film, Donnie Darko, was nearly lost to the ages when it debuted in October 2001. The Patriot Act had just been passed, and it was not a time when the American moviegoing public was ready to watch a film that featured plane…
Phil LaMarr
Apr 12, 2017 • 61 min
Phil LaMarr is one of the entertainment industry’s premier voice actors, having worked on an intimidatingly large number of projects over his career. But he’s perhaps best known for two roles: Hermes on Futurama and Jack on Samurai Jack. After a lengthy…
Rhea Seehorn
Apr 5, 2017 • 66 min
When it debuted, Better Call Saul, AMC’s Breaking Bad prequel about the early years of unscrupulous lawyer Saul Goodman, drew most of its attention for its ties to its parent series, one of the greatest TV dramas of all time. But over its first two years…
Ceyda Torun
Mar 29, 2017 • 58 min
Ceyda Torun’s film Kedi is Todd’s favorite of 2017 so far. It’s a charming but surprisingly weighty documentary following the lives of several Istanbul cats — some from the streets and others with more comfortable lives. (One even lives near a fish…
Dave Malloy
Mar 22, 2017 • 57 min
The career of Broadway composer Dave Malloy can sometimes seem like a series of escalating dares. His works take on everything from the life of Rasputin to the pieces of classical musician Franz Schubert. But by far his biggest hit has been Natasha,…
Laura Zak and Kate Fisher
Mar 15, 2017 • 53 min
How do you make a great web series, if you don’t have the backing of a major corporation? That’s a question the creators and producers of Her Story, a YouTube-based series about the lives of a diverse community of trans and queer women in Los Angeles,…
Desmin Borges
Mar 8, 2017 • 41 min
Desmin Borges is a vital part of what makes “You’re the Worst,” one of TV’s most exciting comedies, so very good. The FXX series deals with serious topics in darkly amusing ways, and that includes Borges’s character, Edgar, a veteran who suffers from PTSD…
Ryan Murphy
Mar 1, 2017 • 46 min
Ryan Murphy is one of the most influential TV producers in the history of the medium. He’s won Emmys for series like Glee and The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and with American Horror Story, he invented the now ubiquitous anthological…