Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s animated comedy series for Netflix satirizes Hollywood using a mix of human and animal characters. “Part of the original pitch was like, ‘What’s Mr. Ed like behind the scenes?'” BoJack (a horse) is a depressed, alcoholic, sexist former sitcom star in the #MeToo era.
Also, rock critic Ken Tucker and film critic Justin Chang share their favorite music and movies of the year.
British singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn (Everything But the Girl) uses music to explore feminist themes. She sings about the different stages of women’s lives on her recent solo album, ‘Record.’
The former YouTube star explores coming of age online in his film ‘Eighth Grade.’ “This awful D-list celebrity pressure I had experienced onstage has now been democratized,” Burnham says. He talks about living with anxiety, being embarrassed by some of his early material, and why he wrote a film about a 13-year-old girl. Elsie Fisher, who plays Kayla in the film, is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
Also, Kevin Whitehead remembers jazz musicians we lost this year.
Pollan, author of ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ and ‘The Botany of Desire,’ talks about his most recent book, ‘How to Change Your Mind.’ It covers the history of psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms, and how they’re now being used experimentally in therapeutic settings to treat depression, addiction, and fear of death. Pollan also talks about experimenting with psychedelics. “I had an experience that was by turns frightening and ecstatic and weird,” he says.
McPherson never thought he’d make a Christmas album. Then, he says, “I got a bug in my ear.” He and his band perform live in studio from ‘Socks,’ and McPherson talks about growing up on a cattle farm.
Todd Purdum’s book, ‘Something Wonderful,’ is about the creative partnership and strained personal relationship behind such hit shows as ‘Oklahoma!,’ ‘Carousel,’ ‘South Pacific’ and ‘The Sound of Music.’
Emily Blunt stars as the practical and fantastical nanny in ‘Mary Poppins Returns.’ She spoke with Terry Gross about floating in the sky as Poppins, playing the baker’s wife in the 2014 screen adaptation of Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods,’ and overcoming a debilitating stutter when she was young.
Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two Christmas albums — one by The Monkees and one by Rodney Crowell.
Actor Lucas Hedges is best known for his roles in ‘Manchester by the Sea’ and ‘Lady Bird,’ and now stars in the movie ‘Ben is Back’ as a teenager in rehab for opioid addiction. He’s also nominated for a Golden Globe for ‘Boy Erased,’ about a teenager subjected to gay conversion therapy by his conservative Baptist parents.
Wainwright’s music centers on family, and how we hurt and heal each other. He spoke to Terry Gross in 1992 and 2017 about his life as a husband, father, son, philanderer and musician. He has a Netflix special called ‘Surviving Twin.’
Film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.’
TV critic David Bianculli and film critic Justin Chang sit down with Terry Gross to share their picks for the best of the year.
‘New Yorker’ reporter Ben Taub says hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, including women and children, are being detained, tortured, killed or cast out for suspected association with ISIS.
Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reflects on the year in music.