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Batwoman, a Black Female 007, and Super-Pandering

Season 1, Ep. 35

A dubious news report that a black actress, Lashana Lynch, will play 007 in the next James Bond film got your friendly neighborhood "Low Key" hosts wondering: When do Hollywood's attempts at diversity in casting feel positive, and when do they feel like pandering? And is there such a thing as positive pandering?


This week we're joined by special guest host Sarah Lanton as our discussion of the James Bond franchise leads us into a discussion of the American James Bond, Batman. That in turn leads us into a discussion of the CW's new "Batwoman," played by Ruby Rose, and how much one of your hosts, Keith, does not like the trailer. He explains why.


Here are a few of the other subjects we handle:


1:55: Tim expresses his strong reservations about The Daily Mail newspaper, which reported on Lashana Lynch's casting.


3:22: Could Lashana Lynch's casting just be an attempt to placate audiences, when want we really want is Idris Elba as the first black Bond?


6:20: Who was the best Bond?


7:55: Who is the audience for the new Bond movie? And what Marvel and "Into the Spider-Verse" did right in their reimagining of Spider-Man, and avoided bad pandering.


10:01: Does James Bond have to be a man for his character to make sense? And is misogyny built into the character?


15:24: We talk about characters who don't pander at all, but are still fascinating and fun to watch -- from Patrick Bateman ("American Psycho") to Humbert Humbert ("Lolita") to Hannibal Lecter ("Silence of the Lambs") to Norman Bates ("Psycho") to Anthony Jeselnik's onstage persona.


21:59: Sarah says something shocking


22:22: Aaron and Sarah agree that "Black Lightning" is "super-pandering"... in a good way


23:20: Is the new Batwoman more or less deserving of the "Bat" legacy than Miles Morales is of the "Spider" legacy?


32:30: Is pandering always a bad thing?


39:01: Shoutout to pandas!

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7/23/2020

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Season 1, Ep. 70
In this episode we explore Netflix's Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, about a Puerto Rican TV astrologer who rose from humble beginnings to become a sequin-caped inspiration to millions.With his distinctive look, aura of mystery — especially about his sexuality — and ability to blend many religious beliefs into a medley of optimism, Walter Mercado gave hope to the hopeless — until an ugly legal dispute yanked him from the air and cost him control of his own carefully cultivated image.:45: Our late-night infomercial memories3:00: Is the Michael Jordan-approved The Last Dance real journalism? Is Walter Mercado getting the Michael Jordan treatment?5:45: "Celebrities nowadays are derivatives of celebrities back in the day."5:50: How Walter Mercado was like Michael Jackson and Prince7:05: About that psychic phone line...7:50: How is Walter Mercado different from a televangelist?8:50: "You just can't swindle a swindler"10:00: Let's talk about Walter Mercado and his manager's relationship11:45: Zodiac signs12:40: "What's the difference between a Walter Mercado and a Tony Robbins?"15:00: Tim has the same religious beliefs as Walter Mercado: "No one has a monopoly on God"18:00: "He had a much better life than most people have"24:00: A Billy Dee Williams story (and here's the background on the gender-fluid story)27:00: Another excellent famous-person story30:55: "The only person I ever saw solve racism was Prince"31:50: "Netflix, again, coming through on the diversity point before it was fucking cool. ... They've been on this train."33:15: Netflix's $120 million donation to HCBUs36:00: "I have an appreciation for any man that dresses up like a wizard"Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado is now streaming on Netflix.