Welcome To The Party Pal: The Mind-Bending Film & Television Podcast You Didn't Know You Needed!
Episode 116: Succession, Season 444:33This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal dives deeply into Succession, the celebrated television series created by Jesse Armstrong that aired on HBO from June 3, 2018, to May 28, 2023, for four seasons and 39 episodes. In Succession, the head of one of the world's largest media and entertainment conglomerates decides to retire whilst each of his four grown children follows a personal agenda that doesn't always sync with those of their siblings, or of their father. The series starred Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, and Alan Ruck. This episode hones in on the inarguably successful final season and concluding episode to the Roy family saga, cementing the black comedy/drama's reputation as one of the finest series in television history.
Episode 115: Perry Mason, Season 231:36This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal celebrates the second season of HBO Max's Perry Mason, a compelling series which portrays the origin story of the famed criminal defense lawyer (played by Matthew Rhys). The series was created by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald for HBO and it is based on the character of the same name by Erle Stanley Gardner. The series also stars Juliet Rylance as Della Street, Chris Chalk as Paul Drake, Justin Kirk as Hamilton Burger, and Shea Whigham as Pete Strickland. Season Two finds Perry in the throes of the Los Angeles legal system during the height of the Great Depression. Months after the Dodson trial that comprised the captivating first season shook the city, Perry is readjusting to life as a civil attorney when a high-profile murder case brings him back into the fold. In this episode hosts MIchael Shields and River Jordan expound upon how the story told in HBO's Perry Mason is the unflinching story of America's soul. They explore the knotty, fascinating case at the center of the second season while contemplating what might come next for the series. Ultimately, they celebrate what is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable seasons of television to be released in 2023.
Episode 114: Jury Duty36:45This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal celebrates the American mockumentary television series created by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and starring Ronald Gladden, Jury Duty. The series chronicles the inner workings of a jury trial through the eyes of juror Ronald Gladden, a solar contractor from San Diego, who is unaware that his jury duty summons was not official, and that everyone in the courtroom aside from him is an actor. Everything that happens, inside and outside the courtroom, is planned. In this episode hosts Michael Shields and River Jordan explore the unique premise of the show and the complicated ethical concerns that arise from it. They discuss the dynamic, eclectic cast assembled for the Jury Duty, the meticulous level of production and calculation required to make the series work, and most importantly, the "hero" at the center of everything that is the reason the first season was such a tremendous success.
Episode 113: Daisy Jones & The Six36:43This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal delves into Daisy Jones & The Six, the musical drama television miniseries developed by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, based on the 2019 novel of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Set in the Los Angeles music scene of the late 1970s, the series charts the rise and fall of the fictional titular rock band through a documentary style series of interviews with the members and footage of concerts and recording sessions, complete with vocals by series leads Riley Keough (as Daisy) and Sam Claflin (as Billy, founder of The Six). Throughout the episode hosts Michael Shields and Ryan O'Connell discuss the music that acted as the backbone of the season while expounding upon the success and failures of Daisy's adaptation to television. They tip their hat to the deeply affecting finale, profess their love for Daisy Jones & The Six's drummer, explore the possibility of a second season, and much, much more.
Episode 112: The Last of Us50:36This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal celebrates The Last of Us, the post-apocalyptic television series created by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann for HBO. Based on the 2013 video game developed by Naughty Dog, the series is set in 2023, twenty years into a pandemic, caused by a mass fungal infection which forces its hosts to transform into zombie-like creatures. The series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), a smuggler tasked with escorting the teenage Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a post-apocalyptic United States. In this episode hosts Michael Shields and Ryan O'Connell dissect the nine riveting episodes of the first season of The Last of Us while discussing the employment of video games as IP for television and film. They expound upon the phenomenon the show blossomed into (the most watched show in the history of HBO Max!), the triumphant year actor Pedro Pascal is immersed in, the 'Chekhov's Lie' that concluded the season, how special obtaining a book of jokes would be in a post apocalyptic world, and so much more.
Episode 111: The 95th Academy Awards & The Best Films of 202242:00This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal dissects the 95th Academy Awards to examine what the academy got right and what they got wrong while celebrating the magical moments that occured on stage amid Hollywood's biggest night. Listen in as hosts Michael Shields and River Jordan tip their hat to Everything Everywhere All At Once's dominant evening, bemoan Banshees of Inisherin's lack of award recognition, and ultimately, reveal their picks of their favorite films of 2022.
Episode 110: The Menu32:41This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal celebrates The Menu, the black comedy horror film directed by Mark Mylod, written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, based on an original story created by Tracy, and produced by Adam McKay, Betsy Koch and Will Ferrell. It features an ensemble cast that includes Ralph Fiennes as a celebrity chef with Hong Chau playing his assistant and Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Janet McTeer, Reed Birney, Judith Light, and John Leguizamo playing diners who attend his exclusive restaurant. In The Menu, a young couple travels to a remote island to eat at a swank restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises. This episode features a consummate breakdown of the film, wherein hosts Michael Shields and Douglas Grant discuss the bevy of recent films targeting the rich with satire while exploring the depth behind the multi-course meal that resides at the heart of the The Menu. They tip their chef's hat to the remarkable cast, the rich hilarity of the dark comedy found within The Menu, and much, much more.
Episode 109: The Banshees of Inisherin36:05In this episode of Welcome To The Party Pal, hosts Michael Shields and River Jordan dissect the Oscar-nominated film The Banshees of Inisherin which was directed, written, and co-produced by Martin McDonagh. Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, the film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two lifelong friends who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them. It reunites Farrell and Gleeson, who previously worked together on McDonagh's directorial debut, In Bruges (2008). The Banshees of Inisherin received nine nominations at the 95th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Farrell), Best Supporting Actor (Gleeson and Keoghan), Best Supporting Actress (Condon) and Best Original Screenplay. At the 80th Golden Globe Awards, it achieved three wins from eight nominations: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor – Musical or Comedy (Farrell), and Best Screenplay. So, join in on an episode celebrating easily one of the past year's best films.
Episode 108: White Lotus, Season 232:17This episode of Welcome To The Party celebrates the return of Mike White's Emmy-winning television series White Lotus which premiered its sophomore season this past October. The second season stars Jennifer Coolidge, Aubrey Plaza, Will Sharpe, Theo James, Michael Imperioli, among others. It recently won Golden Globe Awards for Best Limited or Anthology Series and Best Supporting Actress for Coolidge. In this episode hosts Michael Shields and Justin Wells attempt to explain the phenomenon of White Lotus and its far-reaching appeal. They discuss the themes of the show revolving around desire, power structures, and the transactional nature of relationships. They breakdown the complex character interconnectivity in the season, what might occur in the forthcoming third season, and of course, tip their hat to the absolutely banging theme song, and much, much more.