Share

cover art for Episode 105: The Fabelmans

Welcome To The Party Pal: The Mind-Bending Film & Television Podcast You Didn't Know You Needed!

Episode 105: The Fabelmans

This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal pays tribute to The Fabelmans, the coming-of-age drama directed by Steven Spielberg and written and produced by Tony Kushner and Spielberg. It is a semi-autobiographical story based on Spielberg's adolescence and first years as a filmmaker, told through an original story of the fictional Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker who explores how the power of films can help him see the truth about his dysfunctional family and those around him. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy, with Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch in supporting roles. The film is dedicated to the memories of Spielberg's real-life parents Leah Adler and Arnold Spielberg, who died in 2017 and 2020, respectively. In this episode hosts Michael Shields and Mitch Lucas marvel at Spielberg's latest while exploring the themes present in the The Fabelmans. They discuss how the movie speaks to the power and beauty of film as they celebrate the tremendous performances found in the film. Ultimately, this episode serves as a tribute to one of the greatest storytellers in the history of filmmaking.


More episodes

View all episodes

  • Episode 134: Ripley

    35:45
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal journeys to Italy to celebrate Netflix's Ripley, the neo-noir psychological thriller television series created, written, and directed by Steven Zaillian, based on Patricia Highsmith's 1955 crime novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. Starring Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley, with Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood and Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf, the eight-episode limited series is the first adaptation of Highsmith's novel to a series. Join in as hosts Michael Shields and Ryan O'Connell tip their hat to Robert Elswit's stunning cinematography, the showrunners decision to shoot entirely in black & white, and Andrew Scott's gripping performance, all while attempting to answer the question: Is Tom Ripley a good hang? 
  • Episode 133: Fall Guy & American Dreamer

    33:26
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal breaks from its normal singular-focused episodes and dives deeply into not one, but two films. First up (6:06) is the action-comedy blockbuster Fall Guy, directed by David Leitch and written by Drew Pearce, loosely based on the 1980s TV series. The plot follows a stuntman (Ryan Gosling) working on his ex-girlfriend's (Emily Blunt) directorial debut action film, only to find himself involved in a conspiracy surrounding the film's lead actor (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). The cast also features Hannah Waddingham, Teresa Palmer, Stephanie Hsu, and Winston Duke. That is followed (13:36) by an examination of the weighty themes and cunning black comedy of American Dreamer, a film directed by Paul Dektor (in his feature debut) and written by Theodore Melfi. Based on a segment from the radio show This American Life, it stars Peter Dinklage as a professor who tries to buy the estate of a lonely widow played by Shirley MacLaine. Kim Quinn, Danny Pudi, Danny Glover, and Matt Dillon also star. Join in as hosts Michael Shields and River Jordan talk two very different, but extremely entertaining, films.River Jordan is the author of four novels and three works of creative nonfiction. She holds an MFA from Seattle Pacific University and her work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, NPR’s Book Talk, the Southern Literary Review, and Radix Magazine among others. When not working on her new novel, A Muddy Grace she can be found bartending at, God on the Rocks, a virtual blues and jazz bar located in the City by the Bay where she has soulful conversations great humans talking about the things they love.  
  • Episode 132: The Nicolas Cage Episode

    01:07:07
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal pays tribute to one of the most enigmatic actors in the history of cinema, Nicolas Cage, through an interview with the author of How Coppola Became Cage, Zach Schonfeld. In this episode, a simulcast production with our sister podcast Across The Margin : The Podcast, the genius of one of the most misunderstood and gifted actors of all time is explored in-depth.Zach Schonfeld is a freelance writer, journalist, and critic based in New York. He contributes to Pitchfork, Paste Magazine, and other publications. He was formerly a senior writer for Newsweek, where he was on staff for five years. His first book, 24-Carat Black's Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth, was published in 2020 as part of the 33 1/3 series and his latest book, entitled How Coppola Became Cage, is the focus of this episode.
  • Episode 131: Shōgun, Part Two

    36:30
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal once again celebrates Shōgun, the historical drama television miniseries created by Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks. It is based on the 1975 novel by James Clavell, which was previously adapted into a 1980 miniseries. Join in as hosts Michael Shields and Douglas Grant examine how faithful FX's adaption was to James Clavell's books while digging into the overall appeal of the show which has blossomed into a massive hit.
  • Episode 130: Shōgun

    42:12
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal celebrates Shōgun, the historical drama television miniseries created by Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks. It is based on the 1975 novel by James Clavell, which was previously adapted into a 1980 miniseries. Shōgun's ensemble cast is tremendous, and the series has received praise from critics and fans alike. Shōgun follows the collision of two ambitious men from different worlds, John Blackthorne, a risk-taking English sailor who ends up shipwrecked in Japan, a land whose unfamiliar culture will ultimately redefine him; Lord Toranaga, a shrewd, powerful daimyo, at odds with his own dangerous, political rivals; and Lady Mariko, a woman with invaluable skills but dishonorable family ties, who must prove her value and allegiance. In this episode hosts Michael Shields and Ryan O'Connell delve into just why Shōgun is easily one of the best shows if 2024 thus far.
  • Episode 129: The 96th Academy Awards

    29:25
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal breaks down the The 96th Academy Awards ceremony, which was presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and took place on March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. In this episode hosts Michael Shields and River Jordan exclaim over Oppenheimer's dominance, Poor Thing's impressive showing, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph's intoxication spirit while recounting the most heartwarming and hilarious moments of this year's extremely entertaining Oscar ceremony.
  • Episode 128: The Year in Film, 2023

    48:16
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal, in the lead up to The 96th Academy Awards, takes stock of the cinematic offerings of 2023 and celebrates another outstanding year of movies. Join in as hosts Michael Shields and River Jordan tip their hats to prestige movies such as Killers of The Flower Moon, Oppenheimer, The Holdovers, Poor Things, Past Lives, and American Fiction — while also lauding exciting popcorn-adventure films such as Guardians of The Galaxy 3, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Godzilla Minus One, and more!
  • Episode 127: True Detective, Night Country

    39:03
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal delves deeply into True Detective :Night Country, the fourth season of True Detective, the anthology crime drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. The season is set in the fictional town of Ennis, Alaska, and follows the investigation behind the disappearance of eight men from a research station. The season stars Jodie Foster and Kali Reis as Detectives Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro. Night Country was created by Issa López, who serves as showrunner, writer, and director. It is the first season without the involvement of Pizzolatto; however, he is still credited as an executive producer. Join in as hosts Michael Shields and Ryan O'Connell break down one of the most polarizing and most watched seasons of True Detective yet. 
  • Episode 126: Fargo, Season 5

    52:17
    This episode of Welcome To The Party Pal celebrates the fifth season of Fargo, the anthology dark comedy–crime drama television series created by Noah Hawley. The enthralling season is set in Minnesota and North Dakota in the fall of 2019. It stars Juno Temple as Dorothy "Dot" Lyon, a seemingly typical Midwestern housewife living in Scandia, Minnesota, whose mysterious past comes back to haunt her after she lands in hot water with the authorities. Jon Hamm also stars as menacing North Dakota Sheriff Roy Tillman, who has been searching for Dot for many years. Other cast members include Jennifer Jason Leigh as Dot's wealthy and conservative mother-in-law Lorraine Lyon, David Rysdale as Dot's innocent, loving husband, Joe Keery as Roy's loyal son Gator, Lamorne Morris as Deputy Witt Farr, and Sam Spruell as the mysterious drifter Ole Munch.