Being part of a family–a good, decent participating member–can be exhausting. Family can be a source of unfettered love but can also be a source of drama and frustration (not mine of course, if any of you are reading this). Last week’s podcasts showed how a family squabble can continue to burn 60 years after it was lit, how intimidating being a dad in the digital age can be, and how deciding to spend more time with your spouse may not always be an easy choice. Here are some of my favorite shows from the last week of podcasts.
Life of the Law: You may know the story of Jim Thorpe, all-world athlete, but did you know his story has continued well after his death? Last week’s Life of the Law podcast told the story of how Jim Thorpe’s body was taken in the middle of a funeral service and traded by his wife to a town in Pennsylvania in return for a lasting tribute to Thorpe. Over 60 years later, parts of Thorpe’s extended family and tribe (Thorpe was part of the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma) are still trying to get his remains returned to his birthplace. Reporter Rachel Proctor May spoke with some of Thorpe’s relatives and tribe members and discussed the little known law under which they’ve been trying to get the remains returned. You don’t have to be a lawyer to appreciate the truly unusual and sad story that continues to follow one of America’s greatest athletes well after his death.
The Bill Simmons Podcast: Bill Simmons sat down with TV and film writer, director and producer Judd Apatow on an episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast released last Wednesday. Simmons talked with Apatow about the perils of fame and why Apatow is now returning to standup comedy. Simmons and Apatow also swapped stories about raising girls in the age of Instagram and Snapchat, fighting the urge to declare “Kids these days!” Apatow also talked about some of his work in film and TV from the last three decades, including his work on The Larry Sanders Show, Freaks and Geeks, and his most recent movie, Trainwreck.
StartUp: The show that tells the behind-the-scenes stories of startup businesses returned last Thursday with a new mini-season revisiting its original subject: Gimlet Media. It’s now been over a year since Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber began Gimlet, a podcast network featuring shows like Reply All and Mystery Show, and things seem to be going well. So well, in fact, that Gimlet is expanding, and Blumberg is taking the opportunity to let listeners check in via StartUp. In the first episode of the new mini-season, Blumberg’s wife, Nazanin Rafsanjani, wrestles with the decision of whether to leave her job at MSNBC and come to work at Gimlet. Spoiler: she takes the leap, but the first day, as captured on audio by Blumberg, proved a little bumpy. The new mini-season should be a nice snack for StartUp listeners as the Gimlet team works on the production of its next full season, which Blumberg indicated should be out early next year.
TheGrill: Hollywood on the Hot Seat: Sharon Waxman, founder of the entertainment news website TheWrap, started a new podcast last week called TheGrill: Hollywood on the Hot Seat featuring conversations with artists and executives from the world of movies, music, TV and technology. TheWrap has hosted a conference called TheGrill for years, and Waxman is now bringing some of the conversations from that conference as well as other interviews to the podcast. The first guest on the podcast was Brian Grazer, who has produced decades worth of TV and movies including Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, Empire, Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. Grazer talked about his career and approach to producing, but perhaps most interestingly detailed how he got started in the entertainment business as a law clerk with no real connection to Hollywood other than delivering legal papers to actors and executives.