Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: The AV Club, Dan Deacon, Downton Abbey and Chris Lilley

Hugh Bonneville
Dan Stevens
Joanne Froggatt
Chris Lilley
Dan Deacon
Tasha Robinson
Josh Modell

This week! The AV Club: Tasha Robinson and Josh Modell of The AV Club join us to recommend the thriller Contagion, out on DVD, and Daniel Handler's new novel Why We Broke Up. (Embed or share)

Dan Deacon with "The Song That Changed My Life": Baltimore-based musician Dan Deacon talks about why a player piano composition by Conlon Nancarrow changed his life and the way he made music. (Embed or share)

Downton Abbey: Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens and Joanne Froggatt from the totally unstuffy costume drama Downton Abbey talk about the peerage system, upstairs and downstairs love affairs that make us swoon, and the show's bridge between the old customs and modernity. The second season of the show begins airing January 8th on PBS's Masterpiece. (Embed or share)

Chris Lilley, Creator of Angry Boys: Chris Lilley, the very funny Australian comedian and showrunner, talks about his new series Angry Boys. The show pushes boundaries with his faux-documentary of characters in different stages of life and scenes of adolescent torment. Lilley plays six characters, both male and female and occasionally side by side, in sort of a natural continuation of his work in the acclaimed show Summer Heights High. You can catch Angry Boys on HBO on Sunday nights. (Embed or share)

The Outshot: And we close with The Outshot -- Jesse's pick for this week, the anthem "F--- 'Em" from Bay Area rapper E-40. (Embed or share)

You can subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the RSS feed -- stay tuned for next week's Bullseye!


Discreet charms of the British aristocracy

Jesse, thanks for the interview with some of the Downton Abbey cast. It was fun to listen to. I am a fan of this show on PBS and look forward to the 2nd season.

Why didn't you discuss more the historical context for the drama? I think you missed an opportunity to set your interview apart from several other interviews the Downton Abbey cast has done in recent weeks promoting the 2nd season. The period of the show is immediately following the British empire's peak of power and influence. The characters in the drama afford to live lives of honor, nobility, and leisure because, to a large extent, they are the beneficiaries of Britain colonizing the Indian subcontinent, in addition to de facto colonizing Persia (now Iran). For decades during this period, most of the natural resources and wealth of these countries flowed into British coffers.

As much as I enjoy watching the nobility of the British aristocracy, something in me is bothered when I consider that all his opulence and leisurely lifestyle was made possible by inflicting much suffering and economic dislocation on the peoples of what are today India, Pakistan, Iran, etc. The Picture of Dorian Gray, which came out in 1890, is an apt metaphor for the ugliness that lies beneath much that is beautiful in British society in that period. As Americans, we should be especially wary of being overly captivated by the discreet charms of British aristocracy.

Neil Fazel

Downton Abbey stuff from the PBS Press Tour:

Phil Piga passes along:

In case you missed it a moment ago before the PBS Press Tour B-52's concert, here's the new 2-min. Masterpiece "Downton Abbey" #downtonpbs fan reel:


--Todd Mason

Full episodes vs bite-size content

Congratulations on the relaunch and partnershipping and all that whatnot, Jesse. Assuming that you're making the Soundcloud excerpts stream-only to try and drive punters to the full episodes:

1) is this in order to boost numbers/new listeners for the opening episodes, and not intended to remain permanent after the flurry of publicity, or once you've seen if it can boost PRI subscriber stations?
2) if so, you might want to put a link on each segment to the Bullseye tag, source episode or feed! :)
3) if it's not super-deliberately on-purpose, count this as one former a la carte TSOYA listener who would enjoy continuing to take content-specific pieces on the bus without swiping through parts of episodes.

(If this comment is too behind-the-scenes fiddly, or listener-entitled, please delete with happy impunity!)