Episode 184: “Who is America?” with “UnREAL” Creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

Episode 184

We’ve got a SUPERSIZED Pop Rocket for our first-ever Friday release, so strap yourselves in! This week, Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, and Margaret Wappler are joined by TV powerhouse Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, co-creator and executive producer of the Lifetime drama UnREAL. The crew discusses the good, the bad, and the ugly of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Showtime series Who Is America. Not unlike his previous series, Da Ali G Show, which aired on HBO in the early aughts, Cohen continues his controversial schtick of interviewing people in character while trying to get them to humiliate themselves all for our viewing pleasure. They draw the connections between Cohen’s comedy and Sarah’s show UnREAL. The fourth and final season of Unreal recently came out on Hulu.

Episode notes

We’ve got a SUPERSIZED Pop Rocket for our first-ever Friday release, so strap yourselves in! This week, Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, and Margaret Wappler are joined by TV powerhouse Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, co-creator and executive producer of the Lifetime drama UnREAL.
The crew discusses the good, the bad, and the ugly of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Showtime series Who Is America. Not unlike his previous series, Da Ali G Show, which aired on HBO in the early aughts, Cohen continues his controversial schtick of interviewing people in character while trying to get them to humiliate themselves all for our viewing pleasure. They draw the connections between Cohen’s comedy and Sarah’s show UnREAL. The fourth and final season of UnREAL recently came out on Hulu.

Jonathan Gold

First, the crew pays tribute to the late, great Los Angeles food critic Jonathan Gold. Gold was the city’s unofficial ambassador whose reviews propped up great restaurants on the verge of going out of business, gave a spotlight to forgotten histories, but more than anything taught Angelenos to be less afraid of their neighbors.

The Pop Rocket Seal of Approval

Two weeks ago Guy created the Pop Rocket Seal of Approval and quickly submitted its first nomination: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This week we had enough of a quorum to hold our first-ever vote. Guy, Margaret, and Karen each weigh in with the pros and cons of awarding this prestigious honor to The Rock, and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro comes in hot with her own opinions (but no voting rights). Will The Rock earn Pop Rocket’s first ever Seal of Approval? Find out!

With Guy Branum, Karen Tongson, Margaret Wappler, and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro.

That’s My Jam:

Margaret – Demi Lovato – Sober.

Karen – Lisa Loeb – Stay (I Missed You).

Sarah- Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No, I Got Life (Live).

Guy – Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey – The Middle .

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Produced by Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org. Edited by Shana Daloria.

In this episode...

Guests

  • Guy Branum
  • Karen Tongson
  • Margaret Wappler
  • Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

About the show

Pop Rocket is a high-octane weekly discussion of the culture we all love to love. Join host Guy Branum and panelists Wynter Mitchell, Karen Tongson, and Margaret Wappler for smart, funny, sometimes sweary chat about everything great in entertainment. Combining comic, journalistic, academic, and digital media expertise, the Pop Rocket team will keep you up-to-date on what’s most exciting in pop culture this week.

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