John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.



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#48: Slim Pickings in the Terrarium

March 23rd, 2017 · 151 minutes

Merlin gets his time in the barrel as John disabuses him of his self-styled situation as "the dumb one." Merlin tries gamely to change the subject to how status works in improv, but finds his knife further sharpened in the bargain.

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Download: MP3 (139.35 MB)

Links and Show Notes

This week kicks off with John talking about the new Zelda game alongside thoughts on what it takes to keep a franchise great.

In follow-up, John addresses online angst and agita about the recent discussion of Arrival.

Your hosts reluctantly accept that their college friends may no longer be 19.

At 1:17:17, we turn to the Spoiler Slot, featuring that long-teased discussion of the whackadoo Netflix series, The OA (as well as passing references to Sound of My Voice).

Then (then!), at 2:11:15, we have an unprecedented second Spoiler Slot for follow-up forensic analysis of Arrival.

(Episode recorded Tuesday, March 14, 2017)

Mr. Show - "Pre-Taped Call-In Show"
The OA (TV Series 2016– ) - IMDb

Having gone missing seven years ago, the previously blind Prairie returns home, now in her 20s with her sight restored. While many believe she is a miracle, others worry that she could be dangerous.

The OA - Wikipedia

The OA received generally favorable critical reception, although reviews ranged from highly positive to highly negative, with several reviewers drawing both favorable and unfavorable comparisons with Stranger Things, another science fiction series that debuted on Netflix earlier in the year.

Decoding the Clues in Netflix’s Mind-Boggling New Series 'The OA' - The Atlantic

This article contains spoilers through all eight episodes of The OA.

‘The OA’: Producers Explain Netflix’s Mysterious New Drama | Variety

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read until you’ve watched all eight episodes of “The OA,” which debuted today on Netflix.

Review: The Cryptic Sparkles in ‘The OA.’ Reality Disappoints. - The New York Times

Television loves a mystery box lately — puzzle series like “Westworld” and “Mr. Robot ” — and with the sudden announcement of “The OA” just days before its premiere on Friday, Netflix dropped one on our doorstep, rang the doorbell and ran.

Dead Man Walking (film) - Wikipedia
Becky (It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge) | Simpsons Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia
The Dirty Dozen (1967) - IMDb
Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre: Keith Johnstone: 9780878301171: Books
The Status Transaction | People-triggers

When we talk about status “transactions”, we are essentially talking about social dominance and submission.  The terms “status hierarchy” and “submission hierarchy” could be used interchangeably.  This idea presupposes a couple of assumptions based in evolution science, for example:

L'esprit de l'escalier - Wikipedia
200 - Stewart Lee — The Comedian's Comedian Podcast — Overcast

One of the most iconoclastic, pioneering and influential comedians in Britain, Stewart Lee has forged his post-punk ideals into a thrillingly funny live act, with the very form at his fingertips. We explore the deliberately uncomfortable tension between the man and the stage persona

Eric Heisserer Interview, The Arrival - MoviesOnline