Zombies, Witches, and Talking Dolls (Ep. 162 - Passions)

This Week's Guest: Ira Madison

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Why is villainy so much fun? Whether it's cackling Emperor Palpatine or Joan Collins smirking smugly on Dynasty, bad guys invariably seem to be having such a good time ... and it can be hard to resist wanting to join them. My guest this week is Ira Madison, culture writer for The Daily Beast and co-host of the Keep It podcast. As a kid, he was quick to notice that the most fun part of his favorite soap operas were the over-the-top scene-chewing scoundrels. And during his time as a playwright in New York, he strove to give audiences experiences that were just as entertaining. Now, as a culture critic, he's approaching storytelling from the other side: searching for the most entertaining aspects of other creators' work.

By the way, the next Sewers of Paris livestream is coming up! Join us on Saturday, April 14th for another live chat with me and other Sewers listeners. The theme this time is animation. Can't wait to geek out with you about Steven Universe, Korra, and Bugs Bunny's drag career. We go live Saturday, April 14, at 2pm pacific.

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This Week's Recommendation: Theresa Chases Gwen

Thanks again to Ira for joining me and for pointing me in the direction of some deliciously dumb soap opera scenes. My recommendation this week is brief -- just thirty seconds. It's a clip from an episode of passions that you can find by searching YouTube for "Theresa Chases Gwen."

The clips takes place at a particularly tangled moment in a ridiculous plot, and for some reason the show decided that what was needed was for a character to suddenly and breathlessly recap the entire plot of the story arc, while in the middle of a chase scene, in one take and in under twenty seconds.

The result is a hilarious tongue-twister monologue of schemes and double-crosses, so ludicrous in its delivery that ... well, here, I'll just play the whole thing for you. 

I mean come ON. This poor actress, having to fit an entire scene's worth of words into a single breath and while sprinting across a set -- it's just a masterpiece of clowning. The intensity of the music, the desperation of her voice, the dire circumstances (which, even after watching the clip over a dozen times, I still cannot comprehend) are all so perfectly serious and perfectly stupid. 

Stuff We Talked About