Arts

Television
2:16 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Amazon Gains Ground With Online-Only Shows

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Television
12:09 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

In 'Broad City,' Two Women Make Comedy From The 'Muck' Of New York Living

On Broad City, Abbi Jacobson (left) and Ilana Glazer play two single, 20-somethings living in New York City with dead-end jobs. They spend a lot of time hanging out, smoking weed and making each other laugh.
Walter Thompson Courtesy of Comedy Central

Comedy Central's television show Broad City has been compared to Girls and Sex and the City, but when co-creators, co-writers and co-stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer were creating the web series that ended up being a prototype of their TV show, they were actually channeling Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Wed January 14, 2015

The Daily Texture Of Life Becomes Art In 'The First Bad Man'

Stefanie Keenan Getty Images

Cheryl Glickman has an unflattering wardrobe and a permanent lump in her throat. She is in love with Philip, who offers her only a reference to his color therapist and text message updates about his affair with a teenager ("What would be the emoticon for Carry me to your penthouse and tend to me as a husband?" Cheryl wonders).

In the midst of her orderly solitude, Cheryl is forced to take in her bosses' bullish, beautiful daughter, Clee, a self-described misogynist whose voluptuousness and "aggressively blank expression" captivate Cheryl.

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Book Reviews
4:37 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Fact And Fiction Blur In Frustratingly Opaque 'Swarm'

It's easy enough to separate fiction from fact in the semi-autobiographical novel The Whispering Swarm. Fantasy grandmaster Michael Moorcock centers his latest dense, fevered story on Alsacia (also called the Sanctuary), a secret London enclave where historical figures mingle with literary ones.

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Book Reviews
2:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Book Review: 'Sympathy For The Devil' By Michael Mewshaw

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
2:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

'Girl On The Train' Is A Journey Into The Lives Of Familiar Strangers

Bart Sadowski iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:45 pm

If you have a long commute, you may have found yourself wondering about the familiar strangers you pass each day on the way to and from work — that woman on the bus who is always lost in thought, or that man in the second floor apartment.

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Monkey See
1:03 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Small Batch: The Golden Globes

NPR

Stephen Thompson and I meant to sit down together Monday to talk about Sunday's Golden Globes, but a few weather and other issues intervened, so we got cracking this morning, now that our delirious Golden Globe Fever has subsided. We touch on the wins for Transparent and Boyhood and give a quick review of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's hosting. But be aware: on this week's full episode of PCHH, we'll be doing a deep dive into Selma, so if you're wondering where that chatter is, we're working on it.

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Movie Interviews
12:49 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

The Magic Of The 'Boyhood' Experiment: Time And Patience

The cast of Boyhood — (from left) Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater, Ellar Coltrane and Ethan Hawke — won the Golden Globe for best motion picture on Sunday.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Actor Ethan Hawke calls Boyhood, which won best motion picture Sunday at the Golden Globes, an "experiment."

The fictional story takes place over the course of 12 years — and was shot over the course of 12 years. So without special makeup or prosthetics, audiences watch two children grow up and two adults age. Hawke plays Mason Sr., the children's father, and Patricia Arquette plays Olivia, the children's mother. They are divorced.

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Television
12:33 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

'Man Seeking Woman' Examines How It Feels To Be Single, Dating And Rejected

On Man Seeking Woman, Jay Baruchel plays Josh, who is getting used to dating again after a breakup.
Michael Gibson FXX

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 1:47 pm

Describing Man Seeking Woman, the new comedy series premiering Wednesday on the FXX cable network, isn't going to be easy.

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The Salt
12:27 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

How Do We Grow To Like The Foods We Once Hated?

Jasjit Kaur Singh, an Indian chef, cooks kaala channa, a traditional spicy Sikh dish. A psychologist says that children who grow up in cultures with lots of spicy food are taught to like spice early on.
Richard Lautens Toronto Star via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 12:43 pm

Why do some of us like to slather hot sauce or sprinkle chili powder onto our food, while others can't stand burning sensations in our mouth?

It probably has to do with how much we've been socially pressured or taught to eat chili, according to Paul Rozin, a cultural psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied attitudes toward food for decades.

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Monkey See
12:23 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

The 20 Greatest Things About This Amazing 'The Boy Next Door' Trailer

Jennifer Lopez in The Boy Next Door.
Suzanne Hanover Universal Pictures

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 2:43 pm

While at the movies this weekend, I saw what may be the funniest trailer of the year, albeit not on purpose. It is for the thriller The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez and opening Jan. 23. It called out to me. It wanted to be shown. It loves your mother's ... well, you'll see. Here are the 20 most awesome things in this trailer in chronological order.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Tue January 13, 2015

'Girl On The Train' Pays Homage To Hitchcock

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 12:58 pm

"They are a perfect, golden couple," Rachel Watson thinks, regarding handsome Jason and his striking wife, Jess. "He is dark-haired and well built, strong, protective, kind. He has a great laugh. She is one of those tiny bird-women, a beauty, pale-skinned with blond hair cropped short." Rachel, the main narrator of Paula Hawkins' novel The Girl on the Train, is obsessed with the pair; they represent to her the perfect relationship that she once had, or seemed to, before it imploded spectacularly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue January 13, 2015

There's Nothing Sketchy About This 'Outline'

Rachel Cusk is better known in England than in America; her sharply satirical books about the tolls of family life play better across the Atlantic than here in our often puritanical culture, with its bias towards domesticity. In her controversially bitter memoirs, including A Life's Work and Aftermath, and in piercing — but always beautifully written — novels like The Lucky Ones, Cusk has examined the difficulties of self-definition in the context of marriage, motherhood and family.

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

An Exhibit Offers A Different Angle On Life In Public Housing

Ephraim Benton, a former resident of Tompkins Houses in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, is now an actor. Benton started a community-based organization called Beyond Influencing Da Hood, which puts on health fairs, film festivals and various free community events in his old housing project. This photo was taken in front of his old building in Tompkins Houses.
Courtesy of Shino Yanagawa

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 4:44 pm

Life in public housing sometimes can be difficult, but it's also a lot like life anywhere — made up mostly of work, school, family and friends. Still, many who don't live in public housing have a negative image of those who do.

Two former residents are trying to change that.

Rico Washington is one of them. The 38-year-old with long dreadlocks and a neatly trimmed beard grew up in Kimberly Gardens public housing apartments in Laurel, Md. When he was younger he was embarrassed about where he lived, he says, and would have co-workers drop him off down the street.

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Remembrances
2:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

'La Dolce Vita' Star Dies At 83

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 4:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
12:57 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

A Few Caveats About The New World Of Television

Transparent creator Jill Soloway (second from left) with actors Jay Duplass, Jeffrey Tambor, and Judith Light. Soloway and Tambor won Golden Globes on Sunday, a first for Amazon.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 3:31 pm

Sunday night's Golden Globes honored television that feels different from what we had before in both content and business model. High honors went to, among others, House Of Cards, a Netflix drama starring an established movie actor; Transparent, an Amazon comedy-drama about a transgender woman with adult children; and Jane The Virgin, an offbeat CW show embracing the telenovela format and featuring a marvelous young lead who is also a woman of color.

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The Salt
12:56 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Sandwich Monday: The White Castle Veggie Slider

Let's talk about the creepy green stains on the slider sleeves.
NPR

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 8:13 am

White Castle is not a place you think of as a restaurant for vegetarians. In fact, early franchises built moats and had cauldrons of hot oil at the ready to keep vegetarians out. So, the new Veggie Slider comes as something of a surprise. It's a tiny veggie burger made with carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach and broccoli on a tiny bun, topped with honey mustard, ranch or Thai sauce.

Eva: Oh, did you get these from Beige With Weird Green Lumps Castle?

Miles: Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, Are Confused.

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Shots - Health News
12:07 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Why OCD Is 'Miserable': A Science Reporter's Obsession With Contracting HIV

David Adam is a writer and editor at the journal Nature and was a special correspondent at the Guardian, writing about science, medicine and the environment.
Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 8:58 am

If you have an obsessive but irrational fear, it would probably be pretty difficult for anyone to talk you out of it. Because irrational fears, by definition, aren't rational, which is one of the reasons having obsessive-compulsive disorder is such a nightmare.

For science reporter David Adam, he's obsessed with HIV.

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Monkey See
9:31 am
Mon January 12, 2015

What Those George Clooney Jokes Know About Red Carpet Culture

Actor George Clooney and his wife Amal looked pretty good on the red carpet.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

At Sunday night's Golden Globes, Tina Fey said this about the new wife of award recipient George Clooney: "Amal [Alamuddin] is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an advisor to Kofi Annan regarding Syria, and was selected for a three-person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight, her husband is getting a Lifetime Achievement Award."

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The Two-Way
5:06 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Big Wins For 'Transparent' Make It Clear: TV's Undergoing A Revolution

Tina Fey, Margaret Cho and Amy Poehler talk onstage during the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards. Fey and Poehler hosted the awards for the third (and, they say, final) time.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 9:25 am

Surrounded by his cast mates and the show's executive producer, Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor faced a crowd of journalists backstage at the Golden Globe awards Sunday, and made the case for why his win as best actor in a comedy meant more than a typical Hollywood honor.

"This is about changing people's lives," said Tambor, who won his award playing a 70-year-old coming out as transgender. Earlier, while accepting his award on national TV, he dedicated his award and performance to the transgender community.

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Author Interviews
3:11 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

Miranda July Balances Weirdness And Reality In Debut Novel

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 4:45 pm

Cheryl is odd — just a little off, somehow. She's obsessive, and delusional, living in a world that feels like reality twisted a few degrees off kilter.

So it may come as no great surprise that she's an invention of Miranda July, the screenwriter, actor, artist and writer who is famous for her quirky creations. Her movie Me and You and Everyone We Know — which July wrote, directed and starred in — won the 2005 Camera d'Or award. Her 2008 short story collection No One Belongs Here More Than You established her as a writer outside film.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:03 am
Sun January 11, 2015

Finding The Pieces To Form A New Nation

Sunday Puzzle
NPR

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 9:26 am

On-air challenge: It's another geographical puzzle this week. For each familiar two-word phrase and name, take one or more letters from the start of the first word plus one or more letters from the start of the second word. Read them in order from left to right to name a country.

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Author Interviews
5:50 am
Sun January 11, 2015

How To Revive The Worn Out Cliche

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 9:26 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Book News & Features
5:50 am
Sun January 11, 2015

This Weekend, Visit San Francisco's Famed Forbidden City In 'China Dolls'

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 9:26 am

The "Chop Suey Circuit" was the name given to vaudeville shows that starred all-Asian casts, popular from the 1930s through to the 1960s. One of the most famous venues was the Forbidden City club in San Francisco — which serves as the setting for Lisa See's novel China Dolls.

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Movie Interviews
5:49 am
Sun January 11, 2015

Ellar Coltrane, Taking Notes On Life And Girls For 'Boyhood'

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 9:26 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
5:49 am
Sun January 11, 2015

After Silence, An 'Outline' Of A Life In Fragments

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 9:26 am

What's left when a family falls apart? Rachel Cusk's new novel Outline explores that question, following a writer on a short summer teaching trip to Greece as she comes to terms with the dissolution of her marriage.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun January 11, 2015

'Golden Son' Is Space Opera That Doesn't Forget The Opera

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:23 pm

Pierce Brown wrote a book last year called Red Rising — the first in a proposed trilogy. In the press, it got compared to The Hunger Games (as pretty much every book with a teenaged protagonist and some dying in it does these days), to Ender's Game (as pretty much every science fiction book with a teenaged protagonist and some dying in it does) and Lord of the Flies (as pretty much every book with teenagers, dying and some artful turns of phrase does).

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The Salt
4:02 am
Sun January 11, 2015

'Tasty': How Flavor Helped Make Us Human

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," John McQuaid writes in his book Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:43 am

Our current cultural obsession with food is undeniable. But, while the advent of the foodie may be a 21st century phenomenon, from an evolutionary standpoint, flavor has long helped define who we are as a species, a new book argues.

In Tasty: the Art and Science of What We Eat, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John McQuaid offers a broad and deep exploration of the human relationship to flavor.

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," McQuaid writes.

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Television
3:36 am
Sun January 11, 2015

New Streaming Services Are Changing TV — And Viewers, Too

Actors Tituss Burgess and Ellie Kemper horse around on the set of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt while filming in New York in March. Tina Fey's new TV series was developed for NBC, but will air on Netflix instead.
Steve Sands GC Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:49 pm

When critics asked Tina Fey how her new series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt would be different now that it's airing on Netflix instead of NBC, she had quite the zinger ready.

"I think season two's gonna mostly be shower sex," Fey said during a press conference last week, drawing laughs. But she also had a point.

Fey's first series since 30 Rock was developed for her longtime TV home, NBC.

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Author Interviews
3:37 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

'Blood Of The Tiger': Shedding Light On China's Farmed-Tiger Trade

Joanne Stemberger iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 4:47 pm

In 1991, wildlife investigator J. A. Mills went to China to verify rumors about tiger farming. She worked undercover, for the World Wildlife Fund and an organization called Traffic.

"I mainly pretended I was a student of traditional Chinese medicine to try to figure out not only what was being traded, but why it was being traded," Mills tells NPR's Arun Rath.

She says she found China's first tiger farm — complete with a hand-written ledgers filling up with orders for tiger bone.

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