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This week, the critics discuss the pilot episode of Transparent, an Amazon original series about an affluent Jewish family living in Los Angeles and struggling to deal with family secrets and the plight of their own privilege. Created by Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under, The United States of Tara) and starring Jeffrey Tambor, the show has inspired many to hail Amazon as the future of TV. Next, the gabbers turn to The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. In the tradition of La Dolce Vita, the film celebrates Rome’s architectural grandeur and luxuriates in the shallowness of its social elite. And finally, inspired by a piece from James Surowiecki of The New Yorker, the critics discuss the state of brand loyalty in the age of Yelp, TripAdvisor, and user reviews.
Here are links to some of the things we discussed this week:
- The pilot for Transparent, streaming on Amazon.
- Willa Paskin calls Transparent Amazon’s House of Cards on Slate.
- The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
- The United States of Tara, co-produced by Jill Soloway.
- Six Feet Under, co-written by Jill Soloway.
- The 86th Academy Award nominations.
- Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.
- Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist.
- Manohla Dargis’ rapturous New York Times review of The Great Beauty.
- Beppe Severgnini’s New York Times op-ed about Italy’s unexpected response to the film.
- James Surowiecki writes in The New Yorker’s Financial Page about the end of brand loyalty.
Dana: Shorpy.com, a historical photo website that never fails to attribute its images.
Julia: The 1990s club anthem “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Real, brought to mind by her children’s tinny Fisher Price toy.
Outro: “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Real.
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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.