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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Muppets Most Wanted and the place of Jim Henson’s creations in today’s culture. Next, the gabbers turn to the Web series High Maintenance about a marijuana deliveryman in Brooklyn and the lives of his diverse clientele. And finally, in light of Jordan Weissmann’s recent Slate piece about the effects of e-commerce on gratuities, the critics talk tipping: Do we tip out of good will or a sense of obligation? And should you really tip your Starbucks baristas?
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- Dana’s review of Muppets Most Wanted on Slate
- Slate’s Spoiler special of Muppets Most Wanted with Dana and John
- The Muppets, the 2011 relaunch of the franchise
- The Great Muppet Caper
- Johnny Cash’s guest appearance on The Muppet Show in 1980
- Jim Henson’s Wilkins Coffee commercials
- Delbert, the La Choy Dragon, in the 1960s supermarket commercials
- Pixar’s Cars
- High Maintenance, a 13-episode Web series by Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld
- Portlandia on IFC
- Jordan Weissmann explores how e-payments might affect tipping on Slate
- Brian Palmer argues for abolishing the practice of tipping on Slate
- Starbucks’ new app, which lets you tip baristas using your phone.
- Saru Jayaraman writes at the Huffington Post about the effects of tipping on wages in the service industry.
John: “For Jared Remy, Leniency Was the Rule Until One Lethal Night,” a devastating article about the troubled son of the Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy by Eric Moskowitz of the Boston Globe.
Jessica: Smiley Face, an overlooked comedy by Gregg Araki, which features a star turn by Anna Faris.
Outro: James and Bobby Purify’s “I’m Your Puppet,” performed by Yo La Tengo.
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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman, with assistance from Lance Richardson.