We are wrapping up season one of The AV Club Hosted by John Teti this week, and as expected, I’m feeling a whole box of assorted feelings. As I reflect back on 30 weeks of working on this project, the first word that comes to mind is gratitude. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with some of the most creative and talented people in the Western Hemisphere, to write about pop culture every day, vehemently defend Porgs, and work the best job I could have asked for. During my commute to work yesterday, I took some time to reflect on some of my favorite show moments.
13 Reasons Why Teen Panel
We knew that we had to respond to the mega-phenomenon that was Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, but didn’t want to do it in the same way that everyone else was doing it. So instead of offering our stale, salty, adult opinions about
the YA hit, we invited a panel of teens to tell us their take. It was so illuminating to hear young adults explain why the show resonated with them, what rubbed up against them, and hear them respond to John’s tough questions. It’s so easy to forget what it felt like to be in high school and so easy to become a preachy “save the children” type adult. Every time we had a guest on who works with Generation Z in some capacity, they all said the same thing: “This generation is going to save the world.” Having the teens on the panel was a small glimpse into the enormous amount of compassion many young people are developing in response to a world that is seemingly growing crueler by the day.
John Teti on Atlanta
On the Black TV Renaissance episode of The AV Club, John took a very close look at one of my favorite
shows, Atlanta. On this segment of “Four Eyes,” John did what I like to call a “closed reading” of specific
scenes that exemplify the themes and point of view of this surreal drama-comedy. When a great piece of art like
Atlanta comes along, it’s really nice to take a closer look and deep dive into the individual choices that make it significant.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Does Splits
Neil deGrasse Tyson came to the set for a guest interview for the Young Adult episode. Of course, he blew all of our minds when he talked about the cosmos and provoked a midday existential crises in all of us. But Neil deGrasse Tyson is more than your run of the mill average genius. He is also a space genius who is incredibly flexible. Tyson shared some memories from his teen years back when he was an avid dancer. And then—my sweet lord, and then—he hooked his arm underneath his leg and pulled it up into a sort of seated split that actually split my brain in half. It was one of those really unexpected, beautiful, rare moments that you can only get when you shoot live unscripted television.
Rhymefest Tells Us What Chicago Sounds Like
I think we all expected for Rhymefest, the Grammy award-winning producer, philanthropist, and childhood friend of Kanye West, to be a great interview. But I do not lie when I tell you that I would listen to that man talk about sand for three days if that’s what he wanted to do. Everything he had to say was so insightful and thoughtful. He oozes with affection for our beloved Chicago and speaks from his heart. Rhymefest gave a beautiful description of what sounds embody Chicago music that made me very proud to call this icebox my home.
Who’s Wearing A Wig?
“Who’s Wearing A Wig?” started out as a joke that my friend Fran pitched for our timely headlines when she was working on the show. John and Fran played “Who’s Wearing A Wig?” a simple game of guessing who was wearing a wig in the trailer for Murder On The Orient Express. It was a very fun wacky part of the headlines, and I literally play “Who’s Wearing A Wig?” when I watch anything now. I’m serious, just ask my boyfriend if I whispered “Wig” in his ear five times during Mother. Actually, on second thought, just take my word for it.