18-35 Segment 2: How One Couple Confronted a Mental Health Crisis

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One morning without warning, Giulia Lukach experienced a psychotic break. We talk to her husband Mark about Gulia’s journey, his own experience as a caregiver, and how they overcame three stints in a psych ward.

Guest:

  • Mark Lukach, author, My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

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Culture Crash 18-35: TV Revivals

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

In recent years, you’ve probably noticed a boom in TV revivals- old series brought back for new episodes. Fans of Gilmore Girls, Prison Break, Will and Grace, and more have all been gifted with new seasons and with reboots of Murphy Brown, Veronica Mars, and others in the works, this isn’t a trend that seems to be going anywhere.

Unfortunately, though, after a lot of hype, most revivals seem to fall flat. Gilmore Girls, NBC’s Heroes and even 24 have all made revivals that disappointed much of their core audience.

Probably the best example of a revival that worked- one that fans and critics alike raved over- was last year’s Twin Peaks revival on Showtime. That event series was deemed by many to be one of the best shows of 2017. And its success is largely because David Lynch and the Twin Peaks writing staff didn’t try to recreate the original show. They didn’t use old moments as a crutch, they didn’t give into fan-service, they just continued the story in the modern age. They struck a similar tone and ran with it.

Doing the opposite- giving in to fan service, can be an attractive temptation. Writers and creators can often feel lucky to have the opportunity to make more of their old project, and simply want to tie things up with a nice, neat bow. Everyone looks older, the will they or won’t they couples get back together, and they sign off. Hopefully, though, the Twin Peaks revival gave TV writers a new template- to give their characters new questions to answer and new struggles to grapple with. That can make our revival boom worth all the hype.

I’m Evan Rook. 

18-34 Segment 1: Orbiting the Moon: The Mission of Apollo 8

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Though Apollo 11 gets all the fame and Apollo 13 was made into a thrilling Ron Howard movie, author and historian Jeffrey Kluger says the Apollo 8 mission was a foundational trip for American space exploration. He takes us through the mission and examines what it meant for NASA moving forward.

Guest:

  • Jeffrey Kluger, author, Apollo 8: The thrilling story of the first mission to the moon

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18-34 Segment 2: Racial Segregation in ‘Sundown Towns’

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We’ve all heard stories of segregated America circa the 1950’s, but historian and author James W. Loewen says not all of those racist institutions have been completely eliminated, even now. Loewen explains ‘sundown towns,’ towns where minorities were not welcomed after sundown, and he says some of them are still unofficially ‘sundown’ due to their lasting reputations.

Guest:

  • James W. Loewen, author, Sundown Towns: A hidden dimension of American racism

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Culture Crash 18-34: The Joys of ‘Junk Food TV’

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

When people talk about television, there’s generally a skew toward prestige TV. We discuss the achievements of Breaking Bad, LOST and Orange is the New Black, we marveled at the talent of Sterling K. Brown and Elisabeth Moss… and deservedly so! Those shows and actors are incredible and they have entertained many of us for hours on end with their high concepts and thoughtfulness. But there’s another brand of TV that’s easy to overlook, what I call junk food TV. In this comparison, those prestige shows are your nice dinners out: they’re prepared with care by professionals. This junk food TV is what you reach for when you just need something easy and fast and delicious.

For me, it’s MTV’s The Challenge. I’ve watched it for years- I know the running resentments and simmering dramas. I enjoy the athletic challenges, the backstabbing of the votes. It’s pure entertainment. For others, this is the role that Riverdale, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, or heck, even Family Feud hold.

Lately, my wife has come home and decompressed from hectic days by watching Nailed It on Netflix. Nailed It is a show where home bakers try imitating complicated recipes made by professionals, who make decadent desserts look easy. They typically fail spectacularly, and everyone has fun laughing and commiserating with each other. It’s fun, it’s light, it’s enjoyable.

Not every day can be a day when I feel up to the emotional weight of watching an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale or The Leftovers. Sometimes, I need to relax by flipping on The Challenge and watching 30-somethings try to race across platforms 20 feet over water and then vote their friends into elimination challenges. That’s just the way it is.

Junk food TV rarely wins awards or gets celebrated, but sometimes it’s what allows us to relax on a Tuesday night, and that’s worth appreciating.

I’m Evan Rook. 

18-33 Segment 1: Modern American Immigration

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When people discuss “the immigrant narrative,” you may picture Ellis Island. But what is that process like today? We talk to two writers about the more modern immigrant journey.

Guests:

  • Daniel Connolly, journalist and author, The Book of Isaias: A Child of Immigrants Seeks His Own America
  • Shilpi Somaya Gowda, author, The Golden Son

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18-33 Segment 2: Seeking the Origins of Creativity

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We grow up with visions of creative genius: the divine power to create stories from whole cloth and write symphonic masterpieces. But is that how it really works? We look at the creative process, and why it may not be as romantic as some of us imagine.

Guest:

  • Allen Gannet, CEO of TrackMaven and author, The Creative Curve: How to realistically cultivate creativity

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