Note: The first episode shown during the Fourth Quarter 2022 was a rerun of #934 on September 19, 2022.
Episode #936: On A Stick
First Broadcast: 9/26/22
Did you visit this year's San Gennaro festival? Is New York City "back" (and has it ever left)? Are you back in the office? Are you still using the subway? You know Covid is still out there, right? Are you a Covid "super dodger"? How badly did the U.S. botch its Covid response? Have you gotten your Covid bivalent booster yet? Is everyone just fed up with Covid? I'm sure these aren't the only questions addressed in this episode, but I can't remember any others at the moment...
Episode #937: It's A Puzzle
First Broadcast: 10/3/22
The 2022 San Gennaro festival may be history, but you can still visit Little Italy whenever you want. Have you been curious about the many imported sodas that are for sale in the city now? Mexican Coca-Cola is certainly worth recommending, and "Thums Up" is another (and its story is a fun one). Too bad we don't have Dublin Dr Pepper anymore, but that's a whole other story. Was President Biden right when he said "the pandemic is over"? Are COVID rates tolerable in New York City and the rest of the nation? Have you gotten your bivalent booster shot yet? Don't let me stop you!
Episode #938: Back Due Bills
First Broadcast: 10/10/22
Florida is still cleaning up from the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in that state mere weeks before the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy's damages to New York City in 2012. New Yorkers might remember how Republicans back then voted against giving disaster aid to New York and other mostly Democratic states, but Republicans are always willing to ask for disaster relief when hurricanes strike their own states, aren't they? And yet, every Republican member of Congress from Florida voted against disaster relief for those affected by Hurricane Ian--except for Senator Mark Rubio, who didn't show up for his vote. What makes them such masochists? Is it the same impulse that makes them want to end Social Security, or restrict what kinds of food people on public assistance can buy? Is it the same philosophy that would make them prefer to see 100 innocent people go to prison than let one guilty person go free? Is it related to the hypocrisy of libertarians who are anti-choice? Does the dark side of libertarianism get discussed enough? How pissed off is Generation Z at Baby Boomers for not doing enough to prevent Earth from becoming uninhabitable for people in the future? Will there be any future left to retire in? Will New York City have a sea wall built in time for the next superstorm? Are there just too many people who don't care about others' suffering? I clearly have too many questions and not enough episode!
Episode #939: Every Edit Is A Lie
First Broadcast: 10/17/22
This week, we talk about the late Jean-Luc Godard, who directed one of the best films of the French New Wave, and probably all time, Breathless, as well as many other noteworthy films such as Alphaville, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, A Woman Is A Woman, and Weekend, to name a few. His contributions to cinema were perhaps immeasurable, considering how influential he was, but we do out best to describe his impact anyway, and question whether anyone else with a camera today will ever become as innovative as he was with much more primitive instruments. I suppose we'll all just have to wait and find out, but in the meantime we urge you to look at some of those films above to see just exactly what kind of legacy Godard left behind for everyone to live up to (or not, as the case may be).
Episode #940: You Know and I Know
First Broadcast: 10/24/22
After reminiscing about Bill the Cat and his 1984 Presidential campaign, we talk about the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law TV series, and how we can't understand the misogynists who dislike the show's breaking of the 4th wall, especially since that's been a hallmark of both the original She-Hulk comics and Marvel in general for decades. The concept in general goes back even further--George Burns and Gracie Allen practically made a career out of it on their TV show. Do you ever think about who gets to decide on your name? Or the pitfalls of amateur criticism and the death of educated critiques? Well, maybe now you might!
Episode #941: Future Results
First Broadcast: 11/7/22
By the time you see this episode, early voting will have ended in New York State for the 2022 General Election, but you can still vote on Election Day! I know people say every year that elections matter, but this year they might matter more than most because there are way too many people in this country who would be happy to make all future elections irrelevant and end democracy altogether. Election deniers who keep insisting that the 2020 Presidential election was "stolen"--against all the mountains of evidence that it wasn't--and "Q" believers (whose ideology isn't far removed from Nazism) shouldn't be allowed anywhere near public office, and the fact that the Republican party has embraced so many of them should be a danger sign for anyone who wants the American experiment to continue. In fact, don't let Nazis in your bar either, because you don't want it turning into a Nazi bar, do you? It all makes me wonder just how much Republicans want to roll back all the progress this country has made so far. Is back to before Obama enough for them? Or do they want to go back before Clinton? Before the gay rights, women's rights, and civil rights movements? Before Brown v. Board of Education? Before the New Deal? Before Reconstruction? Before the Civil War? Back to the Articles of Confederation, maybe? Maybe now is a good time to remember that progress doesn't always move in a straight line forward; it often goes backward for a while before people start moving forward again. Let's hope we can stop ourselves from moving any further back than we have already.
Episode #942: Weird Turn
First Broadcast: 11/21/22
How many "Classic NYC restaurants" have you been to? What is a restaurant, exactly? How about that Nathan's in Coney Island? Does anyone else remember the guy who sold grilled hot dogs outside the Stock Exchange? How do hot dog carts cook hot dogs? Do you have to worry about the "triple-demic"? What is RSV? How is the flu this year? Why is the flu less deadly now than it was in 1918? Did you forget that COVID is still here? Have you gotten your COVID bivalent booster shot yet? Did you travel during the pandemic? Are you traveling now? Has your travel been delayed because of... everything? Have you visited the lounge at the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport? Are you affected by the turkey shortage of 2022? Do we still need to worry about bird flu? Does bird flu affect vultures? [Yes, it can kill them. -- Chris F.] I had a lot on my mind this week--clearly!
Episode #943: A Fine Gray
First Broadcast: 12/5/22
This week, we discuss Wednesday, the TV series that debuted on Netflix on November 23, 2022, based on the character of Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family TV series of the 1960s and the similarly-titled movies of the 1990s, all of which were based on the comics drawn by Charles Addams for The New Yorker magazine from the 1930s to the 1960s. We talk about the new show's relationship to all the other Addams Family incarnations, as well as its relation to Tim Burton's works, horror works in general, and the long shadow cast by Christina Ricci on the role of Wednesday, among other things. Despite some of the lackluster reviews, camerawoman Kim and I both liked the show, and wouldn't mind seeing a second season of it in the future. Feel free to watch it and form your own opinions! There's room for everyone!