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The Nose

Open Road Films, LLC

The biggest surprise about Oliver Stone's Snowden is probably how controversial it isn't. Which isn't to say that it isn't somewhat controversial -- anything about Edward Snowden is bound to be somewhat controversial. But for an Oliver Stone conspiracy thriller, The Nose finds Snowden to be pretty tame.

Tony Alter / flickr creative commons

Normally by Friday morning we've got the first one or two topics for The Nose ironed out, and we maybe spend some time hashing out what the third and fourth might be.

Not this week.

FX Networks

Barbra Streisand's new album dropped two weeks ago. It's an album of duets with . . . actors. Babs and her famous friends sing . . . show tunes. To my mind, that's the makings of a pretty huge disaster (or even a completely ignored disaster). Instead, Streisand's Encore: Movie Friends Sing Broadway is the number one album in the country.

Anne Hudson / The Ivoryton Playhouse

After a four-year gestation period, and more than a year's worth of delays, Frank Ocean's second studio album dropped last weekend. There are two different versions of the album: a physical version that was only available in pop-up shops in four cities last Saturday and the currently iTunes-exclusive digital version. The album is called Blonde, but the cover says "Blond." And there's a separate, different video album, Endless, that was released last Friday. It's all very complicated. The Nose gets into it.

CaseyPenk / Wikimedia Commons

Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" came to its hasty conclusion last night, still more than two months before the election. Gawker will shut down next week. And as of next Tuesday, NPR's website will no longer have comments sections.

Brian Williams, on the other hand, is getting a new show on MSNBC. And Jonah Lehrer's got a new book out.

Netflix

Start with four parts "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial." That's your base. Then you'll need two parts "The Goonies," two parts "Poltergeist," and two parts "Alien." Mix in one part each of "It," "Stand by Me," "Firestarter," "Explorers," "Carrie," and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Add a Winona Ryder-shaped dollop of "Beetlejuice," and top off with a dash of the covers of classic '70s and '80s horror novels.

That's the recipe for the newish Netflix series "Stranger Things."

Craig Blankenhorn / HBO

HBO's new limited series "The Night Of" is, we're pretty sure, the first psoriasis noir masterpiece.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

In January 2015, when it was announced that a planned new Ghostbusters movie would feature four female leads, internet fanbros went crazy. And then, this March, when the first Ghostbusters trailer came out, the internet fanbros went crazy all over again.

And now the movie is finally out. (And guess what the internet fanbros did.)

Sadie Hernandez / flickr creative commons

As you may have heard, Pokemon is back (are back?) with the release last week of a new game. Pokemon Go is an augmented reality app that, through the magic of GPS on your phone, adds Pokemon to your surroundings, or, at least, to your surroundings as represented on your phone's screen, so that you can catch them.

Warner Bros.

There's a new entry in the long, long canon of Tarzan stories and adaptations and shows and movies and musicals and Happy Meals toys or whatever. This time around, True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård stars as the bare-chested, animal-whispering titular character. The Nose went to see "The Legend of Tarzan," and we can't help but recognize its troubles of race and unending violence in this week's news.

Muffinn / Creative Commons

The British voted to leave the European Union yesterday. Let that sink in for a minute. This decision will likely cause geopolitical and economic turmoil and uncertainty for years to come as the world negotiates how to separate Britain from our global economy.

Chion Wolf / WNPR file photo

I swear we almost never pick the Nose panelists based on the topics we plan to discuss. (We barely ever even plan in the first place, to be honest.) I asked Mr. Dankosky -- former Vice President of News for WNPR, current Executive Editor of the New England News Collaborative -- weeks ago to make his Nose debut this Friday.

Carlos Duplessis / flickr creative commons

New York magazine's Will Leitch has called ESPN's new documentary "O.J.: Made in America" a masterpiece, and he thinks it'll be "the only thing this country's going to be talking about" as it airs next week. The Nose has already seen it, and it's all we're going to be talking about this week.

Concord Music Group

Paul Simon's 13th solo studio album, Stranger to Stranger, is out on Friday. It has apparently been gestating for going on four years, and it's full of Harry Partch's microtonal instruments like cloud chamber bowls and the chromelodeon. Dean Drummond's zoomoozophome even makes an appearance. At the same time, the album is pretty rockin' and fun.

Netflix

Comedian Maria Bamford's new Netflix single-camera sitcom, "Lady Dynamite," premiered last Friday. And it's... odd. It's surreal. It's sad. It's a comedy that's very much about mental illness and loneliness and anxiety. And it's a comedy that's very much about itself too.

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

The Rio 2016 Olympics are set to start in less than three months’ time. But Brazil’s Zika outbreak is worse than we thought. And there’s ongoing political unrest. And Rio’s water supply comes with an extra helping of “trash and contamination.” What to do? Postpone the games? Move them? Both?

Marvel

Last Friday, "Captain America: Civil War" debuted in theaters. It is the inaugural film in 2016's summer movie season. It's also the third Captain America picture. And people are calling it The Avengers 2.5. It is the first movie in Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, of which it is the thirteenth film. Some people are choosing sides, declaring allegiance to one "team" or another. Some people just want to know if Bucky got his plums.

W.A.S.T.E.

This hour, the Nose does its best to tackle four full topics.

TIDAL

We plan to spend upwards of half of this hour unpacking Beyonce's new visual album, Lemonade. And we will barely have gotten the wrapper off by the time we're done.

Scott Penner / flickr creative commons

His Royal Badness died yesterday. He was 57.

This hour, an appreciation of Prince.

Starz

Last weekend, the new Starz series "The Girlfriend Experience" premiered on cable and dropped in its entirety online. The always grumpy Richard Brody called it "an artistic as well as an epistemological disaster," but he blamed all of that directly on "the rigid format of serial television."

Chuck Kramer / flickr creative commons

And after 15 seasons and 555 episodes and more than 345 Billboard chart toppers, "American Idol" is done with us. Love it or hate it, the show changed the American television business, the American reality television business, the American music business. It gave us Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson and Ryan Seacrest. And it gave us Taylor Hicks and William Hung. And Ryan Seacrest. We unpack the whole thing, the good and the bad.

DC Comics/Warner Bros. Pictures

I get that it's stupid April Fools' Day, and so you can't trust anything you see on the stupid Internet. Except for the Trump quotes. The Trump quotes are just as legitimate today as they are on all the other days.

But so let me just make it clear right now that I'm totally serious when I say that on this edition of The Nose we talk about...

Two Comic Experts Explain Why Batman's Legacy Continues

Mar 25, 2016
Jay Javier / Creative Commons

He wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider. He didn't originate from another planet. And yet, Batman has managed to maintain a devoted audience for nearly a century. Joining The Colin McEnroe Show, two comic experts explained Batman's enduring power in the entertainment industry, and why filmmakers continue to make adaptations of the series. 

Mike Mozart / flickr creative commons

Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche abruptly retired from baseball last week with a year and $13 million left on his contract because the team's front office told him he had to stop bringing his 14-year-old son Drake into the clubhouse so much. Then the actual team rallied behind both LaRoches. But it turns out it all happened 'cause Adam's teammates complained about Drake. But so anyway: Aren't people who bring their kids to work with them just the worst?

Maegan Tintari / Creative Commons

I once slipped on a banana peel in my crowded high school cafeteria when I was sixteen years old. I was navigating the busy lunch room in my almost six-inch platform shoes and my breezy spring dress, when the peel sent me flying -  before ungraciously landing me on my back with my dress over my face. I was never so embarrassed - or uncomfortable in a pair of shoes.

louisck.net

If there is a through line to this week's Nose, I would have to call it trespass.

In the remarkable third episode of Louis C.K.'s from-out-of-nowhere filmed theater web series thing "Horace and Pete," the two characters (and there are very nearly only two) played by Laurie Metcalf and C.K. are working out the nature of trespass, as it appears in the Lord's Prayer. As adulterers, they are each trespassers. (But then, we are all trespassers.) And they are both aware that, in trespassing in order to seek pleasure, they create their own hells.

Thor / Creative Commons

The CDC this week recommended women between the ages of 15 and 44 not drink alcohol unless they're on birth control. Why run the risk to the baby if there's a chance you could be pregnant and not yet know it?

Some question whether the caution against any alcohol instills a fear that outweighs the risk, while others chafe at the condescension that targets only women, and not the men who get them pregnant. 

Davidlohr Bueso / Creative Commons

The Academy is supposed to nominate the best actors, directors and writers for Hollywood's most prestigious Oscar awards; instead, they see only whites worthy of these lofty levels of achievement this year.

Netflix

People can't get enough of the new Netflix story "Making a Murderer," a depressing story about Steven Avery, the son of troublesome auto-salvage dealers in the heart of an eastern Wisconsin farming community. He was erroneously sent to prison for 18 years for a crime he didn't commit. Upon his release after a long legal battle, he was put back in jail for a murder --  you guessed it -- he may not have commit. 

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