Episode 110: Critics, Criticism, and the Passing of a Legend
This week, Josh and Dietrich take a moment to remember Roger Ebert, a man who defined the role of critics and entertainment reviews for an entire generation. They discuss the role of critics and criticism in how we choose what we read, the benefits that come from looking at a piece of literature with a critical eye, and how Ebert's acerbic wit and genuine joy of film and more helped shape the way people look at entertainment. In addition, Dietrich gleefully jumps into the newest book by non-fiction master Mary Roach, Josh discovers a noir story by a newer author, and the pair discuss a raft of brilliant television. Finally, Dietrich gets the opportunity to introduce a film he loves to his family in the best possible way. You can send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What We've Been Reading
0:00 to 21:28
- Mary Roach, Gulp
- Charles Salzberg, Swann's Last Song
- Ben H. Winters, The Last Policeman
- Roger Ebert, Life Itself
Criticism and Roger Ebert
21:28 to 52:57
In the wake of the passing of Roger Ebert, Dietrich and I found ourselves changing from our original topic for the week to something more fitting. It all begins as an appreciation of a man who changed the way we looked at films - yes, and books - but as we go on, it becomes a look at how criticism can influence the way you read, the way you appreciate books, and the way we think critically about the things we are reading. And through it all, we keep coming back to the author, scholar, and gentleman Roger Ebert, and discuss how, in many ways, he helped us to understand the importance of all of those things.
Off The Bookshelf
52:57 to 1:26:16
After a fairly heavy main topic, we try to lighten things up a little bit by discussing lots and lots of television. From the season premiere of Mad Men to the finale of Justified to a new series that defies all of your expectations, we've got a lot of programs to touch on this week. Plus, Dietrich talks about getting to see one of his personal favorite films on the big screen again, and we wrap it all up with a discussion about a funny, twisted party game that you may end up wanting to have for yourself.