Insights into Entertainment: Episode 2 “Monkey Business”

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Michelle and Joe discuss the passing of former Monkey Peter Tork, the release of the HBO documentary Never Land about the Michael Jackson molestation allegations. We also explore whether Jason Reitman is sexist in his recent comments regarding the new Ghostbusters movie he’s slated to direct and we look at Ariana Grande’s record breaking album that shattered a Billboard Top 100 record held by the Beatles since 1964. We also introduce our new “Insightful Picks” segment for the benefit of the audience.

Insights into Entertainment

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:03Yeah.

Speaker 2:0:04Welcome to insights into entertainment podcast series. Taking a deeper look into entertainment and media, your host, Joseph and Michelle Waylon, a husband and wife, team of pop culture, phonetics are exploring all things from music and movies to television and fandom.

Speaker 3:0:27Welcome to insights into entertainment episode to monkey business. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon and my cohost, the lovely Michelle Waylon. Oh, aren’t you sweet. So today we have a couple of interesting things we’re going to be talking about. The first of which is the unfortunate and untimely death of the former monkey, Peter twerk at age 77 also happened to be my favorite monkey of the four. And I think a lot of people would say that he had cancer. He was diagnosed in 2009 with the Adenoid cystic carcinoma, which is a form of mouth cancer. I was, wasn’t able to find any details about his medical status after that statement. Um, but the state of cause of death was cancer in this case. How does that make you feel?

Speaker 4:1:23You know, it’s funny, as you get older and people that you either looked up to or role models or celebrities or whatever, you know, things from your childhood start, you know, they start passing away, you kind of almost get a sense of your own mortality in heads. It’s one thing, you know, and, and the fact that, you know, it was only 77 that’s really not old. No. You know, these days that’s, that’s still, you know, fairly young. Um, you know, and it’s just kind of like, you know, and, and I’m sure people that were, you know, big fans of the Beatles, you know, when John Lennon passed away, you know, or was killed and, you know, George Harrison, it’s kind of like, oh, you know,

Speaker 3:2:16figure was it George Harrison probably had the most in factory goes over the natural death. Right. You know, obviously Lennon, Lennon was tragic, right? But, you know, when, when someone passes away of natural causes at 77, it does tend to, to, uh, have you look at your own mortality. Absolutely. And we’ve only got two members of the monkeys last Micky dawns and Michael Nesmith or less.

Speaker 4:2:40Right. And you know, and I actually saw them in concert back when Michael wasn’t touring with them. Yeah. Um, when it was the three m the three members at the time and it was always one of those concerts. I always wanted to see again, you know, the music you

Speaker 3:3:01was corny but it wasn’t. And you know, the television show only ran for two seasons, but has such a cult following. Um, well that’s the interesting thing that people look back at the television show and the fact that it was manufactured. In fact, the nickname the monkey’s got was d prefab for absolutely. And they were, they took a lot of heat for the, the image of not being musicians, not playing their own songs when in fact two of the members were actual musicians. Peter torque being with being actual musicians. And after the van broke off in 68, um, Peter Torque went on to start his own band and his own career. And, and you know, he was reluctant to be typecast as a monkey moving forward and all that did cause a bit of a rocky road career wise, um, in the eighties, nineties. And an she the would come back occasionally, usually wants a decade for a reunion tour for him. So he did have a keen appreciation for the notoriety and status. So very sad to see his passing.

Speaker 3:4:23Uh, the next thing on the hit list here is the movie Neverland, the mentoree Neverland that HBO was going to be premiering. This is a forum or a documentary that’s going to be aired in two parts on March 3rd and fourth featuring two similarly parallel accounts of Michael Jackson’s alleged sexual predation. So this actually follows the story of two of his accusers. Um, it premiered at Sundance to an outcry from fans and supporters of Jackson as being a quote unquote public lynching of Jackson. So clearly there’s a lot of controversy surrounding this. Um, the accusers themselves have offered conflicting statements at one point in time stating one of them at least stated that he was not unequivocally not molested, who was now retracting that for the purposes of this movie, apparently, um, the Jackson estates already filed a lawsuit against Hbo to try to stop the airing a, they are citing a breach of a 1992 non disparagement agreement that HBO had signed with a, with the Jackson family, I guess had signed with Hbo, basically saying Hbo would not say any disparaging remarks or any disparaging footage of Michael Jackson or any of the other members of the family.

Speaker 3:6:00So each [inaudible] moving forward with it there, they’re going to broadcast it. What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 4:6:08No, and in some cases, you know, at this point it’s been so long, you know, and Michael Jackson’s been gone for quite a while now and I think overall everybody has a feeling that there was something that was going on. Um, you know, when, when you look back at, you know, how many children would, you know, spend the week, spend the night and the parents had no problem doing it. And then how many payouts when to, you know, different families, you know, as, as hush money. You know, it’s pretty much you’re guilty right there if you’re paying out, you know, half a million dollars million dollars to, you know, to families something was going on that shouldn’t have been. Um,

Speaker 3:6:59and to play devil’s advocate, officially, Michael Jackson’s never been convicted of a crime. He was acquitted in 2006 of allegations. And you know, payouts come in very different forms. Uh, there were accounts where family members left their children, the children begged the stay at Neverland with Jackson and Jackson paid for palatial vacations for the rest of the family. Oh, absolutely. Um, which you can look at that and from many different areas.

Speaker 4:7:33Definitely charitable when it came to, to that, you know, the, the children, you know, in most cases were less fortunate. And this was, you know, obviously a, a dream come true. And was everybody molested? No, I don’t think so. You know, I, you know, and I’d like to hope that none of them in some way we’re, and you know, maybe you know, it, it wasn’t,

Speaker 3:8:01there were, there were allegations for quite some time of impropriety by Michael Jackson. You’ve had some high profile people come out who were in similar, you know, we’ll say intimate situations in which, and even Jackson admitted in the couple of interviews, you know, he thought it was okay to have these miners sleeping in bed with him because he thought it was a beautiful thing.

Speaker 4:8:27Right. And I think for him too, because of his childhood or lack of childhood, you know, he was thrown into the entertainment industry at such a young age and was basically forced to grow up. I think in a lot of cases where a normal 40 year old adult wouldn’t want to, you know, have a slumber party for him. He was really still a 10 year old boy in this year olds body, you know, look at, you know, how, you know, he modeled Neverland to look at like Disneyland. He was, you know, big time. You know, Disney fan and, and a kid really. And it was basically him just living his childhood out. So yeah, for him, he, you know, he didn’t see anything wrong. And you know, it kind of makes me wonder how many parents fabricated, you know, the, the stories too to extort, you know, money

Speaker 3:9:32certainly is another angle where you’re someone of notoriety, somewhat of wealth. It makes you a target of people who want to take advantage of that. Absolutely. That’s certainly not an acquittal of anything he might have done. Right. Um, but you know, it doesn’t take but one voice of suspicion to start the accusations flying. Absolutely. So let me ask you this though. Do you think HBO is within its right to air this program?

Speaker 4:10:00I don’t see why not. You know, I don’t know what the statute of limitation is. You know, 92, you know, was that a, you know, a 10 year, 20 year, 30 year?

Speaker 3:10:10Well the genx and the seed is, is claiming that it was impropriety in perpetually. So there should be no statute of limitations on this agreement they signed. Um, but let me ask another question. Do you think it serves a purpose of this point? We’re coming up, this is really the 10 year anniversary of Jackson’s death. Clearly any victims that might or might not be out there aren’t going to get anything from the estate at this point because there you’re not going to get a conviction on Jackson

Speaker 4:10:41sometimes, you know, for, for victims it’s just knowing that other people know, closure you exactly that you get that, that closure and that and that could definitely be what it is for. You know, a lot of the kids who are, you know, obviously adults.

Speaker 3:10:58Do you think there should be any concern from Jackson or his supporters that this will tarnish his memory? I mean, he’s already got a, let’s say reputation, unproven unconvicted however you want to look it up.

Speaker 4:11:12There’ve been so many different documentaries that have come out since his death before his death and he still has tons of fans. You know, look at, um, you know, the concert that he was preparing for, you know, before his untimely death was sold out. I think, you know, at that point, and that’s with everybody knowing everything, the, you know, the different, um, documentaries that were out while he was still around. People still, you know, still wanted to see him and still we’re fans of his so,

Speaker 3:11:45so the people that love Michael Jackson

Speaker 4:11:47are going to, right. And that aren’t even going to bother watching it or don’t even care. And

Speaker 3:11:54Yeah, fair point. Probably not going to sway any opinions at this. Absolutely.

Speaker 5:12:00Yeah.

Speaker 3:12:02The next news article that we had to talk about is the overriding question is Jason Reitman sexist. So Jason Reitman being the son of former Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman is slated with filming the next edition of the Ghostbusters movie franchise. Now from all accounts, this new Ghostbusters movie, which is Duwell, uh, July 10th of 2020 will be a proper sequel to Ghostbusters two. In a recent interview, um, Jason Reitman was quoted as saying, we are in every way trying to go back to the original technique and hand the movie back to the fans, which seems like a noble and innocent statement until you look at the fact that the last one last Ghostbusters that came out was an all female cast, which in and of itself had taken heat for that. It was not in line with the Ghostbusters. It was a standalone movie. Um, so when you take that into account and you look at his statement, some people took it as he was bashing the 2016 reboot of the movie franchise. Leslie Jones, one of the stars of the 2016 where we herself took it that way and took exception to his statement. She tweeted, quote, this is insulting. Like F us. We didn’t count. It’s something like Trump would do in a Trump voice. Going to Redo Ghostbusters better with men will be huge. Those women ain’t goes busters. She goes on to say, oh, Ugh, it’s so annoying. Such a d move. So clearly she’s a little upset about this

Speaker 4:13:59as I rightfully believe she should be. Because, you know, the movie was a success. It helped to bring more fans in to the fold. It gave little girls, you know, the, the option to want to cosplay and be a ghostbuster, you know, they, they could, and not to say that the original movie wasn’t allowing it as as well, but I think it was, it was a positive role model, you know, image for, for little girls that, you know, they can be scientists and they can be absolutely, you know, investigators and, and stuff. I enjoyed it. I didn’t,

Speaker 3:14:42yeah. And I’m, you know, I think the 2016 movie for reboot movie was very well done. Uh, they went out of their way to pay homage to the original scans, uh, fact, one of the opening scenes. Right. You know, it was, was a tribute.

Speaker 4:14:59Absolutely. And, and, uh, and that’s where, you know that there was love. Yes. You know, it wasn’t like, um, W W we won’t talk about it too much. You know, Star Wars, where here, here’s your light Saber, Luke and ah, screw it, throw it in the ocean, you know, everything that we just built up to in the last movie. Yeah, grow it. This was definitely, you know, the little tributes here and there, you know, it was definitely a nice tie.

Speaker 3:15:26It was tastefully done. It was well scripted and it was done in the tradition of what we know of is Ghostbusters. So I think overall, even though it wasn’t as much of a success of the box office that people had hoped, the movie itself I think was in a good tradition of the Ghostbusters. Slowly it took heat because it was an all female cast. Right. Agree or disagree with that. This statement itself was interpreted as a statement directed at that all female cast, I think when it came out. Do you think he’s sexist for making the comment? I think he’s just a jerk. Fair enough. Fair enough. Do you think the new movie’s going to be a success in the wake of this? And what is sure to follow as more controversial. I don’t know

Speaker 4:16:20because honestly, you know, Ghostbusters, the original Ghostbusters two was okay. The more you make kind of starts watering it down, you know, like where are you going to go with, you know, the, the reboot of the reboot. Um, you know, how is it, you know, what took place, what didn’t take place, you know, are you getting all the actors back that are clearly not all of them? Well, obviously not all of them. Um, you know, is there a need to, do you really even need to, you know, how about something original? How about a new movie that we haven’t seen before? Let’s not have characters. The, you know, we’ve seen for 20 something years.

Speaker 3:17:07I agree. And giving, given the nature of the characters when we last saw them and Ghostbusters two, it’s hard to believe that they would be in a similar situation so many years later. Right. So working a script like that and making it plausible will be difficult. Well, we’ll see. July 10th, 2020 is the slate it release date, no desire to see it. But anyway, we will see if Jason Reitman is the director at the time.

Speaker 4:17:37Right. Maybe, maybe it’ll, yeah, it’ll be different. So yes.

Speaker 3:17:46Uh, the last bit of news that we want to talk about this ending things, ending news, second segment on a positive note is, uh, the Beatles being record being smashed by Ariana Grande’s. That’s impressive. That is impressive. Uh, her new album out thank you. Next has her sitting at the top of the billboard charts. She’s the first artist to occupy the number one, number two and number three positions simultaneously on the billboard hot 100 song chart list since the Beatles did it in 1964. That is an impressive record to beat it

Speaker 4:18:31for sure. It is. I actually, I’m kind of surprised because going back to, or our other topic, Michael Jackson, the thriller album had, you know, hit after hit after hit. I’m kind of surprised honestly, that that wasn’t, you know, record breaking the record breaker, you know, right there.

Speaker 3:18:52Well, to her credit, she also broke the record for the most simultaneous top 40 billboard’s hot 100 songs by a female at 11. The album had 12 songs on it, all of which have made the top 111 of which made the top 40. Wow. The only one falling outside the top 40 was the song makeup that fell at 48 so it was even in the top 50. Wow. Now that’s impressive. That is impressive. And I guess today’s theme is sort of with some of the articles is sort of a female empowerment theme today. I think power, I think this is a fantastic example for all the young ladies out. Yeah.

Speaker 4:19:39Oh absolutely. Well and, and, and part of me also wonders how much different is it in the way we track things now versus it was back in 1964, you know, obviously the top 100 was based off of um, what airplay and sales and things like that. Um, you know, and, and back then you could buy a single or you could buy, you know, a a full album. Most people bought a full album. We’re now, you know, I’d be interested to see how they calculate it versus, you know, obviously iTunes and Amazon and you know,

Speaker 3:20:24I would venture to say that now there, it would probably be more difficult now because of the level of granularity that you have tracking now from the digital environment. So you’ve got MP3 sales, right? He’s got, um, digital broadcast play, like, like iTunes, radio I heart radio. You’ve got Pandora. Yeah, right. All of these are reporting stats back for billboard mail. So now you didn’t just say, Oh, well you bought an album with 15 songs to a which were good. And some of them got played. You didn’t rely, you don’t rely on, on radio stations,

Speaker 4:21:07play certain stuff, right? Because now you’re doing it yourself. You’re, you know, but if you’re doing something like a Pandora or an Iheartradio, you’re putting in the search Ariana Grande’s or your, you know, so you’re almost in some ways forcing you are your basic numbers higher. So, you know, like again, most albums you, maybe if you’re lucky, you get three hits right from it. But to say that, you know, 11 of the 12, I know, I haven’t heard all 11 or 12 of the songs on the radio. So obviously it’s only the people that have bought the album or doing the searches for are finding all of these other songs.

Speaker 3:21:50Digital media provides so much more exposure and so it’s a little less regularity in the report. Okay.

Speaker 4:21:56And good for her.

Speaker 3:21:57So yeah, I mean comparing, you know, previous methods, two carrot methods I think is certainly a valid point, but it’s an incredible accomplishment.

Speaker 4:22:09So like good for her.

Speaker 5:22:14Okay.

Speaker 3:22:16So the next segment that we have here is our in sleepful full picks where each week we’re going to pick a TV show, podcast radio program, something along those lines. Uh, and basically give a recommendation out to something that we enjoy or we think the audience is going to enjoy. Um, I let, uh, Michelle go with her first insightful.

Speaker 4:22:41So my insightful pick for this week would be a fabulous show that is on Amazon prime. I just aired its second season a couple of months ago called the marvelous Mrs Maizel. And I had heard various people talk about it and I watched it and I was hooked from the moment it started. Um, it’s takes place in, you know, 1950s, New York City. Um, you know, the, it follows the, uh, a newlywed and her ups and downs of marriage and raising a family and kind of her getting into a career in comedy very by accident and just how natural she is with it and how she has to hide it from her family. Um, and you know, there’s all other issues. Um, what I find really funny is that, you know, she’s, you know, it’s a Jewish background. Um, her parents are Jewish or husband’s Jewish. And so there’s a lot of these, you know, things, you know, being Jewish in New York City in 1950s, you know, that, that remind me of my parents and, and different things.

Speaker 4:24:05So, you know, obviously if you’re not Jewish, you know, some of the jokes might not hit you, but it’s just funny to see, you know, what women went through, you know, like she measures herself every day to make sure that she’s still the same size. Um, she wakes up a half hour before her husband does to do her hair and makeup and goes back to bed so that when her husband wakes up, she looks like, you know, she’s, she’s refreshed. Um, you know, and, and that’s what women did and you know, and then you see her mother do it too. So obviously she learned how to do it, you know, from, you know, from her mother and stuff. And it’s just such a, an amazing cast. And, um, just a great show. And like I said, it’s two seasons now and nice little plot twist at the end of the second season. So of course, you know, waiting for the third to even, you know, haven’t even started filming it yet, but I know this past award season, it won tons of different awards for best comedy and Best Actress and supporting cast. And everything and it’s just just an overall great, great show.

Speaker 3:25:20That’s a great pick. I haven’t watched a lot of it. I did watch a couple of episodes with you. The one striking thing that I took away from it was the authenticity of the sets and the costumes. Oh absolutely. Spot on. They did a fantastic job. You legitimately feel like this show, you know, sign for the fact that it’s filmed in color. You feel like it’s filmed in the 1950 absolutely, absolutely big on authenticity. So my insightful pick also was another one’s set in the 1950s a is a television show. It’s in his first season on history channel called project Blue Book. It is Tuesdays at 10 on the history channel, which of course we don’t watch it. Then we watch it streaming on demand

Speaker 4:26:06to that first topic that we had. People that don’t watch TV when it actually aired

Speaker 3:26:11watch live TV. This is a dramatized version of actual cases that were investigated by the Air Force during project blue book, which was the air force’s investigation into the UFO phenomenon in the 1950s and sixties. It’s basically taking you down the path of the air force, trying to find plausible explanations to a lot of the unexplained sightings that are out there. It’s been loosely described as x, Ma x files meets mad men. I could definitely see that. And it follows doctor hygienic and his air force counterpart and they investigate each see each week a different case. Um, and there’s obviously an underlying plot generator that’s, that’s building over the entire season. Um, but the authenticity and the faithfulness to the actual project Luba cases, some of which I’ve actually, this show spawned me to go do research on. I’m very impressed with how a factually correct these shows are to the actual accounts.

Speaker 3:27:22Um, being a history buff myself, the one thing that I criticize movies and TV shows about that are historically based is when they deviate from that history for the sake of story. Right. You always get mad at that. Um, but the great thing about project blue book is it’s that good. The real project blue book cases are that good that you don’t need to fix La fictionalized. Right, right. Um, and you know, there’s, you know, some underlying a fictionalized relationship, things that go on in the show that, you know, you have the whole Russians and that stuff doesn’t really come out too much in the actual project new bloke accounts. Right. It just helps to add a little spice to it. So, and that’s really what it was. S that’s the creative license. And I think if I’m comfortable, if they keep the creative license of the stuff that’s not related to the project blue book, I’m fine with that. But the stuff that is related to the actual accounts is spot on and they do a fantastic job with.

Speaker 4:28:31Yeah. I I the, I was the one that actually told you about the show because I had seen coming attractions for her. I was like, Oh, I think this is something you’re going to like.

Speaker 3:28:40Yeah. Yay me. And it’s a fantastic show and I recommend everyone check it out. I’m eagerly looking forward to the season conclusion here to see where they’re going with it. Yup. This conclusion of this podcast will mark the actual publication of the last three that we’ve done. Finally

Speaker 4:28:59done Tonto.

Speaker 3:29:00So if you’re listening to this one, uh, this is four weeks in, cause we did skip last week because we were traveling and we had the two previous ones that we did. So we will officially be published with this podcast. Uh, we will have contact information soon for you to provide feedback to us. We don’t have that set up quite yet. Um, and that’s it. We’ll see you next week with another set of, uh, interesting topics to talk about. I look forward to it. Thank you so much for your time, Michelle. Thank you so much, Joe. Goodbye.