By Kylie & Emily
We are Kylie Klein Nixon and Emily Brookes, a couple of Kiwi entertainment journalists, TV watchers, film lovers, pop corn eaters and fangirls, who dive, deep, deep, no deeper than that even, into the heady, intoxicating, slightly arousing world pop culture news with a half hour cast every Friday.
Off ScriptApr 27, 2020
Off Script Episode 13, or “Eleanor Roosevelt says you should listen.”
Hollywood in the late 1940s: Glitz and glamour, big studios and tiny waists, beautiful women, handsome men - and racism, sexism, and homophobia in spades.
That’s the basic gist of Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series Hollywood, an impeccably elegant period piece about a group of beautiful young aspiring actors and filmmakers in the post-war US who face all kinds of ingrained societal hurdles as they fight to realise their dreams.
It’s Ryan Murphy, he of Popular, Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, Feud, Pose, The Politican and much more, so this show is as stylish as Timothee Chalamet (spoiler: he’s #1) and as camp as a rear field on the second day of Glastonbury.
But is it any good?
The answer to that question might depend on how high your threshold is for fix-it revisionist history in which spunk and gumption is enough to overcome biases so ingrained that they continue to make headlines today; ours, it turns out, is pretty low.
Join Kylie and Emily for a romp through Ryan Murphy’s back catalogue, confessions about our teenage years and our thoughts on when Hollywood does Hollywood well, and when it doesn’t.
Hollywood is streaming in its entirety on Netflix, so go watch and tell us if we’re totally wrong.
You Must Remember This is Karina Longworth’s glorious podcast about Hollywood’s forgotten history.
Kenneth Anger’s controversial Hollywood Babylon covers some of the same ground as Hollywood, but in a very different way.
Watch the Coen Brothers’ under-rated Hail Caesar and imagine Kylie tucked up next to a giant butt.
Episode 12, or “The podcast on the front lawn halfway down Dominion Rd”
In which content-hungry fangirls Kylie Klein-Nixon and Emily Brookes discuss the almost entirely delightful covid-19 phenomenon of candid celebrity videos - not commissioned, not paid, not sponcon - just famous people being themselves and bringing a little joy to the world.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like if one of your favourite musicians played a private concert just for you? Or one of the best shows of all time reunited and sent you a special one-off episode? Or an actor you adore and no you don’t have daddy issues made you a negroni?
Kylie and Emily don’t have to, because all of that and more has happened to them in the last few weeks!
Of course, this stuff didn’t exactly happen only to us. Thousands tuned in to watch Don McGlashan play his two ANZAC Day gigs on Facebook Live, while Stanley Tucci’s video of himself making a cocktail (for, we admit, his wife) has clocked up over 800,000 views on Instagram, but there’s something about the intimacy of celebrities just doing something they love in their homes, and pinging it straight into our homes, that we really love.
Florence Pugh cooks! The Goonies and Outrageous Fortune reunite! John Krasinski has an ugly globe! These guys are getting lockdown celebrity content so, so right and we’re here to talk about it.
Not everyone is, though (ahem Gal Gadot ahem) - we’re talking about that too.
Join us to find out which celebrity’s house we most want to move into, which celebrity’s family we most want to be adopted into, and which celebrity we deem “New Zealand’s favourite uncle.”
Don McGlashan - he of Blam Blam Blam The Front Lawn, The Mutton Birds, and our hearts - performed two Facebook Live concerts in honour of ANZAC Day. He played again today, and will performa agin on Sunday morning at 7am.
Stanley Tucci wants to make you a negroni.
And, in her stories highlights, Florence Pugh wants to teach you how to cook some simple and tasty food.
John Krasinski has some good news for you.
Sam Neill is a national treasure.
And Dita von Teese has one hell of a house.
Finally, if you really must… Here’s Gal Gadot and a bunch of other celebrities being totally tone-deaf, in every way imaginable.
"Do you wanna build a podcast?"
It was early in 2020, before the pandemic, back when life was less like an episode of The Walking Dead and more like, you know... Gossip Girl meets Shortland Street meets 30 Rock. A couple of Entertainment and lifestyle journalists hatched a plan...
Episode 11, or “Shlubby Off Script is the best Off Script”
In which sci-fi fan Kylie Klein-Nixon and her somewhat willing protege Emily Brookes delight over Taika Waititi joining the Star Wars universe, talk about the high and low points of that and other franchises and - finally - rank the Chrises.
Can we make Taika Waititi New Zealander of the Year again? Fresh off winning the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Jojo Rabbit, and with his second Thor film in the works, it’s been announced that the Kiwi filmmaker will co-write and direct a Star Wars movie.
There are already some who are grumbling about this decision, but Kylie and Emily are thrilled with it and think that particular Waititian blend of genre reverence, deadpan humour, self-referentialism and pathos might be exactly what this legendary, if not uneven, franchise needs.
Of course you can’t talk about Taika Waititi in franchises without discussing Thor: Ragnorok. We chat about that, too, and the ups and downs of Star Wars, Avengers and Star Trek.
All of which leads us to a frankly long-overdue Ranking of the Chrises (that’s Evans, Hemsworth, Pine, and Pratt, for those of you unfamiliar with the term), leading to some surprising conclusions.
Plus, Kylie starts to ease Emily into Dune, Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming two-part adaptation of the classic novel (the first of which is due out in December), which Emily will have to watch as a Timothee Chalamet completist, even if she doesn’t consider herself a sci-fi fan.
Folks are super excited about Waititi’s turn at the Star wars helm. Check out this killer Māori/lightsaber make-up look.
Waititi isn’t the first Māori filmmaker to make his mark on the Star Wars Universe. That honour goes to Temuera Morrison for his turn as Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones.
Tem also performed the voice of Boba Fett in the zhooshed up 90s re-release of The Empire Strikes Back, a role it was announced on Saturday he’ll be reprising in Kylie’s favourite Star Wars instalment to date - The Mandalorian. This Is The Way!
What We Do in the Shadows is currently in its second season. It airs on FX and Hulu in the US and Neon in New Zealand, and is probably available where you live.
Here’s the incomparable David Mitchell and Robert Webb asking: “Are we the bad guys?”
Murray and Bret are not happy about Jemaine dating and Australian girl in Flight of the Conchords.
As Kylie points out, it will probably be a while before we have a Dune trailer, but Vanity Fair has released the first stills and they are fittingly epic.
Episode 10 or, "When IS it OK to blow up a head?"
In which former teenage social outcasts Kylie Klein-Nixon and Emily Brookes debut their new, snappier, single-topic (with lots of tangents) podding style with a discussion of Netflix’s new dramedy about teenage social outcasts, I Am Not Okay With This.
If you took all of our favourite teen-focused films and TV shows - your Buffys, your Freaks and Geeks, Stranger Things, the entire John Hughes canon, what have you - and put them in a venn diagram, the point where they converge would be the Netflix series I Am Not Okay With This, a seven-parter (Emily thinks that’s too short) about a 17-year-old girl dealing with high school, her annoying next-door neighbour, her father’s suicide and, oh, the fact that she has incredibly destructive and largely uncontrollable superpowers.
Telekinesis as a metaphor for the trials of puberty and emergent sexuality are nothing new, but with a top-notch cast (including teenagers played by, shock horror, actual teenagers), a snappy, snarky script and pop culture references that are plentiful and prominent, this is a hard one not to like.
But it saves a lot of big revelations (as well as a Roxy Music prom dance and a lengthy Carrie homage) for the final episode, which ends on the sharpest of cliffhangers. The graphic novel on which it’s based and which Kylie has read is a standalone, so where does the show go from here?
Tune find out what we think about this, why 16 Candles is the worst John Hughes movie, how far and for what reasons we stuck with The Handmaid’s Tale, our views on The CW’s teen soaps, and which friend Emily is going to have to abandon for alerting her to that Timothee Chalamet photo.
I Am Not Okay With This is streaming in its entirety on Netflix now. Here’s the trailer.
Is this enough to redeem 16 Candles? You decide.
This song was probably not played at your school ball, but how much do you wish it was?
Here's the best song in the show... the one we forgot to talk about...
Episode 9, or "Pod casts never say die."
In which lifelong fangirls Kylie Klein-Nixon and Emily Brookes discuss the films, music and books that set them on the path to becoming the trivia-loving, Vulture-reading, pop culture-podding, unfit-for-outside-company obsessives they are today.
We have dug deep and uncovered our pop culture roots. They are in the 1980s.
This week, we go back to where it all began: our very first pop culture loves, the films, the music and the books that they would like to pass on to the next generation.
Turns out the 80s were a formative decade for us. You’ve already heard us fangirl out over Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (or if you haven’t, you can, by clicking on episode 3); today we’re all about The Goonies. And Back to the Future. And The Lost Boys. Oh, The Lost Boys...
Obviously, the 80s were good for music too. Well, so were the 60s. And - sort of - the 90s. Kylie goes full new wave, Emily goes full folk, with a little meander through angsty girl alt-rock, and tries to convince Kylie that good music has been produced since 1989.
You’ve probably never heard of our book choices. We’ve never heard of each other’s, anyway. They’re obscure, they’re out of print, and they made such a big impression on us, we’re still talking about them today.
If First Aid Kit covering America IN FRONT OF PAUL SIMON doesn’t move you to tears, check your pulse.
Robert Zemeckis shot five weeks of Back to the Future with Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly - that’s a lot of footage, and you see some of it, and hear Zemeckis talk about why they recast, in this clip.
The Lost Boys truly is everything that’s great about 80s movies, vampire movies, Kiefer Sutherland and pop culture in general - I mean Cory Feldman’s line delivery on “Or a vampire,” I can’t even.
And we called this one... The Lost Boys' epic beach sax scene is now the stuff of internet legend.
And speaking of sax on the beach, Here’s Duran Duran’s Union of the Snake with its glorious soprano sax solo.
The Juniper Game is, tragically, out of print, but some wonderful fan has done the Lord’s work and TYPED OUT THE ENTIRE NOVEL for your reading pleasure.
The Goonies: so problematic, yet so great.
Episode 8, or “I’m a twee motherfucker”
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and we feel fine… Well, we feel like we have coronavirus symptoms, but we probably don’t. Still, best stay inside anyway, hm?
With lockdown suddenly a real possibility (it’s Kylie’s dream and Emily’s nightmare) we’re thinking about what you could do with all that enforced time at home.
You could get creative! Learn a new skill, or a new instrument! We’ve got a few suggestions for that.
You could read one of those classic novels you’ve always thought you should have read but haven’t! We’ve got a few suggestions for that.
You could pick the fictional universe with which you are most obsessed and write some fanfic about it! We’ve got a lot of suggestions for that.
But let’s face it - after a day or two of that kind of stuff all you’re really going to want to do is lie on the couch and indulge in some binge-watching. And well, surprise surprise, we’ve got many suggestions for that.
Wash your hands, stockpile your toilet paper and settle in: It’s the Off Script Lockdown Special.
You too can learn to play City of Stars on the ukelele with the help of online tutorials like this one.
The first season of The Good Wife features Josh Charles, and if you really commit to the binging you get Jeffrey Dean Morgan, too.
Supernatural has 50 per cent more seasons than Friends and has been on for so long that when it started Jennifer Aniston was still married to Brad Pitt.
Here is an interesting article about the history of fan fiction, and how authors turn on each other when one of them goes mainstream.
This Wes Anderson Honest Trailer is not supposed to make me love Wes Anderson more, and yet it does.
Episode 7, or “More floofy than floppy.”
In which your friendly neighbourhood fangirls, Kylie Klein-Nixon and Emily Brookes, break out the tissues and dive deep into the movies that we love even though they love to ruin us. It’s SAD ROMANCE week!
Oh joyous day - it’s the one where Emily gets to legitimately talk about Timothee Chalamet!
Last week we discussed romantic comedies, movies that exist solely to make you feel warm and fuzzy and full of belief in the existence of true love, movies in which the guy always gets the girl (only very occasionally does a guy get a guy or a girl a girl), even if nothing that’s come before suggests that they could ever have a functional relationship - but if you want to hear us talk about that, go back and listen to episode 6.
This week, we’re moving on to sad romances, the ones that draw you into a beautiful love affair only to shatter it before your eyes, and with it, your soul.
It might be death that parts them, as in the 1990 classic that made every woman in the world believe she could pull off a pixie cut (spoiler: she couldn’t), Ghost. It might be the Nazis, as in one of the most misquoted films in history, Casablanca. Or it might be geography, and also the fact that it’s 1983 and you’re two (of the most beautiful) men (in the world), as in Call Me By Your Name, which stars a certain floofy-haired young actor. Whatever the case, they’re all beautiful romances, and they’re all doomed.
Why do we love these movies even though they tear us to shreds? Is a cathartic cry a good thing? Can we forgive Argo for erasing New Zealand from history? Gwyneth Paltrow: yay or nay? We address these and many more questions you never knew you had because you probably have a life and some genuinely fulfilling and worthwhile hobbies in this week’s episode of Off Script!
Head over to Facebook for more detailed show notes...
Episode 6, or “He loves her for her jujj”
It’s Valentines Day, which for a lucky few among us means roses, chocolates, and romance. For the rest of us, Kylie and Emily are here with their picks for the best romantic comedies to make you believe in love again.
Romantic comedy is a sprawling and uneven genre rife with bad scripts, boringly predictable plots, unbelievable relationships and icky gender politics. Luckily, between us we’ve seen nearly every romantic comedy ever made (so you don’t have to, listeners, you can thank us later) and dedicated a lot of time that could have been better spent improving their career prospects or perhaps learning the rules of cricket to considering their relative merits. Here are the films that top their lists for rom-coms with happy endings.
Emily starts out obvious with Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron’s genre classic When Harry Met Sally (1989), alongside Netflix’s Asian-American rom-com Always Be My Maybe (2019) and high school classic Say Anything (1989).
We talk about feminism and diversity in rom-coms, great screen couples, Seth Rogan’s surprising hobby and what Emily would have named her daughter if she had her way - and lots more.
And if this is all too saccharine for you, join us next week when we’ll present our favourite anti-rom-coms.
This is the scene when Michael Douglas’ president Andrew Shepherd first encounters Annette Benning’s lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade in the White House in The American President.
Here’s Meg Ryan as Sally Albright lamenting that she will turn 40 in eight years, in When Harry Met Sally.
John Cusack ruins us for all other men in this clip from Say Anything.
Here’s the trailer for Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch, about which we are VERY excited.
Here’s Kylie's favourite scene in Romancing the Stone, which she completely forgot to talk about (apologies for the poor quality of the video...).
Click through here to take a look at a couple of our favourite dresses from The Oscars, and check out Maya Rudolf's incredible dress.
(I don't care what anyone says! IT HAS POCKETS! - Kylie)
Off Script, episode 5, or “OK Boomer: Hollywood edition”
Every year, one of the Oscar events Kylie looks forward to is the Hollywood Reporter’s Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot, where an anonymous Academy voter dishes on how they approached the vote that year.
It’s often a bit of an eye opener and usually a bit of a laugh. Part of the fun is in trying to guess who the secret voter is.
But this year… this year, Ms Anon was a real piece of work.
All we know for sure is that:
- She is an actress
- She’s been nominated for an Oscar at some point (though it’s not clear if she won or not)
- She was around the business in the 60s
- She’s very pro-America, American actors, directors and films.
- She’s a Boomer
- She has terrible taste in films
Our guesses: Well… We came up with Faye Dunnaway, Glenn Close, Jane Fonda… but the only thing their public personas have in common with Ms Anon is that they’re Boomers. So we got nuthin’. Who do you think it is? Let us know.
Still keen to read the Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot? You can do that here. When you’re done, drop back and tell us what you think of Ms Anon's picks and who you think it could be.
While we were recording THR shared another Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot, this time by a male member of the academy. Have a read and let us know what you think.
And if you want to hear the song our female voter couldn’t remember if “you put a gun to her head” here’s Brendan Urie singing Into The Unknown, sorry for the earworm.
Also! Join us on Monday, February 10 at Stuff.co.nz when we’ll be live blogging the Oscars all day!
Anita Wigl’it, star of House of Drag will be joining us at 12 for the red carpet glitz and glamour. The ceremony kicks off at 2, and we’ll be joined at about 3 by What We Do In The Shadows, Wellington Paranormal and Hunt for the Wilderpeople’s Mike Minogue for some bants.
It's here! Episode 4, or “Hotter than a Hemsworth? Really?”
Love is a many splendored thing! So splendored, you have become a TV star to find it these days. This week we try to answer the question the entire nation is asking: If someone as awesome as the first Kiwi Bachelorette, Dr Lesina Nakhid-Schuster, can’t find love in a mansion stocked with the nation’s most eligible bachelors… what hope for humanity?
Also in this episode: Kylie pretends she’s not much of a Reality TV fan, Emily has a lot to say about the merits of the Bachelor/ette format and they both laugh at the guy who reckons he’s hotter than a Hemsworth.
Together the dynamic duo examine the ups and downs of The Bachelorette Nz’s first week, debate the ethics of Reality TV, dig into that shock secret reveal last Wednesday night and own up to which suitors they’d like to see sweep Lesina off her feet!
Hint: It’s probably the last bloke you’d imagine.
If you’re not watching already (and we might ad, why the hell aren’t you?), The Bachelorette NZ screens four nights a week: Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays aaaaaand Wednesdays on TVNZ 2.
If you want to check out Tavita’s previous Reality TV form you can check out all 49 episodes of TVNZ’s Heartbreak Island on OnDemand too.
You can also catch up with the sublime Kita Mean and Anita Wigl’it on season 2 of House of Drag. That kicks off on Saturday, February 1 on TVNZ and OnDemand after that.
Four whole, glorious seasons of UnReal, the soap about the drama and chaos of working on a Reality TV show that’s totally not at all in any way actually The Bachelor are available on Amazon Prime. Check it out.
Episode 3, or “Bury me in my white fringed leather jacket.”
It's here! Episode 3, or “Bury me in my white fringed leather jacket.”
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and talk about your favourite films on your pop culture podcast, you might never do it.
That’s the basic rationale behind us devoting an entire episode to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, John Hughes’ 1986 masterpiece about a high school senior who just wants to stop and enjoy his life before everything changes.
Well, that’s what it’s about at first read, but there’s a lot more going on in this movie.
There is admiration for costumes, for music cues, for minor characters, for Charlie Sheen. And of course - because this is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - there is much, much quoting.
But things get serious when we debate the character of Ferris himself. Is he a hero - or a bit of a dick?
You’ve obviously seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off dozens of times, but if you want to refresh your memory, it’s on Netflix.
Hadley Freeman’s excellent book Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From 80s Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them From Movies Anymore) is available all over the place, including Book Depository and Audible. You can read more of her journalism here.
We talk about Dream Academy’s instrumental cover of The Smiths’ Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want; here’s the original.
Episode 2, or “Teenagers think about sex a lot.”
In which journalists and pop culture fanatics Kylie Klein Nixon and Emily Brookes talk about three Netflix series: Cringy-hilarious comedy Sex Education, whose second season drops today, new rage-inducing docuseries Sex, Explained, and Big Mouth - just because it’s great.
Let’s talk about sex, babies.
That came out wrong. Let’s talk about sex, consenting adults!
Gillian Anderson. Ammiright? That woman just gets better and better in every way and right now the best way to experience her is by watching the Netflix series Sex Education. On Off Script this week we talk about that great show, what it gets right about high school and teenagers, and what sex ed taught us.
Then we discuss the docuseries Sex, Explained. It’s narrated by Janelle Monae, it’s insightful and terrifying, and it’s got us seriously worked up.
Plus Kylie sings the praises of Big Mouth. It’s not new, it’s not returning, it’s just awesome - and maybe provides the best sex education of them all.
But before we dig into that good stuff, we quickly review the Oscar Nominations in light of last week's episode: "We've had enough of old, white, catholic dudes"... and things get a little... heated.
Episode 1, or “We’ve seen enough old white Catholic dudes”
In which Journalists Kylie Klein Nixon and Emily Brookes discuss Golden Globes shockers, Bafta clangers, our predictions for the Oscar nominations and how much Hollywood loves itself.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s a winter wonderland! (If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere.) The lights have been hung, the new fancy clothes have been donned, the gifts have been… donated by luxury brands.
IT’S AWARDS SEASON!
Then we distill that data, add a splash of our own opinions, and cook up our predictions for Monday’s Oscar nominations announcement.
Can Marriage Story pick up nods in every acting category? Will the rest of the world realise that Joker is not really that good? Is there any point showing up for Best Actress if your name doesn’t rhyme with Shemnae Shellweger? Are we in for yet another sausage fest?
Join us on Off Script as we ask, and attempt to answer, these questions and more.