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BBC Studios

The first episode of Doctor Who aired on November 23, 1963. Since then, there have been 37 seasons and 849 episodes of the show. The current Doctor, the thirteenth, is portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to take the role on.

Is a show with this much history impenetrable, at this point, for new viewers? Is Doctor Who nerd culture for nerds who think nerd culture isn't nerdy enough? Are Jodie Whittaker's Doctor and her diverse group of companions a fresh, compelling way into the series for new audiences?

Marco Verch / flickr creative commons

Seriously: a show about towels.

There's the history of towels, towels in Christianity, Terrible Towels, Towel Day.

Oh, and there are actual towels too.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Bernardo Bertolucci directed The Last Emperor (which won nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director), Last Tango in Paris, The Dreamers, 1900, and Little Buddha, among other movies. Bertolucci died on Monday. He was 77.

In the years since it was released with an X rating in 1972, the infamous Last Tango in Paris -- and its infamous "butter scene" -- have complicated Bertolucci's legacy. In the days since Bertolucci's death, our friend David Edelstein made a tasteless butter-scene joke on Facebook, retracted the joke and apologized, and was fired from NPR's Fresh Air.

Netflix

No Country for Old Men. Fargo. The Big Lebowski. Raising Arizona. O Brother, Where Art Thou? Miller's Crossing.

Over the past 35 years, Joel and Ethan Coen have reliably been among the most recognizable voices in moviemaking.

Their latest, the anthology western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, hit Netflix last weekend.

This hour: a Noseish look at the work of the Coen brothers.

Fox Searchlight

Last weekend, Saturday Night Live did a thing it rarely does: it apologized for a joke it had made in poor taste. Pete Davidson, the comedian behind the joke and the apology, is a unique figure in the history of SNL.

This week's biggest pop culture story is probably the death of Marvel Comics's Stan Lee. The Nose also wants to take a moment to acknowledge the death of the voice of HAL, Douglas Rain.

And: Academy Award-winner Melissa McCarthy? Is that a universe we're headed toward? Her turn as Lee Daniels in Can You Ever Forgive Me? just might get us there.

Crystal from Bloomington / Wikimedia Commons

Thirty million red blood cells circulate twelve thousand miles in a never ceasing loop through our bodies every day. Our blood has to keep moving in order to perfuse every organ and vessel necessary to keep us alive. Nothing in our body works without the constant presence and movement of our blood. Yet, few of us think about our blood until we see a few drops trickle from a cut. Then, we're horrified by it.

Amazon Studios

Last week's Nose painted itself into a bit of a rhetorical corner and somehow found itself arguing that Idris Elba is too old to be James Bond. And while historically that's true, it's not an argument we're proud to have made. Thankfully, this week, the universe has been kind enough to redeem us with the announcement of your new Sexiest Man Alive: Idris Elba. Of course, that's no reason not to make a new bad argument about Elba, like that he's, say, too macho to be the sexiest man alive?

And: The Amazon Prime series Homecoming is a few firsts. It's Julia Roberts's first TV series. It's the first scripted TV drama based on a podcast. And it's Sam Esmail's first new television project since Mr. Robot.

Warner Bros. Ent.

In terms of box office, 2017 was the biggest year in the history of horror cinema. One wonders: Why? And then this year has brought us Hereditary, A Quiet Place, and now Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House.

This hour: a look at our current horror through the lens of our current horror.

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

Louis C.K.'s surprise return to a comedy club stage in late August was widely covered and discussed. His subsequent performances have maybe sparked less internet conversation, but they're just as confounding. This week, the owner of one club where C.K. has been performing has made a couple media appearances to explain his thinking about the whole thing.

And: Damian Chazelle is the director behind the three-time Academy Award-winner Whiplash and the six-time Academy Award-winner La La Land. His new movie, First Man, stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong.

AMC

You know all the reasons Trump won, right?

Economic anxiety. Racial anxiety. The forgotten working class. The forgotten rustbelt...

But what if the real cause were something much simpler and much more pervasive: our popular culture.

Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public Radio


New York Comic Con is the center of the pop culture universe, but when it comes to picturing where the operation originates from, chances are Norwalk, Connecticut is not on your short list. For over a decade, ReedPop, the company behind the largest entertainment event on the east coast has made the southwest Connecticut city its home.

Warner Bros. Ent.

We now have no fewer than four big screen versions of A Star Is Born.

There's the 1937 original, the Judy Garland/James Mason remake, the Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson remake... and now's there's the Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper remake, which is directed by Cooper, and which might just take the fall movie season by storm.

This hour: a Noseish (but not quite actually The Nose) look at the phenomenon of A Star Is Born.

Brandon Giesbrecht / flickr creative commons

So, when Prince died (which was two-and-a-half years ago), we announced that we were finally going to retire our theme song (which was a Prince song). And then we promptly did... nothing at all.

Earlier this year, though -- and in typical Colin McEnroe Shovian fashion -- we decided that this non-problem was a big problem. And so, in order to try and hopefully finally fix this non-problem big problem, we did a whole show about theme songs -- ours and other people's.

Catherine Sebastian

Joyce Maynard has been writing for over 45 years about the kind of human experiences we're often taught to keep hidden - stories  about envy, anger, vanity, self-pity, pride.  

We read her stories because they offer a chance to first confront and then forgive ourselves for how those emotions can shape us into people we don't like. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The celebrity profile is dead. Or dying, at least, according to The New York Times. Case in point: the Times's own terrible profile of the great Maya Rudolph. Counterpoint: The Washington Post's fascinating, and self-eviscerating, profile of the formerly great Chevy Chase.

And: Nicole Holofcener's new movie is a Netflix adaptation of Ted Thompson's novel of the same name, The Land of Steady Habits. You'll never guess where it's set. (Actually, you might not. I'm pretty sure it's never said in the movie, and they shot it in Tarrytown, New York. But it's meant to be Westport, Conn., which is why The Nose is covering it.)

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Actress Cynthia Nixon lost the Democratic gubernatorial primary in New York yesterday. Did she lose because of the kind of bagel she eats? Probably not. But from the Nose's point of view, what could really matter more than that?

And Vulture, last week -- "as the discourse rages on about whether or not political correctness is destroying comedy (spoiler alert: it isn't)" -- ran a piece on the jokes comedians regret. But here's the real question: Do we want comedians regretting their jokes, tasteless or not?

Mike Mozart / flickr creative commons

Here's the money quote from a recent Washington Post story on entertainment in the Trump era: "People look at politics when deciding how they feel about a host or actor. Pop culture has now become one more thing that divides us, just like cable news and social media." The Nose couldn't pass that up, and this not-quite-The-Nose show can't pass it up either.

hobvias sudoneighm / flickr creative commons

Semiotics is the study of sign process, which is to say: it's the science of the search for meaning.

And then, part of the underlying premise of semiotics -- which just happens to be part of the underlying premise of The Colin McEnroe Show, itself -- is that there's meaning... everywhere.

Jan Lewandowski / Flickr

Mimes have been gesticulating their way into our hearts (or nightmares) for a lot longer than you may think. While it may have been the legendary Marcel Marceau who popularized the mime, people have been communicating through movement since the very beginning.

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Nose is off this week, but we bring you some pop culture topics anyway:

Jon M. Chu's Crazy Rich Asians is the number-one movie in the country, and it's expected to hold onto the top spot on the charts through this weekend. It's on the cover of Time magazine, and it's seen as "a major step forward for representation -- and the industry."

And: Hits are down, and strikeouts are up. Pitching changes and replays are at an all-time high, and take-out slides and home-plate collisions have been banned. As such, baseball greats find the game "very difficult to watch." Is baseball in trouble? (Spoiler alert: Probably not.)

Focus Features

August 16 -- yesterday -- is kind of an oddly busy day in the history of popular culture. In 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published. In 1962, Pete Best was fired from The Beatles. In 1948, Babe Ruth died. In 1958, Madonna was born (and so she turned 60 yesterday). In 1977, Elvis Presley died. And yesterday, a new August 16th-shaped dot was added to the timeline of pop culture: the death of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul was 76 years old.

And: The new Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman, is set in 1970s Colorado Springs, Colo., and it tells a story that's about race relations in all of America right now, today. It's "a slapstick comedy, a blaxploitation throwback, and an incendiary Molotov cocktail thrown into the foray of the modern multiplex," and it's being called Lee's "hardest-hitting work in decades."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this week announced changes to the annual Oscar awards, including a new category recognizing "outstanding achievement in popular film." Eligibility requirements and other details haven't been announced, but that hasn't stopped the film world from having strong opinions.

And: Bo Burnham is a comedian, musician, and actor who was a teen YouTube star. He’s directed a few comedy specials -- including Chris Rock's Tamborine -- and as of this week, his feature film directorial debut, Eighth Grade, is in wide release. Its "queasy verisimilitude" has earned it a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Alfred A. Knopf, Publisher

The Times of London has said that Martin Amis "is as talented a journalist as he is a novelist." His latest collection of essays and reportage covers 1994 through 2017, Travolta through Trump.

Amis joins us for the hour.

Paramount Pictures

Colin's quite fond of this little piece of trivia: Tom Cruise was five years older during the production of Mission: Impossible -- Fallout than Wilford Brimley was during the filming of Cocoon. And it seems we're all okay with Tom Cruise as a 56-year-old action star. Fallout's opening weekend was the biggest for a Mission: Impossible movie and the second-biggest of Cruise's career.

Fallout is the best-received movie in the M:I franchise too. If you had to pick the five best blockbusters of this decade, you could put together a totally reasonable list made just of Tom Cruise movies. (Here, look: Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher, and the last three Mission: Impossibles. See?) In fact, at this point, if you like high-concept summer popcorn movies, but you don't like comic books/Star Wars/Star Trek/Harry Potter/etc.... what else even is there besides Tom Cruise movies anymore? Not much.

Republic Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Ariana Grande already had a top 10 hit from her forthcoming album, Sweetener. As of this week, she's got songs at numbers six and eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 with the debut of her single "God Is a Woman." The song and its video have become somewhat controversial in certain corners of the internet.

And: Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl was a literary phenomenon in 2012. In its wake, film/television rights for her previous novels were snapped up. And now, six years later, HBO is airing an eight-episode (and only eight episodes, by the way) miniseries adapted in part by Flynn and starring Amy Adams.

Netflix

Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian and writer. Her new Netflix special is Nanette. There are certain ways it's a different sort of comedy special than you're used to. It's, for instance, more of an art history lecture than you'd probably expect. Its audience laughs much less than you're used to. And it'll probably make you cry more than other specials have. Those idiosyncrasies are just some of the reasons Nanette is "the most discussed comedy special in ages."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

They made a documentary about Mr. Rogers. Does The Nose really have a choice but to go see it? No. It does not. But then, it's "a vital doc," "a tearjerker with a purpose," and "the film we need right now" with "the hero 2018 needs." So we probably should've gone to see it regardless of whether the guy was a public broadcasting icon or not, no?

Disney

There are three movies that deserve the credit (blame?) for the superhero/comic book movie renaissance/boom(/apocalypse?) that we've been living through now for nearly a decade and a half: Batman Begins (2005), Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Brad Bird's The Incredibles (2004).

thierry ehrmann / flickr creative commons

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. Dave Itzkoff's new biography is Robin.

And: For the tenth anniversary of his death, a look back at the work of George Carlin.

Chion Wolf / CT Public Radio

Ocean's 8 is about as 2010s a movie as there's ever been. It's a reboot sequel of a series that started with a remake. The fun part, though, is that this movie (unlike the four that precede it) stars eight women. And the even funner part is that it's the number one movie in the country. Our all-star, all-lady (plus Colin) Nose has thoughts.

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