reality television

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Whether it's savvy marketing, the mixology craze, or sudden affection for old- fashioneds, demand for  whiskey has reached an all-time high. But with barrel-aging process that takes years, keeping up with demand isn't easy. On today’s show we’ll look into the high-tech race to speed up whiskey production.

And musician and author Robin MacArthur talks about her debut collection of short stories called Half-Wild, weaving tales from an untold side of Vermont, where double-wide trailers sit alongside swanky second homes, and old hippies and homesteaders carve a life out of the wilderness.

Plus we'll find out what makes The Great British Baking Show such a welcome respite in the age of reality snark.

RICARDO PABLO via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/qTaa3F

Psychiatrists have noticed an increase in patients who believe they are subjects of a reality TV show. Today, we learn about “the Truman Show delusion,” and the provocative hypothesis linking psychosis not only to brain chemistry and genetics, but culture and environment.

Then, studies on television viewing habits can be confusing: it shortens lifespans, improves sex-lives, decreases motor skills, and builds empathy. But what if it were your job to be glued to the tube?

TV on the Radio & the Penny Poet of Portsmouth

Apr 22, 2016
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Big-budget movies aim to break box office records, not win over critics.  Today, a reporter comes up with a formula to rank the worst-rated, highest grossing movies of all time...and there are a lot of them.

Then, the creators of Naked and Afraid bank on nudity hooking viewers in, but know they can't show the naughty bits during prime time. That's where "the blur man group" comes in.

Plus, we'll speak to a woman who counsels reality TV stars -  a population excessively prone to addiction, depression and suicide - to cope with sudden and fleeting fame.

4.20.16: TV on the Radio - Part Two

Apr 20, 2016
Alan Levine via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/aKNqLD

Big-budget movies aim to break box office records, not win over critics.  Today, a reporter comes up with a formula to rank the worst-rated, highest grossing movies of all time...and there are a lot of them.

Then, the creators of Naked and Afraid bank on nudity hooking viewers in, but know they can't show the naughty bits during prime time. That's where "the blur man group" comes in.

Plus, we'll speak to a woman who counsels reality TV stars -  a population excessively prone to addiction, depression and suicide - to cope with sudden and fleeting fame.

InvisibleKid2007 via flickr Creative Commons

From dash cams to the EZ Pass lane, big brother is in our passenger seat, whether we realize it or not. But just how much are drivers being monitored? And who is benefiting from the surveillance? On today’s show, the future of car surveillance.

Then, a conversation with actor and comedian, Bob Odenkirk. While many know him as strip mall lawyer Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad, he has achieved near cult status for his contributions to sketch comedy. We’ll discuss his storied career, the legacy of Mr. Show, and his debut collections of essays, A Load of Hooey.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

7.20.14: TV On The Radio

Jul 18, 2014
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From airplanes to high school cafeterias, television is everywhere these days. Whether you are a Game of Thrones diehard or an Orange is the New Black binger, most of us have found ourselves entrenched in what some call the Third Golden Age of Television. Today on Word of Mouth we talk all things television. First, Matt Zoller Seitz  makes the case that Seinfeld was the original anti-hero.

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Underwear, television and delusion. No, not a David Sedaris essay. These are some of the topics we are exploring on today’s Word of Mouth. Join us for an interview with psychiatrist Joe Gold about increasing prevalence of “Truman Show Delusions,” wherein people believe their life to be an elaborate reality show. Then, we talk to NY Times TV critic, Neil Gezlinger, about why television might not be the brain melting fluff we have been taught to think. Plus, producer Taylor Quimby makes a startling confession about his undergarments. Also, birds are in our trees, on the beach and constantly in sight during the summer months, so we bring you two stories featuring these graceful creatures. 

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


summerbl4ck via flickr Creative Commons

America’s got talent! So does Britain…Pakistan, Nigeria, Greece, Vietnam, Sweden, Slovakia and a number of other countries in on the “Got Talent”, “Idol” or “X-Factor” franchises of reality TV talent shows. As Meg Wolitzer put it in an essay for Financial Times: “Regardless of your locale, at some point you will be confronted with a fetching, trembling little girl with a voice that’s powerful enough to shatter your eardrums, while still tender enough to break your frozen heart."

Wolitzer is the author of many books, most recently of The Interestings. Her essay, “In Search of the Real Thing” is a meditation on how our culture has come to equate talent with success.

A&E

The reality television industry could be in for a rude awakening – a lawsuit filed last year by David Hester could threaten to change the foundations of the immensely popular genre. Still functioning after its explosive success near the turn of the century, reality TV has begun to face declining ratings in many of its shows. Last December, Hester filed a lawsuit against A&E after producers of “Storage Wars” allegedly rigged the outcome of the show’s competitors – with damaging results. Eriq Gardner is senior editor for the Hollywood Reporter and joins us to discuss the suit.

Photo Credit Derable, Via Flickr Creative Commons

For U.S. defense officials, knowledge is power. It’s clear, in-depth and actionable intelligence that makes the difference in keeping the country safe. So officials at the pentagon and in homeland security are gathering huge amounts of raw data. And who, who can help them sort through thousands of hours of video to find and stop these existential threats? Most of us don’t associate the cast of Jersey Shore with U.S.