July 21, 2014
EP. 41 — How Depressing Entertainment Became the Norm
Have you noticed that all the great series of television’s current renaissance are darker than the devil’s taint with a suntan? You’ve got Game of Thrones, where every likable character dies horribly and sociopathy is cruise control for success. There’s True Detective, a show were any given screengrab would fit in the dictionary alongside the definition of “bleak”. Hell, the critically-acclaimed series with the happiest ending we’ve seen recently was Breaking Bad. What does that say about us?
Cracked editors Jack O’Brien, Dan O’Brien and Michael Swaim asked this question on today’s podcast. Whether you’re looking at television or movies, soul-crushing sadness seems to be the new norm. Your show just won’t draw in a modern audience unless it’s got an antihero. Has something shifted in our culture? Can we blame this on 9/11? Or, has the darkness we used to put in our novels and saddest music just finally bled out into film and TV? Either way, it’s pretty weird that the Coen brothers started their careers mocking nihilists, then went on to make No Country for Old Men, the nihilist … ist film ever made. Throw on your headphones and click play above.
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January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.