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Aaron Lanton, Keith Dennie, and Tim Molloy look at pop culture through a racial lens, focusing on the low-key things some people might miss to discuss their deeper meanings. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
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The Queen's Gambit stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, an orphan who becomes a 1960s chess prodigy — and addict. In this episode we talk about whether child prodigies are real or an exaggerated phenomenon, nature v. nurture, and the Netflix series' approach to gender and race. Also we try to imagine a world without Street Fighter. See acast.com/p…
 
His House is a haunted house story where the characters have a good reason for not leaving the house: If they do, they'll be returned to the horrors of tribal violence in their native South Sudan. Set in the United Kingdom, His House follows the story of Rial and Bol Majur (played by Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù), a married couple seeking asylum to…
 
The new British horror film Hosts seems designed to provoke people, with a mix of long, slow buildups and sudden, ghastly unpleasantness. This is never better exemplified than in a dinner scene that replaces Chekhov's gun with a hammer, very unsubtly. Hosts features a classic setup: a family invites a neighborhood couple over for Christmas dinner. …
 
Today we talk about The Boys, Amazon's anti-superhero story. Season 1 used superheroes to represent police, military, sports stars and Hollywood celebrities and explore blind hero worship. Season 2 delves into the dirty underside of manufactured heroism with a character named Stormfront (Aya Cash) who uses memes to gain fame and try to steal the su…
 
Today's episode is about Residue, the impressionistic debut from Merawi Gerima. The award-winning film, which just premiered on Netflix, follows Jay, a young filmmaker who returns from Los Angeles to his hometown of Washington, DC and finds that white people are taking over his neighborhood, disrespecting the Black residents they're pushing out. We…
 
Hulu's new TV show 'Woke' follows the story of black cartoonist Keef Knight's "woke" awakening after a brush with police brutality leads him to re-evaluate his relationship with art and social critique. Also, inanimate objects are now talking to him about embracing his blackness. It's a weird concept with great ideas, but 'Woke' makes some of the s…
 
We talk about 1BR, the little horror movie that could... unseat Project Power as the top movie on Netflix. It's a story of utopian societies, utilitarianism, and keeping your cat close. Plus, Aaron and Keith recount their experience with a charismatic religious leader who eavesdropped on their conversation at the International House of Pancakes. f …
 
Project Power, the latest Netflix action-adventure hit, has a new spin on super powers: What if a pill could make you outrageously powerful — for just five minutes? The film by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, written by The Batman co-writer Mattson Tomlin, stars a trio of stellar actors: Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dominique Fishback. But …
 
Shirley is about the brilliant American Gothic author Shirley Jackson, whose mid-20th century work has influenced many of the creators we admire today. Shirley specifically dramatizes the period that Jackson wrote the novel Hangsaman, by introducing a young, recently married couple into her home. Jackson and her husband Stanley Hyman, a literary cr…
 
The lead for a superhero film has to be in phenomenal shape, capable of imposing criminals with their physical presence - or do they? Robert Pattinson, the newest actor to take on the role of Batman in the upcoming 2021 film, adamantly disagrees. In an interview with GQ conducted in April 2020, Pattinson made the case that anyone advocating for wor…
 
Today’s episode of the Low Key pod covers Beyonce’s visual album Black Is King, a re-envisioning of the classic Lion King tale through the talent and vision of black folks across the globe. In fact, each song for this project was part of Disney’s CGI-live action 2019 Lion King remake, but Black Is King adds additional layers and textures to each re…
 
In this episode we explore Netflix's Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, about a Puerto Rican TV astrologer who rose from humble beginnings to become a sequin-caped inspiration to millions. With his distinctive look, aura of mystery — especially about his sexuality — and ability to blend many religious beliefs into a medley of optimism,…
 
A simple question: Would you go to a movie theater now? Your hosts weigh in from three distinct states with three distinct COVID-19 situations: Texas (Keith), Tennessee (Aaron) and Massachusetts (Tim). We also get into whether our minds would change if Tenet were playing. And there are questions about COVID-19 etiquette, whether the theatrical expe…
 
Today’s episode covers Spike Lee’s new film Da 5 Bloods which follows four black GIs returning to Vietnam nearly five decades after their tours ended to recover gold and the remains of their former captain. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned and chaos ensues. The film releases with impeccable timing as the nation continues to grapple with so…
 
Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan as a lawyer who defends a wrongly accused death-row inmate played by Jamie Foxx, is one of many films made available for free in response to the Black Lives Matter protests nationwide. In the latest Low Key podcast, we talk about what the film gets right about racist policing, and what changes we'd like to see…
 
The nerd nightmare is over: the badgering has paid off, and the Synder Cut of the DC Extended Universe’s Justice League will be released as an HBO Max exclusive sometime in 2021. In the latest Low Key Podcast, we talk about what it all means, and what we want from the Snyder Cut. And great news: This episode features Sam from the Sam Said It! podca…
 
Netflix does not shy away from distributing stories that give voices to the voiceless - the recently released documentary Murder to Mercy is no exception. The doc shares the story of Cyntoia Brown, a woman who was sentenced to prison for life at the age of 16 for killing a man when she was being sex trafficked at the Nashville, Tennessee area in 20…
 
The new documentary Feels Good Man explores how racists, trolls and incels turned an innocuous cartoon character named Pepe the Frog into a symbol of hate. On the latest Low Key podcast, we talk about how the situation epitomizes many of the problems of the internet, where misinformation and propaganda choke out facts and helpful information. Feels…
 
Netflix's trippy The Midnight Gospel, from comedian Duncan Trussell and animator Pendleton Ward, might be a model for pandemic era TV shows: It asks the big questions in life without requiring any actors to get too close to each other. The series is about a scamp named Clancy Gilroy (voiced by Trussell), who uses a butt-shaped simulator to travel t…
 
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