BFG Podcast #007: ‘The Other Black Girl,’ ‘Undine,’ Prequels, and ‘The Bad Batch’

Guest editor Sharyn Vane and BFG writers discuss the week that was in culture

This week, guest host Sharyn Vane leads an exciting episode of the Book and Film Globe Week in Review podcast. Adhering to Neal Pollack’s can’t-miss books-to-movies-to-tv formula, Vane speaks first about her own review of the hot summer read “The Other Black Girl” with BFG contributor Katie Smith. They cover the “delicious irony” of how one of the must-reads this season from an overwhelmingly white publishing industry struggling with inclusivity is a Black author’s thriller depicting exactly that struggle. Then Dan Friedman joins to discuss his take on Martha Wells and the Hugo-nominated Murderbot Diaries, featuring a wry half-robot SecUnit. He loves it, concluding that “the profoundly capable Wells … provides a creative, entertaining outing for one of the most endearing of contemporary science fiction characters.”

Kenji Fujishima takes the mic to lead the podcast’s film section, discussing with Vane his review of “Undine.” Fujishima concluded that the director Christian Petzold, “arguably the most fascinating and mysterious” of the recent generation of German filmmakers informally known as the Berlin School, has a “mysterious magic of his films, an aesthetic that reaches a wondrous zenith in Undine.”

Zakiya Dalila Harris
(Photo by Nicole Mondestin Photography)

Listeners to last week’s podcast probably remember Stephen Garrett’s lively discussion of Cruella. Lani Gonzalez has had it with this “endless mining of properties” in search of backstories. She keynotes her brilliant piece “The Rise of the Prequels,” with a look at Wonka, but ponders whether we really need a whole movie about the “plot” of the Grease song “Summer Nights.” What’s next? A look at how mean Regina George was in 3rd grade?

And finally, Scott Gold talks about The Bad Batch, a spinoff of The Clone Wars. Cohen tells us that the latest entry in the Star Wars canon is “a highly entertaining, even thrilling start to a series, showcasing Dave Filoni and company, riding high from their success on The Mandalorian, as the most narratively adroit creative force in Star Wars land at the moment.” Order 66, inhibitor chips, being a “good soldier and following orders” … what’s not to love?

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