BFG Podcast #018: YA Books, ‘Candyman,’ and ‘The Chair’

Our editor and writers break down the week in culture

Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel), Judy Blume and Maurice Sendak photographed by Jill Krementz on May 26, 1978 in Atlanta, Ga.

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A neat-and-tidy week — we got books, a movie and a tv show that’s become a surprise hit.

Editor-in-chief Neal Pollack talks to Lily Moayeri, who’s not only a skilled journalist but a teacher and librarian IRL. Moayeri’s piece last week “A Realistic List of Books You Can Get Young Adults To Actually Finish” explains the surprisingly wide gap between the books Time magazine says young adults ought to be reading and what they actually are reading. “As a Gen Xer, Judy Blume novels signposted my youth. I not only read Little Women, but Louisa May Alcott’s entire catalog over and over again. Madeleine L’Engle is still my favorite author. These authors made the Time list, but personal love for their work isn’t enough to convince Zoomers to go past the cover of their books.”

Then BFG film critic Stephen Garrett jumps on the podcast to discuss the sequel to Candyman, 30 years after the Chicago menace made his debut. “Nia DaCosta’s wickedly smart Candyman conjures the pain with a pulpy wit and stylish thrills, all while fueling a red-hot undercurrent of social-justice fury.”

And the fun concludes with GL Ford and Neal discussing the surprise success of ‘The Chair,’ the Netflix academic farce that’s triggering professors everywhere. Sandra Oh leads a cast that makes “clear that there’s more at stake than just the egos of professors and deans, though those are not in short supply.” As Ford’s story observed, “making a Nazi salute, even as a joke, isn’t the best of moves, no matter how popular a teacher you might be.”

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