BFG Podcast #112

‘Futurama,’ ‘Good Omens,’ and layoffs in the publishing industry

Rebecca Kurson, who was host Neal Pollack’s literary agent nearly 25 years ago, joins the show to discuss “bloodletting” in the publishing industry, as Penguin Random House has cut loose editors with decades of experience. Rebecca and Neal lament what this means for publishing. It’s getting harder and harder for editors to champion literary writers who may not have a ton of commercial potential, but are meaningful to readers. Yes, publishing is a business, but the mildest is vanishing. More tragically, so are long lunches, which is what writers used to sustain themselves. This is a fine, mournful, yet good-humored segment.

Neal liked the new season of ‘Futurama’ more than contributor Rachel Llewellyn, who joins him to talk about the fourth iteration of the animated Matt Groening sci-fi comedy. Rachel thought the writing felt a little dated and the satire of modern life was a little too on-the-nose. Neal was like “shut up and take my money!” Regardless, the season is only 10 episodes, streaming on Hulu, it will take you two and a half hours.

Good Omens 2, on Amazon Prime, will take forever, on the other hand. Paula Shaffer joins Neal to talk about the second coming of the whimsical Neil Gaiman series about a demon and angel frolicking on Earth. Neal and Paula agree that the show feels like warmed-over Monty Python, and that this is what happens when you take material based on a novel and veer away from the source material. However, Paula points out, if you’re looking for Jon Hamm man-candy, this show has a lot of that. There’s even an extended scene of Jon Hamm’s wiggly butt. That’s got to be worth something.

Enjoy the shows, and this show!

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