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The Reel

Author: L.A. Times

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Smart, engaging conversations on the entertainment industry fresh from the people who know it best. From hidden gems to blockbusters to the biggest moments in show business, host Mark Olsen gets the latest from actors, writers and directors as well as reporters and critics from the Times’ celebrated film and television teams. Hear the art in entertainment, each week on The Reel.

125 Episodes
We’re talking “Tiger King” the new, hit Netflix docuseries that everyone’s been talking about. Plus, host Mark Olsen catches up with TV reporter Yvonne Villarreal who shares some of her favorite reality TV shows she suggests watching to help pass the time at home. And then, Olsen speaks with entertainment reporter Amy Kaufman about “Tiger King” and why so many people are binging on the series right now.
We’re back with more TV and film recommendations for you and your family while you’re spending some extra time at home. Our team is still self-isolated, so we continue to check in with our entertainment colleagues to see what they’re watching. LA Times film critic Justin Chang talks with host Mark Olsen about some light-hearted comedies he recommends for all of us to watch from home. Plus, TV Critic Robert Lloyd joins the show to talk about two shows he recently reviewed and whether they’re worth checking out: The new FX on Hulu sci-fi series “Devs” and HBO’s “The Plot Against America.”
We’re taking a short break from our usual format to help guide listeners who may be staying home more often than usual. If you're wondering what to watch, what’s worth streaming now and what you can watch with your kids who are home from school… We’ve got you covered. Host Mark Olsen sits down with film reporter Jen Yamato to talk about specific genre films you may want to check out. Plus, television reporter Lorraine Ali joins the show to talk about the latest season of “Westworld” and how it relates to the real world a little more than you may realize.Here are some related links mentioned in this episode:Streaming Deals:“Westworld”:
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This episode was taped on March 11, 2020. Many new developments have emerged and continue to rapidly develop after the taping of this episode.) Entertainment business reporter Ryan Faughnder joins host Mark Olsen to talk about the impact of the coronavirus and how it’s affecting the Hollywood and entertainment industries. Plus, this week marked the final episode of HBO’s six-part documentary series, McMillions. Olsen is joined by two Los Angeles Times television writers to discuss all the series and how it brought the McDonald’s Monopoly scam to light.
This week we’re following some of the latest in pop culture and Hollywood. First, host Mark Olsen speaks with two reporters who were actually in the courtroom during Harvey Weinstein’s trial in New York. We take a serious look at the trial and discuss what happens next and whether the verdict marks a milestone for survivors. Then, later in the show, we shift toward a lighter conversation about the television sensation that so many people are talking about: “Love Is Blind.” Olsen is joined by Amy Kaufman and Yvonne Villarreal to discuss Netflix’s new reality dating show that has so many viewers talking.
The Netflix movie “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” is out now and we take an inside look at the highly anticipated sequel. Host Mark Olsen sits down with entertainment reporter Jen Yamato, who recently spoke with star Lana Condor and author Jenny Han about the second installment of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Olsen and Yamato discuss the Netflix film series and go behind the scenes of the teen romance movie. Plus, Olsen also talks with entertainment business reporter Ryan Faughnder about the ups and downs of the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie release.
The Oscars are over and this year’s awards season has come to an end. Host Mark Olsen and a team of entertainment colleagues and critics recap the 92nd Academy Awards and share their thoughts on Parasite’s historic night. Plus, Olsen sits down with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” writer and director, Céline Sciamma.
The 92nd Academy Awards are almost here. Host Mark Olsen and a team of entertainment reporters and critics sit down for one final roundtable before the big night. Listen to hear final thoughts and predictions for what’s to come at this year’s Oscars. Plus, hear from entertainment, culture writer Carolina Miranda who breaks down this year’s Oscar nominated movies with a unique angle… architecture. Get a full roundup of Oscars talk right here in this week’s episode. 
“The Reel” is live in Park City at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Host Mark Olsen had a chance to catch up with some actors and filmmakers to explore different storytelling formats. He moderated a panel, taped live at Audible’s Sundance studio setup, which included Tessa Thompson, Colman Domingo and Justin Simien. Plus, Olsen sits down with a group of Times colleagues to recap and talk about the films of the festival.
The 2020 Sundance Film Festival has just begun, and host Mark Olsen and entertainment business reporter Ryan Faughnder sit down to discuss the wheeling and dealing behind the festival. Plus, Olsen is joined by Justin Chang, Glenn Whipp and Jen Yamato, who sit down to talk about this year’s overlooked films and dive into the movies not being considered for major Academy Awards categories. 
From this year’s most celebrated films to the biggest surprises, host Mark Olsen looks at the 92nd Academy Awards nominations from every level. First, Olsen sits down with entertainment business reporter Ryan Faughnder to dive into the business of awards season and how streaming services may be impacting the dynamics. Plus, Justin Chang, Mary McNamara and Glenn Whipp join the show to dissect the Oscar nominations and provide unique input on this year’s top films, why some face criticism, and which movies were left behind.
Screenwriting duo Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski talk with Mark Olsen about the film “Dolemite is My Name” starring Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore. Plus, Times film and TV writers discuss highlights from the 77th Golden Globe Awards.
Happy New Year

Happy New Year


Wishing our listeners a Happy New Year! Thanks for joining us every week for “The Reel," we hope you’ve been enjoying the show. We look forward to sharing more episodes with you in the New Year. Keep checking back here every Friday for more. Happy Holidays!
Writer-director Noah Baumbach sits down with Mark Olsen to talk about his latest film “Marriage Story.” He describes the inspiration for his movie and how he was able to find love through divorce while creating the film. Plus, Times entertainment writers Jen Yamato and Justin Chang on "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" and "Cats."
Writer-director brothers Josh and Benny Safdie talk about their latest film, “Uncut Gems,” and why it took them 10 years to finally get it off the ground. Plus, host Mark Olsen talks with Times reporter Amy Kaufman about the latest on Harvey Weinstein.
Mark Olsen talks with director Melina Matsoukas about her transition from directing music videos to her directorial debut in feature film for “Queen & Slim.” Matsoukas is also known for directing Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” as well as “Formation,” which won her a Grammy Award for Best Music Video. Plus, Olsen sits down with Los Angeles Times entertainment reporters to talk everything about the Golden Globes nominations.
Host Mark Olsen talks with Taron Egerton, who plays Elton John in the film “Rocketman.” They discuss how Egerton prepared to portray the music-icon in the film. Egerton also talks about the close friendship he’s formed with the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” singer. Plus, Olsen talks with television critic Lorraine Ali about all that’s happening with Gabrielle Union and “America’s Got Talent.”
*** SPOILER ALERT in second half of the show ***Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, here's a replay episode from one of our most popular shows. With a title that suggests the opening of a child’s storybook, Quentin Tarantino revisits the Hollywood of 1969 and that summer night 50 years ago when members of the Manson family set out for Benedict Canyon with murder in their hearts. The grisly slayings on Cielo Drive — including that of a very pregnant Sharon Tate — cast a long shadow over the romance of the ‘60s counterculture. Tarantino has said that Charles Manson’s ability to manipulate and control his followers still seems "unfathomable" to this day.In "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood," the writer and director takes the occasion to revel in the details of the era, complete with commercials, TV shows, songs, radio news and famous locations and restaurants around Los Angeles. But Tarantino also offers up a study of actors — their anxieties, insecurities and the pride they take in their performances. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the fictional actor Rick Dalton, and Brad Pitt as his stunt double, along with Margot Robbie as the very real Sharon Tate, the film is more emotional and personal than other Tarantino movies.In fact, Tarantino — who grew up in Los Angeles — has called "Once Upon a Time" his "Roma."Mark Olsen (@IndieFocus) talks with Times film critics @KennethTuran and @JustinCChang, as well as film reporter @jenyamato and special guest Julia Turner (@JuliaTurner), Deputy Managing Editor of Entertainment and Arts.
Host Mark Olsen talks with “Knives Out” director Rian Johnson about his latest Agatha Christie-style whodunit movie. Johnson describes his film as a mystery with a Hitchcockian thrill set in 2019 America. Plus, Olsen talks with corporate media reporter, Meg James, about the so-called Paramount decrees that are being tossed out by the U.S. Justice Department. 
Host Mark Olsen sits down with “Ford v Ferrari” Director James Mangold to talk about his latest action film starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. Mangold also responds to the latest comments from Martin Scorsese about Marvel movies. Plus, you’ll hear from entertainment columnist Glenn Whipp, who talks about his experience following around comedian Louis C.K. on his latest world tour.
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