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Reality TV is dismissed as guilty pleasure, low brow... even trash. But whether you want to admit it or not, you probably have heard of Snooki, Lisa Vanderpump or Kim Kardashian. Over the past 30 years, reality TV has become a place to see the social and political moment play out in real time -- from racial tensions on The Real World New York to gender dynamics on The Bachelor.  On this season, join host Mariah Smith as she dissects the history of the genre one show at a time, revealing how it's shaped our culture and how our culture shaped it.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Coming February 10th. Listen & follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Introducing: I Am Rama

Introducing: I Am Rama

2021-06-2205:082

Rama was a spiritual teacher in the 80s and 90s who inspired many of his students while helming what many of his detractors would describe as a cult. He defied society’s archetypal vision of a New Age leader, eschewing minimalism for wealth and celebrity. He was also a man ahead of his time, encouraging his students to develop careers in computer science before that was mainstream. For some, following Rama's lead worked out spiritually, and financially too. But for others, Rama's actions contradicted his cool persona; some eventually came forward with accusations of abuse, others vanished, whistleblowers went to the media, and the group began to shrink and splinter. In this 10-part investigative series, Jonathan Hirsch explores the life, death and impact of Rama. "I Am Rama" drops June 22. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
From Neon Hum Media and L.A. Taco, this is Smoke Screen: The Sellout, a podcast about a politician dogged by allegations of corruption, harassment and pathological pettiness. It’s about the residents who fought gentrification even as their neighborhoods were auctioned off to the highest bidder. And it’s about a community that feels the pain of betrayal – from one of their own. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's a city that has defined popular culture. An oasis in the desert, a mirage — it’s a city of buzzing neon, world-class performers, and fortunes made and lost. A city that invites you to explore your deepest desires: a playground for adults replete with casinos, showgirls, and all-you-can-eat buffets. But how did Vegas become “Sin City”? A place that promotes a fantasy of adult freedoms: a vacation from boundaries, rules, accountability? A place where people from all over the world visit to be their wildest, most uninhibited selves, even if it’s just for just a couple nights? We’re going to dive deep into all things Las Vegas. From the genesis of shotgun weddings, to film portrayals of the mob-era, to the social engineering behind mega-casinos...this is Spectacle Season 2: Las Vegas, what Sin City tells us about American culture.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Coming February 10th. Listen & follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Why is it that after a long, hard day of work we want to unwind with a glass of wine and… murder? From In Cold Blood to Serial, America is obsessed with true crime. The genre has simultaneously stoked our most primal fears, reaffirmed our safety, and transformed us into armchair prosecutors. As a culture we pay close attention, both to piece together the puzzle but also to understand the twisted humanity…What leads someone to commit a crime? And could we be the next victim? In this season of Spectacle, we’ll delve into the history of true crime -- from the cases that shook us to our core, to its passionate audience… and what narratives and stereotypes it reinforces in our culture.This is Spectacle Season 3: True Crime. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Coming June 23rd. Listen & follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the first episode of season 1 of Spectacle, we'll go back to the show that started it all -- An American Family. Most probably haven't heard of the 1973 PBS docuseries but many argue it inspired reality TV. The series that followed the Loud family of Santa Barbara became part of the cultural moment -- spoofed on SNL and by Albert Brooks. Host Mariah Smith gets behind-the-scenes details from filmmakers and finds out why the show can't be streamed, anywhere, anymore. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
More than 25 years ago, MTV debuted The Real World. The cast of 7 artists had no idea what they were getting into when they moved into a Soho loft together. They had been told the show was a documentary following their lives. But they weren't prepared for how producers stirred up drama and cast for conflict. Looking back, the first season is surprisingly timely. A lot of it hinges on whether or not Julie - a young white woman - is racist. In this episode, we talk to cast and critics about how The Real World created a formula for quick, cheap, insatiable television. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When Survivor premiered in 2000, there was nothing like it. It was like Lord of Flies meets Castaway. That first season enthralled audiences as contestants backstabbed all for a chance to win $1 million dollars. Ultimately, the show also became a microcosm of greater society. With some seasons segregating by race or class, it emulated the divisions we see on the mainland. What does Survivor tell us about ourselves? In this episode, we talk to Survivor cast member Max Dawson and aficionados Andy Dehnart, Mike Bloom and Racquel Gates. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Bachelor and the Bachelorette have been on the air for nearly 20 years. Millions of people watch every episode. But have you ever wondered why it's still must-see TV -- given its problematic gender dynamics, its heteronormativity and its lack of diversity? In this episode, we dive into this problematic fave with people who know it well -- S2 Bachelor Aaron Buerge, S3 Bachelorette Jen Schefft Waterman and Bachelor Nation experts Claire Fallon and Emma Gray. You won't want to miss it. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's easy to get distracted by the glamorous trappings of the Real Housewives. The fancy cars, the McMansions, the Botox. But the franchise remains compelling because the women share what they are going through from evictions, postpartum depression and run-ins with the law. They’re real women with real problems -- that they allow the whole world to see. No two iterations are alike, but there’s something for everyone in the 10 Housewives shows from  Orange County and Atlanta to New York and Potomac. In this episode, Mariah Smith talks to Housewives Historian Brian Moylan, reality TV scholar Racquel Gates and former RHOC cast member Peggy Tanous. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
From Kim’s sex tape scandal to Kourtney pulling her baby out during labor, to the scary Paris robbery -- the Kardashian sisters have shared it all over the past 20 seasons. That’s what this episode is all about. How Keeping Up with the Kardashians created TMI television. Nothing is off limits. This week, host Mariah Smith talks to New York Times writer-at-large Amy Chozick and KUWTK expert Professor Laurie Ouellette. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Queer Eye for The Straight Guy was an instant hit in 2003. Oprah, Jay Leno, even President George W. Bush were talking about the Fab Five. They were promoted as gay superheroes, who came in and made over a straight man’s life – but we never really got to know them. The Netflix reboot, out in 2018, changed all that. Today's Fab Five shares their struggles and opt for “make better” over “makeover.” In his episode, host Mariah Smith talks to OG culture guy Jai Rodriguez, interior design guy Bobby Berk and superfan Tobin Low. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
90 Day Fiancé is the trainwreck TV show we can’t stop watching. The secret sauce could be the romance. The tricky tropes. The desperation. I think it's desperation, actually. In this episode, we’re going to get into why 90 Days is so compelling as a social experiment. What do these chaotic relationships teach us? And what does the backdrop of the K1 visa process say about the immigrant stories we tell? Join host Mariah Smith as she dissects the franchise with comedians Marcy Jarreau and Nicole Byer and journalists Alexis Soloski and Shamira Ibrahim. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
All the winner of the Great British Baking Show gets is a cake stand. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a nail biter. In fact, we argue it’s one of the most anxiety-producing shows on TV and that it subverts the competition show paradigm. The Great British Baking Show doesn't need villains, a cash prize or crazy stakes. It's ...nice? Host Mariah Smith talks to 2019 winner David Atherton, journalist Scott Bryan and scholar Elizabeth Nathanson about how kinder, more earnest television can be just as captivating as its cutthroat counterparts. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 2021, it’s not enough to just become famous. To really capitalize on your 15 minutes, you need to tell a story and be authentic. The Circle perfectly captures this shift. It’s like the Real World but ...dystopian? Host Mariah Smith talks to S1 US cast member Chris Sapphire and journalist Etan Smallman about how the show demonstrates we can form real connections -- even through a screen. She also brings back scholar Racquel Gates and her producer Joanna Clay to discuss where reality TV is headed. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Spectacle is back with a new season and this time the spectacle isn’t reality TV it's a place. it’s had many names over the years: Sin City, City of Lights, Glitter Gulch. In this season of Spectacle, we’re going to dive deep into all there is to know about the fabulous, the incorrigible… Las Vegas. In our first episode, Host Brent Holmes connects with magician and Vegas headliner, Penn Jillette. Performing off Broadway in NYC, Penn thought of the desert city as a place entertainers went to die. But after an encounter with Dean Martin, Penn had his ass kicked “artistically" -- and never looked back.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the final scene of Viva Las Vegas, Elvis and Ann Margaret stand in front of a wood-framed chapel, happily married, running out into the street as the credits roll. Nearly 60 years later, you can get married at that very same church -- by Elvis. Well, a fake Elvis. Numerous spur of the moment nuptials would solidify Las Vegas as the capital of fast love. Known for the quickie wedding and... the quickie divorce. Did you know Ria Gable (Clark Gable's ex) escaped to a Nevada divorce ranch? Or that divorce ranches were even a thing? That's what this episode is all about: How Vegas revolutionized marriage and – in the process – launched a two billion dollar industry. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Las Vegas, through the eyes of Martin Scorsese, is where you went to be legit. It's where a criminal could operate out in the open. Dark alleys and dimly lit rooms were traded for c-suite offices. In Vegas, you could make real money. Casino was the perfect vehicle to show how the mobster went mainstream – in Vegas – and in our culture. In this episode, we’ll dive into the tropes of the film. And how, to this day, the problematic backstory of Vegas is celebrated – even though, you know, it came through stealing tax dollars and, you know, murder. Host Brent Holmes will explore what our romance with mobsters says about us. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Las Vegas has a way of forgetting its history. Like many cities across America, Vegas was segregated. From the ‘40s through integration, The Strip welcomed whites only, forcing Black people to live on the other side of the tracks. On the Westside. But they made it home, with hotels, restaurants and bars of their own. This week, Brent dives into the brief yet brilliant history of the first integrated casino, the Moulin Rouge, exploring what integration actually looked like for Black performers. And now, how the residents of the Historic Westside have recently taken its future into their own hands, breeding hope for a second renaissance, maybe one even better than the last. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
By the late 60s, that Vegas “anything goes” philosphy was fully solidified. And look no further than Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-fueled literary romp, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, to see this on full display. In making his surreal, snide and colorful portrait of Las Vegas – Thompson would later be accused of erasing the identity of the man who helped tell the tale. And that’s what this episode is about, how Thompson capitalized on a fantastical version of Vegas, and his friend – Chicano journalist Oscar Acosta – to promote the enduring representation of Las Vegas as “Sin City.” So what did he leave out? And what do people continue to leave out to espouse this fever dream fantasy of Vegas as a vice vacation? Host Brent Holmes digs into it with filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez and writers Zach Baron, Abby Aguirre and Scott Dickensheets. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Comments (13)

miinty fresj

It saddens me when people shit on Showgirl.. .sure, it's over to top, but it's actually a good movie! Girl Power all the way!

Mar 24th
Reply

Hoshidan filth

loved this show - total reality show addict - please do another season 🙏

Oct 15th
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Celise LaGrange

Would love an episode on Love Island!

Mar 24th
Reply

dy can

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Mar 23rd
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dy can

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Mar 23rd
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Justin Portwood

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Feb 27th
Reply (1)

Kristi Neal

The Real World and Survivor episodes were great! keep up the good work.

Feb 25th
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Annette Loynaz

I love how informative and thoughtful this podcast is. Keep up the great work!

Feb 25th
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Neutral Spice

Came across this advertised on another podcast I listen to, and now I'm (Im)patiently waiting for the next episode to come out! It's so interesting, and a must listen for anyone that's grown up watching reality tv

Feb 17th
Reply

Danny Pena

this started playing after a podcast I was listening started play... no. NO. NO. NO.

Feb 14th
Reply (1)
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