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4.20.16: TV on the Radio - Part Two

Alan Levine via Flickr CC

Big-budget movies aim to break box office records, not win over critics.  Today, a reporter comes up with a formula to rank the worst-rated, highest grossing movies of all time...and there are a lot of them.

Then, the creators of Naked and Afraid bank on nudity hooking viewers in, but know they can't show the naughty bits during prime time. That's where "the blur man group" comes in.

Plus, we'll speak to a woman who counsels reality TV stars -  a population excessively prone to addiction, depression and suicide - to cope with sudden and fleeting fame.

Listen to the full show. 

Blockbusters Are Getting Worse

The reviews were in before opening day - and they weren't good: too serious, too convoluted, and too much destruction.  But the warnings did not keep Batman V. Superman from beating up box office records.Even though ticket sales fell precipitously after opening weekend, director Zach Snyder's superhero slugfest is a textbook blockbuster - so far, bringing in more than 800 million dollars worldwide. 

Zachary Crockett is a writer for Vox. He wanted to know how Batman V Superman stacked up next to other high-grossing, poorly reviewed films, and discovered an interesting trend: Big-Budget Films Are Getting Worse.”

Blockbusters Are Getting Worse

Oddball Film and Video

Not every movie is a blockbuster...some are so bizarre that they never make it to the big or even small screen. Many end up at "Oddball Film and Video" a stock footage company with an archive that includes everything from vintage erotica to quirky after school specials. Producer Jenny Butler takes us inside. 

You can listen to this story again at

The Art of the Blur

It may sound like a spoof, but Naked and Afraid is a big hit for the Discovery Channel...we'll let them explain the premise: 

Like survivor, but buck naked....which is tricky on network TV. John Koblin wrote for the New York Times about the team it takes to sufficiently blur out the naughty bits for Naked and Afraid

The Art of the Blur

Teaching Wellness to Reality TV Stars

In a recent article for Broadly, writer Mitchell Sunderland writes that 21 reality TV stars have committed suicide over the past 10 years. That's compared to an average of 12.93 suicides for every one hundred thousand Americans in the general population in 2014. As reality television continues to grow as a genre, gobbling up more and more network hours - the extraordinarily high rate indicates a growing mental health problem within the reality TV community.

Sunderland's article profiled wellness coach Allison Barnard, whose work is now focused on this very visible, though clearly vulnerable, population. She joined us to tell us more about her work. 

Teaching Wellness to Reality TV Stars

Related: The Woman Teaching Reality TV Stars How Not To Go Crazy

The Bookshelf with Shelley Girdner

Today's dose of literary love comes to us from The Bookshelf. Each week, NHPR's All Things Considered host Peter Biello talks with authors from all over New England about their work.  Poet Shelley Girdnerwas a guest on the most recent Bookshelf. Her debut poetry collection, You Were That White Bird follows the lifespan of a relationship and employs a variety of forms including free verse, prose poems, villanelles, and even one triolet. 

You can listen to Peter's conversation with Shelley again here: The Bookshelf: Poet Shelley Girdner

Bonus: Writer's Day

On Saturday, April 23, the New Hampshire Writer's Project celebrates Writer's Day at SNHU. The conference gathers writers together for talks, workshops and seminars based on the idea that you can't write alone.

Virginia will be there for a session called “Here's the Pitch” - giving participants a shot at impressing four super high powered literary agents and editors who'll be right there to talk through and critique the pitch. It's an amazing opportunity for aspiring writers...exactly the folks we aim to encourage with our 10-Minute Writer’s Workshop podcast.

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