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The New Year’s Nose looks back at 2021

The cast of Adam McKay’s ‘Don’t Look Up,’ uh, looks up.
The cast of Adam McKay’s ‘Don’t Look Up,’ uh, looks up.

It’s been a long, strange year. (Aren’t they all at this point?) And so, how is our popular culture dealing with it all?

The Nose has a number of questions.

Will movies and TV ever really deal with COVID? Whatever happened to sympathetic characters? Whatever happened to comedies? Did anybody watch any standup comedy this year that wasn’t Bo Burnham or Dave Chappelle? Why do we cry at everything we watch? Isn’t Don’t Look Up great? Isn’t Don’t Look Up terrible? Why are we so stuck on old music? Do we even share a common popular culture anymore? Why are there so many good music documentaries all of sudden? Why don’t ALL the movies come directly to our houses now? Will we ever go back to movie theaters for real?

And other ones.

Some other stuff that happened this week, give or take:


  • Raquel Benedict - Claims to be the most dangerous woman in speculative fiction; she’s the host of the Rite Gud podcast
  • Rebecca Castellani - Co-founder of Quiet Corner Communications and a freelance writer
  • Sam Hadelman - Hosts The Sam Hadelman Show at Radio Free Brooklyn
  • James Hanley - Co-founder of Cinestudio at Trinity College
  • Rich Hollant - Principal at CO:LAB, founder of Free Center, and commissioner on cultural affairs for the city of Hartford
  • Irene Papoulis - Teaches writing at Trinity College
  • Bill Yousman - Professor of Media Studies at Sacred Heart University

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

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Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.
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