Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Insatiable’ is even worse than you’ve heard

“Insatiable,” the Netflix comedy about an overweight high school girl who suddenly becomes slim and beautiful thanks to having her jaw wired shut for a summer, has been drawing controversy ever since its first trailer went online. The reviews for the show were almost uniformly negative, yet they didn’t quite prepare me for the terribleness of […]

“Insatiable,” the Netflix comedy about an overweight high school girl who suddenly becomes slim and beautiful thanks to having her jaw wired shut for a summer, has been drawing controversy ever since its first trailer went online.

The reviews for the show were almost uniformly negative, yet they didn’t quite prepare me for the terribleness of the initial episodes, which alternate between feeble attempts to mine humor from hot-button issues like sexual assault and suicide, and even feebler attempts to treat those issues seriously.

To help me figure out just what makes this show so bad, I was joined by Original Content‘s original co-host, Darrell Etherington. Our ultimate question: Is this the worst thing we’ve watched for the podcast? (Yes.)

We also discuss the fact that Henry Cavill has been cast as the lead in Netflix’s adaptation of the “Witcher” video game franchise.

This episode was actually recorded more than a week ago, but I didn’t get time to edit it until after Disrupt SF. So much has happened since then — like “The Witcher”‘s showrunner leaving Twitter and Cavill apparently departing the role of Superman. (Plus, somehow, “Insatiable” has been renewed for a second season.) Still, the initial news gave us an opportunity to weigh the relative merits of the “Mission Impossible” movies, and to discuss my favorite subject, Superman’s invisible mustache in “Justice League”.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

Crypto’s second bubble, Juul has 60 days and three Chinese IPOs

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. After a long run of having guests climb aboard each week, we took a pause on that front, bringing together three of our regular hosts instead: Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and myself. Despite the fact that there were […]

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

After a long run of having guests climb aboard each week, we took a pause on that front, bringing together three of our regular hosts instead: Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and myself.

Despite the fact that there were just three of us instead of the usual four, we got through a mountain of stuff. Which was good as it was a surprisingly busy week, and we didn’t want to leave too much behind.

Up top we dug into the latest in the land of crypto, which Danny had politely summarized for us in an article. The gist of his argument is that the analogies relating crypto as an industry to the Internet may work, but most people have their timelines wrong: Crypto isn’t like the Internet in the 90s, perhaps. More like the 80s.

On the same topic, crypto companies formed a team lobbying effort, and a high-flying crypto fund is struggling to once again post strong profit figures.

Moving along, Juul is back in the news. Not, however, for raising more money or posting quick growth. Well, sort of the latter, as the government is after it. The Food and Drug Administration has put Juul on a countdown to get its act together regarding teens and smoking. That the financially-impressive unicorn is in as much trouble as it is nearly surprising.

Finally, we ran through the three most recent Chinese IPOs that hit our radar. Here they are:

  • Meituan Dianping: The Tencent-backed group buying, delivery, and everything company raised over $4 billion in its debut, which was impressive, but also short of expectations. The firm won’t begin trading until the 20th, but it’s one more massive deal that got done in 2018.
  • 111: We spent a minute on the show discussing what counts as a technology company thanks to 111. We voted that the Chinese online-to-offline pharmacy startup did in fact count. So, it’s in our list. Some notes on its debut can be found here.
  • NIO: Finally on our list was NIO, a Chinese electric car company with, as we have discussed on Equity before, a shockingly short history of revenue generation. Whether the company is a gamble or not, it did raise $1 billion in its own offering. And its stock is off like a rocket to boot.

And that was the end of things. Thanks for sticking with us, as always. Speaking of which, our 100th episode is coming up. Who should we bring onto the show to celebrate?

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

High-lights from Elon Musk’s interview with Joe Rogan

Elon Musk made an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast hosted by the eponymous comedian, where the pair smoked a blunt and pondered the flat-Earth movement, the future of AI, “inventing shit” and several other of the eccentric billionaire’s favorite topics. The now-viral interview, which was live-streamed to thousands of viewers, was immediately […]

Elon Musk made an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast hosted by the eponymous comedian, where the pair smoked a blunt and pondered the flat-Earth movement, the future of AI, “inventing shit” and several other of the eccentric billionaire’s favorite topics.

The now-viral interview, which was live-streamed to thousands of viewers, was immediately followed by two high-profile executive departures at Tesla. The company’s stock temporarily dropped 10 percent Friday.

Here are a few highlights.

  • Elon Musk probably got high. We weren’t in the room with him, but the Tesla CEO looks to have inhaled what was described as a mixture of marijuana and tobacco. “You probably can’t because of stockholders,” Rogan said to Musk before he took a hit of the blunt. “I mean, it’s legal right?” Musk asked, proceeding to smoke.

  • He vented about the negative effects of social media: “Particularly Instagram, people look like they have a much better life than they really do,” Musk told Rogan. “People basically seem like they are way better-looking than they really are and they are way happier-seeming than they really are. If you look at everyone on Instagram, you might think ‘man, there are all these happy, beautiful people and I’m not that good-looking and I’m not happy, so I must suck.'”

  • In the words of Rogan, Musk just can’t stop “inventing shit.” But being Musk comes at a high cost. “I don’t think you’d necessarily want to be me,” he said. “I don’t think people would like it that much.” Rogan, in response, suggests meditation and an isolation tank.

  • He worries about the future of AI — but not as much as he used to. “The danger is going to be more humans using it against each other, I think, most likely, that’ll be the danger, yeah,” he murmured.

You can watch the full interview here.

Original Content podcast: Going on a true crime spree with Netflix’s ‘Evil Genius’

“Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist” is a tough title to live up to, but the Netflix docuseries pulls it off. That’s because the story that “Evil Genius” retells is full of impossible-seeming details — it starts out with a botched bank robbery committed by a man with a bomb […]

“Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist” is a tough title to live up to, but the Netflix docuseries pulls it off.

That’s because the story that “Evil Genius” retells is full of impossible-seeming details — it starts out with a botched bank robbery committed by a man with a bomb attached to his neck and gets stranger from there.

In the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we talk about our reactions to the show — it tells an unforgettable story, but might have benefited from tighter editing.

We also mull over the growing genre of true crime miniseries, covering “The Staircase,” plus fictionalized depictions of real-world events like “Mindhunter” and “Manhunt: Unabomber.”

And we go over some recent streaming headlines, including Hulu’s rumored revival of “Veronica Mars” and Netflix picking up the U.S. rights to “The Great British Baking Show”.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

Original Content podcast: ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ is a charming high school romance

While Hollywood’s interest in romantic comedies seems to be fading, Netflix has been picking up some of the slack. Just a few months ago, it released the tremendously fun Set It Up. And now we’ve got To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, a high school romance based on the young adult novel by Jenny Han. […]

While Hollywood’s interest in romantic comedies seems to be fading, Netflix has been picking up some of the slack. Just a few months ago, it released the tremendously fun Set It Up. And now we’ve got To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, a high school romance based on the young adult novel by Jenny Han.

To All The Boys tells the story of Lara Jean Covey (played by Lana Condor), a teenager who’s written love letters to all of her crushes, but never sent them — until the beginning of the movie, when they mysteriously end up in the hands of the titular boys.

Naturally, this leads to intense mortification and embarrassment, particularly when Lara Jean is so desperate to hide her feelings on her sister’s ex Josh (Israel Broussard) that she agrees to pretend to date her former (?) crush Peter (Noah Centineo).

On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by our colleague Taylor Nakagawa to review the film. Taylor wasn’t entirely won over — after all, you can probably guess most of what happens next based on the bare bones plot description above. But your regular hosts Anthony and Jordan enjoyed it anyway, particularly the movie’s tremendously charming leads.

We also discuss Crazy Rich Asians, one of the rare Hollywood rom coms to make it onto the big screen, and how the filmmakers turned down an offer from Netflix. And we cover the week’s streaming news, including Netflix’s exclusive deal with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and the reports that Amazon is in talks to buy a theater chain.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

Come watch the Equity podcast record live at Disrupt SF 2018

Disrupt SF is right around the corner, which means startupland is prepping to congregate once again in the city for another epic run of investors, startups and celebrities. This year, Disrupt is heading to Moscone West, so the event will be bigger and better than ever. And I have some good news for you. Initialized […]

Disrupt SF is right around the corner, which means startupland is prepping to congregate once again in the city for another epic run of investors, startups and celebrities. This year, Disrupt is heading to Moscone West, so the event will be bigger and better than ever.

And I have some good news for you. Initialized Capital’s Garry Tan will join Connie Loizos and Alex Wilhelm live on the Showcase Stage at 3 pm on Thursday, September 6, to dig through the latest, greatest and worst from the world of venture capital.

That’s right, you can come to Disrupt and watch us sit on tall stools holding mics while we talk about the week’s money news in front of a bustling crowd of onlookers. Live tapings are fun because we can’t run the intro a second time if we mess it up. So come on down and hang out with us. Alex may even wear a shirt with buttons.

And it gets better. If you want to obtain a discounted ticket to Disrupt (and why wouldn’t you?), head to the ticket page and use the code “EQUITY” to get 15 percent off. Come for Equity and stay to see Aileen Lee, Reid Hoffman, Drew Houston, Anne Wojcicki, Arlan Hamilton, Ashton Kutcher, Mike Judge and so very many more people you’ve heard of on the Disrupt stage. To whet your appetite until the big show begins, click here to see the full agenda. It’s a good one. See you at Disrupt!

For more Equity, head here to catch our latest episode. Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Disenchantment’ offers tongue-in-cheek fantasy adventures

Disenchantment is the latest animated series from Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. The show premieres on Netflix on August 17, and we talk about our initial impressions on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast. Our guest host Brian Heater is a big fan of Groening’s previous creations, and he also […]

Disenchantment is the latest animated series from Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama.

The show premieres on Netflix on August 17, and we talk about our initial impressions on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast. Our guest host Brian Heater is a big fan of Groening’s previous creations, and he also interviewed Groening for TechCrunch.

While Disenchantment brings Groening’s funny, skewed approach to a medieval fantasy setting, it isn’t a parody, exactly. It’s packed with jokes, but they rely more on the characters and on general zaniness, rather than references to (say) The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.

Some of us weren’t completely won over the first couple episodes. The most promising aspect of the show is its central trio of characters, including the rebellious princess Bean (voiced by Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson), her personal demon Luci (Eric Andre) and the runaway elf Elfo (Nat Faxon).

We also discuss recent streaming headlines, including a new show for Apple from the team behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and new details emerging about Disney’s plans for its yet-to-be-named streaming service.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

Thanks to Anchor for letting us record in their Manhattan podcasting studio before it officially opens.

Anchor launches Listener Support feature to help podcasters get paid

Anchor’s been gaining a fair bit of steam lately with its dead simple mobile podcast editing app. The New York startup has also been branching out in some interesting ways, including the recent launch of a Manhattan-based studio designed to give podcasters access to far better equipment than the usual Skype setup. Today, it’s taking […]

Anchor’s been gaining a fair bit of steam lately with its dead simple mobile podcast editing app. The New York startup has also been branching out in some interesting ways, including the recent launch of a Manhattan-based studio designed to give podcasters access to far better equipment than the usual Skype setup.

Today, it’s taking on another key issue with upstart podcasts: monetization. Anchor is launching Listener Support, a Patreon-style subscription service (with a very NPR name) that lets podcasters make a little money for their hard work.

Once enabled on an Anchor dashboard, hosts are encouraged to share a link in their show notes, where listeners can plunk down $0.99, $4.99 or $9.99 a month for the privilege of audio content. After the money starts flowing in, hosts can collect their earnings by hitting the Cash out now button.

Anchor’s taking a 4.5 percent servicing fee from the subscriptions, on top of Stripe’s standard 5 percent processing charge. iOS and Mac users can also subscribe via Apple Pay. At launch, the service is available for a handful of partner podcasts, including ​Good Hustle​, ​Over the Thread​, ​Sweet Husbands​, ​So Fashionating​ and That’s Weird​.

The move follows the launch of a similar blockchain-based service from top Android podcast app, Castbox.

Original Content podcast: The end is in sight on ‘Orange is the New Black’

Orange is the New Black is back for a sixth season, dealing with the fallout from season five and shifting the location to the maximum security wing of Litchfield Prison. On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Megan Rose Dickey to discuss the latest developments on one of Netflix’s longest-running […]

Orange is the New Black is back for a sixth season, dealing with the fallout from season five and shifting the location to the maximum security wing of Litchfield Prison.

On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Megan Rose Dickey to discuss the latest developments on one of Netflix’s longest-running shows. Some of us are more on-board with the show than others, but we’re all impressed by the show’s balance between drama and comedy.

We also speculate about whether the story may be winding down, and whether OITNB‘s seventh season might be its last.

Before our review, we recap the week’s streaming and entertainment news, including Netflix’s acquisition of an Andy Serkis-directed version of Animal Farm, its plans for a show about African-American pioneer Madam C.J, Walker starring Octavia Spencer and MoviePass’ ongoing difficulties.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

Ars on your lunch break: Tim O’Reilly on why the future doesn’t have to suck

But inequality and economic distortions give us ample opportunity to blow it.

Enlarge / In a weird and gross way, these two subjects complement each other. (credit: @ThePracticalDev)

Below you’ll find the third installment of the After On interview with legendary tech publisher and prognosticator Tim O’Reilly. Please check out parts one and two if you missed them. Otherwise, press play on the embedded player, or pull up the transcript—both of which are below.

In today’s installment, Tim rejects the fashionable forecast that automation will eradicate all human jobs next week. Being closer than most of us to Jeff Bezos, he knows a thing or three about operations at Amazon, which presents a fascinating case in point.

The company began a hugely successful two-year robot buying spree in 2014. The robots automated countless repetitive and dangerous human tasks. And during that time, the company hired more than 100,000 new people in its warehouses. It turns out, these robots amplify the productivity of the folks who work with them. And when bosses get more bang for their buck from a category of worker, they tend to hire more of them.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments