Greetings from Meta Station, where a playwright and an English professor who have been best friends for sixteen years recap our favorite genre television shows. Check out our archive for 4 seasons of coverage of the CW's post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama "The 100," including cast and creator interviews, and join us in summer 2019 for coverage of three new streaming miniseries perfect for binge-watching - "Good Omens" on Amazon Prime, "Russian Doll" on Netflix, and "Gentleman Jack" on HBO!
"His Dark Materials" 1x03: "The Spies"
Welcome back to Meta Station, where IT’S TIME TO CRY ABOUT MOMS! Lyra finally finds a family, we learn a lot more about daemons, some Dramatic Backstory is revealed, a show finally presents a suicide storyline responsibly, and we have a LOT of thoughts about white male patriarchy. Also, the alethiometer finally works, Ma Costa is our new favorite character, and Fleabag’s Hot Priest has joined the cast which means this show officially has everything.
0:00 - Thank Goodness for the Gyptians, Adults Lyra Can Actually Trust
0:17 – How This Episode Gets Suicide-As-Plot/Character-Development Right
0:37 – Daemon Discussion Redux: Farder Coram Edition
0:41 – Lyra's Journey to Trust, Belonging, and a Working Alethiometer
0:53 – [Sidebar to Cry About Lyra and Ma Costa, the Ur-Mom]
1:11 – The Gyptians, the Magisterium, and the Value of Children
1:19 – Smash the Patriarchy, Part I: Who’s Outside the Machinery of Power, and Why It Matters That Boreal and the Master Are Black Men
1:33 – Smash the Patriarchy, Part II: Male Shame, the Complicity of White Women, and the Show’s Refreshing Decision Not to Woobify Mrs. Coulter
1:56 – No New Episode Next Week for Gay Reasons, But We’ll Be Back After American Thanksgiving!
"His Dark Materials" 1x02: "The Idea of North"
Welcome back to Meta Station!
Sadly for you, several of our BEST jokes this week happened before we started recording, and we apologize to our longtime fans for depriving them of the newest installment of our ongoing “vases vs. botulism” debate. (You had to be there.)
Fortunately, this still ended up being one of our favorite conversations, because there is SO! MUCH! TO SAY! about Mrs. Coulter: from using femininity as a weapon to wield power over men, to the complicated relationship between women and anger, to why it matters that her (male) daemon has been silenced. We also talked Magisterium theology, Boreal’s dimension-hopping, and how relieved we are that our pure sons Roger and Billy finally found each other.
P.S. Rather predictably, we have already completely abandoned any attempt to remain spoiler-free for people who haven’t read the books, for reasons that will become very clear in the Mrs. Coulter section. If you are aggressively trying to avoid any plot details from the books, you might want to bookmark this one and come back to it after the end of the season.
0:00 – Lyra and the Apartment: Art Deco Design Porn, Abuse Dynamics, and Gilded Cages
0:10 – The Interior Life of Marisa Coulter: Weaponized Femininity, Suppressed Emotions, a Daemon That Doesn’t Speak, AND A COUPLE OF REALLY BIG SPOILERS
1:01 – Mrs. Coulter: Severing Ties, Emotionally and Literally
1:11 – Boreal, Other Worlds, and Novel Versus TV Plot Pacing
1:24 – Fighting for Ideas . . . of North, and Other Things
1:31 – Claire's Catholicism Corner: What Does "Oblation" Mean? And What Does It Tell Us About Mrs. Coulter?
1:42 - The Magisterium's Cold-Blooded Daemons
1:47 - The Most On-Brand Moment Ever: Claire Ships All the Parents
NOTE: We apologize for some very mild sound issues on this one; Claire’s computer, like herself, has a very flexible relationship with the concept of Time, and froze up for a second before reviving so the whole middle of one sentence just disappeared, which is mostly upsetting because it was MILF flailing and we know that’s important to you guys. Also, Erin’s sound recording software was picking up the computer mic instead of her podcasting mic, so there are handful of places where she cuts out for a split-second as well. We edited around it as best we could, but hopefully it won’t be too distracting.
"His Dark Materials" 1x01: "Lyra's Jordan"
Welcome to Meta Station’s first recap of “His Dark Materials,” the perfect show for a podcast hosted by an atheist English professor and a Catholic playwright. Join us for a deep dive into the transformation of the books from page to screen, with side quests into climate change, Vatican II, “Paradise Lost,” gender fluidity, and Galileo. Plus, we lay out a careful plan about avoiding spoilers and then forget it immediately, of COURSE Erin knows the Milton quote Philip Pullman got the series title from, and Claire hops in the wayback machine to reminisce about being a youth minister when these books first blew up in the U.S.
Grab your alethiometer and your bottle of secret crypt wine, we’re going on an adventure!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
0:00 – Hello, New Listeners, and Welcome Back, Old Friends!
0:02 – Page to Screen Adaptation, Part I: Asriel, Lyra and Narrative Perspective
0:21 – We Stan a Relatable 11-Year-Old Who Is Sometimes a Butthead
0:27 – Page to Screen Adaptation, Part II: Dramatic Irony, Pacing Big Reveals for Television, and How Ruth Wilson Almost Convinced Us, Too
0:44 – The Gyptian Daemon Ceremony: Our Need for Ritual, the Magisterium’s Dehumanization of Religion, and the Return of Claire’s Catholicism Corner
1:10 – Pan-Daemonium
1:34 – Galileo, Climate Change, and Dust: The Politics of Scientific Knowledge
1:55 – The Magisterium, the Master, and the Moral Bankruptcy of Incentivizing Ignorance
2:02 – Erin Rambles On About Miltonian Cosmology, and All Is Right With Meta Station
GOOD OMENS, Part the Second!
Choose your faces wisely, because it’s time for Part II of “Good Omens,” where imagination is the greatest power of humankind, the kids are trying to figure out how to fix the world the grown-ups ruined, Madam Tracy finally gets takes center stage, Derek Jacobi pops in for a truly delightful cameo, and it turns out Crowley still thinks pretty highly of God.
This one took us to some PLACES - we went deep on climate despair, youth-led protest movements, and the Horsemen as self-fulfilling prophecies, and then unpacked the theology of Aziraphale and Gabriel and got very real about when organized religion gets in the way of God. Hop on, this one’s a fun ride.
Cheers, friends. TO THE WORLD!
0:00 – Welcome Back to “Good Omens,” Let’s Get This Apocalypse Show on the Road!
0:02 – We Are Now Ride-or-Die Lesley x Maud Shippers
0:05 – The Horsemen vs. the Them: Personification, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, and the Triumph of Youthful Imagination Over Adult Despair
0:32 – Pollution and Death in the Pratchett-Gaiman Extended Universe
0:40 – The Gospel of Aziraphale
0:52 – When Organized Religion Gets in the Way of God
1:13 – Imagination: The Secret Weapon of Armageddon
1:21 – Anathema: Living By the Book
1:30 – Adam vs. the Antichrist
1:39 – Love: The Other Secret Weapon of Armageddon (ft. Ineffable Husbands Flailing)
1:44 - (Madame Tracy's) Humanity Saves the Day (and Adam's Life)
1:50 – The Radical Egalitarian Skepticism of the 11-Year-Old Human from Tadfield: The Other Other Secret Weapon of Armageddon
2:03 – The Aftermath of the End of the World: Human Edition
2:10 – The Aftermath of the End of the World: The Great Crowley/Aziraphale Switcheroo
2:18 – Ten-Minute Sidebar to GUSH OVER THE AMAZING CAST
2:31 – One Last Moment of Ineffable Husbands
2:34 – COMING UP NEXT: “Russian Doll” Episodes 1-4! (Spoiler-Free, Because Claire Hasn't Watched It Yet!)
GOOD OMENS, Part the First!
Hello, new friends! Welcome back, old friends! Meta Station is back and we've missed you, too!
Summer is truly the best time of year for binge-watching television (some people will tell you it is the time of year for Going Outside and, like, Doing Stuff, in Nature, but those people are wrong and dangerous, stay in here with us where there's air conditioning and couches and snacks). So during July and August we're going to be podcasting on three different miniseries we love which we think you will enjoy too.
First on deck is the delightful six-part Amazon Prime adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s 1991 apocalypse comedy GOOD OMENS, and we are here to tell you as fans of the book that the show gets just about everything right.
Join us for a nerdy conversation covering everything from “Paradise Lost” to “Angels In America,” from Francis of Assisi to the end of the Cold War, from the holiness of sushi chefs to the dangers of dudes getting redpilled, with a whole lot of metaphysics, nature vs. nurture, and predestination thrown in. (Plus, obviously, shippy flails, because we can’t help ourselves.)
Hop in your 1926 black Bentley, crank up that Velvet Underground (WHICH IS NOT BEBOP), and grab your flaming sword, because it’s time to stop the end of the world.
You know what to do, do it with style.
0:00 – Welcome to Meta Station Summer Vacation!
0:02 – *Weary Sigh* No, GOOD OMENS Is Not "Anti-Religion," Calm Down Christians
0:13 – “Paradise Lost,” Angel Sex, and the Joy of Non-Canon Shipping
0:17 – Oh Right, We Should Probably Talk About the Plot
0:20 – "In the Beginning": Empathy, Ineffability, and Asking the Dangerous Questions
0:34 – Sushi Chefs, Francis of Assisi and Queen: Azirophale and Crowley's Attachment to the Human World
1:11 – A Brief Sidebar to Nerd Out About Craft: Acting, Casting, Adapting a Book for the Screen, and Why Everyone Loves Neil Gaiman
1:26 – 1991 In Cultural Context, Part I: Claire the Playwright on "Angels In America" and "Marisol"
1:36 – 1991 In Cultural Context, Part II: Erin the Academic on the End of the Cold War
1:49 – "Form Shapes Nature": Warlock, Adam and Dog
2:14 – Agnes, Anathema, and the Intersection of Prophecy and Free Will: or, FINALLY IT IS TIME TO TALK ABOUT SOME LADIES
2:33 – Shadwell, Pulsifer, and the Old Guard vs. the New
2:41 – A Brief Word on Horsemen
2:43 – Thanks For Joining Us! We’ll See You Next Week!
Good Omens Podcast Preview!
Welcome to META STATION SUMMER VACATION!
We're spending July and August covering some of our favorite binge-worthy miniseries of 2019, kicking off this week with a discussion on episodes 1-3 of Amazon's fantastic adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's shippy apocalypse romp "Good Omens."
To whet your appetite, if you've missed us, or to introduce ourselves to you if you're new here (welcome!!), here's a 25-minute teaser - a mini-meta, if you will - to tide you over until the full three hours of nerdery goes live Monday!
In this excerpt, we discuss the war between Heaven and Hell in the context of the original publication of "Good Omens" in 1991. Erin has thoughts on the Cold War, Claire has thoughts on "Angels In America," we're both spicy about right-wing dumbs interpreting the story as anti-religion, and Erin shamelessly promotes Claire's book for new listeners. COME HANG OUT WITH US WE'VE MISSED YOU ALL SO MUCH
Customer ReviewsSee All
I miss you guys
Please come back. I wish y’all kept going. The 100 is on the last season and y’all have all of S6 and the last episode of S5 to do which you never released btw. Y’all had me waiting forever for that thing believing y’all would actually release it. Please come back. We miss you
Intelligent, Nuanced Discussion
Claire and Erin do a magnificent job of discussing the finer details of each episode. They go into what the show does right, how it relates to history/pop culture, and what missteps the show has made. One of the best TV-recap/analysis podcasts I’ve heard. Definitely advise all listeners to watch the episode, THEN listen to the podcast; don’t binge the show or the podcast because they go into such detail with their discussion that you will be lost. The only gripe I have? Claire and Erin haven’t reviewed any of season 2 yet (or most of season 3) and I selfishly want to hear what they think :) Love the podcast!
Isn’t it a pity
I had high hopes for this podcast at first. I rejoiced initially as I longed for a companion resource for my rewatch. However, starting at ep. 4.05, I sensed a subtle shift in the hosts approach. After a considerable amount of nitpicking (their phrase) about 4.05, something that put me in mind of “other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play.” I decided to skip to the end and listen to those segments pertaining to their reasoning for ending the podcast. I’m not sure if I really understand them. It was obvious they were struggling with it. By this point in their journey with the show, my take differed considerably and perhaps our journey ended at the right time. I always thought the attachment to Kane was intriguing, but frankly his character’s actions in Season 5 were reprehensible and, to me, unfathomable. I’m surprised that nobody double-tapped him while they were hauling him in on the stretcher. He consciously elected to kill all his people from Skaikru along with Octavia. Similarly, Abby is another terrible character. I’m surprised Raven didn’t blade her on first sight. Her addiction was not a pass for the harm she inflicted. In any event, I certainly appreciate the time and effort the hosts put into the podcast. My other quibble is that the podcast episodes were way too long and larded with much academic jargon. Ultimately, the few unadulterated pure fan enjoyment moments diminished nearly altogether. What a pity.