We recorded this week's episode during the brief interregnum between the end of Glen Weldon's trip to the San Diego Comic Con and the beginning of Linda Holmes' two weeks at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles. So it seemed a perfect time to mine the two events for inspiration.
First, we get a sense from Glen — whose name is Welsh for "he who is uneasy around people" — of what it was like to be flushed into a sea of 130,000 enthusiastic souls; his answer may or may not surprise you. And, from there, we talk about fan gatherings of many different stripes. I talk a little South by Southwest and Newport Folk Festival (the latter of which I'm attending this weekend, so be sure to say hello!), guest panelist and departing producer Jess Gitner explains why she prefers chairs and the Internet, and Linda tells a story of how a small organic fan meet-up can suffer under the weight of expectations.
Then it's on to a briefing from Linda in advance of her trip to TCA: trends in fall television, what it's like to tromp through the Big Brother house, the return of Michael J. Fox, the pending rise of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a surefire sign that shows will fail, how broadcast networks hope to survive the encroaching domination of cable and the Internet, and more.
And, as always, we close with What's Making Us Happy. Jess thanks folks for the kind words about her imminent departure, then praises a fun pop-music remix. Glen praises a new book about the world of comic books — and is so sure you'll love it, he urges you to buy it without first peeking at its pages. I'm giddy with anticipation for the Newport Folk Festival, as one tends to be, and brimming with praise for recent articles by my pals Glen and Linda. Linda cites an inspiring comment on her aforementioned essay, and urges everyone to check out the 13-year-old commenter's charming and imaginative work on YouTube. And, of course, we pay tribute to our departing pal Jess, who really is as great and good as we say she is.