In this entertainingly super-sized episode, we have two guests for the price of one! First up, is a teacher and writer from Lafayette, Louisiana. After graduating from AFI with an MFA in directing, Mike Miley first got his start as an award-winning short filmmaker. Having left life in the L.A. entertainment industry behind to work in education in California and Louisiana, Mike has taught middle and high school English for fifteen years and Film Studies at his alma mater Loyola University (New Orleans) for the past six.
Additionally, an essayist and author who's written about both subjects in popular and academic publications including TheAtlantic.com and Bright Lights Film Journal, in 2015, one of his works was included as a notable literary essay in 2015's Best American Essays. Mike's first book, Truth and Consequences: Game Shows in Fiction and Film was published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2019, Conversations with Steve Erickson, which he co-edited will be released from there in July, and he is currently working on his next book - about filmmaker David Lynch - to be published in the future.
Joining me to discuss four films from the '90s and early '00s that made game shows either a central focus or the goal of its characters, we move from Ron Shelton's terrifically funny White Men Can't Jump to Robert Redford's classy yet now largely forgotten Quiz Show to Paul Thomas Anderson's epic Magnolia to George Clooney's messily ambitious Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Dissecting key points in these movies and sharing our own experiences watching these films growing up and/or in the theater, it was great fun both reminiscing and hyper-analyzing all four with Mike.
Adding in a bonus round because how can you not when you're discussing game shows, after my chat with Mike, I welcomed my pal, actor, writer, and film buff Rob Belushi - who serves as a real live game show host on Game Show Network's Get a Clue - to the podcast. In a short, breezy chat, Rob shares his take on the movies Mike and I discussed and then lets us behind-the-scenes of life working on a game show. Answering some of your burning questions from social media and sharing some amusing stories, this conversation with Rob was the perfect coda to this episode.
Theme Music: Solo Acoustic Guitar by Jason Shaw, Free Music Archive
Originally Posted on Patreon (5/28/21) here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/51800513