The Austin Chronicle

What'cha Watchin'?

Proofreader Lina Fisher gets real with interviews and the hottest of hot wings

By Lina Fisher, February 7, 2020, Screens

Hot Ones (YouTube)

Hot Ones is the kind of show you pop on after work to detox your soul. It's a tad sadistic; the premise is that the host and a celebrity guest eat a row of 10 hot chicken wings in order of increasing spice, as the interview progresses until they are crying and guzzling milk (or in the case of Gordon Ramsay, Pepto Bismol). Despite its chaotic style, host Sean Evans manages to ask surprising and respectful questions of guests like Shaq and Shia LaBeouf that have seemingly already been asked every question imaginable.

QI (Prime Video)

QI is a quintessentially British farce, in the dry absurdist vein of Monty Python and P.G. Wodehouse, translated for the modern viewer. It's a satire of trivia shows under the guise of a real trivia show. Rife with obnoxious airhorns and impromptu challenges (e.g. a cup stacking tournament), it's less about the answer and more about who can make the best joke regarding the answer. Sandy Toksvig, who hosts this and The Great British Baking Show, took over for Stephen Fry; that's how you know it's British comedy gold.

Longform (iTunes)

Longform is an in-depth interview podcast that spotlights nonfiction writers of all kinds, be they journalists, filmmakers, or art critics. It's at once deeply inspiring and intimidating, but co-hosts Max Linsky, Aaron Lammer, and Evan Ratliff always manage to humanize dream dinner party guests such as Errol Morris, Jerry Saltz, Maggie Haberman, and Jia Tolentino.

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