April 22nd, 2009

Hollywood's Depiction of the Quest for "Happiness," w/guest Molly McAshan

How do we define “happiness?” How has that search been depicted in film and television throughout the years, through introspective characters who seek greater meaning in their lives (American Beauty), to displays of marital trauma and the breakdown of long-term relationships (The Ice Storm, War of the Roses)? Has the defining of the American Dream as one based on material wealth had a deleterious effect on our well-being? And what does the increasing presence of therapists in society (Mad Men, Ordinary People, Sopranos) say about our sense of satisfaction with life? Returning as my guest is Molly McAshan, a Chicago-area mental-health professional and a film blogger. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in April 2009.]

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October 7th, 2008

Mental Illness in Popular Culture, w/guest Molly McAshan

About a year ago, I wrote an essay for the online magazine The High Hat on the depictions of mental illness in film and television over the years — you can find that essay here. However, a few months earlier, I’d done a radio show on the very same subject with my friend and fellow cinemaphile Molly McAshan on that same topic. The original broadcast was split into a few parts since we were in the midst of a station pledge drive at the time, but I’ve condensed the show for your listening pleasure. As a mental-health professional in Chicago, Molly has a great deal of insight on the challenges that actual psychologists and psychiatrists face. (Do therapists typically have therapists of their own, a la Dr. Melfi in The Sopranos? Molly says yes.) She also has a film blog called Celluloitering, which I’d recommend even if she did give a thumbs-up to Burn After Reading. (I know, I know — but I think the Coen Brothers are overrated. I realize I’m in the minority on this one…) [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in 2007.]

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July 21st, 2008

Time Travel in Popular Culture, w/guest Molly McAshan

Ever since H.G. Wells’ classic novel The Time Machine was published back in 1895, the concept of time travel has proven to be manna from heaven for pencil-chewing scriptwriters. Besides appealing for our longing for the ability to correct mistakes of the past, time travel is the ultimate “fish out of water” narrative staple that works for comedy, horror, and every genre in between. Cinemaphile and movie blogger Molly McAshan will join me to discuss everything from classics such as Back to the Future and The Terminator to more recent films such as The Butterfly Effect and the newly-relaunched TV series Dr. Who. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in July 2008.]

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Kevin Fullam is a writer and researcher, with extensive experience in fields ranging from sports analytics to politics and cinema.

In addition, he has hosted two long-running radio series on film and culture, and taught mass media at Loyola University.

Episodes of his two shows, Split Reel and Under Surveillance, are archived on the Radio page.