Episode 343: The 800-Pound Benedict Cumberbatch in The Room

The Overthinkers tackle deflate-gate, “Mozart in the Jungle,” and the Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

otip-logo-podcastoneBen Adams, Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, John Perich, and Matthew Wrather overthink deflate-gate, Mozart in the Jungle, and the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch.


→ Download Episode 343 (MP3)

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11 Comments on “Episode 343: The 800-Pound Benedict Cumberbatch in The Room”

  1. Atlas #

    I think you uploaded the wrong file, Wrather. Both iTunes and the direct feed link above play last week’s episode.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      Indeed, the wrong file got attached to the RSS feed, which powers iTunes and other podcatchers. (I have less control over this sort of thing now that we’re on a network.)

      The streaming player and the link in the post have the correct file. I’m working on the other issue.

      Sorry for the mix-up this week, everyone.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      The feed is fixed — if you already downloaded the incorrect episode, you can get the correct one by deleting, refreshing the feed, and redownloading.


  2. Amanda #

    Well actually, the characters Abbi and Ilana play in Broad City are not commediennes like the actresses playing them.

    Unlike Girls, where the Hannah character could be seen as Lena Dunham back when she was writing Girls (a point made by Matt and Ryan in one of my favorite eps of TFT ever, the yin to OTIP’s Girls episode’s yang, Petit Bourgeois-Face), the characters in Broad City have no interest in working in media/publishing/whatever. Abbi does hope to one day become an illustrator (and real life Abbi Jacobson is one), but otherwise, her job is as a pube-janitor, basically, and she really wants to become a trainer at the SoulCycle-ish place she works. Ilana works at Deals Deals Deals (a Groupon-type site, I’m guessing) and has no career aspirations other than being independently wealthy and thus free to Ilanear, probably. (Ilanear is Brazilian for “Ilana’s gonna Ilana-ate”)


    • John Perich OTI Staff #

      Yeah, that’s one of those statements that I realized was wrong as I finished saying it, but couldn’t find a graceful way to recover from. I still maintain that, by working as a fitness center attendant (Abby) and a “content creator” for a start-up (Ileana), the Broads fit into that nebulous category of “people struggling to make it in New York producing the things that make New York worth living in.” But the category is now perhaps too nebulous.


  3. Todd Murry #

    The Imitation Game – The thing I can’t get over (though this is perilously close to “they didn’t do it how I’d have done it) is the way they left a completely formed, richly evocative, and highly visual conceit unused. Yes, I’m talking about the apple. For those who haven’t run across this, Turing, reportedly having a minor obsession with Disney’s Snow White film, killed himself by biting into a cyanide laced apple. It’s like he wanted future filmmakers to have a hook and choose to end it all in the most fantastically symbolically laden way possible. And the producers went “Nahhhhhh.”

    Without even thinking too hard, we’ve got symbolic evocation the Garden of Eden (knowledge as transgression of authority, lost state of sexual innocence), Isaac Newton (discovery of knowledge, but here laced with death), Socrates (ritual self-poisoning to leave a world not willing to accept truth), Snow White (world doesn’t want you to be beautiful, fantasy of being reborn and accepted), and the Apple computers logo (which, apocryphal tale or not, is said to be inspired Turing’s suicidal flare).

    It seems like the easiest thing in the world to work this stuff in and tell an elegant parallel symbolic story (it would work with the story’s existing pedantic theme of “it should be OK for me to be different”) of a world not ready for who he was, or the knowledge and truth he brought. His death is forshadowed (and romanticized) but someday his gift to the world will be realized, and who he was accepted. The biggest risk is being too on the nose – how do you bring something new to a movie in the theater “look, our theme, on the screen!” scene, how many paintings of the fall or mentions of Socrates could be withstood (is the number 0), how do you make the inevitable adversary-with-apple scene clever enough. And the death scene better be pretty well thought out – though B-Batches, shirtless and with breasts from the chemical castration, head slumping to the side while his arm in the other direction drops an apple with a single perfect bite – just like Michael Corleone dropping the orange in everyone’s favorite, Godfather III – would be so awful that the GIFset of it would make tumblr instantly 30% better.


    • Dan From Canada #

      The importance and even relevance of an apple being the method of suicide requires a degree of additional knowledge that you can’t really put into a regular feature length film that is still, at least on the surface, all about codebreaking in the war.

      To get the knowledge of the ignorant viewer to a place where they won’t go “Cyanide in an apple? Bizarre!” would have taken too much time and effort.


  4. Todd Murry #

    Purple Rain – Does that thing still happen where there is a version of a song that is popularized which is then discovered to have a longer version, and everybody looses their minds. Let’s Go Crazy had a radio edit that got played before people had the album, and it was second only to the Money for Nothing version in making people excited, engaging social signalling, and having generally make a big deal out of it. The radio version took the “Dearly Beloved” opening, and overlapped the words into a 5 second or so mess that the full version of the song untangled. Just wondering if anyone does that anymore, since it was so effective in getting people invested in the song and artist.


  5. Andrew Buonopane #

    Pete! Baseball-scoring is not a dead discipline yet! I had the good fortune to bring my scoresheet to the last game of the season for the Washington Nationals, which turned out to be Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter, after which my friends who were at the game demanded copies as keepsakes.


  6. Jay #

    Oh no, this episode from 7 years ago has a broken link! As a free member, I demand you satisfy my desire to hear your thoughts on The Imitation Game!


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