These days, there is so much information being given about every topic—not all of it accurate, or meaningful—that we can lose sight of the simple things: is this film or show actually good? What makes it important? And, mostly, what are people missing because they are so caught up in the biggest trending topic or news story? That’s where Watch Less comes in: our aim is to strip away the excess from the biggest stories and moments hitting television and film to get down to brass tacks: what’s hot, what’s not, and what’s being slept-on for today’s entertainment lover. Our aim is to explore pop culture through discussions, either through the knowledgeable staff at Complex or with the actors, directors, writers, and creatives who are doing the work and able to expound upon the themes shaping our culture today.
Rising star Kelvin Harrison, Jr.'s 2020 is already on a new level: not only did he have a supporting role in Stella Meghie's The Photograph, but he plays alongside Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross in his latest film, The High Note. He joins the pod to talk about singing for the film, but stays to get real on some viewers' opinions on his 2019 A24 film Waves and even shares some information on his upcoming role for Season 2 of HBO's A24 series Euphoria.
Jay Ellis on Directing HBO's 'Insecure', #LawrenceHive, Tom Cruise and the New ‘Top Gun’ | Watch Less Episode 30
Did you know Lawrence directs? Insecure broke formula for a special destination episode—and it was directed by none other than cast member Jay Ellis. Jay discusses his long-time desire to direct and the legends he learned from, and of course, he gets into #LawrenceHive (including which celebrities have pledged their allegiance) and if Issa and Lawrence belong together. We also get into the highly anticipated sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, the personal connection he has to the franchise, and yes, some Tom Cruise stories.
'Tis the season...in the spirit of the anniversaries of series finales for everything from Game of Thrones to Mad Men, Frazier and Khal dedicate some time this week to looking at their favorite TV series finales, as well as giving a look at what makes up a memorable series finale. Before that, they are joined by The Ringer's Andrew Gruttadaro and The Cut's Kerensa Cadenas to talk about two buzz-worthy series that hit streaming services over the last month: Netflix's Outer Banks and Hulu's Normal People. Relax and take notes.
This week on Insecure, it finally happened. Issa and Molly's blow-up was epic...so epic that we had to bring in Tahirah Hairston—Teen Vogue's Fashion and Beauty Features Director and Insecure stan—to discuss this explosive episode. From a discussion on who's wrong to predictions on how this situation could inform the rest of Season 4, the dive is deep, especially for those who sipping all of the Insecure tea. Before that, Frazier and Khal discuss the untimely death of comedy legend Jerry Stiller.
Full Size Run co-host/actor/rapper Trinidad Jame$ returns to Watch Less to break down Season 1 of The Sopranos. TJ explains how khal inspired him to start it, why he's only just getting to this classic series, if the first season meets the hype, and the personal connection he had to a specific episode. (And for any fellow Sopranos late-bloomers, only Season 1 is covered, no spoilers for the rest of the series.) Later, Frazier and Khal react to Taikia Waititi's Star Wars appointment and the Season 3 finale of Westworld.
Everyone's (hopefully) on quarantine with nothing but time on their hands, so they're bound to get their binge on. This week, Frazier and Khal offer their expertise in Binging Responsibly by giving you 8 simple rules that will help you effectively rewatch your favorite TV shows. If you're looking to get the most out of your Peak TV rewatches, don't worry; we've got you covered.
Watch Less is #remoteAF and bringing The Photograph director Stella Meghie on this week's episode of the pod to talk about working with Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield on her well-received romcom (which hits digital on April 28). She also hinted at the episode of Insecure she directed this season, talks about her path to becoming a filmmaker, and shares what she's been doing (or not doing) during quarantine. Frazier and Khal then discuss one of the hotter topics on the TV timeline: Kenya Barris' new Netflix series #blackAF. Tell a friend to wash their hands and tune in.
GOAT character actor Joe Pantoliano joins Watch Less this week. The Emmy Award-winner might be more recognizable for some of his greatest performances, including Ralph Cifaretto on The Sopranos, Teddy on Christopher Nolan's Memento, or Captain Howard in the Bad Boys franchise. Pantoliano breaks down his time in the films, as well as the process of getting from Bad Boys II to Bad Boys For Life. Joey Pants also breaks down his penchant for playing bad guys, shares some stories from his years in the business, and more. Later, Frazier and khal share some 'Rona Recommendations, which includes a deep cut TV series you might not be able to find and Better Call Saul, one of the greatest shows no one wants to watch or talk about.
Lowkey Quarantined: Issa Rae on Staying Productive, 'Insecure' Season 4 & Embracing Acting | Watch Less Episode 23
As the timeline erupts with the beginning of a new season of Insecure, the show’s creator and star, Issa Rae, blessed the pod. Issa breaks down Season 4's themes and teases where this year's conflict is headed, and also talks Stella Meghie on The Photograph and one important episode of this season of ‘Insecure’, and more insight from the set of Jay-Z’s “Moonlight” video. If you’re a diehard Insecure fan, just press play.
The quarantine may have slowed our theater consumption to a halt, at least there's all kinds of TV to watch. This week, Frazier and Khal are joined by Angel Diaz talking FX's DAVE on the path to beat Atlanta's viewer numbers, the latest films that Hollywood studios have had to push back, and Twin Peaks on its 30th anniversary. They also pick up a classic debate: did Tony Soprano get hot or not?
When Cookie talks, you listen. Taraji P. Henson, star of Empire, Baby Boy, and other classics, joins the pod to talk about her new Netflix film, Coffee and Kareem, as well as his first time in the director's chair, the only time she missed work as an actress, and her dreams of going international. Later, Frazier and Khal bring all of the Complex Original Podcasts together, as Joe La Puma from The Complex Sneakers Podcast and Load Management hosts Chopz and Adam Caparell joins to discuss Season 10 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, where it sits in the Complex Curb season rankings, and to choose a side: Curb or Seinfeld. The group chat comes to life!
Stuck inside and need a bowl of hot goss to tide you over? Adam Pally, star of NBC’s hilarious Indebted as well as the cult-classic Happy Endings, sits down with Frazier and Khal to talk his character’s cool dad swag, getting lit with the legend Fran Drescher, and what it was like punching Baby Yoda. Frazier and Khal also reflect on the Season 10 finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, get a vibe check on Westworld Season 3 (so far), and share some ‘rona recommendations.