Solo: Learning the Wrong Lessons!

 

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There’s a quote from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, “Once again you’ve put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual come to the wrong conclusion!” said by Sirius Black to Severus Snape.  The quote is one of my favorites, and I cannot think of a place where it seems to apply more than Hollywood.

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If you somehow break through and make a movie about a woman who makes falls in love with a water balloon, the lesson that Hollywood would take from that is “water balloons are sexy” and you’d see some crazy slate of movies in which water balloons have sex with hot women, and drive fast cars, and airplanes, and stuff.  (Sorry about all the water balloons but I’m sitting next to a bag full of balloons, so it was the weirdest thing in eye shot.)CC061DFE-2E9C-46D1-9B5F-B81599E0CFA5We’ve seen Hollywood learn the wrong lesson from successes too many times to count, (i.e. all of the Jaws sequels, and Piranha movies and so many others).  But we also see them learn the lesson from failures.  This can be really upsetting to me personally, because it often means something is abandoned early due to the wrong reasons, and who likes their movie franchises ended early?

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The latest victim of this problem, seems to be Star Wars.  I wrote about Solo a few weeks ago, but let me catch you up.  The film seemed like a bad idea, but it was a good movie.  So now, almost a month after it’s release Disney and Lucasfilm have announced that they’re reconsidering Star Wars spin-offs due to its failure.

So let’s talk about its failure, and yes it seems it is undeniably a financial failure (although the budget hasn’t been released so it’s difficult to tell exactly).  First of all, you released 3 Star Wars 3 Decembers in a row, and they were all very successful.  Is that because the films were excellent?  I’ve liked them all, but there is a fair amount of debate on the quality of each.  A huge reason for their success was the fact that December doesn’t have much for general audiences, it’s prestige film season, which leaves the “blockbuster” crowd open.  That cannot be underestimated as a factor in their success.  Solo however, came out just 6 months after TLJ in May.  May was the traditional time for Star Wars in the previous 2 trilogies, but May’s were not as packed with action films in those years, and movies had multiple weeks (in some cases months) to rule the box office.  This year we had Avengers: Infinity War (also a Disney film, which should be a double no-no for packing them in the same 30-day period) which was the biggest film of the year (and has the potential to be the top of the decade) was released a month before, then Deadpool was released a week before, and just three weeks after Solo, came the Incredibles (again Disney, wtf were you thinking?  Spread it out more).

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So that’s the first problem, Disney put Solo out with the biggest films of the year, and even by Star Wars standards it shouldn’t have.  It’s far from the largest story, or the biggest impact in that universe.  The second problem is confidence.

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Solo suffered from a few pieces of confidence undercutting.  After the fact that many of us didn’t think the idea was a good idea, there were the production ‘issues,’ with Lord and Miller getting fired mid-production, Ron Howard having to take over and needing to reshoot (which involved recasting at least one role), and then lastly there was the rumors of Alden Ehrenreich needing and acting coach.  None of these would add up to confidence boosting, then we didn’t see a trailer until February which seemed very late in the game for a film of this size.  And lastly, TLJ, it’s a pretty split popularity, but when 50% of the audience thinks the film was a crap-fest, and think Disney has ‘ruined Star Wars,’ six months may not be enough time to cleanse their palettes.

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Let me offer an example of a time when the correct lesson was learned, and how it may benefit you to follow in those footsteps.  On November 23rd 1963, the BBC aired the pilot of Doctor Who, and it did really poorly in the ratings that night.  The executive in charge was on the side of canceling the show after the first episode, because obviously the whole thing was going to be a flop, but the creator was opposed to that.  She argued that the show had suffered from the whole world being consumed by JFK’s assassination the day before, and that if they reaired the pilot a week later, that would be a more realistic example of how the show would do.  She was right, and the show continued for 26 years before being canceled (and then rebooted, and now having 50 years, 3 movies, and 36 seasons altogether).  They realized that timing had been off.  Releasing Solo in the midst of the superhero frenzy was bad timing, don’t blame Solo for that.

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So I ask you this question, given all of those things could Solo have succeeded? Even modestly?  I don’t think it really could have.  But Disney is looking the box office and acting as if that means the movie is a piece of shit, which it wasn’t.  Please Disney, learn the right lesson. I get that you don’t want this to happen again, but if you learn the wrong lesson it likely will.  Please, I love Star Wars too much for it to become the DCEU (with all the second guessing and undercutting and ultimately not learning the right thing)…  I’m begging you.

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Written by Michael Cole

TRAILER: Creed II

Hey, Everybody

Paul here…

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One of the reasons I was so excited for Black Panther earlier this year was because Ryan. Coogler was directing and Michael B. Jordan had a major roll. I’m a huge fan of both of these guys, but I’ve been following Micheal B. Jordan’s career since his days playing poor, doomed Wallace on The Wire.

When Creed was announced my first thought was that this was going to be one movie too many. Rocky Balboa had been such a perfect send off for the franchise, why ruin it with another cash grab? But then I heard Ryan Coogler was directing and Michael B. Jordan was starring in the film, with Stallone returning as his mentor. Now they had my attention. Coogler’s first film was the excellent and tragic Fruitvale Station (also with Jordan as the star). Maybe this was going to be something interesting after all?

When they finally dropped the first trailer, they had me hook, line, and sinker. It looked fucking incredible. Somehow the final film managed to deliver and then some. I shouldn’t say “somehow” because I think it was the talent of the people involved that made Creed such an excellent film. Creed is arguably on par with the first Rocky film as the best of the franchise and this is coming from a lifelong fan of the Rocky series. To put into context how much I loved Creed, the film premiered just about a month before Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens and Creed was still my favorite film of that year.

Again when I heard Creed II was in development I was nervous. Ryan Coogler wasn’t returning (the new film is directed by Steven Caple Jr.) and I loved Creed so much I didn’t want an inferior sequel. It has a few things going for it behind the scenes, Cheo Hodari Coker the showrunner behind Netflix’s Luke Cage wrote the screenplay, so that doesnt hurt. However, once again the got me with the trailer. BIG TIME. I had no idea what the plot of this new was. Once the trailer reveals where the story is going, I dare any lifelong fan of the Rocky franchise not to have big old grin on your face.

This has definitely jumped to the top of the list of my most anticipated films of 2018. Check out the trailer here and see for yourself:

 

Look pretty fucking awesome, huh?

-Paul

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TRAILER: Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse

It’s been a big Spider-Man week here at World’s Best Media. I wrote a pretty critical article of Peter Parker as a hero a few days ago, Mike just wrote an article about the Venom movie. Now we have this trailer for Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. I think this looks amazing. Even though I just wrote an article shiting all over Peter Parker, I LOVE Miles Morales. The first teaser for this movie was cool, but after seeing this trailer, this movie is on my radar in a big way. Check it out:

Let’s Talk About Venom

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I’ve been getting back into comics the last year or so, and I’ve been finding that my tastes have drastically changed in characters and stories in my nearly twenty year absence.  As a kid, I loved Marvel comics, and didn’t ever pay attention to DC, now I’m definitely finding more in DC that I enjoy.  I used to love Spider-Man and the Avengers, and now when I am reading Marvel stuff it tends to be stuff that isn’t too closely related to any of the MCU films or other Marvel films.

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One of the characters that I used to love when I was about 12 or so, was Venom.  He was so cool.  I’m starting to think he may have been more of a ‘cool’ character, than a ‘good’ character.

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I remember reading some of the ‘Venom’ series, and thinking that he was like an edgy broodier version of Spider-Man.  I think I thought “Venom is what J. Jonah Jameson thinks Spider-Man is,” which I thought was incredibly cool.  At this same time in my life, I was also collecting all the ‘alternatives’ that were coming out like A-Next which was the next generation Avengers, and J² which was Juggernaut’s son.  I think I had crappy taste at the time.  But Venom was a bad-ass, and I was convinced that was amazing.

Then, Spider-Man 3 was coming out, and it was announced that they’d be doing Venom as one of the villains, I was ecstatic.  Even when they announced it was Topher Grace, who seemed so unlike Eddie Brock, but they explained that he was supposed to be Spider-Man’s mirror, so they sold me on it.  Then I saw the movie and thought “oh they really fucked that up.”  It was definitely the portrayal of the character, and not the character itself right?

So a couple months ago, the trailer for the new Venom movie was released, and I have to be honest, I think it looks like garbage.  I like every single person in it (especially Jenny Slate) but the way she pronounces symbiote (Sim BY Oat) is obnoxious, and I’m sure this will be like when people were telling me that the correct way to pronounce Smaug was with each and every single vowel present, and I was like “it may be right, but it’s still annoying.”  So there was strike one.  Strike two is that the actual Venom suit/skin looks horrendous.  Don’t get me wrong, it looks just like in the comics, but it looks awful when juxtaposed with non-animated characters.  There isn’t a strike three yet.  So hopefully, I’m wrong.

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Then lastly, I started reading the Venom vs. Carnage trade paperback, and after a few pages of “I’m your father, you have to listen to me,” and “Perhaps if my host had any regard for his family, I’d respect you dear old daddy” a lightbulb went off in my head.  What if Venom sucks?  What if it isn’t that the character hasn’t been portrayed right, but what if it’s that the character isn’t good, or perhaps he’s only situationally good, like in small doses, when paired with the right characters?

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Paul has talked a few times in articles and in the podcast about characters like Wolverine being best served in small doses, because they’re cool, and there is a tendency to over do them.  Maybe that’s Venom’s problem.  Or maybe unlike Wolverine who is cool, and has a great arc/background, Venom is just cool, and not ‘good’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go see the Venom film and I’m going to finish reading this book, but I’m not sure anymore about Venom.

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What do you think of Venom?  Is he just cool?  Am I missing some incredible story that does his character the most justice possible?  Let me know in the comments below.

written by Michael Cole

What I Want to See: Solo Sequel

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This is going to contain some spoilers, so be warned.  TLDR: Spoiler Alert!

I had some reservations about Solo, I didn’t think it was a great idea, and there was the mess of a production we all heard about, and then they took forever to release a trailer, and it seemed like it was going to be a stinker, but the trailers regained some of my confidence.  I saw the film last night, and I really liked it, for a letter grade, I’d say B+.

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The film tells the story of how Han starts his life as a ‘scoundrel,’ how he meets Chewie, and Lando, and how he finds the Falcon.  Of his lore, I think that’s all the big key points that were touched upon.  The film ends with Han and Chewie heading off to Tattooine to find some ‘big gangster’ for a ‘big score.’

That’s what I want to see in the sequel.  Han and Chewie finding Jabba, and starting their smuggling.  That’s the concept they obviously need to go with, and perhaps there will be some chaos with the head of the Crimson Sun, who was revealed at the end of Solo.  That’s the basic plot, and obviously that’s what they’re planning.

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But, what I want to see, comes down more to cameos, and lore.  If they’re going to be on Tattooine, we could easily see some kind of Obi-Wan cameo, same with young Luke.  I’m a little iffy on what the timeline is supposed to be, so I’m not sure if Luke’s a small child or a young teenager.

In addition to those two though, are all of Jabba’s crew; Greedo, Boba-Fett (not necessarily Jabba’s crew but on payroll), Salacious Crumb; it would be interesting to expand upon these characters.

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There is also the possible setup of new characters that could be really cool.  So if you watched Rogue One, you should have known that most if not all of the characters shown would die, because otherwise why wouldn’t they be in A New Hope, but with Han’s life before A New Hope, there is no rule that says it has to interact with the main Skywalker Saga at all.  Cameos will be fun, but lets establish some awesome new characters, and pockets of the galaxy.  By doing this, it could create some connection, to whatever either of the two new trilogies (Rian Johnson, or the GoT guys’ trilogies) because while I don’t want those two new trilogies to be about Rebels or Resistance, or anything too obvious, it would be nice to know where it falls with in the extended universe.  Han and Chewie’s adventures could definitely provide a springboard for that.

Lastly, there’s a fan theory that I like, that might be fun if it’s shown to be correct, or at least purposely kept ambigious.  This theory basically says that because we see Chewie with Yoda in Revenge of the Sith, that they clearly know each other, and Chewie definitely has a passion for liberating the oppressed, and so what if Chewie was working as a rebel agent to some degree, with Yoda.  That’s why Han and Chewie meet with Obi-Wan, and it’s not all coincidence.  It’s a good theory, especially after seeing how Chewie behaves in Solo.

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What about you?  What do you want to see from a Solo sequel?  Let me know in the comments below.

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PODCAST: Superhero Show Season Finales!

Hey Everybody,

On this Episode, I bring in the old man, Paul Sr. to discuss the season finales of Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, and Gotham. We discuss the big moments of each finale, the quality of the preceding seasons, and where the shows go from here. A few of these shows we really love and have suffered from a dip in quality lately. So we have a lot of hot takes in this one! Including some inside info on how the shows connect to some other interesting projects like the Green Arrow movie that almost was called Supermax, the upcoming annual CW superhero crossover event involving Gotham City and Batwoman, the classic Batman stories “No Man’s Land” “Zero Year”, and more! Also, take a look below the link at some cool new images put out to promote the upcoming seasons of the show’s we talk about in this episode.  Enjoy! Listen here, on The Boston Podcast Network pod617.com , or subscribe on Stitcher and ITunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14869407

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Review: KRYPTON Season 1 Finale

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I know enough about how television shows work behind the scenes to know when a show is saving its money for something big. You think those dragons on Game of Thrones are fucking cheap?! Well, they ain’t! AND Krypton doesn’t have a fraction of the budget that GoT does. Episode 9 of Krypton’s 10 episode first season had a lot of scenes “in the tunnels” or “in a hidden bunker”, basically sets they already built, dressed up to look like different locations, so they could save all the big bucks for a grand, epic ending. So, I knew this week’s season finale of Krypton was going to be big. I must say the show did not really disappoint.

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Our hero, a Seg-El. Superman’s grandpappy.

I’ve often lamented how DC characters can be done so well on TV and so very, very shitty on the big screen. Krypton is another sad reminder of this.On paper, Krypton sounds awful. I really thought the concept was terrible: “A prequel set on Krypton focusing on Superman’s grandfather.” WHO GIVES A FUCK?! RIGHT? Sometimes it’s great to be so wrong. The show was so much more than the above synopsis and ended up being one of the most pleasant surprises of the first part of 2018.

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Brainiac’s gigantic ship descending on Kandor

The Big Bad of the show’s first season has been Brainiac, who’s been handled extremely well. The casting, actor Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons), and character design were damn near perfect. When your biggest complaint is that you want to see more of a character, they’re doing something right.

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Brainiac gazing out onto the latest piece in his “collection”

As the finale begins, Brainiac has descended on the Kryptonian city of Kandor. The end is fucking nigh. The main character, our hero, Seg-El (played by the oh so man pretty Cameron Cuffe) or just Seg, is doing whatever he can to stop Brainiac. To make matters worse, classic DC space adventurer Adam Strange isn’t the only one to travel from to the past to save the future, so has General Zod (Yes. THAT General Zod!) played by Colin Salmon from Arrow and the Bronson James Bond flicks.

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KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!

Zod wants to prevent the destruction of Krypton and with all the knowledge of the universe, different alien races, and the abilities that Kryptonian ‘s can you develop under a yellow sun under his belt, he wants to usher in a Kryptonian dynasty that will rule the galaxy. This guy is just a fuckwit. Adam Strange had the right idea when he straight up tried to kill Zod the second he saw him earlier in the season. Speaking of Adam Strange…

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Adam Strange tries to kill Zod as soon as he sees him, which is a very smart call. On the left is Lyta, Seg’s on/off girlfriend and high ranking military officer.
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Adam Strange giving Superman’s Cape to Seg in the Krypton version of The a Fortress of Solitude

Adam Strange is just trying to keep the timeline on track. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a great pitch to the his allies currently living on Krypton. After all, their world has to die for Superman to become the greatest hero in the universe. Adam brought Superman‘s Cape with him from the future to give to Seg a little bit of tangible evidence he wasn’t some nutcase. The Cape has been a lot like Marty McFly’s picture of his family from Back to the Future: the more the timeline changes, the more Superman‘s Cape begins to deteriorate and eventually disappear completely. If the past isn’t protected there may be no Man of Steel! Oh, and Zod wants to release Doomsday to stop Brainiac. The shit it hitting the fan here, people!

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Doomsday. Dormant… FOR NOW! DUN,DUN, DUUUUN!

For the most part the characters, both hero and villain, have worked pretty well. The villains in particular have been great. The whole cast is perfectly fine for the first season of a show like this, but there’s definitely room to improve in season 2. Both the heroes and villains are interesting in their own way and certain classic DC characters are adapted very well for the series. Both General Zod and Brainiac are excellent villains in completely different ways. They’re both perfectly casted and I’m hard pressed to decide which of them is more dangerous in the long run. Brainiac is a force of nature, but Zod is… insidious. Don’t get me wrong, Brainiac is scary as fuck. But he’s kind of like trying to use a gunfight to stop a hurricane.

 

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Though it looks like Brainiac, it’s really a vessel he built for his mind to enter and interact on Krypton. The true Brainiac never leaves his ship. He operates almost like a hive mind.

Zod is scary because of his humanity (even though Kryptonian’s aren’t technically humans). He never lies, but he chooses to leave out some pretty important details about his past. By “hiding the truth” he’s able to get the good guys to work with him despite the fact that they don’t completely trust him. Adam Strange is the only one who knows just how dangerous this fucking guy is because Adam knows how deadly and destructive he was on Earth. As I said before, the looks the show has decided on for Zod, Brainiac, and Doomsday are all excellent. The character design and make up work are phenomenal especially for Brainiac. We don’t see a lot of Doomsday in season one. Most likely because they’re setting up Doomsday to be a major threat in Season 2.

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OH FUUUUUUUCK, IT’S AWAKE! DOOMSDAY’S AWAKE! WE’RE FUCKED!

The best part of the series is really how they use the Superman mythology and put their own spin on it. I was pleasantly surprised when certain classic DC characters and stories elements that I didn’t expect, popped up in the series. If they can get the characters as strong as the mythology in season 2, the show could be excellent.

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Van-El, Seg’s grandfather in the family Fortress of Solitude. Van tried to warn Kandor that Brainiac was coming years before, but was considered a heretic and condemned for claiming to have found evidence of alien life.

Seg is a solid hero for the show. You can see pieces of Clark Kent in him. You can see parts of the man that his grandson will eventually become. He has that same selflessness and heroism. Of course he looks like him a little bit as well. But he’s still his own character, I would definitely say he’s willing to do more morally questionable things than his grandson probably would. It’ll be interesting to see where they take Seg’s character in season 2.

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Seg and his maybe new girlfriend Nyssa

The episode end’s on one hell of a cliffhanger. A really phenomenal set up for season 2. The genius of this show is that it’s NOT a prequel, it’s really a time travel show. So the series isn’t bound by the existing Superman mythology and can blaze its own trail. All in all, I think this was an excellent finale to a surprisingly strong first season and I can’t wait for Season 2! As always, thanks for reading !

Krypton – Episode 10 (Season 1 Finale): 8.5/10

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The True Villain of The MCU?

Hey Everybody,

The guys over at ScreenJunkies, who put out some pretty solid content, made this fantastic video where they argue than Tony Stark is the true villain of the MCU. I gotta say I’ve definitely said similar things about Iron Man in the past. But this is the best breakdown of  why Tony Stark is a pretty big bag of shit that I’ve seen. It’s a very cool video. Once again, thanks and great job ScreenJunkies!  Enjoy!

– Paul

Deadpool 2 Review!!!

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Hi Everybody,

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I review Deadpool 2! This was definitely one of my most anticipated films of the summer and I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed. I make sure to keep the spoilers to the later part of the episode. So if you want to stay spoiler free you can listen to the beginning and I’ll let you know in the podcast when I go into spoiler territory. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher:

Spreaker:
https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14835988

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F14835988

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PODCAST: The Movies of John Carpenter!

 

Hey Everybody!

It’s Paul!

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It was great to get back into the studio and record a fun podcast with Mr. Ryan McDonald  again. The man oozes sex appeal! But the real bonus was getting to talk about one of our all time favorite filmmakers, John Carpenter. This guy wrote, directed, and even did the music for some of the most iconic genre films of all time. Movies like Halloween, The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, and more! We also talk about the early buzz on the new Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story! You can listen here or subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher! We’re also available on The Boston Podcast Network, pod617.com , which has some other great podcasts you might want to check out. Anyway, I have all the links posted below, enjoy:

Spreaker

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14785308

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000411377718

The Boston Podcast Network

New link coming soon!

Stitcher

https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=54458228&autoplay=1

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