This week’s Netflix Pick was going to be Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. The original was great, the prequel series was self-effacing fun, but diminishing returns and all made this one a bit of a bore. Instead, this week’s Netflix Pick is The Hollywood Masters.
The Hollywood Masters isn’t a scripted drama or “reality” TV. It’s a conversation. Host Stephen Galloway has some history with these types of programs. He had a big hand in Close Up with the Hollywood Reporter (2015-2017) and The Hollywood Reporter Round Tables (2013).
Galloway sits down with a new guest every episode, and they truly are the Masters of Hollywood.
A lot of these shows, especially internet produced (a stigma quickly disappearing), seem to grab an impressive guest or two and then some B and C listers. The interviews can still be interesting but there is some extra gravitational pull toward names that have been entertaining you and shaping pop culture your whole life.
Just as an example the very first episode kicks off with Clint Eastwood. The two talk about Eastwood’s history, how he got started, and his meteoric rise. The flow of the conversation is entirely in the hands of the guest with Galloway simply adding in the occasional remark or leading question to keep the flow moving.
Every episode has a different feel. The personality of the guest sets the tone. This makes it easy to watch episodes back to back to back. Actually it’s hard not to watch the entire season in a single sitting. The run time per interview is right around half an hour which actually feels like far too little for each guest. The benefit is you can get through it quick and still learn something/be entertained.
The format is a lot like a Podcast (how fitting!) so the show is also a great fit for when you’re busy. You don’t really need to watch two people sitting in chairs, just be sure you can hear it clearly.