BANTER BLENDER #111: Bagels, Hollywood, and The Game of Fiasco

Last week, my friend Jessica Ogilvie (twitter.com/jessicapauline) joined me on The Banter Blender for some good old fashioned banter. As usual, the topics spanned a large variety of topics, starting with another lengthy dissertation on bagels: how we like our cream cheese, how we feel about the word “shmear,” and other important observations from our Northeastern Jewish perspectives.

Eventually, we move on to Hollywood where Jessica tells us about a cover story she wrote for “LA Weekly” a few weeks ago about women in Hollywood. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the gender inequality that plagues the film industry.

Finally, we discuss a recent playthrough of the role-playing game “Fiasco” by Jason Morningstar. Yes, role-playing. But this isn’t some retread of “Dungeons & Dragons.” It was our first time ever tackling an RPG, and not only was it one of the funniest nights we’ve had in recent memory, we can’t wait to do it all again. Definitely tune in to hear about this experience.

BANTER BLENDER #104: Measles, Bruce Jenner, ‘American Sniper,’ and Bagels

This week on “The Banter Blender,” Angie Thomas (“All the Way”) joins Ben to chat about the usual grab bag of topics: the measles outbreak in CA, Bruce Jenner’s possibly trans journey, the controversy surrounding American Sniper, and, of course, the best bagels in Los Angeles. Come listen!

And remember to like the podcast on Facebook: facebook.com/banterblender

Banter Blender #103: Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Modern Board Game Culture

“The Banter Blender” is back! Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) and guests Jessica Ogilvie and Drew Staten kick off the new year by diving into the world of modern board games: Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and others. The group discusses what makes these games fun, how they got hooked, and what makes for a great tabletop experience.

Be sure to follow The Banter Blender on Facebook: facebook.com/banterblender

BANTER BLENDER #102: Halloween Candy Roundup, Ebola Nurse, and Pumpkin Spice Mania

This week on “The Banter Blender,” Angie Thomas (“All The Way” podcast) and David Clark join Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) to rehash the Halloween weekend that was. This means bantering extensively about candy and costumes (and a little Annie Lennox, for some reason).

Then it’s on to more pressing topics: should “the Ebola nurse” quarantine herself? Should people shop at Trader Joe’s? And when will pumpkin spice madness ever stop?

It’s a super fun, super-sized episode. Come listen!

BANTER BLENDER #100: Damian Holbrook on “Gotham,” “Scorpion,” and Trolling the iPhone in a Samsung Commercial

This week, we’re joined by Damian Holbrook (TV Guide Magazine) who recently gained notoriety after his snarky Twitter dig at the new iPhone wound up in a Samsung commercial. We talk about how that happened, what the response has been, and how Damian is dealing with the onslaught of iPhone fanboys.

Then it’s on to Fall TV. We discuss some of the most talked-about shows, starting with “Gotham,” then “Scorpion” and then of course “The Mysteries of Laura.”

Lots of fun stuff here. Come listen!

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BANTER BLENDER #99: Ray Rice, Taylor Swift, Joan Rivers, and ‘Utopia’

Writer Jessica Ogilvie (Playboy) returns to the Banter Blender podcast to discuss the latest events in a summer of craziness. We start with Ray Rice and the larger question of can bad behavior ever be forgiven? This leads to discussion of Chris Brown and Michael Vick before eventually landing on the most pressing debate of our time: Team Taylor vs. Team Katy.

Yes, the Taylor Swift / Katy Perry feud is addressed with the gravitas it deserves, and then it’s on to Fox’s new reality experiment, “Utopia.” Trash TV or a disturbing look at our society?

Finally, we close out the podcast with talk of Joan Rivers and her career. Along the way, there are plenty of asides about Starbucks, puss caterpillars, ISIS, and even Ferguson.

Tackling the tough topics as always!

Remember to follow the podcast on Facebook at Facebook.com/banterblender

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BANTER BLENDER #98: Forty-Five Minutes of “Barefoot Contessa” Chat

Calling all “Barefoot Contessa” fans. This week’s “Banter Blender” is devoted 100% to Ina Garten — from her recipes to her friends and everything in between. Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) and Andrea Nawalanic hash it all out as they share their favorite meals, their fondest memories, and some of their most honest criticisms about the Food Network superstar.

Along the way, there’s also stern criticism of Food Network’s current direction and also talk of Sandra Lee and The Pioneer Woman.

If you watch Food Network or simply have a passing interest in Ina Garten, this episode is for you. Be sure to use GOOD headphones. How fun is that?

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BANTER BLENDER #97: Revisiting ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Also, Kit Kats, Peanut Butter Cups, and Israel

‘The Banter Blender’ is working at full speed. This week, Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) is joined by his friend David Clark to discuss a wide array of topics, including their reactions to both “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Lucy.” Plus, the two wax poetically about the oft overlooked sitcom “Gimme a Break.” This somehow leads to discussion of Kit Kats and Peanut Butter Cups.

Also in the mix this week: Israel on Facebook, spiteful apple pie purchases at Burger King, and Robin Williams. Come listen!

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BANTER BLENDER #96: Inside Comic-Con 2014 and an Early Look at ‘Guardians of the Galaxy;’ Guest Host Kyle Buchanan

This week on “The Banter Blender,” Kyle Buchanan (senior editor, “Vulture”) returns to talk movies. First, Kyle takes us inside last week’s annual San Diego Comic-Con to describe what the experience is actually like. Kyle then shares some of the best things he saw, including an extended preview of the new “Avengers” sequel.

Then it’s on to summer movies. First up: “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Kyle has warm words to say about this upcoming Marvel release. Then we tackle “Lucy,” “Snowpiercer,” “Neighbors,” and various other films.

Bone up on your summer cinema and come listen!

BANTER BLENDER #95: World Cup, TV, and “Romancing The Stone”

Lisa Timmons joins Ben Mandelker (bsideblog.com) again for a rousing go at the Banter Blender. The two manage to broach all sorts of topics: the World Cup, personal training, Special K cereal, “Orange is the New Black,” “Game of Thrones,” “Romancing the Stone,” and Billy Ocean. It’s a classic Banter with Ben and Lisa situation. Come listen!

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