Fresh Air

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A weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. Each week nearly two million people tune into the show's intimate conversations.

Actor Sandra Oh grew up in a mostly white suburb of Ottawa. Her parents were South Korean immigrants. "I socialized myself to be as comfortable as possible in a white world," she says.

It wasn't until she left home for Montreal and Toronto and then, eventually, Los Angeles that she started meeting other artists of color.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward can't stop looking at the bruise on her arm. It's a reminder of her harrowing escape last week from Afghanistan.

At the end of a trip reporting on the fall of the Afghan government, Ward found the Kabul airport thronged with people desperate to leave the country. She and her crew held hands and formed a chain, but when the gate to their flight opened, the crowd closed in upon them.

Once in a while, in the torpid weeks of late summer, a new writer appears whose voice has so much zest and authority, they pre-emptively steal some of the spotlight from the big Fall books. Skinship, a just-published short story collection by Yoon Choi, is in that magical category of debuts.

Human beings are programmed to approach pleasure and avoid pain. It's an instinct that dates back millions of years, to a time when people needed to actively seek food, clothing and shelter every day, or risk death.

But psychiatrist Anna Lembke says that in today's world, such basic needs are often readily available — which changes the equation.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Tony Bennett, the singer Frank Sinatra called the best in the business, is retiring from performing at the age of 95, after eight decades on stage and in clubs. Earlier this year, it was announced he had Alzheimer's disease, diagnosed five years earlier, but he'd continue to perform. His last performance was just two weeks ago with Lady Gaga in sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall.

Something strange is afoot in mystery and suspense fiction. The plot of almost every thriller I've read in the past six months has had something to do with one character stealing the story of another character and passing it off as their own.

Who is doing your dirty work? Many of us have no idea, and writer Eyal Press wants to change that.

"Dirty work is work that society in a sense depends on and tacitly condones but doesn't want to hear too much about and certainly doesn't want to see," he explains.

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The book covers King's Grand Slam and Wimbledon championships, the "Battle of the Sexes," her activism for women's and LGBTQ rights, as well as some joyous and painful chapters in her personal life.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Four years ago, TV writer-producer David E. Kelley and actor Nicole Kidman teamed up for a successful HBO miniseries called "Big Little Lies" based on the bestselling novel by Liane Moriarty. Now they've teamed up again for a new TV miniseries called "Nine Perfect Strangers" based on Moriarty's 2018 novel. Kelley is the creator. Kidman is the star. And it premieres Wednesday on Hulu. Our TV critic David Bianculli has this review.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'Fresh Air' Remembers NPR Host Neal Conan

Aug 13, 2021

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Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The average musical biopic — and most of them are pretty average — follows a predictable arc: the troubled childhood marked by flashes of genius; the record deals and hit album montages; the marriages torn apart by affairs, addiction and the ravages of fame. Even when these clichés are drawn from real life, it's disappointing to see great artists reduced to formulas.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Kenan Thompson says playing a widowed dad on his new NBC sitcom Kenan and being a dad in real life has been "a bit of a whirlwind."

"I'm living my character kind of 24/7 in a weird way," he says. "I wake up and make breakfast for my kids and then I go do a scene where I'm making some sort of meal for my TV children, too."

I was a Catholic schoolgirl during a strange moment in the 1960s when Catholicism infiltrated American popular culture. For a brief time, nuns, in particular, were everywhere.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in today for Terry Gross.

Back in the 1960s, the late, great film critic Pauline Kael wrote an influential essay called, "Trash, Art and the Movies." In it she championed the pleasure we take from movies with no artistic claims or pretensions. Among other things, Kael noted that, for many people, loving trash actually creates an appetite for art.

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