Into It Host Sam Sanders Interview

If it is taking place in popular culture, Sam Sanders desires to speak about it. This summer time, Sanders launched Vulture’s latest podcast, “Into It,” which, as Sanders tells, is about “the popular culture that we’re obsessive about, the popular culture we won’t cease eager about.”

“You possibly can consider it as a weekly digest of all of the stuff within the zeitgeist, but additionally some actually fascinating deep dives into all of the nooks and crannies and deep elements of fashionable tradition,” he explains. “We will speak about all the things from the enterprise of being Beyoncé to why nobody ever appears to need to finish a present today to the racial politics of ‘Yellowstone’ to which superstar alcohol tastes the very best.”

He describes the listing of subjects as “well-rounded” and says the present’s greatest asset is the remainder of the Vulture workforce, whom he calls “the very best and the brightest.” Sanders, a radio and podcasting vet, opens as much as about his new undertaking, his years-long profession, and his predictions for what’s subsequent within the popular culture panorama. What attracted you to podcasting and radio, and the way did you get your begin in it?

Sam Sanders: Audio, whether or not or not it’s radio or podcasting, all the time felt extremely private to me as a result of it is the form of factor that you would be able to have with you all all through your day, it doesn’t matter what you are doing. Once I’m enjoying a podcast, I can do something. I may be folding laundry, cleansing my home, strolling the canine. I’ve had individuals inform me for years that they will hearken to my podcast whereas they practice for marathons. To have the ability to be with individuals as they go about their day makes all the medium itself a lot extra intimate.

PS: You went from “NPR Politics” to “It is Been a Minute,” which is a hybrid of politics and popular culture, to now “Into It,” which is all popular culture. How did that evolution occur for you?

SS: Quite a lot of it was actually natural. What was I into speaking about? What questions did I’ve myself as a client of stories and tradition? And what gaps did I see within the business? So earlier than I lined politics, I hadn’t lined politics and it felt like a great time to do it. I used to be actually interested by attempting to cowl politics in a approach that would appear accessible to all of my associates, and that was the aim with the “NPR Politics” podcast and my protection of [the 2016 presidential] marketing campaign. And I believe it labored.

Then, like lots of people, election 2016 wore me out and I wanted one thing completely different, however I needed to proceed to do what I had gotten good at. With “It is Been a Minute,” I obtained this area to nonetheless do information, nonetheless do politics, however simply unfold my wings and experiment. We realized fairly early on within the present that considered one of our candy spots had been long-form interviews with creatives and likewise conversations that simply unpacked the methods wherein the information intersects with identification, whether or not or not it’s race or gender or sexuality or class.

What I believe I am doing now, even because it looks like I am leaving information behind, I am looking for alternative ways to have those self same conversations. I have been obsessed for years now with the methods wherein who we expect we’re and who we expect others are, how that impacts how we see the world and what we do on the earth, and I believe that each dialog, we come to them in a different way based mostly on our identities, and I need to have these conversations.

PS: How does “Into It” dive into these concepts by way of popular culture?

SS: We had a dialog just a few weeks in the past on the present about “Yellowstone,” this present that individuals cannot work out if it is conservative or what and it represents a whole lot of the tensions between coastal America and center America and the leisure business. By way of this chat a few f*cking Kevin Costner present, we’re ready to take a look at race, class, identification, and politics and have these conversations that join the dots in some actually cool methods. And that is what I used to be doing after I was protecting politics, proper? They’re nonetheless meaty conversations.

PS: Are you able to preview any upcoming episodes?

SS: We now have a extremely fascinating episode arising all about how abortion is portrayed on display. There’s this concept that, “Effectively, , TV and flicks can transfer the needle, and if individuals see extra abortion or see extra interracial {couples} or see extra homosexual {couples}, we’ll get politics that’s nicer to these individuals.” In reality, we now have seen extra abortions portrayed on display than ever earlier than as abortion legal guidelines throughout the nation have turn into extra restrictive. We’re speaking to a author who’s written abortion into her TV present and to an educational who has studied the way in which that these things is portrayed on display and we will air it in October. It’ll be one thing that is well timed as a tradition story and well timed as a political story as a result of Roe is ostensibly on the poll this yr.

We’re additionally attempting to determine easy methods to have a dialog in regards to the that means of Taylor Swift upon the discharge of her new album. I admit, I am not as huge of a Taylor Swift fan as a whole lot of people in Vulture, however I need to have that dialog. There’s one thing that the trajectory of Taylor’s presentation of self over the course of her profession says about what we expect it means to be a girl. I do not need to get it unsuitable as a result of I am not a girl, however we’re attempting to have it, so keep tuned for that.

PS: Who’s probably the most memorable individual that you’ve got interviewed?

SS: I actually liked speaking with Damon Lindelof. He was such a pleasant, down-to-earth form of man, and I have been watching his stuff for years and his ideas in regards to the state of the business, I discovered fascinating. And Kara Swisher and I got to interview Issa Rae on the Code Convention a few week in the past, and that was simply pleasant. She’s considered one of my heroes within the biz.

And truthfully, I simply love speaking with Vulture people. There is a crew of Vulture those that did a extremely enjoyable phase with me just a few weeks in the past on the present the place all of us simply tried superstar alcohol within the workplace throughout the center of the day on a Tuesday, and so they had been so right down to clown and so sensible and so humorous.

PS: What are the popular culture issues that you simply love proper now?

SS: I’m obsessive about watching the shakeout of the streaming business. For some time, we had been on this second that appeared very Wild, Wild West. Countless enlargement. Streaming would by no means die. There’d be increasingly more platforms with increasingly more individuals and the restrict didn’t exist — particularly throughout the pandemic. Final yr, there have been over 500 scripted reveals. 500 scripted reveals plus, not even counting actuality TV, not even counting docuseries, and now we’re on this second the place everyone seems to be saying, “There’s an excessive amount of TV.”

You are going to see consolidation, you are going to see some reveals be pulled off, you are going to see a few of these streamers return to issues that really feel like cable as in bundling or common set instances for reveals to air every week, and there is going to be a fantastic resettling. And whereas I am not desirous to see that, as a result of that is going to value individuals jobs, I’m , from a enterprise standpoint, as to what that appears like as a result of I believe it’s totally straightforward to speak about fashionable tradition as a enjoyable tradition story, nevertheless it’s additionally a enterprise. Streaming and TV, these are billion-dollar industries, proper? I am obsessive about that.

I am drained. And it is not simply that I am drained as a result of there’s a lot to look at, it is the truth that there’s a lot to look at is nearly discouraging to me and retains me from wanting to look at something.

PS: Is there something proper now that you simply assume individuals aren’t speaking about however ought to be?

SS: I believe anyone, any streamer, any film maker, any maker of artistic stuff, whether or not you are making music or TV or films, if you can also make the method simpler for me to seek out it, I am extra more likely to do it. Inform me when to look at and easy methods to watch and the place to look at. Inform me what to take a look at. Assist me wade by way of this ocean of content material. The platforms and corporations and artists that get that proper, they may win.

PS: Is there something you assume is on the way in which out?

SS: I believe the concept of name loyalty on the subject of platforms is over. I am unable to even bear in mind what platforms I watch stuff on today. Was it Hulu? Was it Showtime? Was it Peacock? I do not know. I just like the present. The common client would not care. You do not have Netflix stans, you do not have Hulu stans, you do not have Spotify stans. You might have individuals who need devour stuff and those who make it the simplest to devour, they may win. How do these manufacturers compete in that form of market?

PS: What’s probably the most stunning factor you’ve got seen pop up within the final yr?

SS: The continued dominance of TikTok. It is not going to go away. I believe all people was anxious about China being concerned, Trump was going to close it down, then the thought was that another person would purchase them, after which Instagram has tried to only turn into TikTok. It would not work. TikTok is profitable, and I believe it is right here to remain, and I most likely would not have stated {that a} yr or two in the past, however they actually did it. It is enjoyable, too. Once I spend time on Twitter, I find yourself unhappy and indignant, however after I spend time on TikTok, I am comfortable on the finish of it.

PS: Do you will have any reveals or films you are actually wanting ahead to earlier than the top of the yr?

SS: The brand new season of “The White Lotus” goes to be to die for. I am all the time eager about which HBO/HBO Max present I am obsessive about probably the most, and it goes forwards and backwards. For some time it was “Succession,” however the factor that I discovered with “Succession” is that there is really no motion. Till the dad goes away, they’re going to simply be circling one another and nothing will ever actually change. “The White Lotus” offers you plot, and to make this present have some connective tissue from the primary season to the following, but additionally have or not it’s an entire new setting with new plot, I believe it is a recipe for fall success.

Picture Supply: Stephanie Noritz

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