Credit: The Ringer

Talking Movies at The Ringer

Travis Weedon


If there’s one thing The Ringer Podcast Network has really nailed, it’s the “good hang” of a pod — likable people, who like each other, conversing over shared interests with insight and humor. They’re the kind conversations you want to drop in on.

The network itself, purchased for a handsome sum by Spotify in February, is a well-managed extension of founder Bill Simmons’ own approach to entertainment journalism. A sports broadcaster by trade, formerly of ESPN and HBO, Simmons laces his commentary with pop culture asides and fanboy passions. He brings the discourse down to the everyday, often inviting nonprofessionals into the conversation and openly discussing his personal life as a necessary facet of his own fandom. At The Ringer, Simmons’ all-in-the-family, fan-centric approach has evolved into a multi-million dollar hub of culture and commentary.

The Ringer Podcast Network boasts some 40 different shows, ranging from politics and food to an entire pod recapping the six seasons of HBO’s The Wire episode by episode. While sports culture is still the foundation of the network, movies run a close second, bleeding into pop culture pods like “Binge Mode” and “Jam Session” and spawning show gimmicks like Shea Serrano’s and Jason Concepcion’s “The Connection,” where they discuss two wildly divergent films connected by a shared theme.

At the center of The Ringer’s film commentary output are a trio of shows that showcase the best of what the network has to offer.


Credit: Spotify Podcasts

“The Big Picture” is ostensibly an Academy Awards show hosted by a couple Gen-Xers/millennials who are completely disillusioned with the Academy Awards but enjoy using it as a foil to discuss the best cinematic achievements of the year. Really, they just want to talk about movies — the culture that produces them and the culture that receives them.

In keeping with The Ringer’s style, the level of discourse is high without being alienating. The hosts, Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins, are like the cool kids of grad school, ready to dish on the latest trends in pop culture, but with a whole lexicon of film…