Tom Hanks ruined my life! – podcasts of the week


Picks of the week

Motherhacker
The second season of this bingeable podcast opens with Bridget (Carrie Coon) caught up in even more chaos since the pandemic hit. Her Tesla has been hacked and there’s a confrontation over face masks as she waits for her takeaway. One screech of the tyres later and she’s caught up in another unwanted adventure, just when she’s supposed to be lying low. Bridget is on a mission to save her friend, but she collects a few new enemies along the way. Tavi Gevinson and Lucas Hedges also star. HV

Death at Deepcut

Sinister … the Royal Way Gate at Deepcut army barracks. Photograph: Ministry of Defence Police/PA

This troubling new seven-part series from Audible scrutinises allegations of bullying, sexual harassment, beatings and perhaps more sinister events besides at the British military training camp. Investigative journalist Jane MacSorley and retired police detective Collin Sutton interview those who say they suffered distress at the camp, before considering the deaths of four trainee soldiers between 1995 and 2002, concluded as suicides at the time. It’s rigorously reported, if an often difficult listen. HJD

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Chosen by Noah Payne-Frank

Crushing … Band of Brothers. Photograph: David James/HBO/20th Century Fox/Dream Works/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Twenty years ago, actor and comedian Connor Ratliff was fired from the TV show Band of Brothers by Tom Hanks for having “dead eyes.” It was a very minor role, it was the day before shooting and he was exposed to the indignity of having to re-audition in front of Hanks for a part he had already told his friends and family he was playing, before being ushered out and let go.

Ratliff was completely blindsided by the experience – what should have been his big break sent him into the wilderness for years, his confidence crushed. But with wonderful irony, he’s turned it into what might become a career-defining work – an investigation into ego and self-esteem, memory and perception, about having to settle for a less successful life than you dreamed of, and how the things we say to others can have a far greater impact than we could imagine.

One of the pleasures as the series progresses is the growing ensemble of actors and directors willing to share their painful moments of rejection. The storytelling is good, there are plenty of laughs and even though we’re talking about Hollywood, it’s all quite relatable. As Ratliff says: “It wasn’t personal, it was business. Showbusiness. But I took it personally, because I’m a person.”

Talking points

  • Sivananda Yoga is one the world’s most revered yoga schools … but after reading a deeply disturbing Facebook post by one of its former devotees, Ishleen Kaur stopped teaching for them and starting investigating them for five decades of alleged abuse. In Guru, released weekly on BBC Sounds, Kaur listens as women confide their stories of horrific abuse, coercion and rape to her.

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Hannah Verdier, Hannah J Davies and Noah Payne-Frank June 19, 2021 at 07:59PM

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