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Talkie film franchises


March 29 – On May 17, 2019, with the intro sounds of an electronic dance beat – and some nervous laughter – “The McCaw Podcast Universe” was born.

Podcast hosts couple Medford Micah and Jordan McCaw used the first episode to introduce not just the show’s purpose, but themselves.

“The idea behind this is Jordan and I, being married,” Micah said, before his better half chimed in, “(Married) together.”

Micah then thanked Jordan for the clarification.

Together on their podcast, the McCaws talk about movie franchises — even ones they don’t like. The list includes “Harry Potter”, “Terminator”, “Batman”, “Toy Story” and “Twilight”. Many of the movies reviewed feature characters from the Marvel Comic Universe, which is where the name “The McCaw Podcast Universe” comes from.

Micah is the brainchild of the podcast and his name, as he is a comic book lover. And Jordan?

“Not so much,” she said.

But the couple, who attended school together while growing up in Rogue Valley, love movies.

“I feel like we’ve found franchises,” Jordan said.

Micah said 2002’s “Spider-Man” starring Tobey Maguire is a franchise movie that stood out for him growing up. As an adult, when he wasn’t working, he found himself on a friend’s podcast. The two were supposed to talk about everything, but Micah just wanted to talk about movies. He decided there would be no better co-host than his wife.

“It was a realization of how we constantly talk about movies, and we spend so much time together, maybe we can put that energy into a podcast,” Jordan said.

Micah noted the podcast’s focus on movies with sequels.

“We definitely live in the age of franchises,” he said.

At this point, Jordan added his belief that franchises are “fascinating.”

“To the point where, I feel like every time a movie is a blockbuster, it will make seven more,” she said.

One of the questions the podcast seeks to answer is, “Can the sequel be better than the original?” It’s a survey that fits perfectly with McCaws’ next adventure, which is to review all 11 Star Wars films.

“We saved it,” Micah said of the project. “It’s one of my favorite series, I want to do it.”

He noted that the decision to rewatch the George Lucas films only came after fans voted in a March Madness installment that the couple posted on social media.

Jordan said his favorite movie franchise is “The Lord of the Rings,” but “Star Wars” is almost equally admired.

“I can’t wait to be there,” she said of seeing “Star Wars” again. “Although I’ve seen all the movies so many times, I can’t figure out which is which. It’s something I hope to achieve.”

Jordan added that “Star Wars” had its adoring fans, but also some of the “worst.” Still, she hopes people will learn something new about the movies from the podcast.

“I think we can introduce new information that people don’t know,” Jordan said, “and then just some new takes — maybe rekindle someone’s love for ‘Star Wars’.”

By creating a series of “Star Wars” podcasts, Micah hopes to explore the intent of Lucas, considered one of the greatest directors, in creating the franchise.

“I could see some of the plans (for the sequels),” Micah said. “I see that when you add 20 years, he makes those decisions about the prequels, and when that becomes a success, he’s able to do those things that the fans maybe don’t like, but maybe that’s (his) artistic intention.”

The Medford podcast host was in part referring to the 1997 re-release of the original trilogy, which used technology that didn’t exist decades before to remaster the movies’ picture and sound and add additional scenes.

Although Micah admits his love for “Star Wars,” he doesn’t feel the same way about all of his films. He thinks “Empire Strikes Back” is better than “A New Hope,” but he’s still mystified by 2002’s “Attack of the Clones.”

However, Micah hopes his feelings about the movies won’t influence the critical thinking he needs to adopt as a podcast movie reviewer.

“If we didn’t like a movie, we always try to approach it differently,” Micah said.

“Last time I watched (Clones) I didn’t think it was very good,” he said. “But when we sit down to watch it, I’ll see if I can find out if it’s secretly good.”

The first “Star Wars” episode of “The McCaw Podcast Universe” airs May 5.

With so many episodes under their belt, anything goes for the McCaws when it comes to rewatching the sequels. When a reporter noted that the “Men In Black” movies hadn’t been shown, Micah replied that it might be “up” in the series’ order of prominence after Sunday’s Oscars, when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage.

As to whether MIB will get the “McCaw Podcast Universe” treatment, Micah, as any compelling film writer would, left things to a cliffhanger.

“Who knows?” he said.

Podcast episodes are available through Apple or Spotify.

Contact journalist Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.