The Heir, The Spare and the “Baby Brain” -The Prince Harry and Meghan show rumbles on…

Matryeshka

Euler? Euler? Anyone?
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I'm not sure where to put this, whether it goes here or in the book thread...or in the movie thread. I am going to say right here I am not a royal watcher. I don't know much about the goings on of the royal family besides what's general public knowledge or from The Crown :p But my mom checked it out from the library and told me I should read it because of the quality of the writing, which was A LOT higher than she expected it to be.

I read the first 100 pages rather quickly, and had to know who his ghost writer was -- J.R. Moehringer. So then I looked up J.R. Moehringer , and he won a Pulitzer for The Tender Bar. Which was turned into a movie which I then decided I had to watch. Which I did. So that was a fun rabbit hole.

As someone who, again, doesn't know that much about William and Harry and absolutely nothing about Megan and Kate, I find Harry (so far) to just be...a person. Not particularly good or bad, noble or ignoble, but someone I would know. He sounds honestly like a lot of students I teach--both resentful of and enabled by privilege, both embarrassed by and defensive of their position. I don't get the sense that he's trying to make himself look better or worse, just this is his story as he remembers it, at least, so far. And man, I would NOT be temperamentally suited to be a royal. Yikes.
 

quartz

scratching at the light
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@Matryeshka - this is pretty much what I’ve been telling my customers who ask about Harry’s book. If it weren’t for him being born into royalty, he’d just be an average joeblow. He argues with his older brother. (omg, really??) His father is a bit cold and not very huggy. (Like 99 % of our dads??) He got caught smoking in school (seriously...) He’s done some stupid adolescent boy pranks/stunts (like 100% of all boys). He’s really not terribly interesting as a person - his situation is for sure, but take him out of that, and yeah, he’s pretty much not very exciting at all.
 

taf2002

Fluff up your tutu & dance away.....
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28,840
I think he's made some missteps but who hasn't? His book shared some stuff that I personally would have left out. There's honesty & then there's oversharing.
 

Coco

Rotating while Russian!
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Spotify is shedding lots of shows these days. Apparently they are overextended with their Joe Rogan contract.
 

canbelto

Well-Known Member
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I feel like the podcast bubble is bursting. Very few people have the personality and imagination to sustain a podcast series.
 

nylynnr

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Probably just me being my age but I find Simmons' remarks outrageous. He is not only a podcast host but, as noted in the article, an exec with Spotify. His company put out a benign statement saying Archetypes would not be renewed, and then he comes out blasting. Either he's an unprofessional blowhard or Spotify's strategy is to stir up interest by defaming Meghan and Harry. I'm truly shocked.
 

starrynight

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I think podcasts work better as a small scale medium. The only ones I tend to like are amateur run ones that focus on niche passion projects or perhaps are two friends reviewing books or tv series. Because the hosts are genuinely passionate about their topics are total 1% nerds on it, the conversation flows really well.

Trying to do a podcast that is a huge budget operation that is meant to somehow recoup a $20 million USD payment to the hosts sounds very very difficult. It needs to be very universally appealing to English understanding audiences and the host needs to have the capacity to carry it. That’s a very niche talent set.

Personally I think Spotify has no one to blame but themselves when they gave two people with no experience at all $20 million and expected they’d magic a hit show out of thin air. Like what the heck? It’s like expecting a beginner violin player to magically be the soloist for a Beethoven Violin Concerto or something.
 

airgelaal

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5,687
I think podcasts work better as a small scale medium. The only ones I tend to like are amateur run ones that focus on niche passion projects or perhaps are two friends reviewing books or tv series. Because the hosts are genuinely passionate about their topics are total 1% nerds on it, the conversation flows really well.

Trying to do a podcast that is a huge budget operation that is meant to somehow recoup a $20 million USD payment to the hosts sounds very very difficult. It needs to be very universally appealing to English understanding audiences and the host needs to have the capacity to carry it. That’s a very niche talent set.

Personally I think Spotify has no one to blame but themselves when they gave two people with no experience at all $20 million and expected they’d magic a hit show out of thin air. Like what the heck? It’s like expecting a beginner violin player to magically be the soloist for a Beethoven Violin Concerto or something.
As for me, for such money it should have been exclusive content. They were supposed to talk about what would later be quoted all over the world. But that didn't happen.
 

nylynnr

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1,093
As for me, for such money it should have been exclusive content. They were supposed to talk about what would later be quoted all over the world. But that didn't happen.
There was some strong content -- the Serena Williams episode comes to mind -- but it was sparse, 12 episodes over a 3-year, $20 million deal. There is a suggestion Meghan had one of the producers fill in for her and ask the questions at times. None of this, IMO, makes Meghan and Harry grifters; it means Spotify has lousy management. Spotify also cancelled Michele Obama's $25 million podcast, although she escaped vilification. The company overspent, pure and simple. That's their bad.
 

starrynight

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Archetypes is the kind of podcast that would attract a niche audience. English speaking women, probably on the younger side that are interested in gender studies etc. Fine for that audience, but never going to be a $20 million blockbuster.

It kind of blows my mind that it seems Spotify signed the $20 million deal and THEN sat down with them to discuss what the podcast would be about. And then got disappointed they had no good ideas. Like what. I’m sure that all the rest of the peasants would have had to have a very comprehensive sales pitch, a pilot and a portfolio of work to even be allowed in the door.

It appears the bubble has also burst in terms of Harry and Meghan getting enormous business deals based on their titles. So from here on, I expect they’ll be needing to pitch an actual product that will sell.
 

canbelto

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From what I understand it wasn't $20 mil upfront. It was $20 mil if they produced content over a number of years. I imagine there were metrics that had to be met for the next payment. It appears they did not meet their metrics, so their deal was canceled. I don't think they took in $20 mil from it.
 

puglover

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2,735
Not that my opinion matters at all, but I would love to see them take very different paths from each other going forward. Drop the whole royalty angle, especially for Meghan, and develop content that is really interesting. Meghan has close relationships with Oprah and Gayle and Oprah set the standard as a kind but probing interviewer who got her guests to open up and share. Meghan has had real "gets" like Serena Williams but (again MO) she made it a bit too much about her and didn't capitalize on the amazing guest she had. We all knew Oprah was a billionaire but somehow she convinced us that she was one of us. She never sugarcoated her upbringing but showed respect for her mother and cared for her to her dying day. Meghan could bury the hatchet with her father. They seemed to have a great relationship until she got involved with the royal family and now he is an old man, imperfect, who wants to see his daughter and grandchildren before he dies. Their Archwell Foundation talks a lot about doing good and creating a world full of compassion, this would speak volumes to me. I also think she should stay away from awards - at least now - until she has really done something that doesn't seem to come from an opportunity she got from marrying into royalty.

Harry is harder but the Invictus Games is clearly his greatest accomplishment. He has to hope his comments on his military experience in "Spare" are not a turn off to military. Again, I would like to see Harry focus on the strength and courage of those who have lost so much in defending all of us, rather then how hard it was to be born royal.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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Probably just me being my age but I find Simmons' remarks outrageous. He is not only a podcast host but, as noted in the article, an exec with Spotify. His company put out a benign statement saying Archetypes would not be renewed, and then he comes out blasting. Either he's an unprofessional blowhard or Spotify's strategy is to stir up interest by defaming Meghan and Harry. I'm truly shocked.
He came off as someone with an ax to grind and possibly for a personal reason to me. Like maybe Megan wouldn't flirt with him or maybe he gave them a "great" idea for an episode that they decided not to do. Though I did find the wording of his rant to be unclear and had to read it a few times to figure out what he was actually saying, so...
 

Jenny

From the Bloc
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I also think she should stay away from awards - at least now - until she has really done something that doesn't seem to come from an opportunity she got from marrying into royalty.

I don't have a list of all the awards to know where they all came from, so this is a general comment. Sometimes, maybe more often, an award is given as incentive for a celebrity or business leader etc to show up to an event to encourage ticket sales, support fundraising, provide a publicity hook, make members feel special because they get to meet the person, any number of reasons. Often said award recipient is expected to purchase a table or two as well. It can be a beneficial arrangement for both parties.
 

puglover

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I don't have a list of all the awards to know where they all came from, so this is a general comment. Sometimes, maybe more often, an award is given as incentive for a celebrity or business leader etc to show up to an event to encourage ticket sales, support fundraising, provide a publicity hook, make members feel special because they get to meet the person, any number of reasons. Often said award recipient is expected to purchase a table or two as well. It can be a beneficial arrangement for both parties.
I hadn't thought of that but it certainly makes sense. Love them or not, they are a very high profile couple and Meghan can't take a bad picture. Their attendance is no doubt amazing for ticket sales and getting attention for an event. Rumour has it that she is going to be the face and brand ambassador for Dior along with Johnny Depp. She recently received a Ms Foundation award for Women of Vision for "advocating for the education and empowerment of girls", and a Gracie award for her work against " holding women back". I don't have a problem with it but she is already being attacked as not being much of a feminist if she makes huge dollar from a makeup company off her looks. Some reputable ?? UK press think their life style is extremely expensive with astronomical security costs, legal costs, and a huge payroll and they need the money. They will be criticized no matter what they do but I think their longevity would be better served by figuring out who they are, what their message is, and putting in the work to become genuinely respected in those areas. Then the awards would mean something.
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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Most of us are not their target audience, and what we think is "real" accomplishment and service is moot. What we considered "deserved" back-in-the day was and still is driven by money and influence, the more big money is involved.
 

puglover

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Most of us are not their target audience, and what we think is "real" accomplishment and service is moot. What we considered "deserved" back-in-the day was and still is driven by money and influence, the more big money is involved.
Very true. Many award winners accomplishments are known only by those impacted by their service and are very deserving of the honour. When I think of a girl/woman who would be deserving of these lofty awards, I think of Malala Yousatzai or those of her calibre whose actions seem not driven by money or influence.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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She recently received a Ms Foundation award for Women of Vision for "advocating for the education and empowerment of girls", and a Gracie award for her work against " holding women back". I don't have a problem with it but she is already being attacked as not being much of a feminist if she makes huge dollar from a makeup company off her looks.

I don't care whether she's a makeup ambassador. That has nothing to do with whether she's a feminist. But I would feel differently about her getting awards if there was some substantive evidence of her doing some significant advocacy work, other than saying that women are oppressed and this is wrong.
 

Husky

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Probably just me being my age but I find Simmons' remarks outrageous. He is not only a podcast host but, as noted in the article, an exec with Spotify. His company put out a benign statement saying Archetypes would not be renewed, and then he comes out blasting. Either he's an unprofessional blowhard or Spotify's strategy is to stir up interest by defaming Meghan and Harry. I'm truly shocked.
It sounds as if he had a problem with Harry, not with Meghan. And he says what basically everybody in this thread says: Harry is only interesting for his royal background and since he split he is full of negative vibes. But most people here see the tragedy in it while he as a vendor doesn't care for it. He just wants to sell a product that people want or even need.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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Very true. Many award winners accomplishments are known only by those impacted by their service and are very deserving of the honour. When I think of a girl/woman who would be deserving of these lofty awards, I think of Malala Yousatzai or those of her calibre whose actions seem not driven by money or influence.
The awards they are getting are mostly fluff awards. If they didn't go to these two, they'd go to some other celebrity, not to people like Malala Yousatzai or other people most of us would consider worthy.

Most awards are kind of dumb IMO. Don't get me wrong, I love to get awards. But there is a large arbitrariness to them and to who does or does not get them. Look at all the very worthy actors who never got an Oscar, for example. Also, apparently, the city I live in is the "Happiest City in the US." In the meantime, there have been accusations of corruption behind the scenes including a fired City Manager who embezzled from the City and negotiated an outrageous golden parachute to go away quietly. But hey, we're happy! WalletHub said so! :lol:

IOW, I just don't care that much that Megan is getting awards. Now if she were a child molester or embezzler or something like that and was getting them, I'd be pretty upset. But otherwise, my response when I hear about them is "Good for her!" and then I forget about it 2 seconds later. 🤷
 

Jenny

From the Bloc
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Look at all the very worthy actors who never got an Oscar, for example. 🤷
Funny you should mention - there was a great article in the NY Times ahead of this year's ceremony that talked about the marketing side of it, including the interesting tidbit that the awards program itself was invented as publicity stunt to get people to go to the movies more :)
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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35,937
By the way, do I remember correctly that royal families do not receive awards?

Do you mean like awards for public service, advocacy, volunteering, and so on? It may not be the same for all royal families. But I think the British royal family declines those awards, or at least there's an informal norm that they shouldn't be nominated. Within the British honours system there are titles and awards that the royals can give to each other, like Princess Anne being given the title of Princess Royal by her mother the Queen.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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58,894
Another article about their podcast ending.


It makes some good points including:
1) Megan's podcast is highly rated and good quality
2) Why does every celebrity think they can create a podcast, write a children's book, etc? These things are hard to do!
 

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