Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #4 – HBO’s “Chernobyl”: Why Do We Enjoy Watching Suffering?

On the HBO mini-series Chernobyl. Mark Linsenmayer, Erica Spyres, and Brian Hirt first get into the various degrees of looseness in something’s being “based on a true story.” Does it matter if it’s been changed to be more dramatic? We then consider the show as entertainment: Why do people enjoy witnessing suffering? Why might a drama work (or not) for you?

We also touch on Game of ThronesThe KillingGod Is DeadIt’s Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaBig Little LiesSchindler’s List, Vice, Ip Man, and more.

Some of the articles we looked at to prepare:

Our Lucy Lawless interview will be out next week! Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is a member of the The Partially Examined Life Podcast Network.

Get more at Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Play. Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is produced by the Partially Examined Life Podcast Network. This episode includes bonus content that you can only hear by supporting the podcast at

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  • Colea says:

    Where does the information that we enjoy it comes from? The fact that a lot of people watched it? That doesn’t mean they “enjoyed it”. People do stuff for other reasons then to enjoy, be entertained. they do stuff to learn, to be informed, to understand risks of a technology, of a policy. I, for example, watch news and documentaries about Trump and its clique. Believe me, I don’t enjoy it!

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