In the latest episode of Pop Culture Weekly, Kyle talks to Dempsey Bryk (Facebook Watch's The Birch) and Maddie Hasson, Missi Pyle & Doug Liman (YouTube Original's Impulse) about the real horrors that are all around us.
While October often sets the mood for scary movies and tv series, we may not think about the real horrors that many face everyday. Two incredible shows are forcing us to do just that. For this weeks episode of Pop Culture Weekly, I sat down with the stars of the YouTube Original series Impulse and discussed the humanity of terrifying situations and how we triumph over them. Additionally, I spoke with Facebook Watch series The Birch star Dempsey Bryk about how a human monster faces off with a fantastical one.
Impulse exploded onto the streaming scene when the first season debuted in June of 2018 on YouTube Red with 193 million channel views and counting. The YouTube Originals series, with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, follows 16 year old Henrietta Cole (played by Maddie Hasson) who develops a unique power after a traumatic event. This power that is unveiled becomes both a blessing and a curse while those around her deal with the repercussions.
Missi Pyle talks about her role as Henry's mother, "Henry and Cleo have been on this 'just the two of us' trip forever...I'm very disconnected from her but I think once I find out about her assault, I go into full parenting mode....Season 2 is really going to start with Cleo wanting to be a better parent and be more protective of Henry".
Maddie Hasson, who expertly portrays Henry stated, "It's really satisfying to get to live vicariously through those moments....She's not a hero, you know what I mean? She's a regular girl with super powers who's been assaulted...who doesn't know her dad. That's what makes this interesting. Nothing is black and white. She's not really a hero but you get to sort of live through her doing these things that you wish you could do".
I asked executive producer Doug Liman his thoughts on the horrors in the show. Liman, super producer and director known for his giant hits like The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Jumper, is very interested in the humanity within horrific situations. He says, "We're not necessarily born bad...what happened to him to get to that place? I've always been very interested in the grays. I've always tried to see the world from my villain's point of view."
The Birch is a Facebook Watch Original series that stemmed from a Crypt TV short film of the same name. Due to its success, Facebook tasked Crypt TV with developing The Birch into a full blown series for their Facebook Watch streaming service. Dempsey Bryk plays Thurston, a small time drug dealer who finds himself making a bad situation worse and gets himself in the sights of something horrible in the woods.
Bryk says that "There's three different storylines, and I'm more privy to my own than the others, so I'm kind of excited just like you are; But I do know there's some big surprises coming up....The threat starts to become more real and we all start to kind of realize what's going on. There are some really scary moments and some pretty exciting twists..."
When asked to describe The Birch, "I would say "Horror. Monster Horror. Drama" Bryk says laughing.
You can catch my entire interview with Dempsey Bryk about what we can expect from The Birch as well as my interview with Maddie Hasson, Missi Pyle and Doug Liman about the brand new season of Impulse on " target="_blank">this weeks episode of Pop Culture Weekly.