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Episode 149: Nerdist Podcast
JJ Abrams
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast #149: JJ ABRAMS

Chris & Jonah have a cheerful sit down with JJ to dicuss the Twilight Zone, Felicity’s secret life and working with Spielberg. This episode is so hearty, you’ll rub your tummy in satisfaction upon its completion!

FY Information, Super 8 is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download!

Graphic by Dana Lechtenberg


  1. Anna says:

    Just got into podcasts, was SO excited to see J.J. Abrams….. and waited the whole time for Fringe :(

  2. Heather says:

    Next time ask about FRINGE!!

  3. Spray-Tan says:

    J.J. revitalized trek. I think it took someone who didn’t obsess over TOS to make it accessible to this generation. I love the original series, i love TNG. Every series after that killed my interest in trek, but J.J. brought it back. Getting to see Vulcan on the big screen, watching great actors ( Saldana, Quinto, Pegg ) play classic characters and actually pull it off, it was a great experience for me. Abrams’ universe has room to breathe, it’s not nostalgia driven, the door is open to anything. It was only when i “liked” star trek on facebook that I noticed fellow TOS fans actually hated the reboot, half of them don’t, but enough of them do, and all of that hatred is based on nostalgia. I’ve seen hundreds of comments like “J.J. ruined star trek” or just ” make a new series, stop these alternate timeline movies” . I think that last example hits the nail on the head, trekkies never cared about the movies, Wrath of Khan was very different from the intelligent drama the show represented. Does that make it a bad movie? No. The 2009 Star Trek is in the same boat, it’s a good movie with great acting and a very good plot, but try explaining that to someone who’s been begging for a new ST show for 10 years. If something as genius as Firefly couldn’t make it as a show, there’s no way a network would risk a new trek.

    • Mark says:

      The hatred is not based on nostalgia.  It’s based on Star Trek fans not liking their show being turned into Star Wars.  Yes, WOK was action based, but it still had interesting concepts based in Sci-Fi (project Genesis for example). J.J.’s version is Science Fantasy like Star Wars is and the story is just a way to get from action set piece to action set piece. The writing was very lazy, with many misplaced nods to the original Trek. Most of the changes to the J.J.Verse would not follow logically simply from the Romulans appearence. Was it a fun movie? Sure.  Was is a good sci-fi film?  No. Was it a good Star Trek film? No. Did it revitalize Star Trek?  Well, it brought it back in such a way that it has the same character names and similar universe, but it did not bring back Star Trek. The exact same story could have been told, with other character names/places and you could have called it “Space Journey.”

  4. Roland says:

    Just wanna say that right around the beginning you literally sound just like Pete Tong

  5. Chris Taylor says:

    To add the the Horror Anthology discussion, and to back some of the commentators above, I thoroughly enjoyed “Trick r Treat” . . . maybe more of a “Cat’s Eye” than a “Creepshow”, but still great fun. I also understand “Chillerama” is quite good, though I have not yet seen it.

    Personally, I’d like to see HBO grow some balls and bring back “Tales from the Crypt”. I think it’s time again, and I’m sure todays talent would line up to write and direct. We should make it a trending topic and at least stir the waters a little bit.

    And hey Chris, hit up your pal Rob Zombie and let him know your dilemma. I know he’s a busy man, but DUDE could you imagine a Rob Zombie directed anthology!?!?!? Holy shit!

  6. The Police Academy guy you’re thinking of if Tim Kazurinsky, and he didn’t appear until the sequel (and #3 and #4)
    How mortifying to throw out a Police Academy joke and get the beat-down from JJ Abrams?!

  7. madmonq says:

    Time shifts are OK if they’re built into a series OR effect the original universe, not a reason to write your own stories. That’s called fan fiction or in these case Abrams ego masterbating all over the original characters & plot (which I will agree are weak at times too). But the muthafucker doesn’t have enough imagination to cobble together his own universe (like Whedon), so he takes the lazy way out plot wise, gets a decent cast & slaps some pretty colors over it all & the asshole is a auteur? What a bunch of bullshit.

    Hardwick. You are a wannabe of the nerdcore class if Abrams answers went without challenge. Go back to working at the hot topic, you major talent you

  8. Mike says:

    Trick R Treat is pretty fantastic….Right up there with Creepshow 1, and the Tales From the Darkside movie..

  9. Ralphie says:

    JJTrek was complete and utter garbage, not blaming the actors they did the best they could with the dreck they were handed.

    Whoever made the decision to hire a man that says about Trek “I was, frankly, never really a fan. I never really got it. I never really cared much about it.” should be tarred and feathered.

    Fire JJ!! Reboot the Reboot and get Trek back on track!!

  10. Frahmski says:

    ARGHASDSLFAJDF!!!! I loved everything about this episode right up to the part where you started wrapping it up! When you ended it without even mentioning Fringe I felt like someone had just offered me a cookie… watched me eat almost all of it saving the bit with the most chocolate chips for the last bite… then slapped it out of my hand and kicked me in the balls! OK… enough complaining about something I get for free… Love the podcast, just had to voice my anguish.

  11. Davide says:

    Well, well.. JJ. The man that bored me to death with Lost and destroyed any chance of having a new GOOD Star Trek Movie and/or tv series.

    thanks for killing ST for us old viewers.

    P.S. Fringe is rather good though.

  12. Mike says:

    When Abrams talks about being “alone in a booth”, it brings me back to E.M. Forster’s eerily prescient story “The Machine Stops”, first published in 1909.

  13. Wesley Marshall says:

    Super interesting interview!

  14. Reilly says:

    Hey Big C, (absence of) Mirabooey, and Samoa Joe, I was having trouble downloading this episode on my iPod’s iTunes. Not to be the conductor of the complain-train, but could you offer some assistance/explanation.

  15. joecrak says:

    I’m a bit shocked there was no mention of Trick r’ Treat, Its an amazing Horror pseudo anthology film. And the entire past year they put out all these great shorts tying back into the film. Check it out!

    Good episode

  16. dan says:

    why didnt they ask him about the time travel plots in the last season of felicity

  17. fuzzynoise says:

    You guys continue to impress with the catalog of guests you bring. Well done sirs.

  18. EJJ says:

    Awesome interview. I wish you guys would have brought up Fringe. No one brings it up when they interview JJ.

  19. Jessica says:

    JJ is one of my heroes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited to listen to this, my workday just got way better!

  20. Frankie says:

    JJ is such a huge influence on me, I had a mini-freak out when I saw that this was the new podcast. It was awesome. Thanks for the much needed break from studying from finals.

  21. AdamS. says:

    Give a watch to Trick ‘r Treat gents! Awesome modern horror anthology. It’s on Netflix instant streaming, in HD. It’s no Creepshow 2, but as horror anthologies go, totally worth checking out.

  22. Jen K says:

    Your discussion about distraction reminds me of Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, but only to the point of being ashamed of not remembering something I might have read for a Comm course many, many years ago. Here’s a fun, possibly intriguing cartoon I found:

  23. Chris Bell says:

    So, I could swear that my auto download for Nerdist just sent an episode titled “J.J. Abrams”. I thought for a second that Comedy Bang Bang and Nerdist got mixed up.

    Say hello to another thousand subscribers guys. Great get!

  24. Mallory Mattal says:

    J.J. Abrams! Well if I didn’t love The Nerdist before then I definitely do now!
    P.S. I loved The Nerdist before too, don’t worry :)

  25. BAyalaJr says:

    Loved the episode. TOTALLY understand why I thought Trek was so fucking awesome…he made it for me! I’m just like him with Trek and a little with Dr. Who. I WANT to like Who, but I’m six eps in and it’s getting tough. Let’s get an Abrams Dr. movie, I feel like I’d love it. Enjoying my burrito.

  26. Vincent S says:

    OMG!!! commence listening and thinking up of references from his work.

  27. Teague Dwyer says:

    The fun thing about JJ is that you really feel he’s just warming up. Dude is gonna dominate multiplexes for the next 20 years.

  28. BobbyFJtown says:

    Thank you Chris, Matt, and Jonah!

  29. MischaD says:

    Squeee! Can’t wait for this one! JJ Abrams makes good stuff. Period.

  30. Sierra houk says:

    Oh, how I love Dana Lechtenberg’s Nerdist graphics!

  31. Andrew Hanwell says:

    No wonder Matt is not here, the lens flare vitriol would never end.

  32. chocolatebongos says:

    I hope there is plenty of Coverfield talk!

  33. clivodimars says:

    jj abrams! i am pleased.