The Plot Thickens

by TCM

For our fourth season, we're bringing you the story of Pam Grier as only she can tell it. Her overnight stardom, her iconic roles, her fights against the system. It’s a story of bravery, both onscreen and off. It’s a story about race in Hollywood and race in America. And it’s a story about how real life is a lot messier than the movies. Pam Grier joins host Ben Mankiewicz for the new season of The Plot Thickens, starting October 25.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • emaildaniels
    enjoying the Peter Obragdonovich season, but pacing is too slow.
    great pod, love film and these interviews but the pacing is awfully slow. too many breaks and they are not for ads but to remind us to goto the website for this podcast?!? it would be like a telephone operator interrupting the call to point you to a yellow-pages phone book. maybe tcm isn't aware but in this digital medium you can place a show url link in the podcast and it gets published in the creative with audio. too slow, stick to the interesting interviews.
  • Telorth
    Entertaining and Informative
    I have listened to all the seasons and loved them all. I have had different levels of knowledge regarding the subjects of the four different seasons. I have learned something from each season.
  • ChristinaBigHeart
    Amazing Podcast!
    Thanks again TCM! I devour all the wonderful content they provide. I have to say I agree with Quentin Tarantino “All Hail Queen Pam Grier”. I can’t tell you what joy it brought me to hear this beautiful soul greet Ben In her barn with music playing after all she has been through. Thank you Ben🙏for so much knowledge. God bless you Queen Pam 👑!!
  • Monrad Touhy
    Bonfire of the Vanities
    This podcast was informative and entertaining. I enjoyed it so much that I bought Julie Salamon’s book The Devil’s Candy. Julie did a great job hosting the podcast. Well done!
  • kyrxvydgj
    On my other regular podcasts when a new episode is loaded the new entry is clearly marked “Today”. When the Plot Thickens drops into my library with a new episode and I click on it I can never tell where the new entry is. Can this be fixed? Thx
  • Dnussbaum
    Pam Grier: Icon
    Pam Grier did it all back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. A terrific actress - reference “Jackie Brown”, among others. But man those Coffi and Foxy Brown are incredibly dated and basically pretty much terrible films. Sorry Ben, but what were thinking..
  • Mikeypoppins
    I never really dug Lucille Ball (I’m aware of the amazingthings she has done) but these podcasts really made me appreciate her much more. Really interesting.
  • Fabian's Wife
    Best Season!
    I have listened to all of the seasons since the beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The Pam Grier season has been my favorite so far. I love the interviews and the background information given in all of the seasons. Keep up the good work and I am looking forward to the next season.
  • goldie1041
    Love love love everything about the podcast
    What’s next?
  • Big Vic 1969
    My favorite podcast ever!
    While I’ve listened to all seasons of The Plot Thickens, I didn’t have as much initial interest in the Pam Grier story. So it took me a few months to get to this one. My apologies. Not only is this the best of The Plot Thickens but it’s by far my favorite podcast of all time. 1. Her journey is incredible. She’s the real life Zelig or Forest Gump in the way that she was part of and present at seminal times in popular culture. Fellini, John Lennon, Freddie Prinze, Gloria Steinem, Richard Pryor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,Jimi Hendrix, and Sly Stallone to name but a few. 2. The story is told beautifully. Ben Mankiewicz who has the DNA to understand all things Movies, has been a great host from the start but he’s grown into a pro at the top of his games. His gentle yet probing questions and his ability to put different eras into their proper context is extraordinary. 3. The production team has outdone themselves and are now the benchmark by which I will measure all others. The sounds, the placement of the interview inserts and the pacing are unparalleled. 4. The discussion of blaxploitation movies and it’s resonance in the black and white communities is thoughtful, honest and as complicated as indeed it is. The bonus episode with Jacqueline Stewart is absolutely as good as taking film classes at UCLA which I actually did. 5. Quentin Tarantino’s interview is the frosting on an already delicious cake. His joyful fanboy admiration of Pam is balanced by his nuanced evaluation of her as an actor and a figure of popular imagination. 6. But in the end it’s Pam herself who is the biggest revelation. After 7+ hours , I just wanted more. So I watched Jackie Brown last night and will watch Coffey before the week is out. Kudos to all! Bravo!! Encore!!! Thank you Victor L
  • MzK Hair
    Great show!
    Thank you for airing this icon, Pam Greer. I always wanted to know what happened to her. Interesting life.
  • %}*%*+
    Pam Grier
    I’ve always liked Pam Grier… I love Pam Grier! I pray my 2 teenage daughters end up as courageous and genuine as Pam. Well done Ben…
  • Kikibeat
    Pam Grier’s Season
    Heard about the podcast on TikTok like some of the other comments I’ve read, and boy was it worth the listen!! You guys gained a new listener with this one. Just finished this season and think I’ll head on over to the previous ones. Keep up the good work!!
  • Pooch1979!
    Heard about this podcast on tik tok -and the young lady said -you guys have to listen to Pam Grier -season 4….she was not wrong -was a great listen.
  • cocolinden
    Fabulous interview with a fabulous actress. What an interesting life & career. More people need to know Pam Grier and her work. Hopefully this podcast does just that!
  • 80'sVillager
    The Pam season is the best! Ben also very good. One thing. Chill on the bonus episodes. Of course I’ll listen but editors are artists. Trust your artists. Less is often more.
  • ajcuckie19
    Inspired and in awe
    Her strength shines through in every episode , that narrates an interesting life and interactions with celebrities , who at the time were just hanging around. Love her humility and steadfastness in narrating often painful memories .
  • kentablos
    Love these shows! Top notch!
    Love these shows! Top notch!
  • DJ Santa Claus
    Anthological Artist Portrait Podcasting Perfection
    This show is a podcasting gold standard on every level: fascinating subject, prestige media-level production, digestibly-sized episodes, a host who understands the job, and shockingly few/brief advertisements. Pam Grier‘s has lived an extraordinary life and has extraordinary stories to share across her career and her general perspective on the human experience. Thank you to all involved in this program.
  • chazm3
    best podcast about movies
    This is the best podcast about movies (and TV in the case of Lucy). Main reason is that there are many episodes on the same topic, which results in fewer podcasts overall, but increases the quality tremendously.
  • tanyamara
    You don’t know Pam!
    This is an amazing, surprising wonder of storytelling about an inspiring, talented woman.
  • dbev79
    Big fan
    I love the movies, and am old enough to be in TCM’s wheelhouse. I wish I didn’t like this so much, but they have done a great job with Lucy, and particularly with the under-appreciated Pam Grier. Can’t wait for the next one.
  • jdlsf
    Pam Grier is a force. I have loved her since I was a little boy in the 70s. This is my favorite season of The Plot Thickens. As always, Ben Mankiewicz and the TCM team do a phenomenal job.
  • brkona
    Really Great.
    I was lucky enough to work with Miss Pam Grier. She's a total dedicated professional. Plus, she's a lovely person. Bravo
  • TVExpert
    70s Royalty
    I could lie and say this season made me fall in love with Pam Grier but in reality, I never stopped.
  • DrMacenstein
    Important Time Capsule of film History
    What a life Pam Grier has led! Not just her movie life, but her personal life as well. From becoming the first female action star, to having a relationship with the world’s most famous basketball star and the world’s most famous comedian. What a fascinating life. Her life is a movie in itself… but who would play Pam Grier? I’m guessing only Pam Grier could. A terrific podcast! Kudos to Pam for being so open about sharing her life story. It probably wasn’t easy to talk about hard stuff. Just a great story all around. Thanks for sharing.
  • Alinator7
    What a delightful podcast! I loved learning more about Pam Grier.
  • leland
    I love this story line
    Pam Grier is amazing how she never forgot her upbringing her morals is one of sleaziest era in Hollywood. She has my undying respect and admiration.
  • Schiffee
    Pam Grier’s Story is Amazing!!
    From small town girl, to acting with the likes of Paul Newman, to dating Richard Pryor and Freddie Prinze, this story is a must listen to and an amazing revelation in her personal life and professional career. Keep these awesome stories coming please!
  • JohnnyBlaze112
    Worth the listen
    Amazing life story and told so well through this podcast. I fell in love with Pam in 1997 after seeing Jackie Brown and then followed her career backwards and forwards. There is so much to learn in this podcast. The Plot Thickens does it again. Well done.
  • Tomasarana
    Wonderful insight into the great Pam Grier and that period of the US & Hollywood
    Terrific !!!! I loved hearing Pam Grier telling her stories of her life and how she took chances to change her life. Fearless woman with great humanity and super intelligent. Show is produced very well and has a smooth, deliberate rhythm which is a pleasure. Ben is great, as always, as are the many different people brought on to give context or different points of view on that period and the various complexities of the US in those days and after. I have three sons and have urged them and friends to follow the podcast . Outstanding!!!! Thanks- Tomas Arana
  • Treasgal
    Pam Grier
    I’ve enjoyed most of the previous seasons, but this one is outstanding. The idea to include her in the series was brilliant. A story that needed to be told. Ben’s interview style was easy enough so that you can hear Ms. Grier’s comfort level growing. She is sharing some of her most intimate experiences. Gotta go…buying her book now.
  • AK Ajijic
    Well done!
    I love Grier’s story. It’s well produced. Love the sound. Great podcast! I just don’t get the commercial…what’s he peddling? Movies on CDs? Sounds like something from the mid 90s. 🤣
  • Here for the chuckles
    So Good!
    This is my favorite podcast of all time! So interesting and perfectly edited. I was engaged the entire time for all three stories, but really loved the Lucy episodes. It’s hard to wait for the new one each week! Whoo hoooo Pam Grier!!!! My only complaint is the episodes are far too short! I wish they were longer.
  • lowefidelity
    Pam Grier
    Can’t wait for season 4! All Pam Grier! Amazing!
  • BellaR02
    The plot Thickens - Bonus
    I really enjoyed the bonus episode with Lucy Arnez- I liked her honest and funny responses to Ben’s questions. It was nice to hear her give her dad credit not just her mom- they really were a team. I always like listening to Ben.
  • sophsm!
    Wonderful podcast, thank you!
    Just finished re-listening to this podcast. So captivating! As a lifelong Lucy fan, this is one of the best explorations of Lucy’s life and legacy.
  • JessCag30
    Loved it!
    I’ve been a Lucy fan since I was a kid so this was an automatic listen! It was so informative, charming, nostalgic and all together cool!
  • Roddy_!
    Season 3!!
    My goodness this season was so well constructed and articulated!! I shed a number of tears learning so much about a couple I thought I knew (and loved) so well. I haven’t listened to the other seasons, but if you are a fan of Lucy and Desi and want to know more about what they built together please give this a listen! Riveting!
  • tmrc55
    My absolute favorite podcast
    Really, really like this podcast. Ben M. is such a great story-teller. Wish the episodes were more often than once a week. 🙂 Love the music too. This third season is my favorite. I do hope more seasons are coming in the future. So enjoyable.
  • A big fan of the Classics
    Outstanding. No better way to describe the series. A real quality production. Thank you.
  • Governor Nance
    What an incredibly, exceptionally well-done podcast. I REALLY love Lucy, Desi and all they created together even more. Kudos, TCM!
  • mantelclock
    I Love Lucy and this podcast!
    Possibly the best podcast I have ever listened to!!
    Movie history at its finest
    Blew through all three seasons of this in about a week. So well researched and brilliantly hosted by Ben. Keep ‘em coming!!
  • shells1319
    I could not stop listening. There was so much I didn’t know about her but even less about Desi. This is a great story.
  • historyheather
    Well-researched and fascinating.
  • MJ in CO
    Julie Salamon aka Peter Fallow
    Devil’s Candy is the ultimates hatchet job. The irony here is her complete ruthlessness very similar to the character Peter Fallow in the book and the movie. Salamon basically entrusted all the stars and the support personel, made tape recording even. Ans the cashed in by throwing ALL of them under the proverbial bus. She blames, stereotypes, accuses right through this podcast and her book. The movie, as terrible as it is, was further sunk to the bottom by Salamon. She is right there with the tabloid writers, the mud slingers like Geraldo, she definitely portrays Peter Fallow in real life.
  • Germenis
    TCM = Classic.
    I stayed away from podcasts for years, partly by choice and partly due to lack of interest. I couldn’t find anything that I really cared about. And then TCM announced that Ben Mankiewicz was hosting THE PLOT THICKENS, TCM’s very first podcast. Before finding out that the first season focused on the life and career of Peter Bogdanovich, I was sold. After listening to the first season, and then eagerly waiting for the second and third, I’d begun to branch out. THE PLOT THICKENS got me into listening to podcasts, and eventually inspired me to start my own. Thank you to the folks at TCM for being a part of my life for 28 years.
  • X3YNT
    Very good
    The Lucille Ball season is especially spectacular
  • snm1718
    More!!!! Fantastic, just fantastic
    I love Old Hollywood, and these podcasts are great. I love hearing stories about people, where they’ve come from and what they’ve been through. These stories are what make the Hollywood icons relatable to me. I’m ready for the next season!!!!
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