No Free Refills is a pop culture podcast hosted by Ezra Baker (Stumptown Coffee) and Tymika Lawrence (Atlas Coffee), produced by Sprudge collaborator Jeremy Hernandez. This is a totally new and different kind of coffee show: pop culture obsessives Ezra Baker and Tymika Lawrence are offering guided deep dives into the world of reality TV, internet culture, and modern life. Fueled by a delicious pot of coffee at the start of each episode, our hosts tackle the big issues, revel in the mess, and offer plenty of laughs along the way.
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Episode One: 90 Day Fiancé
In the first episode, Ezra and Tymika talk about their favorite reality television show of the moment: TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé.
Special thanks to site hosts Stumptown Coffee. Show produced by Jeremy Hernandez. Edited by Zachary Carlsen.
Episode Two: A Very Special Episode
Lawrence and Baker dive deep into classic episodes of A Different World, the Cosby Show spin-off focused on Denise Huxtable’s life at a Hillman College, a fictional historically Black college located in Virginia. Honeymoon In LA—the two-part premiere of Season Six, aired in September 1992—starts after the “wedding episode” of ADW (“a classic moment of Black television” says Baker) and takes place during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.
“A Different World always did a good job of getting Black people from different walks of life, and different socioeconomic levels, points of view, showing them together… and it’s pretty accurate! We do have different points of view,” says Baker. “Like literally anyone,” adds Lawrence. “Black people are not a monolith. Even inside of our community, we have different relationships to certain kinds of experiences.”
“Rewatching this show at this time is a little bit of a knife in the chest,” says Lawrence, as she and Baker weave this very special episode from nearly 30 years ago into today’s moment. “Political disturbance is one part of the plan of multi-faceted resistance that works,” Lawrence adds. “How many Black women and Black men have died just in the last five years? It took literally protests happening in all 50 states and other countries to make a movement.”
Episode Three: Love Is Blind
In this week’s episode, hosts Tymika Lawrence and Ezra Baker drink coffee and chat while socially distanced: Lawrence drinks Muungano from the Congo (DRC) roasted by NYC’s Cafe Grumpy and Baker sips on Desarollo from Colombia roasted by Coffee Collective out of Denmark while discussing Netflix’s hottest new reality dating show Love Is Blind.
“So, the creators of the show take away all the senses except for talking to each other,” Baker explains, “men stay on one pod, women stay in the other, and they meet in these little weird rooms with a weird partition. They talk to each other and decide who’s going to be their future mate or whatever. So, after that 10 day period, they decide to get engaged to one of those people. After that, that couple goes on a beautiful vacation … they go to each other’s real-life homes and decide, after a month, whether or not they want to actually get married. At the wedding.“
Ezra Baker and Tymika Lawrence discuss their favorite moments of the season, the jaw-dropping scenes at the reunion, and what it all means to watch a show about folks voluntarily quarantining during this time of involuntary quarantine.
Listen to the whole episode right now:
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Full transcript of this episode.