Posted in episodes

Episode 25: Formative Media

The homework for the episode:
Martha: Princess Mononoke, the 1997 Studio Ghibli animated classic (specifically the English dub featuring Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Gillian Anderson, and more)
Pete: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the 1950 novel by CS Lewis
Josh Brown: The 1983 children’s tv show Reading Rainbow, specifically the episode for “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and two more episodes of our choosing (find them on YouTube here)

A prince in exile journeys to find a corrupting power, destroying the natural world, and meets a lost girl who complicates the story.

Four siblings fulfill a Biblical narrative by saving a magical country trapped in never-ending winter.

LaVar Burton makes reading fun and accessible, and teaches you something in the process.

I use the words “formative media” so often on the podcast that we decided we’d better to an episode about it so I could explain what I mean! Today we’re talking about the stories and media that helped shape who we are as media consumers, and we do so with an expert on pop culture nostalgia: welcome guest Josh Brown!

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: Phantom Thread soundtrack by Johnny Greenwood
Martha: Stardew Valley video game for Nintendo Switch
Josh: Banished video game on STEAM

I’m still riding my video game high, but I have traded in the high stakes world-saving of Breath of the Wild for the much more serene farming sim Stardew Valley (I have a cow now! She’s neat.) Pete extols the virtues of Radiohead’s foray into film scores, and there’s a super brief digression about whether Phantom Thread will drive me insane or not (I’ll report back). Josh is into a super crunchy Civ style world builder, and I have mixed feelings about him sharing it with my husband.

I use the phrase “formative media” a whole lot because I’m fascinated in how one gets from Point A to Point B in their media consumption. If Point A is The Last Unicorn and Point B is Neal Shusterman’s Scythe series (an arbitrary choice from me, as that’s what I’m currently reading), what are all the steps in between that led there? We explore that as well as how we incorporate our pop cultural touchstones into our identities, and how that can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

Some of the questions we examine are:

  1. What do we mean when we talk about “formative media”?
  2. How well did our homework hold up?
  3. How did these stories shape us as media consumers?
  4. What place does nostalgia have in our personal media consumption, and why do we think it’s gotten to be such a huge factor in pop culture at large?

(Spoiler alert: I loved recording this episode.)

Because I am a good person I did not make Josh and Pete read IT, even though it’s the most recent thing on the podcast that I referred to as being formative for me – whatever that may or may not say about me as a person, I dunno. We’re all three of us huge nerds, so it’s a super fun discussion on the media we consumed as children that led us to bigger and more epic stories, to lifelong loves of reading, and to a tolerant fondness for the now-dated media of our 80’s and 90’s childhoods. (I didn’t talk about morning cartoons on Nickelodeon, but I super could have.) I throw some shade at nerd manbabies who can’t handle women in their Star Wars, and Josh brings some insight to the whole nostalgia question.

Next episode, we are joined again by friend of the show Maren Hagman! Maren is going to be helping us discuss Body Image, which is a super broad topic but I think we’ll be handling it in an interesting way.

The homework for February 14:

Martha: The Art of Starving, 2017 novel by Sam J. Miller
Pete: Zoolander, 2001 film directed by Ben Stiller and starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Christine Taylor
Maren: Hairspray, the 2007 film directed by Adam Shankman and starring Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Queen Latifah, among others

Josh runs a podcast called 40 Going on 14 that you can find wherever you get your podcasts (I was a guest on episode 156, which was all about women in comics! It was a fun time). Find Pete on Twitter @piko3000, and find Martha on both Instagram AND Twitter @magicalmartha.

Follow us online @DYDYHpodcast, e-mail us at show@homeworkpodcast.com, and find us on Facebook.

And remember, if you have questions, comments, or ideas for a show, give us a shoutout here or send us an e-mail to show@homeworkpodcast.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted in episodes

Episode 8: Caring (Or Not) For the Natural World

The homework for the episode:
Pete: Avatar, 2009 film by James Cameron
Martha: Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, vol. 1 by Hayao Miyazaki
Calee: Idiocracy, 2006 film by Mike Judge

In this era of EPA rollbacks, what role should pop culture play in raising awareness? Is capitalism the source of all environmental evil? Is Avatar actually a really racist movie? All this and more is on the table as your phenomenally nerdy cohosts dig deep into the conservation warnings broadcast by their homework. Discussion points include sources of environmental destruction, the role of consumerism in environmental deterioration, and more that’s sure to leave you perky and upbeat and not full of despair at all!

Your podcasters’ credentials:
Pete: “DAMN.” by Kendrick Lamar
Martha: Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
Calee: Archer animated TV series

Environmentalism – Additional Material
The Day After Tomorrow (film)
Dune
series by Frank Herbert (novels)
Fern Gully
(film)
Godzilla
 (film)
The Happening (film)
Pokemon the Movie 2000 (film)
Princess Mononoke (film)
Swamp Thing (DC character. Solo titles by Alan Moore and Scott Snyder. Also shows up in Justice League Dark)
The Two Towers by JRR Tolkein (novel, but we refer specifically to scenes from the film)
Wall-E (film)

We’re a little film-heavy today, but the follow-up entry will mix it up a little.

Our theme for our next episode is going to be: Strange Bedfellows. Enjoy doing your homework!

Your homework for May 10:
Pete: Good Omens, 1990 novel cowritten by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Martha: Anya’s Ghost, 2011 graphic novel by Vera Brosgol
Calee: The Man from U.N.C.L.E, 2015 film by Guy Ritchie

And remember, if you have questions, comments, or ideas for a show, give us a shoutout here or send us an e-mail to show@homeworkpodcast.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted in episodes, homework

Episode 6: Sacrifice

The homework for the episode:
Pete: X2: X-Men United (movie)
Martha: Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Beginnings (movie)
Calee: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (book)

It’s here! It’s here! Martha takes a victory lap when Pete admits that one of these items is his most favoritest homework he’s been assigned yet (which one may surprise you), we argue intent of story versus intent of character, Calee feels skeptical about deconstructed magical girls, and we once again forget to talk about Logan even though it’s apparently relevant to absolutely everything we’re doing anymore.

Your podcasters’ credentials:
Pete: Hour of Code (check it out here!)
Martha: Mad Men, season six
Calee: Star vs. the Forces of Evil (tv show)

Sacrifice – Additional Material
The Expanse (tv series on SyFy)
Frozen
The Hunger Games
 (book or movie)
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Mass Effect 3 (video game)
The Matrix
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Supernatural,
episodes 3.16, 4.20, 5.10, 5.22
– (Look, this whole show is people falling over themselves to die for the greater good. I picked a handful of episodes that stand out as being particularly meaningful examples of the theme. -Martha)
The Twilight Saga 
by Stephanie Meyer

Our theme for our next episode is going to be: Alternative Facts: How We Relate to, and Experience, News Media. Enjoy doing your homework!

Your homework for April 12:
Pete: The West Wing, episode 1.13: “Take Out the Trash Day”
Martha: Shattered Glass, 2003 film starring Hayden Christensen
Calee: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (book)