Posted in episodes

Episode 35: Remixing the Bard

The homework for the episode:
Martha: As I Descended, 2016 novel by Robin Talley
Pete: Ran, 1985 film directed by Akira Kurosawa
Maren: 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999 film directed by Gil Junger

Two teens scheme to topple their school’s It Girl in a plan that goes horribly awry for many people. Also known as: Macbeth, but with lesbians and also ghosts.

A Japanese warlord is the victim of his own violence as his familial empire slowly crumbles from within. Also known as: King Lear, but set in Feudal Japan and also the king has sons instead of daughters.

Sisters are the focus of a high school’s social ecosystem. Also known as: The Taming of the Shrew set in a 90’s high school.

Maren is back to help us dissect the ways in which we appropriate and reuse the stories of Billy Shakes. Surprisingly, everyone likes the YA book Martha picked!

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: Weird Al’s 77 songs mashup
Martha: The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding
Maren: New season of Queer Eye

I think we’re going to be mixing up the credentials portion of the podcast – don’t worry, you’ll still get to hear what we’ve been consuming as pop culture “experts,” but we may shift focus to the stuff we actually WANT to talk about and not just the most recent mobile game Martha has been wasting time on. Stay tuned!

There’s a reason Shakespeare is so enduring in our pop cultural landscape, and we take a crack at figuring out why. Here are some of the things we touch on:

  • Why exactly Shakespeare’s stories are so enduring
  • Why they work particularly well in high school settings
  • What the gender flips do for the stories, if anything
  • What is lost and gained from translating these stories to different times and places

We don’t go as deeply into the gender question as I might have wanted to, particularly in relation to As I Descended. If you have thoughts on the issue, please leave us a note or a comment!

We’re going a little lighter in the spirit of summer for our next episode, which is all about Zombies as Metaphor. We’re joined by Pete’s friend and coworker, Austin!

Your homework for July 4:

Martha: Feed, 2010 novel by Mira Grant
Pete: The Girl With All the Gifts, 2016 film directed by Colm McCarthy
Austin: Warm Bodies, 2013 film directed by Jonathan Levine (also weirdly enough a Shakespeare redux!)

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, homework

Episode 33: Virtue

The homework for the episode:
Martha: Dogma, the 1999 film by Kevin Smith
Pete: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (for extra credit, watch the film adaptation starring DYDYH’s unofficial mascot Daniel Day Lewis!)
Sara: Peace Like a River, 2001 novel by Leif Enger

Two angels exiled from heaven find a loophole that will allow them back in and thus destroy the universe – a mortal woman is enlisted to stop them, and is joined by a flock of holy idiots.

A small New England town is swept up in hysteria when a group of girls start accusing people of witchcraft.

A teen boy kills two people defending his family, escapes prison, and hides in the wide expanse of middle America. His pious family takes off in a motor home to find him, and in the process, discover the missing pieces of themselves and their family.

Did you listen to our last episode on Vice? If not, start there – we’re continuing the conversation today with the topic of Virtue.

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: “This is America”/”Call Me Maybe” mashup (located here)
Martha: Pop Rocket podcast on Maximum Fun
Sara: HAIM concert in Chicago

Martha plugs yet another podcast that isn’t hers (but if you like DYDYH you’ll probably enjoy Pop Rocket, TBH). Pete and Sara talk excitedly about bands Martha couldn’t sing music from if you paid her, but it’s just really nice to be excited about stuff these days.

We use our discussion questions but be warned, this episode is long because Sara and Martha discover the conversation we SHOULD have been having all along towards the end of the episode.

  1. What is the definition of virtue?
  2. What makes a character virtuous, both in the context of our homework and in relation to our world and morals?
  3. All of our homework, consciously or not, deals with virtue in a very religious sense. Are there agnostic contexts in which we think of people as being “virtuous”?
  4. How do the characters in our homework abuse the idea of virtue?
  5. Do justice and virtue have anything to do with each other?

Hey y’all I’m real tired tonight so I’m not going to be writing much useful in the way of description. Suffice to say it’s a good ep and you should listen to it.

Sara cites an article on Virtue Ethics which you can read here.

A slightly spoilery article on morality in Infinity War, which did not come up in our discussion but is very interesting and relevant, can be found here. I don’t really agree with all of it but it’s interesting to consider.

Join us next time for something completely different! 40 Going on 14 member Joel Kenyon (also of Creepercast and The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour) returns with us to the world of mental health and pop culture in our discussion about PTSD.

Your homework for June 6:

Martha: Jessica Jones, 1.01 (“AKA Ladies Night”) and 1.02 (“AKA Crush Syndrome”)
Pete: Macbeth (2015, dir Justin Kurzel)
Joel: Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012, dir. Stephen Chbosky)

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 32: Vice

The homework for the episode:
Martha: Repo! The Genetic Opera, 2008 film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
Pete: Neuromancer, 1984 novel by William Gibson
Pat: Rounders, 1998 film directed by John Dahl

In response to a global epidemic of organ failures, a genetic modification conglomerate starts financing replacement organs – and repossessing them when clients fail to pay. Also this fosters a cultural addiction to surgery and general anesthetic.

A career hacker gets a second chance when a wealthy client hires him to tackle an immensely powerful AI – who may also be double playing him at a much larger game.

A reformed gambler finds himself back in the game to bail out a friend – and discovers the gambling lifestyle may be too powerful to resist, despite his own personal obligations.

We continue our eternal cross-over with the more-popular-than-us podcast 40 Going On 14 by welcoming guest Pat Whaley to our show! He’s bringing real life experience to our discussion on Vice, but before we really get into that it’s time for…

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: Janelle Monae’s new album Dirty Computer
Martha: Childish Gambino’s new music video for “This is America”
Pat: Parks & Recreation

For the first time both Martha AND Pete have music to talk about, although we digress much longer about “This is America” but DAMN, Donald Glover! Keep on keeping on. Martha starts a hot streak of segues here when we transition to waxing rhapsodic about Parks & Rec, and how inconceivable it is that someone might not have seen it before (that someone being another 40GO14 boy – look for him coming soon to our podcast!).

As always, we have some questions that are meant to loosely guide our discussion, although Martha gets pretty easily distracted by Pat’s stories about dealing poker in the real life version of Rounders. As to the question of Vice, we discuss:

  1. How are our characters driven by vice?
  2. What role is vice playing in these stories?
  3. Much like our fascination with anti-heroes, our pop culture frequently glorifies vice (the glamour around professional gambling, for example). Are these stories glorifying or vilifying vice as a character motivation?
  4. Is there a distinction to be made between vice and addiction?

Martha *gasp* did not finish reading Neuromancer but is able to discuss it anyway, since she is a Millennial and has been exposed to steampunk at some point. Pat graciously chooses not to unfriend Martha even though she made him watch a pretty terrible (terribly awesome) goth rock opera, and we all sit in impressed silence while Pat tells us true tales from the gambling hall.

We’re continuing our conversation on our next episode, when we look at the other side of this coin and discuss Virtue. Pete’s friend and former coworker Sara Shaw will be joining us.

Your homework for May 23:

Martha: Dogma, the 1999 film by Kevin Smith
Pete: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (for extra credit, watch the film adaptation starring DYDYH’s unofficial mascot Daniel Day Lewis!)
Sara: Peace Like a River, 2001 novel by Leif Enger

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.

Listen to Pat’s show 40 Going on 14 wherever podcasts are found – and find them on the web here.

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 31: Anti Heroes

The homework for the episode:
Martha: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (2008 thriller)
Pete: The Maltese Falcon (1941 film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor)
Bill: Dredd (2012 action opus directed by Pete Travis and starring Karl Urban and Karl Urban’s Chin and also Olivia Thirlby)

A journalist enlists the best hacker in Sweden to help him investigate the disappearance of a girl from a wealthy family, and discovers she may have a connection to a string of murders committed over decades.

A PI’s partner is killed during an investigation, and he gets drawn into the frantic search for a priceless artifact.

While investigating a triple homicide in a gigantic skyscraper, a Judge and his protege find themselves needing to fight their way to the top to confront a mob boss and drug cartel leader.

The oft referred to husband of cohost Martha is our guest today: please welcome Bill Sullivan and enjoy our discussion of Anti Heroes! We are following up our toxic masculinity theme, but before we get into that we are obligated to give you….

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: The single “Summer Songs” by Field Report (and not Isle of Dogs, which he was hoping to discuss, and which probably would have led to a heated argument on the merits of Wes Anderson)
Martha: PokemonGo (and not THE MEG, which she was hoping to discuss, because it is an incredibly stupid and amazing creature feature book being turned into an action movie starring Jason Statham)
Bill: The Penguins vs. Flyers hockey game, which they won because the Philly Flyers are trash

It is probably for the best that Pete can’t by our own rules talk about Isle of Dogs, because he and Martha almost certainly would have disagreed vehemently about whether Wes Anderson should be allowed to make movies set in Japan and not actually include any Japanese people (the answer is no). Martha is back in the Pokemon ARG game, with the advent of Field Research, and frankly she and Bill were both on pins and needles waiting for the outcome of the Pens NHL cup game. But enough about that!

 

To follow up our discussion on toxic masculinity, we’re talking about a particular offshoot of the subject: Anti Heroes. In particular, we are addressing the following questions:

  1. What defines an “anti-hero”? How has this definition changed?
  2. Do we think our main characters qualify?
  3. Why are we as a culture so fascinated by anti-heroes?
  4. Why are there so few female anti-hero characters?

We also end with a little coda on whether or not we think our culture will ever move on from its romanticization of anti-heroes, and you can probably expect a follow-up blog post of some kind because Martha did not even get in to the fact that one of the most popular TV shows right now does not actually have any anti heroes in it (it’s Game of Thrones and if you thought there were any she will disabuse you of this notion).

Next week we have another guest from the 40 Going on 14 podcast, Patrick Whaley! We will be digging into Vice as a story point and character trait, and we have some wickedly fun homework for you to explore.

Your homework for May 9:

Martha: Repo! The Genetic Opera
Pete: Neuromancer by William Gibson
Pat: Rounders

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 30: Toxic Masculinity

The homework for the episode:
Martha: Devils Within by S.F. Henson (2018 YA novel)
Pete: The Sopranos, 1.01 (“Pilot”)
Caitlin: TED talks from Jackson Katz and Tony Porter

A teenager escapes from the Neo Nazi compound that raised him and tries to integrate into the real world, overcoming years of brain washing and conditioning…while those same White Supremacists hunt him down for killing their leader.

A modern day mob boss starts going to therapy after the pressures of his life cause a panic attack and blackout episode.

Two learned gentlemen discuss the role men have in conquering our culture’s ingrained misogyny and sexism.

Friend of the show and fellow educator Caitlin Hofert joins us today for a tricky, sticky subject: Toxic Masculinity. Timely!

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: Wizard-themed pop-up bar in Milwaukee (it’s Harry Potter with the labels scratched off)
Martha: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (2018 YA novel)
Cailtin: Whitechapel (2009 BBC television show)

Martha and Caitlin both have credentials that would fit pretty well into the episode, completely by coincidence, so let’s get right into it.

This is probably one of the most timely topics we’ve discussed on the show, and we all have Many Feelings about it, which is why we run a little bit long. Some of the questions we get into:

    1. How do the fictional stories we looked at reflect the ideas from the TED talks?
    2. How do the fictional stories we look at either celebrate or condemn the toxic environments they reflect?
    3. The Sopranos first aired in 1999 – almost 20 years ago. Do we think the attitude towards a character like Tony and what he represents has shifted in our pop cultural landscape?

Caitlin also tells us a bit about how she approaches this topic with her students, which delights Martha, who also gets to tell a bit about how toxic masculinity and related attitudes seeps into her job.

 

 

Next week is a follow-up, a part two, a continuation if you will: we’re going from toxic masculinity to Anti-Heroes in pop culture. Joining us for his on-air debut is Mr. Martha Sullivan himself, Bill Sullivan!

Your homework for April 25:

Martha: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (2008 thriller)
Pete: The Maltese Falcon (1941 film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor)
Bill: Dredd (2012 action opus directed by Pete Travis and starring Karl Urban and Karl Urban’s Chin and also Olivia Thirlby)

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

The Oscars: Bonus pre-show episode and main listening

Did you know we recorded a wee bonus episode? We did!

The homework for the episode:
I hope you watched the Oscars or at least read up enough to have an opinion on them!

Lizzie Buehler is back for an in-depth look at the 2018 Oscars, discussions of our feelings re: the winners and the not-winners, and award shows in general. Warning: there are A LOT of feelings.

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: The Decemberists’ new single, “Once in my Life”
Lizzie: The Decemberists’ 2015 album What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World
Martha: Gilmore Girls

Lizzie and Pete are in synch preparing for the new Decemberists album drop, while Martha is wasting her time on inconsequential TV. We have a little Gilmore Girls post-mortem in which Pete probably realizes we’re way nerdier about this show than he originally thought, but let’s be honest, we all know why we’re here:

Awards shows: the passion and folly of all art appreciators and critics everywhere. Do the Oscars matter? Did these Oscars matter? Will the Oscars end up becoming an industry joke, much like the current state of the Grammys (no shade to Pete’s brother, of course, who already has one and will probably end up with more). What does it mean to win Best Picture? Was The Shape of Water the best picture this year? How much does Martha deeply love monster movies? How much will everyone fight about who deserved what award?

We answer these and more, and hopefully in a way that is different and as interesting as the other 8000 podcasts that are also talking about this this week.

Next week, we’re doing something a little unusual: we are talking about Niche Communities, and will be joined by Austin Delmond.

The homework for March 28:

Austin: Awesome Games Done Quick-sponsored Speedrun of Star Wars: Jedi Knight Academy by gamer CovertMuffin
Another AGDQ speedrun of your choice
Pete: Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (2014 novel)
Martha: Fursonas, 2016 documentary (available to watch for free here)

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 27: Fairy Tales

The homework for the episode:
Martha: Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006 film by Guillermo del Toro
Pete: Hellboy volume 3: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola
Lauren Maxwell: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Extra Credit: Episode 1.01 of Once Upon a Time, 2011 show created by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis

A young girl in post-revolution Spain discovers she may be a fairy tale princess, if she can accomplish three impossible tasks to reclaim her birthright.

Irish and Slavic folklore are explored through tales of supernatural investigation, helmed by a rough-talking, good-hearted red dude.

A queen sets off on a journey to save a neighboring kingdom from a plague of sleep, accompanied by her trusty dwarves.

A young woman with a troubled past is drawn to a small East Coast town, that may in fact be populated by fairy tale characters who have forgotten who they are.

Welcome to first time guest Lauren Maxwell, who not only helps keep Martha sane at work but also is an expert on this week’s topic of Fairy Tales!

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Martha: Watched Bill play Sea of Thieves
Lauren: Series finale of The Tudors

Pete is prepping for a movie we’re all super stoked about and Martha’s parents have never read A Wrinkle in Time – we all take a moment to contemplate how, exactly, this could have happened. What Martha REALLY wants to talk about is how much she hated Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, but true to the spirit of the credentials section, all she can really say is that she watched her husband play a pirate MMO for several hours. Lauren talks about her disappointment with The Tudors, which we all echo mournfully, for lost potential and the brilliance of Natalie Dormer.

Fairy tales! They’re everywhere. Our pop culture is indelibly linked with folklore, fables and fairy tales, and we want to talk about why. Why are these stories so ingrained in our culture? Why do we have this fascination with them, particularly the ones made famous by the Brothers Grimm? We discuss these and also get into:

  1. How do we reuse and remix familiar fairy tale elements to create new stories?
  2. Much of folklore was initially created as morality tales to warn listeners of bad behavior. Are they still serving this function? How have storytellers changed the fairy tales to reflect modern morality?
  3. At what point do recognizable fairy tale characters get changed so much from their initial conception that they become new characters, rather than just retold versions of the originals?

 

Next episode we’re talking award shows and how they reflect our cultural landscape. Get ready, because it’s our Oscars Episode! This is basically Martha’s Super Bowl, so get your ballots out and be prepared to be existentially disappointed in how much the Academy sucks at valuing actual quality film. We may be guestless, which would be fine, or we may have a ~surprise guest~ depending on how things work out. Either way, emotions will be high so make sure to check it out.

The homework for March 14:

Watch the Oscars! It’s super fun and I’m sure we’ll all have lots to talk about.

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 26: Body Image

(CW: body image, eating disorders. We talk about anorexia, bulimia, and other sensitive subjects.)

The homework for the episode:
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

A teen boy believes that starving himself gives him super powers, that he plans to use to get revenge on the people he thinks are responsible for making his sister run away.

Male models overcome professional jealousy to take down the seedy underbelly of the fashion industry, which is secretly the cause of political assassinations throughout history.

A girl on the chunky side takes a local dancing show by storm in 1960’s Baltimore, and uses the momentum to fight racial discrimination.

Friend of the show Maren Hagman is back to help us get into the serious topic of Body Image. Our subjects range from conceited male models to small town teens, that deal with eating disorders, self image, body positivity, and other related topics. It’s a sensitive conversation and we get a little prickly about it!

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
Martha: “Girls Talk” by Dave Edmunds
Maren: Civilisations trailer

Everyone freaks out a little when Pete tells us that In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is TWENTY YEARS OLD, WHAT. Martha has been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but not close enough to the episode for that to be her pick, so instead she waxes poetic about one of the closing credit songs. Maren catches us all up to speed on our Historical Society

Much like our episode on bullying and suicide, this is an episode where there are a lot of feelings about a very sensitive topic. We dig into the way our three homework media portray different bodies and the relationships we have to them, across the spectrum from positive and healthy to decidedly not. If you find talking about bodies and eating disorders too overwhelming, you may consider skipping this one.

Some of the questions we discuss are:

    1. How do these media conform to or subvert expectations of body image? Are they body positive?
    2. What does healthy body image mean for the protagonists?
    3. How do gender and race impact characters’ body image?
    4. Do Hairspray and Zoolander use humor effectively to reinforce or challenge traditional body image?

Here is a link to the article I mention about body image on Broadway. Also, here is a tremendously relevant article that just came out in the New York Times about Adam Rippon and the prevalence of starving in figure skating, that also gets into the idea that eating disorders among men are one of the worst kept secrets in our cultural landscape.

In addition to the broader discussion on weight and eating disorders, we also have the chance to touch on the question of self image and race, although we all acknowledge that we are three white people talking about things we can’t possibly have experience with.

If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, you can reach out to the National Eating Disorders Association via phone (1-800-931-2237) or chat through their website here.

Next episode, we are joined by Martha’s coworker Lauren Maxwell to talk about Fairy Tales!

The homework for February 28:

Martha: Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006 film by Guillermo del Toro
Pete: Hellboy volume 3: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola
Lauren Maxwell: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Find Pete on Twitter @piko3000, and find Martha on both Instagram AND Twitter @magicalmartha. Maren is educating children on Twitter @a_star_danced.

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 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 24: Better Together

The homework for the episode:
Martha: New52 Justice League, vol. 1: Origin by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Carlos D’Anda
Pete: A trio of musical albums: The New Pornographers: Together (2010), Neko Case: Middle Cyclone (2009), and Destroyer (aka Dan Bejar’s band): Kaputt (2010)
Calee: Captain America: Civil War, the 2016 film directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Sebastian Stan

Iconic superheroes meet for the first time against a powerful foe.

I don’t know how to give a synopsis of three musical albums, but basically: a Canadian pop supergroup makes super fun music, and so do two of its individually famous members.

Two superpowered leaders disagree, splinter their team, and form their own teams so that Steve Rogers can defend his assassin bestie.

Calee Schouten returns for our one year anniversary! In honor of getting the band back together, as it were, we’re talking about various forms of teamups.

Your podcasters’ credentials:

Pete: 1848: Year of Revolution, 2008 book by Mike Rapport
Martha: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild video game for Nintendo Switch
Calee: Arrested Development, 2003 TV show created by Mitchell Hurwitz and starring Jason Bateman

There is no Martha, only Zelda, and the taming of beautiful ponies therein. Pete shows all of us up by once again bringing actual LEARNING about FACTS for his credentials, while Calee gives Martha the elevator pitch on why she should watch a culturally iconic tv show.

With the insane popularity of comic-based film right now, pop culture is pretty saturated with teamups. For our homework today we looked at the Big Two from the Big Two, and Pete threw us all a welcome curve ball by introducing a real-life teamup in the form of the pop supergroup The New Pornographers.

Some of the questions we examine are:

  1. Do the members of these teams gain or lose anything by being part of a team?
  2. Does our familiarity with the individual members/components of these teams help or hurt our enjoyment of the teamup? Does DC or Marvel relying on character archetypes contribute to that feeling?
  3. The goal of a team-up is usually to create something that is more than the sum of its parts. Do we feel that the team-ups we looked at here succeed or fail at that?

We also talk about about how these teams succeed or fail, and how we feel about the individual members in their private endeavors versus their team efforts. We may or may not throw some shade at DC (and a bit at Marvel, we are nothing if not equal opportunity shade-throwers).

For our next episode, we are joined by friend of the show and fellow podcaster Josh Brown to talk about Formative Media: the stories and media that influenced us as children, shaped our tastes, and made us the discerning consumers of pop culture that we are today. We will probably all get very emotional and nostalgic!

The homework for January 31:

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)

Find Calee on Instagram @trickylemon. 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!