Episodes

Episode 117 - Cruel Intentions

Cocaine crucifixes, 27-year-old teens, and the decadence of the elite—it's time to discuss 1999's absolutely buckwild Cruel Intentions! Join us as we examine the cultural context of the late 90s, the intentions of the author (who is occasionally dead), and why a movie about horrible people being awful to one another is still so much fun. 

Warning: This episode has trigger warnings for, oh, everything. Sexual assault, emotional manipulation, drug abuse, death, et cetera. There's also a generous amount of cussing and discussion of sex. It's raunchy.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

What Sex Was Like In The '90s by Kristine Fellizar

The “Mechanical Truth” behind Cruel Intentions: Desire, AIDS, and the MTV Movie Awards' “Best Kiss” by C. Benson Alott

How the Coke Cross from 'Cruel Intentions' Became an Iconic Symbol of '90s Teen Rebellion by Esther Zuckerman

Cruel intentions: Adaptations, teenage movie or remake? by Brigine E Humbert

T(e)en Things I Hate about Girlene Shakesploitation Flicks in the Late 1990s, or, Not-So-Fast Times at Shakespeare High by Richard Burt

"Potential Lesbians at Two O'Clock": The Heterosexualization of Lesbianism in the Recent Teen Film by Tricia Jenkins

When Pop Culture Meets High Literature.  The case of Cruel Intentions and the epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Betty Kaklamanidou 

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WWBUT 14 - And it is HOT HOT HOT

At long last, Missy's life has settled down enough to allow her to do things... for fun? Merri shares her spicy thoughts on Stranger Things, Missy goes off about Red Dead Redemption 2 despite it not being one of her things, and we both shower some love on Mccafferty.

Warning: Contains swearing and discussion of genitalia.

What Missy's Been Up To:

Watching:

Won't You Be My Neighbor?
The Hate U Give
Spider-Man: Far From Home

Playing:

The Black Widow (Missy's review)
Dixit

Reading:

The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag
What is Obscenity? by Rokudenashiko

What Merri's Been Up To:

Watching:

The Great Hack
Stranger Things
Queer Eye

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Episode 116 - The Odyssey

Sing in me, Muse, of the importance of translation, the importance of nuance, and the original scoundrel: Odysseus. That's right, we're talking about The Odyssey! Join us as we discuss Emily Wilson's new translation in conversation with Madeline Miller's Circe and Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

Why Read the Classics? by Ginni Chen

The "Odyssey" and the Western World by George de F. Lord

Homer for Scalawags: Emily Wilson’s “Odyssey” by Richard H. Armstrong

The First Woman to Translate the ‘Odyssey’ Into English by Wyatt Mason

The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson review – a new cultural landmark by Charlotte Higgins 

Feminine Narrative and Subjectivity in Homer’s Odyssey: Structuring Dichotomies and Alternative Discourses by Catherine Johnson

The Complicated Radicalism of Emily Wilson’s The Odyssey by Janey Tracey

Athena and Penelope as Foils for Odysseus in the "Odyssey" by Lillian E. Doherty

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WWBUT 13 - I Killed a Man on the Moon Just to Watch Him Die

What have we been up to? Not-so-evil witches, aliens, and falling in love in the time war.

What Missy's Been Up To:

Watching:

Child's Play
Airplane!
Wicked

Reading:

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Cosmic Love, edited by Jennie Wood
Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

Playing:

Night Call
Simmiland
Medusa and Her Lover 

What Merri's Been Up To:

Watching:

The Colony
Wicked

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Episode 115 - Song of the Lioness Book 3 and 4

Do you love romance? Do you love romances as embodiments of different modes of patriarchy? Then do we have a book series for you! In this episode, we tackle Tamora Pierce's The Woman Who Rides Like a Man and Lioness Rampant, the final two books in the Song of the Lioness quartet, and grapple with the problems of a beloved series, including how they affect its modern relevance. 

Warning: There's no cursing, but there are frequent mentions of sex and sexuality. Also a lot of immaturity, sorry.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

More than escapism : environmentalism and feminism in the young adult fantasy novels of Tamora Pierce by Michael James Hancock

NEGOTIATING FEMININITY: TOMBOY GENDER PERFORMANCE IN THE WRITINGS OF TAMORA PIERCE AND SUZANNE COLLINS by Shauna Maragh

Musings on Diverse Worlds by Deirdre F. Baker

Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject by Saba Mahmood

Revisiting Corus: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Cindy Massre

Racism and Some Sexism in Woman Who Rides Like A Man by Angela

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WWBUT 12 - Suddenly They Are On The Moon

Are you ready to hear about Disneyland? We certainly hope so.

Warning: There are some mentions of sex as we talk about Tidelands. Nothing explicit, just mentions.

What Missy's Been Up To:

Listening To:

Rabbits

Reading:

The Near Witch by V. E. Schwab

Watching:

The OC Season 2
The Lego Movie 2
Aggretsuko

What Merri's Been Up To:

Watching:

Tidelands
The Colony
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

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Episode 114 - Song of the Lioness Book 1 and 2

Cross-dressing, examinations of the necessity of violence, and the unfortunate consequences of second-wave feminism? That's right, we're talking about the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce! In this first entry, we're talking about Alanna: The First Adventure and In the Hand of the Goddess, books one and two of the series that started the beloved Tortall universe.

Warning: Some mentions of genitalia. No explicit content, just mentions.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

Closed Minds: Tamora Pierce's Teenagers and the Problem of Desire by Anastasia Salter

The REadWind: Alanna: The First Adventure by Melissa Brinks

Negotiating Femininity: Tomboy Gender Performance in the Writings of Tamora Pierce and Suzanne Collins by Shauna Maragh

Impostor Syndrome vs Exceptionalism in Alanna the First Adventure by Angela

More than escapism : environmentalism and feminism in the young adult fantasy novels of Tamora Pierce by Michael James Hancock

What a Cross-Dressing Lady Knight Taught Me About Gender and Sexuality by B Pietras

Tamora Pierce Writes Fantasy That Changes Lives by Meghan Ball

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Stay Posi, Emo Kid - Episode 1 - Most Formative Emo Band

While we're off on vacation, we thought we'd leave you with a little idea we've been kicking around—a positive debate podcast about emo. When we say emo, we mean inclusively; pop punk, old-school emo, midwest emo, and so on are all fair game.

In this first episode, we're talking about the emo bands that had the biggest impact on us as teenagers. We each nominated three bands and picked one for each of us, plus one ruling champion—the band most emblematic of the mid-2000s, when we were teenagers.

We hope you enjoy this while we're frolicking through Disneyland. If you do, let us know—we'd love to make it a (semi-) regular thing, because once you start one podcast you just can't stop.

WWBUT 11 - Bill Cipherpunk

We're both extremely on brand in this episode as we discuss things like the Good Omens adaptation, Shirley Jackson, and recontextualizing Shakespeare.

Warnings: This episode is explicit for language and sexual content in the last thing we discuss. 

What Missy's Been Up To:

Listening To:

Morph Club

Reading: 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Sex with Shakespeare by Jillian Keenan

Watching:

We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Aladdin

Playing:

Life is Strange 2 Episode 3

What Merri's Been Up To:

Watching:

Good Omens
When They See Us
The Society
Kong: Skull Island

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Episode 113 - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Parts 4 - 5

It's time for part two of our Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood miniseries! Join us as we search for truth. And god. And you. And me. And the world. Et cetera. 

Warnings: We mix up Al and Ed's names sometimes. Please pretend we said the correct one every time.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

Full Metal Alchemist: Why Isn’t Lust Lustful? by Crystal Kaba 

Of Gods, Guilt And Greed: Morality and Mad Science in Fullmetal Alchemist by Howard Kleinman

Fullmetal Alchemist and the Promise of Power 

Eyes Convey Truth in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood by Under the Scope

 What is Truth? - Philosophy in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood by Kato 

More Than Alchemic Reactions: Playing With Gender Norms in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood by Amber Fetch 

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WWBUT 10 - Podcasting From the Back of a Megalodon

California, here we come. CALIFORNIA, HERE WE COME. CALIFORNIAAAAAA.

What have we been up to? Comfort food, discomfort food, and feeding evil corporations to giant sharks. 

Warning: The word 'pissed' slipped through the cracks.

What Missy's Been Up To:

Watching:

The OC
Mortal Kombat
Booksmart
Doom Patrol

Reading:

Your Black Friend by Ben Passmore
GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS by Jenn Woodall
Siren School by Isabella Ratman
Please Destroy the Internet and Please Destroy My Enemies by Michael Sweater
Magical Beatdown vol. 1 and 2 by Jenn Woodall

What Merri's Been Up To:

Watching:

Game of Thrones
Booksmart
The Meg
Godzilla
Chernobyl

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Episode 112 - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Parts 1 - 3

Time for some good ol' existential crises as we dive into Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the second adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa's hit manga series. Join us as we figure out what a human is, debate whether alchemy is magic or science, and attempt to explain Judith Butler without taking six hours. 

Warnings: We say 'pissed' once and there's some brief mentions of Winry's increasing chest size.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

Fullmetal Alchemist and the Deadly Sins of Capitalism by D.E. Wittkower

It’s OK to Win: Fighting Sin in Fullmetal Alchemist by Greg Pollock

Fullmetal Alchemist and the Promise of Power 

Fullmetal Alchemist and the Other – A Video Essay by A. Morgan Fuchs

More Than Alchemic Reactions: Playing With Gender Norms in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhoodby Amber Fetch

Disability and Biopolitics in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood by Julie Sadler

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WWBUT 9 - Pikachu Cannot Get It

What have we been up to? Seeing giant blockbuster movies and watching the latest episodes of the biggest giant blockbuster show, of course! 

Warning: Contains spoilers for Detective Pikachu, Avengers: Endgame, and Game of Thrones, with warnings before each.

What Missy's Been Up To:

Reading:

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
Twisted Romance, edited by Alex de Campi

Playing:

The Sims 4

Watching:

Detective Pikachu
Avengers: Endgame

What Merri's Been Up To:

Watching:

Game of Thrones
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Listening to:

The Dropout

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Episode 111 - Heathers

Lick it up, baby, because we're taking a closer look at 1989's Heathers, a cult film dissecting the cold, calculating dark side of humanity (and the Reagan era). We also take a little jaunt into the disastrous television adaptation and the extremely catch music to ask the nagging question, "Does Heathers have any relevance today?"

Warning: In addition to swearing, this episodes contains references to suicide, sexual assault, eating disorders, and school violence.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

Investigating the 1980s Hollywood Teen Genre: Adolescence, Character, Space by Patrick O’Neill

“Heathers” Blew Up the High-School Comedy by Naomi Fry

‘Heathers’ Turns 30: Why Winona Ryder’s Agent Begged Her Not to Do the Subversive Teen Movieby Susan King 

The Stark Screen Teen: Echoes of James Dean in Recent Young Rebel Roles (2005) in 'Rebel Without a Cause': Approaches to a Maverick Masterwork by Timothy Shary

A Brief History of Punch-Down Comedy by Sascha Cohen 

Still Very, 25 Years Later: The Bleak Genius of Heathers by Alan Zilberman

Heathers: An oral history by Adam Markovitz

Nightmare in the Mirror: Adolescence and the Death of Difference by Scott Long

Profiles in Ontological Rebellion: The Presence of Moby-Dick in Heathers by Randy Laist

Is Heathers too shocking for 2018? by Emma Jones

Heathers Writers Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy Break Down the Musical’s Full Album Track by Track  

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WWBUT 8 - Rice Udders

What have we been up to? Thinking about how rice milk is made, apparently. We're sorry about our gross misunderstanding of what horchata is. Also: The Shining, Bonded, and SWMRS!

Warnings: A mild swear squeaked through, and we spend a ridiculous time talking about breasts and udders. 

What Missy's Been Up To:

Reading:

A Short History of the Honey Bee by Ed Readicker-Henderson and Ilona
The Shining by Stephen King

Playing:

Mortal Kombat 11

What Merri's Been Up To:

Watching: 

Hercules
Bonding
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Episode 110 - The Last Unicorn

Beauty is truth, truth beauty, and also unicorns. Welcome to our discussion of Peter S. Beagle's classic The Last Unicorn, in which we also bring in Keats and Plato because there's layers upon layers upon layers to this story, and we want to devour them like a delicious, buttery croissant.

Warning: While there's nothing extremely explicit, early on we make references to a tree's giant breasts and phallic shape. Just, you know. Normal things. Merri also says that Molly is "pissed off."

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

The Last Unicorn: Why Must You Always Speak In Riddles? by What’s So Great About That?
Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats
Literature and the Child: Romantic Continuations, Postmodern Contestations by James Holt Mcgavran
An Introduction to Plato's Theory of Forms
Platonic Forms and Unicorns: Plato's Philosophy in Peter S.Beagle's The Last Unicorn by Jade Donigan
The Anti-Consolatio: Boethius and "The Last Unicorn" by Alexandra Hennessey Olsen
Two Forms of Metafantasy by George Aichele, Jr.
Fantastic Paradox: Secondary Belief and Peter S. Beagle’s Metafantasy The Last Unicorn by Marilyn Kamp
Phantasy as Deconstruction by Karen Michalson

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WWBUT 7 - Jon Favreaus Elf

What have we been up to since our last episode? Reliving our days as emo teens, naturally.

Warning: We started swearing midway through the episode and continued throughout, so this is an explicit episode.

What Missy's Been Up To:

Watching:

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
The Twilight Zone
Fruits Basket
You've Got Mail

Reading:

The Sartorial Geek
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu

Playing:

Wheels of Aurelia
Marvel's Spider-Man

What Merri's Been Up To:

Watching:

Star Wars Celebration
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Us

Reading:

Sword of the Jedi by diasterisms

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Episode 109 - Jennifers Body

Jennifer's Body should be something we both like, but do we? The answer is, predictably, more complicated than yes or no. Join us as we discuss catharsis, rage, and subversion, teasing out our confusion (and some rage of our own) through a healthy dose of critical theory.

Warnings: This episode is explicit and includes discussions of sexual assault. Please listen with caution if the subject matter is troubling for you.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

You Probably Owe "Jennifer's Body" An Apology by Louis Peitzman
Jennifer's Body: Interview with Writer Diablo Cody by Emanuel Levy
How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today by Constance Grady
Jennifer’s Body: Best Friends Forever, Covered in Blood by Rachel Simmons
Men, Women, and Chainsaws - Gender in the Modern Horror Film by Carol J. Clover
Terrors of Girlhood by Julie Casali
I Watched Lesbianish Classic “Jennifer’s Body” and Now I Love Cinema!!! By Erin
‘JENNIFER’S BODY’ DISINTERRED by Celina C. Wise
Exclusive Q&A: Diablo Cody Talks Megan Fox, Therapy, And Doing “The View” With Courtney Love by Jessica Wakeman
‘Jennifer’s Body’ and Bisexuality by Tessa Racked
The naked opportunism of "Jennifer's Body" by STEPHANIE ZACHAREK
Too Little, Too Late: The Queer Cult Status of Jennifer's Body Is Bittersweet by Sarah Fonseca
'Jennifer’s Body' Would Kill if It Came Out Today by Frederick Blichert
Does ‘Jennifer’s Body’ Turn The Possession Genre On Its Head? By Gaayathri Nair

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WWBUT #6 - Emerald City Comic Con + Interviews

We were lucky enough to spend a great weekend at this year's Emerald City Comic Con! Find out what we've been up to, what panels we visited, what The Wicked + The Divine party was like, and also hear some half-baked theorizing about why Cruel Intentions is the way it is. 

We were lucky enough to chat with Andrea Fort and Michael Christopher Heron, the writing team behind Songs for the Dead, and Anne Camlin and Becca Farrow of Rock Candy Games, the team behind the upcoming Seventh Circle! Everyone we spoke with was delightful, please take some time to check out their work because your life will be immediately better. Our interview with Andrea and Michael begins at around 1:09:00 and our interview with Anne and Becca begins at around 1:31:30!

Warning: We cussed, our guests cussed, it's a cussing extravaganza around here. 

What Missy's Been Up To:

Reading:

Circe by Madeleine Miller
Real Love by Rachel Sullivan and anonymous submitters

Watching:

Cruel Intentions
Us
What We Do in the Shadows

Playing:

Heart of the Woods

What Merri's Been Up To:

Reading:

Songs for the Dead by Andrea Fort, Michael Christopher Heron, Sam Beck, and Deron Bennett

Watching:

The Order
The Dragon Prince Season 2

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