Episodes

Episode 37 - Guilty Pleasures

We’re back with episode 37, discussing all of our deepest, darkest, guiltiest pleasures. What is a guilty pleasure? Should we feel guilty for consuming media? What’s up with hate-watching? Is Missy truly the pettiest girl alive? All this and more, including a decidedly dark turn as we discuss the US presidential election.

What Missy’s Been Up To:

Reading:
  • Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat by Kate Leth and Brittney Williams
  • Toxoplasmosis by Melanie Gillman

    What Merri’s Been Up To:

    Watching:
  • The 100
  • Daredevil

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

  • "Decoding the artistic inspiration behind 'Daredevil's gorgeous season 2 posters" by Gavia Baker-Whitelaw
  • "An Open Letter to Trump Voters from His Top Strategist-Turned-Defector" by Stephanie Cegielski
  • “Against Guilty Pleasure” by Jennifer Szalai
  • 'Hate Watching' Is Mostly Just Being Embarrassed by Your Own Tastes by Madeleine Davies
  • Episode 33 - Pandering

    We’re back with episode 33, in which we’re discussing the hot-button issue of pandering. What is pandering? Is it creating media representing and exploring the perspectives of marginalized people, or is it yet another naked girl in Game of Thrones? Is it creating media that reflects the demographics of the world, or is it another pop culture reference passed off as a joke? We may have strong feelings on this topic.

    What Missy’s Been Up To:
    Reading:
  • Constantine by Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes, and Renato Guedes
  • Immortal L. A. by Eric Czuleger - check out his work on Pseudopod and Howl
  • Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau
    Watching:
  • Dope
  • The Babadook

    What Merri's Been Up To:
    Watching:
  • The 100
  • The Punk Singer
    Reading:
  • Princess Leia by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson
  • Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen
  • Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau
  • Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:
    Let’s Talk about Pandering and Nerdy Discourse by Lady Geek Girl and Friends
    Floral Kiss Laptop
    On Pandering by Claire Vaye Watkins
    Geek Culture Has Gone Too Far by Todd Martens
    Geek Culture Needs to Stop Patronizing Black People by Tonya Pennington
    Diversity is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing by Daniel José Older
    The Apartheid of Children's Literature by Christopher Meyers
    Anika Noni Rose on Being the First Black Disney Princess, Segregated Children’s Books, and A Raisin in the Sun by Alex Beggs
    Average Reader Statistics
    Only 5 Current and Upcoming Marvel Team Series are Written by Women via loudlysilent
    Dear White Writers by Ellen Oh
    The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiechi
  • Episode 31 - Sex in the Geek Community with Liz Andrade & Hana Butler

    We’re back with episode 31, discussing sex in the geek community with our friends Liz Andrade and Hana Butler! We chatted about vampire romance fiction, creating a more inclusive community, and the importance of ongoing discussions about sex and other topics in the geek sphere.

    As a head’s up, we ran into some unfortunate audio issues on this episode due to new equipment, new programs, and Skype. We apologize for the low-quality recording and hope you listen anyway—Liz and Hana had wonderful, informative things to say and their contributions are one-hundred percent worthwhile.

    Warning: Due to the nature of this episode, it is rated explicit.

    Mistakes: The reason Missy couldn’t find the article she was looking for was because it was by Sarah Nyberg, not Zoe Quinn, and it is actually titled, “I Was a Teenage Edgelord.” Linked below, with trigger warnings.

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

  • Sex Geekdom and Sex Geekdom Seattle
  • Contact Hana via email: hananoelleb@gmail.com
  • Contact Liz at CMD Shift Design | CMD Shift Design Sex Positive Design | All Cycles | Twitter | Instagram
  • John Oliver’s Segment on Sex Education
  • Missy’s article on romance systems: "Love in the Age of Dragons: Unpacking the Romance Systems of Dragon Age"
  • TEDTalk: Al Vernacchio, “Sex Needs a New Metaphor: Here’s One”
  • "Play Asia Will Sell Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 for Western Audiences, to Spite Feminists, or Something” by Maddy Myers
  • ”I’m Sarah Nyberg, and I Was a Teenage Edgelord” by Sarah Nyberg (Trigger warnings for pretty much everything under the sun. Please be aware that this article contains mentions of rape, pedophilia, incest, homophobic slurs, racism, transphobia, and a whole bunch of other things.)

    Recommended Reading
  • Oh Joy Sex Toy (NSFW)
  • Dar! (may be NSFW)
  • Liz’s Valentine’s Day comic (NSFW)
  • Sex Nerd Sandra podcast (NSFW topics)
  • The Whorecast/ Winter is Coming… (NSFW)
  • Swing Set Network (NSFW)
  • The Kinky Geeks podcast (NSFW)
  • Why Are People Into That? podcast (NSFW)
  • Sex Out Loud podcast (NSFW)
  • Carnalcopia podcast (NSFW)
  • Bonk by Mary Roach
  • Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
  • Girlsex 101 by Alison Moon and others
  • Sex is Fun by Kidder Kaper
  • Bonus Episode - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    We’re back with a bonus episode all about our Star Wars: The Force Awakens feelings! Along with our friend Stephani, we’re discussing diversity, predictability, and fan service, as well as our very important Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, and Poe opinions.

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:
  • Rebel Grrrl Podcast
  • Off the Clock: Space Opera Milennials and Their Grand Narratives by Austin Walker
  • Girls Explain Star Wars to You by Sarah Maria Griffin
  • Hyper-Tokenism: ‘The Force Awakens’ While the Black Man Sleeps by Andre Seewood
  • Write here...

    Episode 30.5 - Fanfiction Discussion

    We just couldn’t get enough of talking about fanfiction, so we have a little companion piece to accompany the core episode discussing our thoughts on the particular stories we read. You don’t have to have read the stories to understand what we’re talking about, and our topics of discussion also include problematic ships, the importance of fantasy, and the strangeness of reading fic for a fandom you’re not part of. It’s interesting stuff, we promise.

    If you want to familiarize yourself with the stories we read before checking out the episode, you can find our reading list here.

    Trigger and Content Warnings: There is some discussion of potentially triggering themes in this episode, particularly in regards to abuse. This episode contains discussions of a sexual nature, and copious swearing as well. 

    Episode 30 - Fanfiction

    We’re back with episode 30, and this time we’re discussing fanfiction! What is it? Why do we read it? What does it do that mainstream media doesn’t? What’s the deal with high school AUs? Is it disrespectful to professional writers? All this, plus excited shouting over Cullen, trash barges, and musing on present tense.

    We also have a companion episode discussing the fanfiction we read more in-depth here. You don’t need to be familiar with any of the stories we read to listen to either the core or the companion episode, but a reading list can be found here if you’d like to get our specific references, and probably enjoy yourself a bit to boot.

    Trigger and Content Warnings: There is some mild discussion of potentially triggering themes in this episode, particularly in regards to Life is Strange. This episode contains discussions of a sexual nature, and copious swearing as well. 

    What Missy’s Been Up To:

    Reading:

    • Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat by Kate Leth, Brittney L. Williams, Megan Wilson, Joe Sabino, and Clayton Cowles

    Watching:

    • Jane the Virgin

    What Merri’s Been Up To:

    Reading:

    • Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

    Watching:

    • Jane the Virgin

    What Stephani’s Been Up To:

    Listening:

    • The Black Tapes Podcast
    • Welcome to Night Vale
    • Serial

    Reading:

    • Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
    • Deadly Class by Rick Remender, Wesley Craig, and Lee Loughridge

    Watching:

    • Vikings
    • Jane the Virgin

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

    Fran’s Tumblr, featuring cute Life is Strange fanart

    The UnKiss in A Song of Ice And Fire 

    Anne Rice’s statement on fanfiction 

    Stephani Meyer interview on fanfiction 

    Ursula LeGuin on fanfiction 

    The Boy Who Lived Forever” by Lev Grossman

    "Fanfic Authors Unhappy With Entertainment Weekly’s Fanfic Contest" by Jessica Lachenal

    "Teen.com Bullies and Shames Teen Wolf Fanfic Writers" by Michelle Dawson

    Mobro 4000 

    Episode 28 - Fandoms, Scooby Doo, and More with Allegra Clark!

    We're chatting with Allegra Clark, the voice of Dragon Age: Inquisition's Josephine Montilyet, about fandoms and more! You can find out more about Allegra by visiting her Twitter (@simplyallegra), Tumblr (captainallegra.tumblr.com), or website (allegraclark.com). 

    Warning: This episode is explicit! Lots of cusses.

    Corrections:

    • Allegra meant that Iron Bull is pansexual, not bisexual.
    • We all misunderstood the handmaiden/feudal lord meme. You can find screenshot of the original post here. It’s still pretty silly, though.
    • When talking about the popularity of pop musicals, Allegra meant that we’re seeing more of them, not fewer.

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

    Bonus Episode: Life is Strange

    We’re back with a special bonus episode on Life is Strange! You’ve probably heard us talk about it before, but with the release of episode five and a veritable ocean of tears, we thought we should revisit the game with our final thoughts, a discussion of the game’s tropes and themes, and whether we recommend it to others.

    Warning: contains spoilers for all episodes of the game as well as some discussion of potentially triggering themes. 

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

    Butterfly of Doom via TVTropes

    Hide Your Lesbians via TVTropes

    Hella Talk: An Interview With Ashly Burch on Chloe Price, Queerness, & ‘Life is Strange’ via FemHype 

    Bury Your Gays via TVTropes 

    Review: Life is Strange Episode 4 - On Soap Operas, Glurge, and Unreal Stakes by Maddy Myers

    Origin of the “Interactive Pricefield Museum” (Credit where credit's due, and all)

    Episode 24 - Horror

    We’re back with episode 24, talking about spooky movies in this, the spookiest of months! After a disastrous attempt at this episode a year ago (for which we have never forgiven Audacity), we’re revisiting films like Rosemary’s Baby, I Spit on Your Grave, and Teeth to discuss horror’s power to critique our culture through fear. Other topics include the final girl trope, the treatment of women, the demonization of mental illness and the poor, and other things that make up one of our favorite genres.

    TRIGGER WARNING: This episode contains discussions of violence, including sexual violence. We also don’t censor our swearing. 

    What Missy’s Been Up To:

    Reading:

    • Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
    • Franny and Zooey and Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
    • Afterlife with Archie by Roberty Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla

    Watching:

    • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

    What Merri’s Been Up To:

    Watching:

    • Scream Queens
    • Steven Universe

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

    The Final Girl Trope

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The most important Vietnam film ever made? by Michael Ewins

    The Ultimate Pro-Vegetarian Film Is the Last Movie You’d Expect by Forrest Wickman

    Fumetti Nightmares: Ulula the Werewolf Woman by Doris V. Sutherland (NSFW)

     

    Episode 22 - Magical Realism and Life is Strange

    Merri and Missy are back with episode 22, on magical realism, heightened realities, and Life is Strange. As much as we yammer on about how this whole thing is a thinly veiled excuse to talk about Life is Strange, we also do discuss the perils of genre, what genre tells us (and what it doesn’t), and how genre lets us look at things from a new perspective. Also: SPOILERS. And for some reason Missy says noir comes before the 1920s. She meant that it comes after. She regrets this grievous mistake and the challenge it poses to her noir cred. 

    What Missy's Been Up To:

    Reading:

    • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
    • Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau
    • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
    • The Unwritten by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

    Watching:

    • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

    What Merri’s Been Up To:

    Watching:

    • Steven Universe

    Playing:

    • Life is Strange

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

    Green Eyed Monster by Carrogath (a post-adventure magical girl visual novel) 

    ‘Heightened Reality’: The Influence of Magic(al) Realism on Wes Anderson’s Literary Style by Thomas Storr  

    Review: Life Is Strange Episode 4 — On Soap Operas, Glurge, and Unreal Stakes by Maddy Myers

    Episode 20 - Staying Positive

    We’re back with episode 20, talking about staying positive in a variety of situations, including helps us and others afloat when we’re feeling down. 

    What Missy's Been Up To:

    Reading:

    • A Series of Unfortunate Events (The Austere Academy, The Ersatz Elevator, and The Vile Village) by Lemony Snicket
    • Captain America: Castaway in Dimension Z
    • Doctor Strange: The Oath

    Watching:

    • Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)
    • The Legend of Korra (Season 3)

    What Merri's Been Up To:

    Reading:

    • Batgirl

    Watching:

    • Orphan Black
    • Humans
    • Teen Wolf

    Some Links You May Find Interesting:

    Paulina Ganucheau's Twitter
    Finding Hope in a TARDIS: Violence, Racism and Headline Fatigue by Angélique Roché
    Hyperbole and a Half on Depression: Part One and Part Two
    Love and Afrofeminism: 5 Core Self-Care Principles Every Activist Should Live By by Spectra
    Dealing with Activist Burn-Out and Self-Care by Suzanna Bobadilla and Kate Sim
     

    Episode 19 - Steven Universe

    We’re back with episode 19, discussing our favorite cartoon of the moment: Steven Universe! We’re talking about representation, flawed characters, the importance of children’s media, and our fan theories (or lack thereof). 

    What Missy's Been Up To:

    Reading:

    • The Reptile Room and The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
    • Aimless Love by Billy Collins
    • Drawn to Marvel, edited by Bryan D. Dietrich and Marta Ferguson
    • Absolute Sandman Vol. 2 by Neil Gaiman, et al.
    • Power Up! Issue #1 by Kate Leth and Matt Cummings

    Playing:

    • The Magic Circle
    • Life is Strange Episode 4

    What Merri's Been Up To:

    Reading:

    • The Wicked + The Divine

    Watching:

    • Arrow season 2
    • Gravity Falls

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

    Missy's blog posts on The Wicked + The Divine and Bitch Planet
    Finding Hope In a TARDIS: Violence, Racism, and Headline Fatigue by Angelique Roche
    Rebecca Sugar's Reddit AMA
    It's Okay To Have Flaws (Except For You): Steven Universe and Fandom by Vrai Kaiser

     

    Episode 14 - Mad Max: Fury Road

    Merri and Missy discuss Mad Max: Fury Road, occasionally pausing in their gushing about how much they love it to talk about things like representation, feminism, and bad Bane impressions.

    Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

    Who Killed the World? discussion on Reddit
    Chuck Wendig's post comparing Mad Max: Fury Road and "Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken."
     Warning: contains MAJOR Game of Thrones spoilers!

    Dissecting Race Representation in Mad Max: Fury Road 
    Nashwa Khan's "Mad Max: Fury Road And the Glaring Whiteness of Post-Apocalyptic Films"
    Feminist Mad Max 
    L. J. Vaughn's "My Reaction to Mad Max: Fury Road and the Utter Perfection That is Imperator Furiosa"
    Tracy King's "No, Mad Max Is Not a Feminist Masterpiece (but that's OK)"

     

    Episode 13 - Objectification Versus Empowerment

    After a brief hiatus due to a medical issue (we're fine, promise!) Missy and Merri are back to share their thoughts on Bayonetta and the women of Kill La Kill as empowering or objectified, as well as what those terms really mean. Other topics include Age of Ultron, the Supergirl trailer, why using gross slurs to show your character is evil reflects poorly on your writing, and Marvel Babiez (we'll be waiting for our checks, Marvel). 

    Some links you might find interesting (there's a lot of them and they're all fabulous, sorry, not sorry):

    Age of Ultron and Black Widow:

    Objectification and Empowerment

    Bayonetta

    Kill La Kill

    Episode 9 - News and Convention Survival Tips

    Merri and Missy discuss recent news in the geek community as well as their convention survival tips. Topics include: that Batgirl cover, the difference between being sexy, powerful, and confident, and how to discuss the flaws in your fave, as well as convention horror stories and survival tips.

    Some links you may find interesting:
    The edited version of That Batgirl Variant
    "The 'Vocal Minority' and Artistic Integrity In Comics" over at Comics Alliance
    Cosplay Is Not Consent

    Episode 8 - Fairy Tales

    Merri and Missy chat about the origin and evolution of fairy tales, including how and why they remain popular today. Topics include: Once Upon a Time, Fables, Marissa Meyer's Cinder, J. R. R. Tolkien, the genius of Angela Carter and Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, creepypasta, and representation.

    Links you may find interesting:

    The strangest guide to pronouncing Marjane Satrapi.
    Earthtongue, a fun little indie game.
    Polygon writes erotic ALF fanfiction in Elegy For a Dead World.
    Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories."
    Le Guin's "Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?"
    Neil Gaiman on fairy tales and Angela Carter.
    New book of fairy tales: The Turnip Princess.
    Ted the Caver.
    Splendorman.

    Episode 7 - Villains

    Merri and Missy discuss villains, especially female ones, with a heavy emphasis on Gone Girl. How can more writers incorporate villainous women without it feeling like they're trashing all women in the process? Easy: write more women. Missy also mistakenly says Buddy Holly's nickname was 'the music' because she didn't get any sleep and doesn't know what she's talking about. Whoops.

    Links you might find interesting:

    Rookie Mag's Season of the Witch article

    Pamela J. Grossman's The Year of the Witch article

    A great Tumblr post about Cersei Lannister

    Gillian Flynn on the necessity of female villains

    An article on Gone Girl and female villains

    Episode 6 - Interview with Gisella Bustillos

    We're back, and this time we're talking with our friend Gisella Bustillos, director of A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME TRAVEL and all-around awesome lady. We're talking about lots of things, including our favorite movies, YA lit, commercials, and what kind of cookies we'd be. 

    Some links to keep you entertained:

    That Old Spice commercial Missy hadn't seen.

    Channing Tatum's wonderful e-mail.

    La Jetée.