With the release of the Ready Player One movie quickly approaching, Rachel and Jen take a look at media involving video games. They discuss common themes surrounding gaming culture, mmorpgs/virtual reality as a setting, and the “you die in the game, you die for real” trope.
This is our last episode before we go on a two month hiatus! We’ll be back on May 21st!
After seeing Annihilation (starring Natalie Portman and directed by Alex Garland) in theaters, Rachel and Jen are left scratching their heads. While Jen discusses the movie’s failings both thematically and within the genre of sci-fi, Rachel attempts to pull an analysis out of what was unfortunately a very vague and confusing resolution to the film. As they struggle to keep up their ruse of being academics, they ask the ultimate question: what was this movie even about?
Unwind from Valentine’s Day with Rachel and Jen as they discuss fictional pairings they find unromantic, and why they feel that way. In doing so, they jump to and from topics including underdeveloped relationships, unlikable heroes, realizing a pairing is toxic, and identical vampire jaws.
February is here, and love is in the air! Jen and Rachel celebrate this most romantic of seasons by discussing things that aren’t intended to be romantic, (whether due to the genre, writers’ intentions, or fact that the characters have never met!) and share their favorite non-canonical, non-romance-genre, and sometimes completely ridiculous ships.
In what is definitely their most self-indulgent episode yet, Rachel and Jen use their podcast as an excuse to talk about Dungeons & Dragons for an hour. While discussing the first arc (episodes 1-16) of the Geek and Sundry web series Critical Role, they wander into discussions about D&D as a storytelling tool, the impact of environment on narrative, putting a character on a bus, and the flexibility of communal storytelling.
Jen reveals herself to be a completionist and makes the argument for watching from the very beginning. Rachel disagrees.
Also, Jen is super extra in this episode… I am so sorry.
Jen and Rachel compare and contrast the 1912 novel Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster with its 2015 Off-Broadway musical adaptation by the same name. In their discussion, they touch upon the epistolary format, how a character’s portrayal influences readers’ interpretations, Broadway accessibility, and whether Jen’s fave is problematic or not.
Spoilers ahead for the book, but not quite as many for the musical. Confused as to how that’s possible? Guess you’ll have to listen to find out!
Rachel and Jen round out this holiday season with their last episode of the year. While sharing their love for this diamond in the rough, they delve into topics such as handsome Igor, “strong” female heroines, the patriarchy, toxic masculinity, and handsome dragons. Plus, a special surprise for Rachel at the end.
Caution: Here be spoilers… As always, a spoiler warning is included part-way through.
Jen and Rachel prepare for winter by reading an icy sci-fi alien romance novel that they both genuinely love. As they summarize the story, they focus on some of the things that make the book so great such as heroic heroines, respectful heroes, audiobook sex scenes, and of course… blue alien anatomy.
Extra nsfw warning for this episode because of previously mentioned alien anatomy.
Rachel and Jen venture once more into the world of romance, and discuss a book by Fabio, the pinnacle of all romance heroes. They get distracted by the purpose of fantasy elements, misogynist alpha-hole heroes, Jen’s love of gnomes, the decay of heroine characterization, lust over love, and the classic romance novel formula before circling back around to the most important topic of all… Fabio.
Jen and Rachel enjoy some nostalgia while discussing something from the early days of their friendship: the NBC mini-series The 10th Kingdom. As they struggle to stay on their topic of world-building, they also diverge into discussions of awesome female villains, the problem with media portrayals of mental illness, and Rachel’s inability to understand how mirrors work.