I’m not going to lie: I’m pretty embarrassed that It’s been almost a year since my last blog post. Granted, a lot has happened in the past year. There’s the pandemic, for one. And I’m still processing my mom’s death last September. I also started a new full-time job in May (which I love). So things are busy, but mostly in a good way. Mostly.
I plan to write more in this space. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed — or will soon enjoy — Season 2 of the podcast. This was a pretty epic endeavor for Raf and me. We had guest stars, we dug deep through YouTube for obscure 80s cartoons, we had a two-part series on the greatest Christmas movie ever, and we did it all while weathering more stress and technical difficulties than I ever thought possible.
Below is a quick rundown of the episodes. If you haven’t listened to them yet, I hope you will. If you thought they were fun, tell a friend about them. And follow me on my public Instagram account and check out Raf’s Vimeo portfolio. We tremendously appreciate every follow and each podcast download.
- Tooning In: Three Animated Movies (and One TV Show) That Sold Us Toys. Did you know there was a “My Little Pony” TV special that basically combined the cute colorful ponies with Dungeons & Dragons and a Rush song? Have you ever heard someone refer to the Care Bears as “the NSA of goodness”? Should you even bother remembering the Rainbow Brite movie? Raf and I covered all of this and more in the inaugural episode of Season 2.
- “Speed”: Finding a Community on the Commute. Who would’ve guessed we had so much to say about “The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down”? Neither Raf nor I expected this episode to last more than 25 minutes. But the more we talked about it, the more we wanted to keep talking. Raf dug out some seriously good trivia, while I waxed about the real emotional twists in one of the least realistic action movies of our youth.
- “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”: The Gen X Kids are All Right (with Guest Star Javi Perez). My friend Javi brought his star power to this episode. He’s a former TV anchor who arrived at our in-person recording (done the last weekend of March 2020 before the world shut down) bearing fantastic notes on one of our favorite movies from childhood. It was our first episode with a guest star, but definitely not our last.
- “Encino Man” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”: Past Is Present, Buddy. While “Excellent Adventure” and “Bogus Journey” would’ve been a fun double feature pairing, we wanted to go with something a little more unexpected. The first Bill and Ted movie is always fun to revisit, but we found a lot to love and hate about “Encino Man.” I also did lots of swooning over the still-awesome Brendan Fraser. (TW: discussion of sexual assault)
- “Demolition Man”: The Bravest, Newest World. Sometimes dreams do come true: I waited for 30 years to yell to an audience about how “Demolition Man” is basically “Brave New World” fanfic. 🐚 🐚 🐚
- “Flight of the Navigator”: Muppet Logic in Space. While I admit that much of my love for “Navigator” is based on nostalgia, I still thought we did a good job of tearing this movie apart while also recognizing what worked in it. (An out-of-this-world job, if you will.) Plus, arguing with Raf about the protagonist of this film was pretty fun.
- “SpaceCamp”: Out of This World (with Guest Star Reese Marino). Welcome to our second episode with a guest star and the first one recorded via Zoom! I was excited beyond words to have my brilliant pal Reese as a guest star. I’m so honored that she graced this episode with her superb NASA expertise, her awesome sense of humor, and her love of this weird and wonderful little movie.
- “The Addams Family” and “Addams Family Values”: As Creepy as They Want to Be. I meant to promote this episode during Spooky Season 2021, but here we are. You should check it out anyway, though — especially the discussion about the important-yet-problematic Thanksgiving scene in “Values.” Also, I busted out a surprising recollection of “Whoomp! There it is.” There it is, indeed.
- “Die Hard” Part I: Welcome to the After-Party, Pal (with Guest Star Eric Lichtenfeld). The number one reason Raf and I persisted in finishing this season, despite all pandemic and technical issues, was the “Die Hard” episode (which ended up becoming two episodes). Eric is one of the most delightful people I’ve ever met, and basking in the warm glow of his stories was a gift. Bonus: Read his Library of Congress essay that accompanied the induction of “Die Hard” into the National Film Registry, and learn more about his book on action movies.
- “Die Hard” Part II: Unlocking the Vault (with Guest Star Eric Lichtenfeld). Because our conversation with Eric had so much great material and information about the film, we divided it into two episodes. This half also features me swooning even more over Alan Rickman. (Relatable content, I know.)
So, yeah, that was Season 2. As I said earlier, this season took a lot more effort than we let on — so much so that I’m not sure when or if Season 3 is coming. But in the meantime, I’m just delighted that Raf and I took an idea I had in the shower (“I want to start a films-of-my-youth podcast because people need to know what I think about ‘The Golden Child!’”) and completed not one, but two seasons.
Thanks again to everyone who’s listened and sent us words of support. We’re honored that so many of you have made time for our podcast. And make sure to watch this space for future blog posts.
Copyright 2021, Sarah A. Ruiz & What the Kids Were Watching/Quail School Media. All rights reserved.