Please note: This transcript has been automatically generated.

Susie Banikarim (00:00):

This was exactly the thing that My So-Called Life was trying to counter, but instead of lasting one season, lasted many seasons. And one of the critics actually said it was arguably one of the worst long-running shows on television.

Jessica Bennett (00:19):

I’m Jessica Bennett.

Susie Banikarim (00:20):

And I’m Susie Banikarim.

Jessica Bennett (00:22):

And this is In Retrospect, where each week, we revisit a cultural moment from the past that shaped us

Susie Banikarim (00:27):

And that we just can’t stop thinking about.

Jessica Bennett (00:29):

Today, we’re delving into some of the great ideas that you, our listeners, have sent in. We’ve been asking for your suggestions, and these are some of the moments that you can’t stop thinking about.

Susie Banikarim (00:39):

Jess, people sent in so many good ideas, and some of them were things we had thought of, but some of them weren’t. And this first one we’re going to talk about was something I didn’t even know existed, which is a suggestion that we talk about Generation Catalano, which is based on a character in My So-Called Life, a show you and I were both obsessed with. Will you tell us about it?

Jessica Bennett (01:03):

Yeah. So Generation Catalano is based on Jordan Catalano. Snaps to Lisa, who sent this in, because I am still in love with Jordan Catalano.

Susie Banikarim (01:15):

Yes, me too.

Clips (01:16):

The fact that we come here, let’s keep it like our secret.

Jessica Bennett (01:21):

He was played by Jared Leto. And to be clear, I’m not saying this about Jared Leto, I’m saying it about the character. But My So-Called Life was this show that ran for one season, tragically, only one season.

Susie Banikarim (01:32):

Tragic. Absolutely tragic.

Jessica Bennett (01:32):

And it was a high school drama. It made Claire Danes famous. She played the lead character, who was also the narrator, Angela Chase. And Angela’s love interest was Jordan Catalano.

Clips (01:45):

The thought that I might be seeing Jordan Catalano in a few hours was, like, impossible to comprehend.

Jessica Bennett (01:52):

There was also her two best friends, Ricky and Rayanne. This was a high school drama that didn’t have the kind of saccharine earnestness or afterschool special sense vibes that Dawson’s Creek did. It was for emo types who wore flannel and Docs, and were really in their feelings.

Susie Banikarim (02:13):

Yeah, so I wore flannel and docs, but I would never have described myself as emo. But when you say that, I feel like I should confess that I wrote really dark, lame poetry at this time of my life, so maybe I did qualify as emo, but this concept that Lisa sent in, this concept of Generation Catalano, I had not heard about this before. What does it mean?

Jessica Bennett (02:34):

It basically describes where you and I meet, which is this generation between Gen X and millennials. Like I’m a millennial, you are Gen X, but we have this focal point, this reference between us.

Susie Banikarim (02:47):

Yes. Because I never really felt quite Gen X, so I love that there’s this other microgeneration.

Jessica Bennett (02:52):

I mean, it’s another way of saying cusp, right?

Susie Banikarim (02:54):

Yeah, exactly.

Jessica Bennett (02:54):

But more fun. And actually, I feel like we should note that I mentioned that, tragically, My So-Called Life only ran for one season, and that was despite the best efforts of our producer, Lauren, who when she was a teenager, wrote many letters to the creators of that show to try to get it to continue. And I remember that being such a thing. We were devastated.

Susie Banikarim (03:17):

Devastated. I was devastated when it was canceled. It was kind of like Freaks and Geeks, although I did not watch Freaks and Geeks when it was actually on the air. I watched it many years later. So I did not feel that tragedy when it was canceled after one year. But I remember being so upset when My So-Called Life was canceled.

Jessica Bennett (03:33):

So upset. I rewatched My So-Called Life a few years ago, and it does hold up. I cried.

Susie Banikarim (03:37):

Oh, you did?

Jessica Bennett (03:38):

It really brought me back. Yeah, it was a high school drama. It was love interest, friends, parents. There was a coming out story with Ricky. But it just had so much raw emotion behind it, and it really brought me back to that age.

Susie Banikarim (03:52):

Oh God, I really should rewatch it too. And I feel like this is a good time for me to tell you about my proudest fashion moment of all time, which is that when I was at ABC News, I interviewed Claire Danes for something.

Jessica Bennett (04:05):

Oh, you did?

Susie Banikarim (04:06):

Yeah, I was wearing a cool black suit, and I was wearing these baby blue sneakers with it, which wasn’t so common at that time. And she was like, “I really like your sneakers.”

Jessica Bennett (04:18):

Oh, that’s cool. Wait, this was later? This was like Homeland era.

Susie Banikarim (04:21):

Yeah, this was Homeland era. This was when I was working in news, so I must have already been in my thirties.

Jessica Bennett (04:27):

I feel like we should also note that, in the show, she had this dark red hair, kind of long bob, and I spent so long trying to get that hair color. It would never really work in my hair because I have dark brown hair. Everyone wanted that hair.

Susie Banikarim (04:44):


Clips (04:45):

School is a battlefield for your heart. So when Rayanne Graff told me my hair was holding me back, I had to listen.

Susie Banikarim (04:57):

Well, she just was very cool, even though the character she was playing wasn’t supposed to be popular or cool in the way that traditional teen shows set that up. So that’s, I think, the other reason it felt very relatable, because she was a cool person, but she wasn’t necessarily cool in high school, which is not the same thing.

Clips (05:15):

People always say how you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster or something.

Jessica Bennett (05:25):

She was saying the uncool thing that you were thinking on the inside, which is like, “Why won’t this guy acknowledge me?” There’s something here. We feel something. And there was so many just tense stares.

Susie Banikarim (05:35):

So much angst. So angsty.

Jessica Bennett (05:35):

Like longing stairs through the hallway. Oh my God. But then, he’d ignore her later, which anyone who’s been in high school and had a love interest remembers, but particularly maybe in this time. But she says it out loud. There’s a scene where she’s like, “Why are you like this?”

Clips (05:55):

Why are you like this?


Like what?


Like how you are.

Susie Banikarim (06:00):

I do want to say that Lisa is not the only person who suggested My So-Called Life. Actually, my friend, Lauren’s husband, has become addicted to the show. She said she got him addicted to it.

Jessica Bennett (06:10):

Oh, thanks, Lauren’s husband.

Susie Banikarim (06:11):

And Lauren is an old friend of mine from ABC, and she sent me a text saying, he thought we should do My So-Called Life or Working Girl, because we’ve mentioned that movie a few times, and I think that’s a really good idea. He also wanted to give us a little intel on something we talked about in the Amy Fisher episode, which is that Joey Buttafuoco was really into arm wrestling. And he wanted to let us know that there was an effort in the eighties to make high stakes arm wrestling a thing on Long Island. So he just wanted to give us-

Jessica Bennett (06:41):

Oh, he’s from Long Island? Okay.

Susie Banikarim (06:41):

… a little piece of … Yes.

Jessica Bennett (06:41):

A little piece of Long Island history.

Susie Banikarim (06:46):

We wanted to us to give us a little update on that. Yeah, a little piece of Long Island history.

Jessica Bennett (06:48):

I’m sure my Long Island relatives will appreciate that.


Let’s get to our next suggestion. This one came from, again, a number of people, Betsy Watson, Jamie Kramer, and Shannon Paris. Thank you all for writing in. And this is that moment between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

Susie Banikarim (07:22):

The infamous clubbing herd around the world. Yeah.

Clips (07:24):

Kerrigan was hit several times on the leg around the knee by what’s being described as a club of some sort.

Susie Banikarim (07:30):

So I definitely remember this. This was a story I was very into, and for people who haven’t seen it, I, Tonya is such a good movie about this. But the background here is basically that in 1994, Harding and Kerrigan were two of the best ice skaters in the world.

Clips (07:48):

Tonya Harding has delivered her challenge. Will it be enough for the national title? We’ll find out when we come back, as Nancy Kerrigan looks on.

Susie Banikarim (07:57):

And they had always been pitted against each other, because Nancy Kerrigan was this kind of sweet girl next door, and Tonya Harding had this kind of trashy cheap vibe that people often commented on, which feels really nasty in retrospect.

Clips (08:14):

Tonya has a more complicated life than a lot of these other women competing here.

Jessica Bennett (08:20):

I mean, she was poor. She didn’t come from money. She had a hard upbringing. She couldn’t afford the fancy glittery uniforms, whereas Nancy Kerrigan was like this beautiful kind of upper-crust type.

Clips (08:32):

Doesn’t she look elegant?


Oh, she looks like a little angel.

Susie Banikarim (08:35):

Well, that’s actually one of the interesting things about this story, is it turns out they actually were raised in similar economic conditions. Like Nancy wasn’t from that well off a family, but Nancy had a loving family who supported her. And Tonya’s mother was, by all accounts, pretty abusive to Tonya. Her upbringing was really unstable. But the controversy itself was that they are about to compete against each other in the Olympics, and Tonya Harding’s husband at the time orchestrates an attack on Nancy Kerrigan.

Jessica Bennett (09:08):

In which somebody hits her leg with a crowbar, correct?

Susie Banikarim (09:13):

I don’t know if it was with a crowbar, but basically she’s coming off the ice where she’s practicing, there are cameras all around, and this guy comes out of nowhere and hits her knee, trying to make it so that she can’t compete.

Clips (09:24):

I don’t know. Some hard, hard black stick. Something really, really hard.

Susie Banikarim (09:32):

In the end, she does compete, and she does really well, and Tonya Harding does really badly.

Clips (09:35):

Nancy Kerrigan skated the performance of her life.


Katarina Witt wound up seventh. Tonya Harding, eighth.

Susie Banikarim (09:41):

But the intention here was to derail her career. And because there were all these cameras around, it was captured. And so, it was this really huge national story. And then, over time, it came out that actually it was Tonya Harding’s husband who orchestrated this. There was some question about whether or not Tonya herself had been involved in the attack. And eventually, she did plead guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution, for trying to cover up for him.

Jessica Bennett (10:09):

But to be clear, this happened in real time. Do you remember watching this? I mean, I remember. I was so … I love the ice skating in the Olympics, and I remember being with my parents. And the scene of Nancy Kerrigan in all white, on the ground, holding her leg, crying, and saying like, “My leg!” Or something,

Clips (10:27):


Jessica Bennett (10:30):

That was played on repeat, on repeat, on repeat. It was like the cover of every news story. I so distinctly remember watching that, and it being everywhere.

Susie Banikarim (10:39):

Yeah. And also, just the unfolding of was Tonya involved, wasn’t she? That whole kind of mystery,, and then the unpeeling of it, I think just really captured the imagination for a long time. And it became a classic media narrative, which as you and I know, people love, which is it was really framed as good versus evil, right? Nancy was good. Tonya Harding was evil. And this effectively ended Tonya Harding’s career. But then it got a revisiting with this movie, I, Tonya, and it really added more nuance to the picture. So that has changed the way a lot of people thought about it. At the time, there was not a lot of nuance.

Jessica Bennett (11:14):

When that revisitation occurred, one of those layers that was peeled back, like you mentioned, is that turned out she was in this very abusive relationship with the ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, who was then later found to have committed the crime or orchestrated the crime. And so, that too is just a complexity that was not there in this sort of good/evil narrative.

Susie Banikarim (11:38):

Speaking of feuds, women who have been pitted against each other, I think the next one is a suggestion that we talk about, Brandy versus Monica, and The Boy Is Mine. This came in via Aisha Johnson and also Jenna McCollum.

Jessica Bennett (11:54):

Okay, so I remember this so much because I loved this song. This was like the Jam of the summer of 1998.

Susie Banikarim (12:00):

It was a good song.

Jessica Bennett (12:01):

It was a song called The Boy Is Mine by Brandy and Monica. It was a duet. And at the time, Brandy and Monica were both pretty popular and well-respected singers in their own right. They were also notably teenagers. And yet, as often happens when there are two women doing somewhat similar things, and you can’t possibly have two of them. And so, all of these rumors started sprouting up that they were in this feud. And so, then I just learned this in doing additional research, I thought that the feud began with the song, because in the song, they’re basically fighting over a boy.

Clips (12:37):


Susie Banikarim (12:39):

Right. It’s like, “That boy is mine.” “No, he’s mine.”

Jessica Bennett (12:41):

Yeah. “He’s mine.” “I’m sorry. You seem to be confused. He belongs to me.” “The Boy Is Mine.” “The Boy Is Mine.” On and on and on. But actually, I read that in fact, the rumors of the feud had gotten started earlier. And so this song was originally written as a solo song for Brandy, but she brought in Monica to do it as a duet so they could squash their beef or their fake beef or whatever it was.

Susie Banikarim (13:04):

Interesting. Weren’t there rumors that the feud was kind of manufactured to get them both attention? But then, eventually, it became so real that there was an incident at the Grammys?

Jessica Bennett (13:11):

Yeah, there was an incident at the Grammys, where maybe they got into a fight of some kind. And so, there was always this sense around this that, was this real? Was this manufactured by the producers? And certainly, the tabloids, who, at that time, were running the world, didn’t seem to care, so the feud was everywhere.

Susie Banikarim (13:29):

The feud was everywhere. But one of the things I read in preparing for this was that it’s kind of an enduring mystery. They’ve never really addressed what caused the actual break between them, because then they really weren’t friends for a really long time. And recently, they did this Verzuz battle. In 2020, they did it.

Jessica Bennett (13:48):

Oh yeah, I remember this.

Susie Banikarim (13:50):

Yeah. And they said, during that, they hadn’t spoken in eight years.

Clips (13:54):

Believe it or not, it’s our first time in the same room for how long?


I think eight or nine years.


That’s a long time.


That’s too long.

Susie Banikarim (14:02):

It really did become a real thing, but we still don’t really know why.

Jessica Bennett (14:05):

So actually this is a random aside, but Jessica Bennett, one of my doppelgangers, who is a writer for Vibe.

Susie Banikarim (14:12):


Jessica Bennett (14:13):

I frequently get her Google alerts, and recently, one of her Google alerts was an interview with Monica about this, and I was like, “Oh my God, thank you. This is so useful.” Anyway, funny. Small world. But in this interview with her, Monica said, “I wish people would stop putting the two of us against each other and stop attempting to compare who sings better, who looks better, who outdid the other one, because I never came into this space with the spirit of competition anyway.” And I think that what we now kind of understand is that, yeah, they were two really different people. Maybe they didn’t totally get along. But who cares? Artists don’t have to get along. But the fact that they were these two young teenage Black women who were operating in the same space created this storm, and probably ultimately made that song do better. That song was everywhere.

Susie Banikarim (15:00):

Yeah, it’s an iconic song.

Jessica Bennett (15:01):

I could recite every word.

Susie Banikarim (15:03):

Me too. And I can never recite the words to songs. Like an ongoing joke about me with my friends is that I get every word wrong in a song, but I know all the words to The Boy Is Mine.

Jessica Bennett (15:11):

To be clear, we had in fact thought about doing a whole episode on this, but it’s too expensive to license.

Susie Banikarim (15:17):

Yes, yes. I will say that there’s obviously still a lot of interest in this because that Verzuz battle, I mentioned 6 million people tuned in to watch it live.

Jessica Bennett (15:25):

Really? Wow.

Susie Banikarim (15:26):

Yeah, it was a live stream.

Jessica Bennett (15:27):

And the fact that Kamala Harris.

Clips (15:30):

All right.


Oh my God.

Susie Banikarim (15:31):

Yes. She was on it. She appeared on the live stream with Monica and Brandy. I thought that was hilarious.

Jessica Bennett (15:36):

I love that.

Clips (15:37):

And I just wanted to thank you ladies, you just you Queens, you stars, you icons.

Jessica Bennett (15:45):

And was she just a fan, or did she say-

Susie Banikarim (15:47):

Yeah, she was encouraging people to vote, so it was a way to get out the vote, but I think also she is a fan.

Jessica Bennett (15:52):

I love that.


Okay, so there’s another show that I want to talk about that Claudia Juliana sent in. And I just remember occasionally the show would be on TV. It must have not been on cable because we didn’t have cable. And so, when there was nothing else on, I would watch this show, and I always hated it so much. And that show is 7th Heaven.

Clips (16:24):


Susie Banikarim (16:24):

Yeah, 7th Heaven, which was, objectively speaking, a pretty terrible show. When Claudia Juliana sent this in, she said that we should talk about how nineties TV was very into life lesson messaging and very Christian forward, and I think that’s true. It was really the era of afterschool specials. And this show, which I never watched, Touched by an Angel was very popular. But I did watch 7th Heaven. And looking back on it, it’s absolutely wild. It was about a minister and his wife raising seven children.

Jessica Bennett (16:59):

Okay, so it was kind of Christian?

Susie Banikarim (17:00):

Yeah, It was overtly Christian. There were so much saccharine morality. Every episode was like someone had a secret or had done something wrong, and then eventually it was discovered and solved, and then they each would get a speech from either their minister father or his angelic blonde wife about how to do the right thing.

Jessica Bennett (17:18):

And this is the show that gave us Jessica Biel, correct?

Susie Banikarim (17:21):

It is the show that gave us Jessica Biel. And also, unfortunately, it is the show that gave us Steven Collins, who played the minister dad, and turned out to be a pedophile?

Jessica Bennett (17:31):

Oh my gosh.

Susie Banikarim (17:32):

Yes. In 2014, he confessed to sexually abusing underage girls.

Jessica Bennett (17:38):

Oh my God, that’s so disturbing.

Susie Banikarim (17:38):

One of whom 10, after audio of him talking about it in a marriage counseling session leaked. So he didn’t even deny it. He actually said he had sexually abused three underage girls, but denied being a pedophile. So not a lot of people watch the show anymore. I think at that time, it got pulled from reruns.

Jessica Bennett (17:56):

Yeah, you would think.

Susie Banikarim (17:57):

But I will say that 7th Heaven was one of the first major hits for the WB, which people may not remember, but it was a teen channel that went from 1995 to 2006 when it became-

Jessica Bennett (18:06):

Gave us Dawson’s Creek,

Susie Banikarim (18:08):

… the CW. Yes, it gave us Dawson’s Creek

Jessica Bennett (18:10):

And so many other shows, right?

Susie Banikarim (18:12):

So many other shows. This was really the teen cable channel. And then, it merged with another channel to become the CW, and then that became the Teen Channel.

Jessica Bennett (18:20):

Okay. And actually, it’s funny that you say this because this is sort of like, where we started this conversation on My So-Called Life, which was the kind of anti-afterschool teen special.

Susie Banikarim (18:29):

Yes. This was exactly the thing that My So-Called Life was trying to counter. But instead of lasting one season lasted many seasons, and one of the critics actually said, it was arguably one of the worst long-running shows on television.

Jessica Bennett (18:43):


Susie Banikarim (18:44):

Because it was just like Christian propaganda, essentially.

Jessica Bennett (18:48):

Oh, wow. Okay.

Susie Banikarim (18:48):

I should also mention here that there’s this guy who’s been watching 7th Heaven, and doing recaps on TikTok that are always going viral.

Jessica Bennett (18:54):

Oh, amazing.

Susie Banikarim (18:55):

And they’re very funny.

Jessica Bennett (18:56):

Wait, do you know his name?

Susie Banikarim (18:57):

His name is @heartthrobert. So check out his TikTok.

Jessica Bennett (19:02):

Oh my God. Great. Okay. It’s like heart throb but @heartthrobert.

Susie Banikarim (19:04):

Heart throb but @heartthrobert.

Clips (19:07):

I’m rewatching 7th Heaven. Please, just listen to the plot of this episode I just finished, where a white guy is a victim of racism.


Simon finds a homeless girl on the street, and he brings her home-


Can I keep her?


… to keep her is a pet.


This episode with a drunk aunt is so good.


Simon’s friend has an older sister, her name is Karen, and she is in a gang.


White Christian problems of the nineties.

Susie Banikarim (19:26):

So like all good things, TikTok has found a way to make 7th Heaven funny.

Jessica Bennett (19:31):


Susie Banikarim (19:31):

It was never intentionally funny, but it is a very funny to look back on.

Jessica Bennett (19:35):

I wonder, has TikTok discovered My So-Called Life yet?

Susie Banikarim (19:38):

I don’t know. But I feel like a lot of these TikTok recaps are for shows that are ridiculous, and I hope that they are not making fun of My So-Called Life.

Jessica Bennett (19:47):

That’s true. Although, do you remember, I guess, I forgot, 10 years ago on Tumblr, the Claire Danes cry face was a big meme.

Susie Banikarim (19:55):

Oh, really?

Jessica Bennett (19:55):

Do you not remember this?

Susie Banikarim (19:56):

I don’t know about the Claire Danes cry face. I remember the Kim Kardashian cry face.

Jessica Bennett (19:59):

Okay, yeah, no, before Kim Kardashian had a cry face, there’s a very distinct Claire Danes cry face. And I think that during the Homeland era, this was going around. But it really started with Angela Chase, [inaudible 00:20:10]. If you’re feeling interested, Google that.


There were so many good things that people sent in. We will probably do another episode devoted to them. But there were a few that we felt like needed honorable mentions.

Susie Banikarim (20:22):


Jessica Bennett (20:22):

So I’ll start with the first one. This is from Tara Alene, and this is cracking me up, she writes about the time that Tom Cruise jumped on the couch during his interview with Oprah.

Susie Banikarim (20:33):

Oh my God.

Jessica Bennett (20:33):

Talking about how in love he was with Katie Holmes. I know you remember this.

Susie Banikarim (20:36):

I remember this, and I was watching it live.

Jessica Bennett (20:39):

Okay. And then this idea that he kind of paraded her around and on People Magazine and at parties like she was prize. This is Tara’s words.

Susie Banikarim (20:49):

Well, there was also, very obviously, some tie to Scientology.

Jessica Bennett (20:53):

Yes, exactly.

Susie Banikarim (20:54):

He had gotten divorce from Nicole Kidman, and the rumor was is that he had essentially had Scientology audition girlfriends for him. So he went on Oprah to convince people that his love for Katie Holmes was real.

Jessica Bennett (21:06):

Oh yeah, it was like true. Yes.

Susie Banikarim (21:08):

But he really overdid it, and literally stood up on her couch, and started jumping up and down.

Jessica Bennett (21:14):

Because I was working in a newsroom then, and I don’t think I watched it live, but it was played on repeat over and over. I mean, that moment, dissecting the body language, we was like freeze framing him. He was so out of control.

Susie Banikarim (21:24):

He seemed unhinged, so it really didn’t do what he was hoping, which is quell rumors that it wasn’t a real relationship.

Jessica Bennett (21:29):

Oh my gosh.

Susie Banikarim (21:31):

Another honorable mention we have here is from someone named Klerby. She was listening to our High Yields episode and it made her think of the color Red, the Lady in Red. She was curious when this color became the sexy color for women. And I think that’s actually a really interesting topic.

Jessica Bennett (21:46):

That is. Also, I’m thinking of that song Red Red Wine.

Clips (21:50):


Jessica Bennett (21:50):

I mean, I guess there’s a lot of red in a lot of places.

Susie Banikarim (21:52):

I mean, I love Lady in Red.

Clips (21:54):


Jessica Bennett (21:58):

Anyway. But yeah, Klerby notes that color theory, especially between men and women, could be a good topic for us, and I totally agree.

Susie Banikarim (22:05):

Rebecca Carroll, who’s a friend of the podcast, also messaged me to ask if we’d considered Blue Lagoon. And I’ve never seen Blue Lagoon. Have you?

Jessica Bennett (22:12):

I swear that I have seen Blue Lagoon, but now I’m conflating it with all of those other type of movies. Hold on. Can we Google it?

Susie Banikarim (22:20):


Jessica Bennett (22:21):

Blue Lagoon.

Susie Banikarim (22:21):

Well, I think it’s vaguely pornographic, maybe?

Jessica Bennett (22:25):

It was like that sexy water movie time.

Susie Banikarim (22:29):

Sexy Water movie is a great way to put it. I think it’s about two very young teenagers stranded on an island, but there’s a lot of nudity and sex.

Clips (22:36):

Imagine a boy who didn’t know he had become a man.


My heart’s beating so fast.


Mine too.

Susie Banikarim (22:44):

It’s Brooke Shields, right?

Jessica Bennett (22:45):

It’s Brooke Shields? Okay. Yes, it’s Brooke Shields.

Susie Banikarim (22:45):

Yeah, so that’s definitely a topic we should probably explore at some time.

Jessica Bennett (22:51):

Oh, okay. This is coming back to me now. And I think Brooke Shields has since talked about this, because she was so young and probably didn’t have a lot of agency in how she was portrayed.

Susie Banikarim (22:59):

Or actually, if you haven’t watched the Brooke Shields documentary, which I saw, I went to the premier of, that is a great look back on her career from her perspective, and just like how she could never win. She was either always accused of being too sexual or not sexual enough, and that is just a wild thing, where people would openly ask about her virginity when she would do interviews on television when she was still a teenager. It just feels crazy to look back on, so that’s a recommendation, if you haven’t watched that.

Jessica Bennett (23:28):

And then, maybe this is a good one to end on, but this is our friend Rachel Sklar, who is Grease obsessed.

Susie Banikarim (23:36):

That’s so funny.

Jessica Bennett (23:36):

And I think we actually probably have to come back to this and do more on it, and maybe she needs to make a guest appearance, but she talks about Stephanie on the stepladder in Grease 2 specifically.

Susie Banikarim (23:46):

That’s so funny, I don’t really remember Grease 2 that well, I’ve definitely seen it. But I do remember Grease. I was obsessed with Grease. I wasn’t allowed to see it when it first came out because it was considered too racy for me. So, of course, it just made me want to see it more. And I just love this movie. There’s so much to mine in it. There’s Rizzo, who is just one of the best characters ever, and that song she sings, that there are worse things she could do than go with a boy or two.

Jessica Bennett (24:12):

Oh my God.

Susie Banikarim (24:13):

And then, of course, there’s the Sandra Dee transformation, that she goes from being sort of the sweet, innocent girl next door to being like, va va va voom. So I really feel like Greece has so many themes we could mine.

Jessica Bennett (24:25):

I’ve now clicked on a link to Grease ladder scene on TikTok, and there’s hundreds of videos of women reenacting-

Susie Banikarim (24:33):

The stepladder scene?

Jessica Bennett (24:36):

… stepladders. So clearly, we need to refresh our memories of what this scene actually is. Hilarious.

Susie Banikarim (24:44):

So I think that’s enough for today, but we’re going to do more of these. We really appreciate you guys sending them in. We love hearing from you, so keep telling us about the moments that you think about and that impacted you, and we’ll keep sharing them.

Jessica Bennett (25:00):

Susie, I am really excited for our next episode. Can you tell us what’s in store?

Susie Banikarim (25:04):

Yes. It’s an interview with one of my personal heroes and amazing editor, Jane Pratt, who was founder of the iconic teen magazine, Sassy,

Clips (25:14):

People. Now talk a lot about that Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love cover. I remember going into my meeting with the publisher, and having to pitch Kurt Cobain as … Basically I painted him to be like one of New Kids on the Block or Backstreet Boys.

Susie Banikarim (25:39):

This is In Retrospect. Thanks for listening. Is there a pop culture moment you can’t stop thinking about and want us to explore in a future episode? Email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram at @inretropod.

Jessica Bennett (25:53):

If you love this podcast, please rate and review us on Apple or Spotify or wherever you listen. If you hate it, you can post nasty comments on our Instagram, which we may or may not delete.

Susie Banikarim (26:02):

You can also find us on Instagram at @jessicabennett and at @susiebnyc. Also, check out Jessica’s books, Feminist Fight Club and This is 18.

Jessica Bennett (26:11):

In Retrospect is a production of iHeart podcasts and The Meteor. Lauren Hansen is our supervising producer. Derrick Clements is our engineer and sound designer. Emily Marinoff is our producer. Sharon Attia is our researcher and associate producer.

Susie Banikarim (26:26):

Our executive producer from The Meteor is Cindi Leive. Our executive producers from iHeart are Anna Stumpf and Katrina Norvell. Our artwork is from Pentagram. Our mixing engineer is Amanda Rose Smith. Additional editing help from Mary Dooe. We are your hosts, Susie Banikarim.

Jessica Bennett (26:43):

And Jessica Bennett. We’re also executive producers. For even more, check out inretropod.com. See you next week.