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106: “…And Start Getting Real” – MTV’s The Real World Part 2

In Part 1 of our look back at MTV’s The Real World, we were impressed with how quickly the show defined the tone, format, and style that reality television would use for the next thirty years (and counting). But it was the show’s third season, with the infamous slob Puck facing off against courageous AIDS activist Pedro, that made The Real World a real sensation, ushering in a wave of reality shows at the turn of the millennium that hasn’t died down since. (Listen to Part 1 here if you haven’t caught up: https://themfp.org/wwwy-105-mtv-real-world-1/)

For Part 2, we look back at that groundbreaking (and heartbreaking) San Francisco-set season, which aired in 1994. Then we fast forward to one of the show’s other major scandals and reveal who we side with regarding the infamous Seattle Slap. Finally, we revisit personal favorite Real World seasons from our teen years and talk about the cast members who made the biggest impressions on us.

As The Real World turns 30 this May – and is therefore way too old to be a cast member on The Real World – it’s time to celebrate the series that just might have had a greater influence on the TV landscape than any other show of the 90s.

Follow When We Were Young on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and email episode suggestions to wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts (or wherever you get your podcasts) so more folks check out the show!

Help us defray the costs of creating this show, which include recording remotely, purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung

40: “Laughter, Secrets, Cheesecake” – The Golden Girls

THE GOLDEN GIRLS (1985-1992)

Hungry for a midnight snack? Cozy up in the kitchen with your three best audio-friends and help yourself to a slice of rich, satisfying comedy cheesecake, because it’s time to visit THE GOLDEN GIRLS! From 1985 to 1992, this show about four women of a certain age was a ratings smash and an awards darling, winning each one of its pitch perfect stars an Emmy. As it turns out, it was also one of the edgiest shows on primetime, tackling issues like gay marriage, prescription drug addiction, AIDS, and suicide ahead of its peers.

Are we still thankful to call Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia our pals and confidantes? Or has this old sitcom about aging gracefully aged not-so-gracefully? Whether you’re listening from St. Olaf or Sicily, you’ll want to tune in for all the quips, barbs, and geriatric slut-shaming we can muster… before one of your favorite podcast hosts gets shipped off to Shady Pines.

When We Were Young is a podcast devoted to the most beloved pop culture of our formative years (roughly 1980-2000). Join us for a look back to the past with a critical eye on how these movies, songs, TV shows and more hold up now. You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at Facebook.com/WWWYShow and you can email us your episodes suggestions at wwwyshow@gmail.com. Don’t forget to subscribe and review us on iTunes!

Help us defray the costs of creating this show, which includes purchasing movies/shows/music to review, delivery food to eat our feelings, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles, California, by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung.

26: “Smart, Clean, Totally Decent Human Being… Gay!” – The Birdcage, Ellen and In & Out

THE BIRDCAGE (1996), ELLEN: “THE PUPPY EPISODE” (1997), IN & OUT (1997)

Come one, come all, and COME OUT ALREADY for When We Were Young’s most same-sex-loving episode yet! In honor of Coming Out Day, Episode 26 takes a furtive glance back at the gay 90s, which marked a sea change in pop culture’s depictions of people who are — yep! — gay.

First, our hosts coop up in The Birdcage, Mike Nichols’ 1996 comedy that pushes Robin Williams and Nathan Lane back in the closet to appease Ally McBeal’s right-wing parents. Next, we touch on Ellen DeGeneres’ game-changing “Puppy Episode,” the coming out party heard ’round the world. And finally, we celebrate the 20th out-iversary of In & Out, starring Kevin Kline as a small-town teacher outed at the Oscars, and Joan Cusack as his increasingly desperate bride-to-be.

Plenty of social progress has been made in the days since Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and DOMA, so how do these mid-90s gay characters hold up in 2017? Practice your John Wayne walk, book some therapy with Oprah, and stop dancing to “I Will Survive,” because our hosts’ opinions of these films are definitely NOT homogeneous.

When We Were Young is a podcast devoted to the most beloved pop culture of our formative years (roughly 1980-2000). Join us for a look back to the past with a critical eye on how these movies, songs, TV shows and more hold up now. You can follow us on Twitter at @WWWYshow, on Facebook at @WWWYShow, you can Email us at wwwyshow@gmail.com, and don’t forget to subscribe and review us on iTunes!

You can help us defray the costs of creating this show, which include purchasing movies/shows/music to review, ordering delivery food to eat our emotions, and producing & editing in-house at the MFP Studio in Los Angeles CA, by donating to our Patreon account at patreon.com/WhenWeWereYoung

The Voting Rights Act and DOMA are Dead, and John Lewis is Alive

At the end of a resounding and thunderous two days for this country, I am reminded of a speech given in 1996 by civil rights hero and Congressman John Lewis. He helped form the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and was one of the Freedom Riders who publicly and peacefully defied segregation, and he was nearly beaten to death by racist assholes trying to keep Jim Crow in US law now and forever in the 1950s and 60s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_to_Montgomery_marches).

But he didn’t stop fighting for basic freedom after the Voting Rights Act (which he lived to see the US Supreme Court murder) and Civil Rights Act were signed, or after he became a Congressman in the 80s. In the 1990s when Democrats nationwide were running to the right (most have never run back), John Lewis saw exactly what the “Defense of Marriage Act” was and nailed it to the fucking wall before it ever got voted out of Congress, before it was ever signed into American law by that self-serving corporate toady masquerading as an elder statesman Bill Clinton.

In case you ever need help divining or recalibrating your moral orientation, John Lewis’s compass tends to point true north.*

“Why do you not want your fellow men and women, your fellow Americans to be happy? Why do you attack them? Why do you want to destroy the love they hold in their hearts? Why do you want to crush their hopes, their dreams, their longings, their aspirations? We are talking about human beings, people like you, people who want to get married, buy a house, and spend their lives with the one they love. They have done no wrong.

I will not turn my back on another American. I will not oppress my fellow human being. I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Mr. Chairman, I have known racism. I have known bigotry. This bill stinks of the same fear, hatred and intolerance. It should not be called the Defense of Marriage Act. It should be called the defense of mean-spirited bigots act.”

Two end notes and that asterisk:

*Except, unfortunately, he did the 09/2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that launched America’s Forever War against a tactic… only one Congressman, California’s Barbara Lee, was brave enough to vote against the AUMF.

1) Watch this video clip of most of John Lewis’s 1996 DOMA soliloquy here and remain completely unmoved. I dare ya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MorAz0WqR9c

2) From his Wikipedia page: “John Lewis opposed the U.S. waging of the 1991 Gulf War, NAFTA, and the 2000 trade agreement with China that passed the House. Lewis opposed the Clinton administration on NAFTA and welfare reform. After welfare reform passed, Lewis was described as outraged; he said, ‘Where is the sense of decency? What does it profit a great nation to conquer the world, only to lose its soul?'”