Once Upon a Time… In the Valley
Once Upon a Time… In the Valley
Before there were sex tapes, there were sex tapes. Before there were stars who became bigger stars when their private porn went public, there were porn stars. Traci Lords. The first, the best, the O.G. Hardcore since ’84. From the Peabody-nominated C13Originals studios and Vanity Fair's Lili Anolik, comes Once Upon a Time… in the Valley, featuring Ashley West.  In the roaring 1980s X world, Traci Lords reigned supreme. No one questioned her right to sovereignty. Only, it turned out, the biggest star in Adult, wasn’t one. As America would discover in July 1986, when the FBI busted down her door. Traci Lords was really Nora Kuzma, who entered the industry as a 15-year-old high school sophomore. Traci, the victim, was saved. And the industry, the villain, was very nearly destroyed. But what if the victim here was also the villain; the villain, also the victim? Once Upon a Time… in the Valley is the world's first real-life psychological thriller and porno-noir mystery. Just think Boogie Nights—if Boogie Nights had a three-way with Gone Girl and A Star is Born.
via Podcasts
637 people
182 people
82 people
92 people
222 people
via Podcasts
Quality all over the place
Some of this is fantastic but by the time you get to episode 11 (the worst episode) you are exhausted. Shoulda been shorter. Plus the host sounds like she’s trying to be deep but comes across as a 14 year old.
Scratched Liberace Record
Interesting but poorly delivered
intriguing subject matter, good presentation of facts, confusing takes out of nowhere and frankly, narration that was so badly acted as to be annoying.
It’s amazing on what can annoy a person
It’s an okay listen, but then they said “1986 was maybe the last great year of Hollywood” and then I remembered that certain people will be ignored in the narrative. Update: I think I know what’s troubling about this podcast, they’re talking about a very sensitive subject, they’re trying to be fair and do all this research and interviews but it falls flat due to the tone. They try to be sexy and be like this expose, with this annoying banter and double entendres, and it’s about a underage girl who went into porn. And then there’s the arrogance of all of it. Also, guys, umm, glad you mentioned how a lot of these interviewees were very biased and that we should believe Traci Lord, especially her rape and molestation, but you kind of dropped the ball when you say things about how much she was sexually aggressive.
Read more
rosa manzo
I hate the narrator’s voice...
Maybe find a strong female voice to tell this story.
This was very entertaining. Are you coming back with another one. Cant wait
Thanks for the break...
This was a nice distraction from the constant doom and gloom of 2020. I remember hearing about the scandal of Traci when I was younger but had no idea of how complicated this story was. Thanks for the efforts to put together this great backstory.
Kozmo 702
My new porn- I mean pod- addiction!!!!
Insightful, nuanced look at the porn biz as well as the unrecognized feminist icons it has produced. This podcast awards them the respect they’ve always been due, especially Traci Lords.
Good stuff
A meticulously researched and ultimately fair, in my opinion, presentation on the rise and fall of adult, err, porn actress Traci Lords. The writing is better than the execution at times but I really I really enjoyed it.
T. Manning
The podcast is so obviously biased against Traci Lords. The banter between the hosts is painfully wooden and unnatural. I found it hard to believe many of those who were interviewed.
Mel G in SD
Awesome for Any Fan of Boogie Nights
I was only 5 years old when Traci Lords was outed as doing most of her films underage. But in the mid 90s the first porn my buds and I got our hands on was “Traci I Love You.” This podcast wonderfully tells the story of Traci Lords from the mouths of those who lived through it with. The host give you every perspective and leave you to make your own decision at the end. This series totally changed my view of who was responsible. I highly recommend this series cause it’s like a real life version of Boogie Nights!!
Read more
Listen to the whole series
I thought this was a great podcast. I was expecting it would be weighed more on the industry's side of the story. It ended up being a very balanced presentation of facts and some people opinions. I came away from this having an understanding of how Traci could have ended up in this industry. Good job.
What I don’t understand is why mention Louis Kuzma’s religion? Nobody else’s religion, TL’s included, is mentioned. And you can tell when people are disingenuous during their interviews. You can just hear it in their voices. Also, I really don’t believe that at a 12 yo would announce that she wants to be a centerfold in English class. There’s just no way a 15 yo could conceivably think of this so called plan to take down the porn industry. TL is a victim pure and simple and the people most responsible are her parents for failing to protect her.
Read more
Sexually abused child is turned into the villain
Absolutely irresponsible. Blaming a child for her own sexual abuse AND smirking about it.
Just wow, an amazing, deep twisted tale with so many angles. So sad, but yet, maybe that lost 15 year old with nobody to guide or protect her did win.
I listened to the trailer for this then forgot about it. I was totally surprised by how great it was! I’m almost glad I did because I was able to listen to all 11 on my way to and from work this past week. I was totally hooked!! I loved all the angles and the interviews it was so good!
Terrible Execution
Compelling subject in Traci. Choosing to have her story told through old archived recordings and her voice portrayed poorly by a man in this series is tone deaf at best. Could’ve been a judicious account that Traci deserves after a childhood of exploitation, instead it was a problematic exploitative mess. There’s a reason she chose to have no part in this documentary and when the caster refers to 15 year old porn actress and drug addicted Traci as a ‘resourceful young woman, a sex prodigy’ it becomes obvious. This isn’t a story about the porn industry, it’s child sex trafficking. Why waste the bandwidth interviewing people who were complicit in her exploitation? This is what happens when we don’t believe women.
Read more
Meh... I’d skip it...
I soldiered all the way through, but I wish I hadn’t.. way too long, stilted writing, and a bunch of gossipy conjecture.. the hosts sound like newbies.. for what little ‘real’ content there is, it’s well researched, and the interviews were interesting- just not enough content for the time investment..
Great 80’s Flasback
Incredibly well researched and fascinating look at the Golden era of VHS adult films as centered around the Traci Lords scandal.
I found the whole podcast to be edge-of-seat interesting, and jumped on each newly released episode. Very well done and impressively researched. So interesting to hear about the 80s porn industry; overall Traci comes across as a tough, smart as hell, survivor.
Sleep in' late
Only works if you don’t see Traci as a person
I’d be more interesting if an outsider to the industry did both angles on this. The amount of bias from the narrators and interviewees is pretty gross. She was underage for a majority of this story. Stop making excuses and take some accountability.
Really really well done
Very thorough and intriguing. A little bit biased, in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. But it was a a neat story. I didn’t realize how big of a big conspiracy it was. It seems it’s a whole lot deeper of a rabbit hole than I realized.
Good documentary of a troubling story
First I watched a lot of the porn movies from this era and that is why I listened to this podcast. To get the back story of the Traci Lords saga. I thought it was well presented and researched. I don’t think they “victim shamed” her or amplified one side of the story over another. That was 35 years ago and memories fade and stories change. If you want more well researched and well done interviews with people from the adult industry, check out “The Rialto Report” which has some great content. Also, I enjoyed Lily’s reads for Tushie and Manscape. She made me laugh handling those products
Read more
Victim Blaming
This is so disturbing. They paint a 15 year old abused girl. Disgusting and shameful. These exploiters are beyond evil. I can’t believe this is even a podcast.
interesting content, but too long
this story could have been told in 4 chapters..however i appreciate the A+ research, groundwork, and the epilogue.
I was excited when I heard this podcast promoted on another podcast I listened to a drove right in I listened to the first episode and then about half way through the second episode started to feel really gross. Regardless of whether Traci willingly or unwilling knowingly or unknowingly joined the porn industry at the time she was a child. They are describing a child a teenager girl in graphic detail and with disgusting sexual connotations. Please remember that as you listen for ‘entertainment’. I deleted all the episodes and will not finish the show.
Read more
Excellent Deep Dive into a bygone era
This is the JFK “crossfire” of the 1980s era of socal porn lore. Exquisitely researched and presented on a level that rivals any major media documentary.
Exploitative and repulsive, and just crappy quality.
I am utterly disgusted that the hosts of this podcast would quote people from the porn industry going into explicit sexual detail about Traci’s behaviors when she was a child. (Same goes for people she knew in high school). Her behaviors scream “HISTORY OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE”. It’s bad enough that those in the industry blame her and portray her as a sex-crazed devious mastermind while she was still a child, but that’s probably all that could be expected from exploiters. But for the hosts to pile on to the same narrative is disturbing.They should be ashamed of themselves. To top it off, the hosts’ “dialogue” is smarmy, pithy, awkward, etc.
Read more
What’s the point?
This podcast pushes the line of victim blaming. It’s sleazy and not in a good way. I can’t understand why someone would put so much work into trying make Traci look like the bad guy. Who is this story for? What’s the end game? You’ll feel gross for listening to it.
They open by giving a synopsis of the whole story and then the teaser tape is overloaded and gives away plot points further. That’s followed by awkwardly scripted banter where one host tells the other host to “make it snappy” which is followed by a section about child rape. At first I hated it for poor storytelling but it’s worse than that, it’s irresponsible. This is a disservice to the subjects and the audience.
Read more
#1Zepp Fan
Stretched out way too long
This could have been wrapped up halfway through. The last half is just conjecture and repeating things gone over already and guessing what may have happened when she was found out. No actual hard evidence though. The Redondo boys angle? Totally pointless. Plus the narrators voice is soooo annoying
Thorough and Engaging
Excellent work and great gumshoe detective skills have obviously been put to good use. Sure, there is a tantalizing hook to pull you in...but then there is a real, deeply engaging story here.
Interesting story line, awful presentation.
Listening to Lilli and Ashley is a tough task. The scripting is awful erratic. The hosts are constantly bouncing from A to X to L back to A the Q and so on. Many times it sounds as if you’re listening to an autistic adult in a remedial public speak class. They read the script one word at a time rather then with flow. The story line is decent. But the presentation is subpar.
Not good, not bad
Way too long with little content. Dialogue between the narrators was extremely contrived.
I suppose that there’s things to criticize about this series but the amount of research and historical analysis put into this is astounding. Well done.
Not punny, overly cliche & ridiculous conclusions
Enough with the bad puns. They are not funny and do not advance the story. Also unsure how taking a risqué selfie equates to desiring your be a porn star. Not a terrible podcast. Also not a great one.
Thoroughly Enjoying the Traci Story
This is my first podcast. I’m really enjoying it. The presentation is fine. I don’t have any serious complaints. I approached it more from a whodunnit perspective. What is the truth? Obviously, their are moral concerns but this is an old story. I was morally shocked and appalled in the 80s! Now, I just want the full story. I think the narrators have done a solid job bringing us the full story. The truth: It was always my understanding that the porn industry routinely employs underage performers, as long as they have a plausible fake id. But those girls come and go without fanfare and the adult industry never has the face the music for their illegal actions. Perhaps, someone possibly didn’t know Traci was underaged (who would say otherwise?) but it’s more likely they didn’t care - as long as they could hide behind her fake id. The podcast has quickly stated that but the routine lack of ethics of the adult industry has not been given enough emphasis, in my opinion. What I’ve really enjoyed was hearing Traci’s story, her background, how she came to the adult industry, and how she got out. I don’t blame her for having “her version” of events. Famous people “shading” the truth or embellishing their bio to sell more books is not new. And bios aren’t written under oath! And, I appreciated reading other people’s comments about Traci’s behavior (that she was supposedly a nympho on the set) more closely mimicked that of an abused child than a devious, scheming mastermind. I kept thinking that too. I am happy Traci managed to maneuver her way out of the business and with her share of the earnings! If anything, that’s the happy ending her. I look forward to hearing the remaining episodes.
Read more
Very well done. There is a lot of froth to get through with most podcasts but this one delivers start to finish.
Solid but also a little irritating
Content wise this isn’t bad. It’s a good history of porn in the 80s even though it mainly exists to take down Tracy Lords’ explanation of events. If you’re not down with that, you won’t like the podcast. That being said, a lot of the presentation is irritating. This should have been compressed into five or six episodes, not spread out over a dozen short episodes (with coming attractions, last heard on, credits and ads of course). The cutesy music is irritating and some of the repartee between the hosts is goofy. It also constantly gets sidetracked as if it’s trying to make a bigger statement. But if you like the Rialto Report you will probably enjoy this.
Read more
A lot of work invested just to further exploit
I know a lot of research went into this, so I’m giving it an extra star. That being said, the hosts, while knowledgeable on their history, come across as less than credible (partially because the writing is smarmy and corny). This story isn’t presented in a deep, layered way, showing Traci as villain/victim/feminist hero. They analyze her in a way that is dehumanizing. She was 15 years old, on drugs for at least part of this time. Yes, she was a very intelligent, aggressive young woman, but she was still a child. I can’t blame people in the industry who didn’t know, and I don’t look down on sex workers or performers. I just dee this podcast as continued exploitation of a child, and undermining the woman Traci is today.
Read more
Passable but not great
The subject matter holds a certain trashy appeal, and the podcast is well-researched, but the narration is overwritten, mannered and clichéd and quickly grows tedious.
Interesting premise / awkward writing and reads
Premise and concept is interesting and producers obtained some good interviews, but the host reads and writing are so stilted and forced sounding that I finally gave up. Wish they would have studied up more on how to write for the ear and read in a conversational tone— esp since they’re supposed to be talking to each other. That said, I appreciate the work that went into this. I know podcasts are a labor of love.
Read more
I was in Los Angeles during that time. I was at college and everybody knew who all these cast of characters were. But more than that, this piece does a great job of getting the interviews, following the story and conveying it all with a sense of respect and professionalism. Does it mean anything in the long run? Probably not. But it’s an engaging and enthralling story and I am glad I found it. Thanks Lili and Ashley!
Read more
I grew up in the So Bay, lived in No Redondo, at about the same time all this was happening. It is surreal to recognize so much from my teens and yet I had no idea it was happening. The research that went into this podcast is remarkable.
dlm sobay
Not Cool, Creepy
I had to stop listening. Like many people have stated, the podcast hosts take an unfair approach that ultimately is exploiting a defenseless minor. So what if she was mature for her age? It’s probably because her innocence was stolen. This should have been a true crime story.
Mechanical Harvest
People who claim “victim-blaming” clearly aren’t listening.
I’ve heard five of the episodes so far and look forward to the conclusion. There is some corniness between the hosts, but I can get past that for the content. Clearly, Traci herself did not want to participate, so we don’t get her rebuttal to the majority of the podcast’s presentation. But don’t blame the producers and hosts for that. The people who hate this podcast and didn’t listen to all the testimony because they feel that a 15-year-old girl was taken advantage of and sexually abused and therefore there is no other side of the story... I would just ask them to remember this: She had a *legitimate* California ID. It wasn’t a fake ID. She fooled the state of California, not the porn industry. I find it hard to put the most significant portion of the blame on her agent, the creators, and the other coworkers. I’m not saying her story isn’t at least partially true, and all the things that happened to her before porn are very sad, but it’s completely unreasonable to say that she was 100% victim and the industry was 100% predatory. It’s much more complex than that.
Read more
They forgot to bleep out the wife’s name in the latest episode
When you interview Rogers’ wife, the very first time you mention her, you forgot to bleep out her name.
They are not victim blaming!!
Since I was a teen (and in the same age range as Traci), I always wanted to know more about her story. It’s great to have both sides. The presentation is quick, to the point and interesting. It’s too easy to dismiss the industry as a whole and their role in her life, but these were people that were affected, lives that went through hell. Makes it much harder to be sympathetic to her “I was on Coke the whole time” throwaway story.
Read more
Had to stop listening
The porn industry’s case is that they didn’t know she was 15 when she started doing porn. Fine. But the very graphic details they go into NOW about her sex drive, looks, anatomy, etc just gave me the icks. You now know she was 15 at the time, so stop going into the very graphic sexual details of doing porn with this CHILD. This is thinly veiled pedophilia, and I wish I hadn’t turned the podcast on. Really distasteful.
Read more
Exceptionally researched, compellingly told.
Firstly, I’m utterly baffled at these people who post one star reviews because they’re offended by the fact that this podcast engages people from the porn industry. If you can’t handle the research it took to make this series, what are you doing listening to it? This is one of the most compelling series I’ve listened to, not just on the subject at hand, Traci Lords, but also encompassing a very under documented slice of American cultural ephemera, the LA/ Valley porn scene of early to mid 80s and how it shaped the pop culture landscape around it. Everyone knows the official Traci Lords story, but the research done here into the real version, as told by the people who knew her best, is riveting. Ashley and Lili are refined story tellers and they weave their tale with skill and grace, taking care to include all sides points of view in an inclusive way. The musical accompaniment is evocative and sets the mood perfectly. I’m going to be gutted when this is over.
Read more
Load more