If you are familiar with the Dairy Burger, the chocolate bar, Nicholas Morrow, Winter Carnival, and 1BRUCE1, well, this episode is for you.
Sometimes I get to interview people whose work I admire, and it is SO much fun. Today I’m chatting with Karyn Moynihan and Anna Carey from the Sweet Valley High podcast, Double Love.
We start by talking about Irish slang, and then we get into what it is about Sweet Valley High that creates so much opportunity for examination, even decades after they were first published. They contain a mix of nostalgia and camp, and there’s no limit of, as Karen and Anna say, strange and terrifying things to talk about in the world of Sweet Valley.
We begin with how they found Sweet Valley, and what led them to start a podcast about each book. We also discuss:
How many people have some familiarity, if not fluency, in Sweet Valley lore.
What an Irish book token is, and how badly I want one.
The terrible messages contained in the series world regarding dating, sexuality, masculinity, healthy body weight, class, consent, and generally existing in the world. To say nothing of the kissing booths (ugh).
They’re compelling! Ridiculous! Campy! Addictive! So of course we talk about them, and about what they say, and how much some of the more horrific parts shock us today.
You also get a little nostalgia from me about my college’s beauty pageant, which was indeed a real thing, and we talk about what they’re reading.
TWO MAJOR NOTES of the Content and Trigger variety.
First: at around 41:00, we talk about and criticize the messages about body image and fat shaming that are rampant in Sweet Valley.
Second: I'm doing a little something different for this episode. During the recording, we talked a little about the Irish referendum to repeal the 8th amendment, which banned abortion in Ireland. Both Anna and Karyn campaigned actively and after the amendment was overturned by a very wide margin, they talked about it on one of the episodes of Double Love - and their exhausted joy and relief was incredibly reassuring to me as I listened.
So I asked them about it, about the 8th amendment, and what for them has been a lifetime of activism on behalf of women.
However, because they discuss the details of some of the horrible events caused by the 8th amendment that may be triggering for some listeners, I’ve relocated this conversation so that it’s after the outro, and after the music.
That way, if you’d like to hear our conversation about the referendum, their activism to overturn the amendment, and the inspiration of actually winning a thing that you worked for, you can do so, but if details of assault and abortion activism are not for you, you won’t miss any other part of the interview.
And if you want to cry a little (or a lot), here’s one of the #HometoVote videos of people who traveled around the world to go home to Ireland to vote: