Why Are Dads?

By Sarah Marshall + Alex Steed

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Description

Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

Episode Date
The Shining (page to screen!)
1:15:38

We take a close look at The Shining—both the Stephen King classic and the Stanley Kubrick classic—and discuss Jack Torrance's multiple shortcomings in the fatherhood department.

We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!

Apr 07, 2021
Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2 w. Fangirl Jeanne
1:00:51

It is about good dads and bad dads; present dads and absent dads; biological dads and adoptive dads. Join us as we discuss Marvel dads and daddies, space losers, mediocre white dude heroes, and Guardians of the Galaxy with Fangirl Jeanne!

We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie.

You can find Fangirl Jeanne online here, and on Twitter here!

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!

Mar 31, 2021
The Silence of the Lambs w. Harmony Colangelo
1:10:44

Clarice Starling was a revelation while the portrayal of "Buffalo Bill" became a bane for many trans people coming of age. The impeccably constructed film is the gold standard of copaganda. We unpack The Silence of the Lambs' complicated legacy with Harmony Colangelo!

We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie.

You can Harmony's essay A Reluctant Defense of Silence of the Lambs' James Gumb here. You can find Harmony on Twitter here. You can find A Year of Queer Cocktails here. You can find This Ends at Prom here!

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!

Mar 24, 2021
The Lord of the Rings with Talia Lavin
0:56:40

A few Halfling hippies assemble an eclectic fellowship and go on the adventure of a lifetime. Dads and daddies abound. We talk Hobbits, fan fiction, thirsting for Viggo, and The Lord of the Rings with our pal Talia Lavin.

You can find Talia's book Culture Warlords here. You can find Talia on Twitter here.

We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!

Mar 17, 2021
Clueless with Kristofer Thomas
1:00:40

One time in the 1990s a scary litigator melted the hearts of millions of kids by reminding his daughter that "you divorce wives, not kids." We discuss Mel Horowitz—the loveliest shouty dad in popular cinema—Cher, Josh, Tai, Murray, Travis and the rest of the Clueless gang with our pal Kristofer Thomas.

You can Kristofer on Twitter and on TikTok!

We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!

Mar 10, 2021
The Wrestler w. Gaby Dunn
1:13:36

It's a movie about a big, messy sweetie who can't get out of his own way and all of the folks who suffer as a result. We talk The Wrestler, alcoholic dads, and more with the wonderful Gaby Dunn.

You can Gaby on Instagram and on TikTok!

We made a playlist to accompany this episode! It's comprised of songs that come to mind when we all think about this movie.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Ethan Hawkins of Corner House accompanied her on her rendition of The Wrestler.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Abigail Swartz of Gray Day Studio designed our logo!

Mar 03, 2021
Muriel's Wedding with Laura Lippman
1:18:50

An effervescent dark comedy that addresses the crushing nature of patriarchy while also paying tribute to ABBA on a number of levels? We gushed about Muriel's Wedding with the endlessly marvelous Laura Lippman.

You can find Laura's books here, and you can find Laura on Twitter here!

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Feb 24, 2021
The Dark Knight with Aubrey Gordon
1:11:56

A bunch of men have competing views on how best to parent their city, though they all agree the task of dadding around is a thankless, back-breaking, and secretive operation. A lovable anarchist literally tells the Bat Dad that they complete each other. We unpack the plethora of dad issues presented in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight with the delightful Aubrey Gordon.

You can find Maintenance Phase here. And you can find Aubrey's book What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat here.

You can find Aubrey on Instagram here! And on Twitter here!

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Feb 17, 2021
Bonus Episode: Death (and other stuff)
0:23:38

We're putting last week's episode of Shootin' the Shit w. Why Are Dads [our Patreon bonus series] over here on the main feed because it sounds like a lot of y'all are dealing with some of that heavy-heavy and a few folks said it was helpful for them to hear and think about. Also, it's not just heavy stuff! We also talk about Oceans 11 and Crash Bandicoot.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

 

 

Feb 14, 2021
10 Things I Hate About You with Sanpriti Ireland
1:19:16

10 Things I Hate About You is Shakespeare seen through a 90s teen comedy lens and it remains such a treat. Along with special guest Sanpriti Ireland, we talk about Kat, her over-protective dad, Heath Ledger, and teen movies that don't treat their protagonists like scary humping machines.

You can find Sanpriti on Instagram here! And her Patreon here.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

 

Feb 10, 2021
Fargo with Clementine Ford
1:10:21

A group of men have some feelings, don't know what to do with them, and get everyone around them into a big mess. Sound familiar? We discuss Fargo, what me mean by "straight men", and the great Marge Gunderson with Clementine Ford.

You can find Clementine on Instagram here! And here is Big Sister Hotline!

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Feb 03, 2021
Citizen Ruth with Candace Jane Opper
1:06:32

Is it possible that sometimes folks get so carried away in representing their causes that they overlook the humanity of the people about whom they purport to care? We discuss the criminally underrated Citizen Ruth, the abortion debate, and the heavenly Laura Dern with our wonderful friend Candace Jane Opper.

You can find Candace's book Certain and Impossible Events here!

You can find Candace on Twitter.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Jan 27, 2021
Saw, the Sawniverse, and Sad Dads with Jamelle Bouie
1:42:42

A series about a broken, sad man who expects way way more from everyone around him? Who lives by a convoluted code? The Sawniverse is about a perpetually disappointed dad and all of the kids who break themselves trying to please him. We talk all this and more with Jamelle Bouie!

You can find Jamelle's work here!

You can find Jamelle on Twitter and on Instagram.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter. In this episode Carolyn covered Worms by Viagra Boys. Boys!

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Jan 20, 2021
Magnolia (Dads Can Be Very a Lot) with Emma Copley Eisenberg
1:11:44

We are joined by Emma Copley Eisenberg for a discussion about intersections of fate, Aimee Mann, the enduring beauty of Philip Seymour Hoffman, and one of the most sprawling movies about unpacking dad relationships of all time! Join us as we unpack Magnolia.

You can find Emma's work, included her book The Third Rainbow Girl, here!

You can find Emma on Twitter and on Instagram.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produces the beats for our episodes.

Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Jan 13, 2021
Teachable Moments, Trauma, and why "Bean Dad" struck a nerve
0:33:26

We meant to take this week off but then a thing happened. Musician, podcaster and public personality John Roderick struck a collective nerve by telling a story about his daughter, beans, and a can opener. In doing so he became known to many as "Bean Dad". We use this surprise phenomenon, and how and why it resonated negatively for many, to talk about "teachable moments", anxiety, trauma and collective PTSD. It's about Bean Dad, sure, but really it's about us all.

We'll be back with our first proper episode of 2021 next week. Magnolia, y'all!

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

Jan 06, 2021
Moonstruck with Madame Clairevoyant
1:16:14

We are joined by Claire Comstock-Gay (AKA Madame Clairevoyant) for a discussion about the cuckoo-bananas masterpiece that is Moonstruck. Fate! Stars! Chaos! Love! Lust! 80s New York! Men are wolves and they are afraid of death. This one has it all!

You can find Claire's horoscope column on The Cut here.

You can find her book Madame Clairevoyant's Guide to the Stars here.

You can find Claire on Twitter and on Instagram.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produced the beats in this episode.

Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Dec 30, 2020
Feeling Feral and Batman Returns
1:17:11

Attention-seeking, resentment, a healthy desire for retribution, and boundless parallels to the Trump debacle. Also, is Batman Returns in fact the most anti-corporate superhero movie ever made? Join Sarah and Alex as they unpack all this and more.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Dec 23, 2020
Abandonment Fears and Home Alone w. Anne Thériault
1:04:34

Join Sarah, Alex and guest Anne Thériault as they discuss abandonment issues and anxieties about the horror of the 'urban' being unleashed upon the suburbs and threatening THE CHILDREN. This week's movie, of course, is Home Alone.

Anne is a feminist writer and author based in Toronto. Why Are Dads has gone international once again!

You can find Anne on Twitter and on Instagram.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

Fresh Lesh produced the beats in this episode.

Our Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Dec 16, 2020
Oh, Fudge: A Christmas Story w. Mara Wilson
1:05:00

Join Sarah, Alex and guest Mara Wilson as they discuss "gleaming sex", deranged easter bunnies, and Jim Jones' connection to the America portrayed in the 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story.

You can find Mara on Twitter and on Instagram. You can find Mara's book Where Am I Now? here.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

You can find producer and music director Carolyn Kendrick's music here. She's also on Twitter.

The Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Dec 09, 2020
Literal holiday madness and Christmas Vacation w. Sovereign Syre
0:58:54

It's a movie about a father who drives himself mad by holding himself to unrealistic holiday expectations, sure, but is it possible that there could be some daddy issues to unpack? Join us and guest Sovereign Syre as we talk about National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

You can find Sovereign on Twitter and on Instagram.

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on TwitterInstagram and Patreon.

The Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

 

Dec 02, 2020
Heroic Dads and Clear and Present Danger w. Jamelle Bouie
0:58:12

Clear and Present Danger is a movie about a CIA agent that stands up to corruption, sure, but is it possible that this movie about a convictions-addled father also has some daddy issues to unpack?

We were joined by very special guest Jamelle Bouie—New York Times columnist and NBC political analyst—to discuss this 1994 political thriller classic.

You can find Jamelle on Twitter and on Instagram (his photos are great!)

Why Are Dads is a show in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon.

The Liz Climo "You Are Good" merch can be found here!

This is, we should note, the first time we've had an actual dad guest on the show! AND! It's the first time we've watched a "dad movie". Lots of firsts with Mr. Bouie in this episode. Enjoy!

Nov 25, 2020
BONUS EPISODE: Saved by the Bell [Patreon episode]
0:38:58
This is the latest installment of our Patreon-only chats that we wanted to share with y'all because it's the Sunday before Covid Thanksgiving and things are weird! You could probably use a little Bayside in your life, so here we are. If this is the sort of things that appeals to y'all, we have weekly conversations about odds and ends over at our Patreon account. We call these chats "Shootin' the Shit w. Why Are Dads". This week we talked Zack Morris, Richard Belding, and the many dad issues that can be found in the Saved By the Bell universe. Specifically, we talk about the episodes Rent-a-Pop and A Tale of Two Beldings. We recorded this a while back, back before we knew what sort of format Why Are Dads would stick to. The only thing I wish, in retrospect, is that I [Alex] didn't refer to Dustin Diamond as "off the rails". Child stardom is fucked up and kinda (and sometimes very) abusive! On that note, you should totally watch Showbiz Kids, Alex Winter's HBO documentary on child stardom. You can find Why Are Dads here, and on Twitter and Instagram.
Nov 22, 2020
Demystifying Dad and Big Fish with Guest Louisa Smith
0:50:45

Tim Burton's Big Fish is about a man who hopes to get a better sense of who is yarn-spinning father is. Are there larger truths in our parents’ self-constructed myths? In their “amusing lies”? Who were our parents before we were born, anyway? Is it possible to get to know those people?

It's another movie about a dad so on the nose with its themes that it is impossible to open with a pithy line about the issues it offers for unpacking.

Join Sarah, Alex and guest Louisa Smith as they unpack.

Why Are Dads is a show in which we attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as we do with all difficult subject matter, we this by looking through a pop culture lens.

Louisa is on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/louisathelast

Find Why Are Dads online:

https://twitter.com/whyaredadshttps://instagram.com/whyaredadshttps://www.patreon.com/whyaredads

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

https://www.temi.com/editor/t/oIY0SakS3fDIDOlbYVzVCzqvcpDC_NnK0jymGj35BcX0Xxr5XgA_L7O4p6MH6bjG9oNpl6mZvtesKYEpDQRjzyb8T6A?loadFrom=SharedLink

Nov 18, 2020
Charismatic con men, grief and The Royal Tenenbaums
1:18:15

We usually tease the episode with some pithy switcheroo about how the movie is about one thing, but is it possible that there are some dad issues to unpack? But this is a movie that refers to an entire family by the dad's name, so join Sarah, Alex and guest Rachel Vorona Cote as they unpack Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums.

Here's Rachel on Twitter, and here is her wonderful book Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today.

We are selling this VERY limited run Why Are Dads shirt through November 18th.

And here we are on Patreon! And Twitter! And Instagram!

Nov 11, 2020
Invisibility AND masculinity in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
1:02:18

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is about a dad who shrinks his kids, sure, but is it possible there are some issues to unpack in a movie in which dad can't see or hear his children? Sarah and Alex discuss and heap loads of love unto Rick Moranis.

As a bit of "reality" counter-programming we decided to expedite our chat about this beloved family classic. It's got Rick Moranis! It's got Antie! It's got big cookies and giant Legos! Turn your brain off for an hour and let's go back to our childhood and then, of course, ruin that trip by taking about how dads can be... a real situation.

Hey! You can find us on:

PatreonTwitterInstagram

Nov 04, 2020
Robot Daddies and Terminator 2 [with Michael Hobbes!]
1:18:26

Terminator 2 is about a boy, his mom, and a killer robot, sure, but is it possible that a movie about a surrogate cyborg father has some daddy issues to unpack? Join Sarah, Alex and Michael Hobbes as we discuss the best movie of 1991.

Our guest Michael Hobbes is a reporter for HuffPost. He is also the co-creator and co-host of You’re Wrong About and Maintenance Phase.

Terminator 2 is a movie about two robots from 2029 to present day [1991] Los Angeles. One is sent by resistance leader John Connor to protect his childhood self from the second robot, which is sent back by Skynet—an AI neural network dedicated to eradicating humans.

The movie follows young John Connor (Edward Furlong), his mother Sarah (Linda Hamilton) and their robot protector (Arnold Schwarzenegger as they try to survive the pursuit of T-1000 (Robert Patrick) while also doing whatever possible to stop the technological developments that will make possible the future human/robot wars.

Oct 28, 2020
Plague, abandonment and Roy Cohn in Angels in America
1:13:12

Angels in America is about plague in the Reagan 80s but could it be possible that there are some daddy issues to dissect in a work about a people abandoned by God? Join Sarah, Alex and Emma as they talk Angels, Roy Cohn and Cohn protege young Donald Trump.

We watched the Mike Nichols adaptation of Tony Kushner’s 1991 play about AIDS and homosexuality in the 1980s. Big, big dad themes.

It follows the lives of two couples, one gay and one straight-ish.

Louis and Prior are our gay couple, and Louis leaves Prior after he is diagnosed with AIDS. And it follows the lives of Joe and Harper Pitt, and Joe’s mom Hannah. They are Mormons having relocated to New York for Joe’s career, and Joe, it turns out, is closeted. Joe works at the law office of Roy Cohn, the McCarthyist lawyer and power broker—also closeted—and we see Cohn struggle through his diagnosis and reconciling his own mortality.

 

Our conversation focuses primarily on Louis, who leaves Prior in the face of his diagnosis, and Cohn, who we wanted to talk about because Donald Trump was, for a brief period anyway, a Cohn protege and really it seems like as character, morality and philosophy go, he made quite an impact on a young Trump. We will also mention Belize, a gay man who is friends with Louis and Prior, and comes to find himself in the often awkward position of being Roy Cohn’s nurse. He is played deliciously by Jeffrey Wright.

Oct 21, 2020
Absentee dads, legacy, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein
1:22:00

Frankenstein [1931] and Young Frankenstein are about mad scientists who have to come to terms with their creations, sure, but is it possible that movies about men who create monsters have daddy issues to dissect?

Frankenstein is about a man who tries to figure out how to create life without the involvement of his fiancée and—surprise!—he becomes an absentee dad. Young Frankenstein is about a dad who tries the opposite.

Join Sarah and Alex as they discuss.

-

In Why Are Dads, Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

https://www.podpage.com/why-are-dads/

Oct 14, 2020
Self-Absorption, Dad and The Squid and the Whale
0:40:22

It’s a cult classic about 1980s Brooklyn intellectuals falling apart at the seams, sure, but Sarah and Alex sort through The Squid and the Whale’s many dad themes and issues.

What happens when mom and dad decide to go their separate ways and everybody has to come to terms with how much of a prick dad has been this whole time?

We were joined by the delightful writer, actor and musician Sean Nelson to discuss The Squid and the Whale, the 2005 Noah Baumbach classic starring Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin and Anna Paquin.

Oct 07, 2020
Manhood and Friday
0:23:58

It's a classic 90s stoner comedy, sure, but Sarah and Alex sort through Friday's many dad themes and issues.

What happens when, confronted with bullies and vengeful drug dealers, you feel compelled to stand your ground?

Friday is, of course, the 1995 cult classic. It was written by Ice Cube, who also stars in the film, and was directed by F. Gary Gray. Taking place in South Central LA, it's about Craig, who just got fired from his job on his day off. He spends the day with Smokey (Chris Tucker) who has smoked all the weed he was supposed to sell and subsequently gets in trouble with his supplier, Big Worm. There is a huge, amazing ensemble of characters who come in and out of their lives including Regina King, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tiny Zeus Lister, and John Witherspoon. Even if you don't know the movie, you certainly have heard some of the sayings and dialogue from it, most famously 'Bye, Felicia' and like literally every one-liner that Chris Tucker says. Oh! You can support us on Patreon here!

 

Sep 30, 2020
Dad issues abound in Top Gun
0:54:18

It's about a handful of guys competing against each other at a top tier Navy flight school, sure, but Sarah, Alex and special guest Clementine Ford unpack Top Gun's dad themes and there is plenty to sort through.

What happens when, haunted by questions about your father's death and legacy, you become the cockiest fighter pilot in the Navy?

Top Gun is, of course, the story of Maverick, Goose, Iceman and a bunch of 1980s cool dudes competing for the Top Gun trophy but it's also stuffed to the brim with dad themes. For Maverick, who grew up haunted by the specter of his father, everyone he encounters becomes—whether he knows it or not—a father figure. We talk all the dad themes, military themes, and—of course—homoeroticism Tony Scott stuffed into this 1986 classic.

 

Sep 23, 2020
Deescalation with Dad... and Kevin Costner
1:04:18

What if dads taught their kids to deescalate rather than to retaliate? To prioritize love over conflict? What if men learned from their trauma, and shared their lessons with their families?

The War is an under-appreciated classic — a kids movie that tries to show the destructive nature of cycles of violence. It is hokey and fantastic, but it dares imagine another way for dads to be. You don’t have to have seen this 1995 Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood vehicle about addressing post-Vietnam trauma to appreciate our conversation about this movie, which has a little something for everyone. And we are joined by friend of the show Kasai Richardson, a writer and educator who knows this movie well because it was a staple in his family. The War helped Kasai to better understand his own father’s struggles with trauma and post traumatic stress.

This one was a joy.

Sep 16, 2020
Surviving Dad and A Nightmare on Elm Street
1:06:35

It’s about a lascivious dream demon, sure, but Sarah and Alex unpack Nightmare on Elm Street’s Dad themes and there is plenty to sort through.

What happens when you realize that your parents' self-serving attempts at keeping you safe push you even further into harm’s way? And when you find yourself on the hook for their sins?

Nightmare on Elm Street is, of course, the story of Nancy Thompson—a teenage girl who is stalked by Freddy Krueger, a burned man equipped with razor-like fingers. She learns that the demon was once a man in their neighborhood, a man named Freddy known for murdering children, who—after getting free on a legal loophole, was burned to death by a gang of local parents. These parents include her mother, who is now a drunk, and her father, who is an unfeeling cop. Freddy attacks and kills her friends Tina and Rod, and eventually her boyfriend Glen, and she is tasked with surviving.

Beyond that, Nightmare on Elm Street comes out at an extraordinarily fascinating time—it’s right around when America’s obsession with serial killers is starting to mature and when the Satanic Panic is beginning to take shape. If you follow Sarah’s work generally, particularly her writing on Ted Bundy for The Believer or her and Michael Hobbes' work on You’re Wrong About, you know that all of these factors play heavily into her areas of interest, and this is a great companion piece to a lot of her existing body of work. Also, thanks to feedback we received on Twitter regarding where slasher movies intersect with the popularity of serial killers in popular media, we recorded an additional piece for this episode and so what you’re hearing here is actually base don two conversations.

There are so many accompanying texts that you might be interested in, from the Michelle Remembers episodes of You’re Wrong About to articles form Psychology Today, and you can find all of those in the show notes. And one other note is that the McMartin Case, which Sarah will mention later in the episode, is one of the initial phenomena that would metastasize into what we now know into the Satanic Panic.

If you want to dive further into the cultural context, or refresh what you already know:

Why Are Dads is produced by Carolyn Kendrick with support from Knack Factory. It was created by Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed.

Sarah Marshall and Alex Steed are Executive Producers.

Sep 09, 2020
Disappointing Dad and Dirty Dancing
0:57:50

It’s about dancing, sure, but Sarah and Alex unpack Dirty Dancing’s dad themes and there is plenty to sort through.

What happens when you disappoint your father by putting his own ethical code into action? A young woman gets radicalized and dance becomes a metaphor for sex and revolution. Dirty Dancing is, of course, the 1987 Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze oft-maligned “chick flick” that is about dancing, yes, but also lefty politics, reproductive rights, and—if you’re Sarah—imagining Jerry Orbach’s nipples.

We are lucky to be joined in this conversation by our friend the wonderful Candace Opper.

Original music by Carolyn Kendrick, who also produced the episode. Additional beats provided by Funky Fresh Lesh.

 

 

Sep 02, 2020
Emotional Intimacy and Jaws
0:47:14

It is about a shark, sure, but Sarah and Alex unpack Jaws' Big Dad Energy by looking at its larger themes in the context of their own experiences with fathers and dads.

Jaws, of course, is Steven Spielberg’s wildly popular 1975 adaptation of Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel. The film is about at least one literal dad: Brody. And it’s about other men who remind us of our respective dads, sorting through their egos and masculinity while in pursuit of this shark.

Sarah is also the co-host of You're Wrong About.

Alex is also the host of Nashville Demystified.

This episode was produced with support from and overside by Mary Dooe. It was produced by Carolyn Kendrick.

Original intro song and interpretations of 'Show Me the Way' to Go Home and 'Spanish Ladies' by Carolyn Kendrick. Other original music by Mosart Nunez.

Aug 26, 2020
Hey! This is the trailer.
0:02:58

Sarah Marshall [You're Wrong About] and Alex Steed [Nashville Demystified] attempt to understand what the hell it means to be the grown children of dads and other dad-like figures. And, as they do with all difficult subject matter, they do so by looking through a pop culture lens.

They try to understand their own dads, their relationships with those dads—and very possibly your relationship with your dad—by looking at fatherhood, and masculinity in television, film, and other popular [and unpopular] media.

There are a lot of podcasts about being a dad. This is not that.

This is dad crit.

Produced by Carolyn Kendrick and Alex Steed for Knack Factory.

Aug 17, 2020