Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Shea Couleé onstage during Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 in Los Angeles

Shea Couleé talks ANTM, Tyra, and 2000s fashion on Wanna Be On Top?

Shea Couleé onstage during Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 in Los Angeles
Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video (Getty Images)

Past Gas
The Underdogs Who Outraced the Nazis

Illustration for article titled Shea Couleé talks ANTM, Tyra, and 2000s fashion on Wanna Be On Top?
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Past Gas is an automotive history podcast whose gearhead hosts cover everything from highflying daredevils to the political origins of lowrider car culture. In this episode, the team is absolutely baffled as to why the subject they’re covering hasn’t already been turned into an Oscar-winning motion picture. In the 1930s, Nazi Germany had become an unbeatable force in the motor racing world; Hitler’s Silver Arrows, the nickname given to the Mercedes-Benz racing team, were held up by the Third Reich as international poster boys for Aryan superiority. In 1938, an unlikely group of people would come together to put a stop to the Nazi winning streak. Racing driver Lucy O’Reilly Schell became the first woman to ever establish a Grand Prix team when she partnered up with French carmaker Delahaye. Schell chose Jewish driver René Dreyfus to represent her new team at the Grand Prix De Pau, where he delivered a humiliating defeat to Germany on the world stage. It’s a story with everything except its own film adaptation, and by the end you’ll be nodding in agreement with the hosts’ speculative casting, especially Paul Giamatti as Hitler. [Anthony D Herrera]


Teenager Therapy
Getting Taken Advantage Of/Being Selfless/Savior Complex

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

The teens are all right, y’all. Teenager Therapy, created by Anaheim teens Gael, Isaac, Thomas, Mark, and Kayla, allows its hosts to open up their friendships, dissect their struggles, and share their findings. The generosity and intimacy of this is palpable, whether they’re talking about college admissions, love, gender, sexuality, or anything else. The insights that these teens ultimately gain from each other are valuable to anyone who might listen, no matter how close or removed you are from your own adolescence. This episode is about why we do too much for other people, and what happens when we take it upon ourselves to repair caretake as a foundation of friendship. Does this need to “fix” things come from a place of feeling like you know best, or is it a case of having poor boundaries? Is it possible to be in a relationship and not “need” the other person? You might not come away with an answer, but you’ll have a lot to ponder. [Morgan McNaught]


The Losers’ Club: A Stephen King Podcast
Mick Garris’ Desperation Miniseries

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Screenshot: Spotify

Considering the breadth of Stephen King’s oeuvre, the task of analyzing that much material has to be a team effort. The hosts of The Losers’ Club have the numbers and enthusiasm to go for it. The biweekly podcast is hosted by a rotating lineup consisting of Randall Colburn (formerly of The A.V. Club), Justin Gerber, Dan Caffrey (freelance writer at The A.V. Club), McKenzie Gerber, Mel Kassel, Aiysha Gatson, Dan Pfleegor, Rachel Reeves, Jenn Adams, Michael Roffman, and more. This time around, Colburn, Gerber, Pfleeger, and writer Ana Marie Cox go in on the 2006 TV miniseries Desperation. Directed by frequent King collaborator Mick Garris, the ABC series was received rather poorly. The Losers’ Club previously discussed the book alongside its “sister” novel, The Regulators, both of which were published under King’s pseudonym, Richard Bachman. The hosts have an enduring affection for King’s work while still being well aware of the imperfections in both his books and their screen adaptations, which makes for compelling conversation. [Jose Nateras]


Wanna Be On Top?
The Girl Who Modeled Thru It (w/ Raja)

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

The concept of “smizing” is probably the most recognizable dent America’s Next Top Model made in 2000s pop culture, but it’s hardly the biggest; in truth, that would be the UPN show’s entire overhaul of the era’s reality television format. For better and worse, Tyra Banks’ single-elimination reality competition show laid the foundation for a huge swath of what aired on Bravo, VH1, Logo, MTV, FOX, and Oxygen for decades, as well as the mall brand wardrobe aspirations of young suburban girls and gays nationwide. In this new (pointedly non-recap) podcast series, host and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars winner Shea Couleé joins producer and de facto co-host Maxwell Esposito to chat with guests about all things surrounding ANTM, including fashion, culture, and broadly, the show itself. The step Wanna Be On Top? takes away from the traditional episode-by-episode outline is a refreshingly different route to personal anecdotes, which have so far included experiences with Kool-Aid hair dye and the best aughts strategies for mopping jeans. After a strong kickoff with back-to-back appearances by S-tier podcast guest and anti-West Elm crusader Nicole Byer, fellow drag queen extraordinaire Raja joins Couleé and Esposito this week to talk about being the show’s makeup artist for nine cycles, as well as the hindsight absurdity of season one girls melting down over the absolute tamest blowout “makeovers” in the series’ history. [Dan Jakes]

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

pop-culture critic, multi-disciplinary artist, playwright @ Columbia University, they/them