Friday, May 4, 2012

My New Favorite Podcast: The JV Club

Janet Varney, SF Sketchfest co-founder and voice of Korra on The Legend of Korra has a podcast, and I couldn’t be more excited. I first heard Janet Varney on The Nerdist podcast, where she captured my heart with her unabashed love of Doctor Who, and my love grew on Twitter where she provided me with daily doses of charming hilarity. (Recent sample tweet: “Hello, Austin Texas! Or “Tejas,” as I like to say, when looking to be slapped.” – Janet Varney) On Varney’s podcast, The JV Club, she talks to various comedian and actress friends (all ladies so far, which feels like a warm shelter in the vast male podcast wilderness) about their high school years.

She has only recorded eight episodes so far, and she has already had an amazing bunch of guests including Christina Hendricks of Mad Men and Gillian Jacobs of Community.

Varney has said that she hopes young girls listen to her podcast, and from what I have heard so far, I hope they do too. I know that when I was in high school, I absolutely loved hearing adult women talk about what they were like when they were my age. Not in a condescending way, but in a way that showed that they could really remember all the feelings and thoughts that they had. These conversations made me feel like there was hope because these were put together women who had experienced some of the same things I was going through, and they had successfully made it to adulthood. I could tell that these women really remembered their teenaged lives because this look would come into their eyes like they were time travelling back to those moments as they were talking about them. I imagine that Varney and her guests have a similar look as they talk about their high school experiences.

The JV Club definitely falls into the category of Things I Wish Existed When I Was in High School. (Other Things I Wish Existed When I Was in High School include: Skins [UK, not US], Girls Write Now, and jeggings [all right, they existed, but when I was in high school it was not socially acceptable to wear them]. Things I Am Glad Did Not Exist When I Was in High School: Facebook. Also, YouTube.) But if I couldn’t have it then, I am very grateful to have it now.

Here are three exciting things I have learned so far from The JV Club:

1) Christina Hendricks was a goth in high school! Check out the JV Club page at Nerdist, where you can see a picture, along with high school pictures of all the guests.

2) Kerri Kenney-Silver of The State and Reno 911 formed an all-girl band in 1993 called Cake Like. When the band started, none of the ladies knew how to play, which led to them developing a unique style that attracted the praise and business attentions of Ric Ocasek and Neil Young.

3) I really need to read/watch Anne of Green Gables. Both Janet and Jessica St. Clair of Best Friends Forever (which NBC just pulled from thelineup but which I am keeping my fingers crossed will come back in the summer because it was my favorite new comedy) have raved about the Canadian series, making me wonder why the heck I never read it and what the heck I am waiting for. In fact, I’m going to put it on my library queue right now, and then I can have something to occupy myself with instead of just counting down the days until Thursday when the new JV Club episode posts.

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