“There’s no precedent for women in this family being treated like they matter.” Sarah tells Mike about the Bronco chase as Paula Barbieri experienced it. Then, she recounts how a poor kid from Panama City, Florida, made it all the way to the high-fashion world of Paris, France—and discovered that she had jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. Sarah continues to compare everyone to Erin Brockovich.
This episode begins with a lengthy discussion of O.J. Simpson’s suicide attempt on the day of the Bronco chase. We go on to describe scenes of domestic violence and attempted sexual assault; Paula deserved better.
Mike tells Sarah how NGOs, activists and George W. Bush resurrected the ‘stranger danger’ panic for the modern era. Digressions include Reply All, muffins and Yelp for massage parlors. Mike’s vocal fry is worse than usual.
Sarah tells Mike how Marcia Clark got the slam-dunk case that ended her career as a trial lawyer. Digressions include string cheese, “Inception” and what calling women “difficult” means in 2019. We go on the record in favor of a wide range of frivolous hobbies.
“Centering conversations around blame is not the most useful thing for us to be doing.” Sarah tells Mike about the woman who broke up with O.J. Simpson on the morning of the murders — then stayed by his side through the trial. Michael Bolton makes an extended cameo appearance.
Few topics have been suggested to us in the last year as often as the razor blade in the apple. Luckily we’ve got you covered with last year’s Urban Legend Spectacular! Come for the poisoned candy, stay for the high beams and rainbow parties.
“You can’t expect people to know the exact kind of help they need.” We continue our deep dive into the O.J. Simpson case with the history of Nicole Brown Simpson’s marriage to O.J., their 1992 divorce and the last weeks of Nicole’s life. Digressions include Julia Roberts, Malibu real estate and Madonna’s “Erotica.” Mike is fighting a cold and apologizes for his raspiness. This episode contains even greater detail on the violence and domestic abuse Nicole suffered.
Plus, a correction! Sarah forgot to mention that O.J. Simpson received two years of probation for the 1989 incident.
Mike and Sarah begin their epic journey into O.J. Simpson’s trial for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, beginning with the story of Nicole’s life with O.J. until their marriage in 1985. This episode contains descriptions of violence and domestic abuse. Like so many of the women we talk about, Nicole deserved better.
Our first live show! Mike tells Sarah about Janet Jackson, the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime show and the 9/16ths of a second that destroyed her career. Digressions include Puff Daddy, Jessica Simpson and Edward James Olmos. Like all positive developments regarding this show, performing live is something we feel weird about and so we spent the first few minutes talking about it!
Mike tells Sarah how the myth of meddling wives serves to exonerate terrible husbands. Digressions include “50 Shades of Grey,” Marie Antoinette and the end of the 1960s. This episode, we’re sorry to say, contains descriptions of domestic abuse.
“Isn’t it amazing how we can only imagine our monsters capitalistically?” Mike tells Sarah how police, prosecutors and journalists accidentally conspired to invent the perfect suburban menace. Digressions include IKEA, the “Godfather” trilogy and Fleetwood Mac. Mike takes big gulping breaths when he reads out loud.
“When you allow emotion into the courtroom, bias rushes in alongside it.” Special guest Rachel Monroe tells Mike and Sarah how a good-faith critique of the justice system led to a decades-long crackdown. Digressions include Charles Manson, Ronald Reagan and a billionaire mugshot. As usual, Mike’s similes are worse than Sarah’s.
“Things are not going to get better if we make the people who scare us seem more powerful.” Mike tells Sarah about the myths of sex crimes, the reality of child abuse and the importance of unsympathetic protagonists. Digressions include frozen pizza, millennials (obvs) and vaccination rates. Mike can only name one state that borders Nevada.
“The story that did the most damage to the people in it was the one that made the most money.” Sarah tells Mike about the low-rent conspiracy that sparked a ratings bonanza. Digressions include “Out of Sight,” Robert De Niro and ancient sexting technology. Mike continues to laugh confusedly at references he does not know.
Sarah tells Mike the story of a world-class figure skater who worked at a mall potato restaurant. Digressions include “Sleepless in Seattle,” mall walkers, synchronized diving and the difficulty of skating a perfect pentagram. This episode unfortunately contains descriptions of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Tonya deserved better.
“Humans aren’t good at remembering what got us where we are.” Mike tells Sarah how a turning point in the gay rights movement became an immediate controversy, a lasting inspiration and a never-ending debate. Digressions include “Newsies” (of course), “True Romance” and “Norma Rae.” Mike’s creaking chair and Sarah’s rustling blanket-fort are heard throughout.
“Once you tell a story incorrectly once, you can’t control where it goes.” Sarah tells Mike how The New York Times turned a suburban murder into an urban legend. Digressions include Billy Joel, the World’s Fair and “Ferngully.” This episode marks a triumphant return to Long Island and an unexpected celebration of Pride Month.
“We’re uncomfortable with the evidence that teen girls have sexual agency.” Special guest Amy Hasinoff tells Mike and Sarah how a moral panic became a legal nightmare. Digressions include Cosmo advice columns, Grindr etiquette and the revolutionary hugging of the “Avengers” movies. Due to the ongoing hex placed on this podcast, the sound quality is worse than usual.
“He’s been punished even more than the American prison system can aspire to punish anyone”: Mike tells Sarah how John Walker Lindh became a terrorist in the media, a freedom fighter in his own mind and something between the two in reality. Digressions include “Newsies,” Bruce Willis and “Candide.” Sarah sneakily reveals her lifelong affection for Howard Stern.
“It just seems like capitalism masquerading as religion”: Sarah tells Mike how a horror movie resurrected a ritual and established an industry. Digressions include “Avatar,” the NFL and the ethics of book publishing. The final five minutes are an unintentionally concise description of the core moral principle of this show.