Putting the Boobs Back in Boob Tube - The Ladies of Remotely Girly

So, I get weirdly shameless on Twitter when I find people who I think are interesting and are creating amazing products. One such thing is a newish podcast by three talented female writers and pop culture connoisseurs (connoisseuses?) called Remotely Girly, hosted by Emily Gagne, Melissa Girimonte, and Amber Dowling. They were gracious enough to let me ask a few questions about their podcast, their love of TV and how their project started.   

First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions. I get so excited anytime I find a new medium where ladies are talking pop culture (and specifically TV, no less), and as a person obsessed with podcasts, this one is right up my alley. Also, putting the boobs back in boob tube? Amazing.

First for the tough questions.

What prompted you to create the podcast in the first place?

Emily: Personally, I’ve been interested in trying out podcasting for quite some time, having previously experimented with a Pretty Little Liars podcast on my site, Cinefilles. While that podcast was fun, it only dealt with one show and I felt like there was much more to talk about in terms of women on TV. That’s when I met with these ladies about starting something.

Melissa: I used to host a podcasts covering specific TV shows (first True Blood, and then The Vampire Diaries), and wanted to get back into it for a while. When Emily contacted us about potentially working on a show, I was so excited.

Amber: Emily came to us about doing this podcast, and because Emily is one of my favourite people on this planet to work with I said yes, immediately. Then I realized I would need to brush up on podcasts, since the only one I had ever really listened to was Serial.  

Do you think female TV enthusiasts need something like your podcast?

E: I have had a hard time finding a podcast that’s all women talking about TV and/or movies, let alone one that appeals to me specifically. There are lots of female-oriented podcasts, and even ones that are about specific TV shows, but there are also a lot of male-dominated or male-headlining ones and those ones often get more attention. A good example is Gilmore Guys, which is a GREAT podcast about a GREAT show, but features two male leads. Granted, that’s the “angle” of that podcast, as it’s often said that GG is a lady show only, which is so not true.

Point is, I think there’s a lack of this type of commentary--informed, yet fun--from women in podcasting realm. And as both a creator and a listener, I want to help change that.

M: For sure. There are some great TV podcasts out there that I listen to, but none that take the specific angle of celebrating the women on TV and those creating TV. It’s the perfect time for a podcast like this one, especially with all of the great female characters on the small screen each day, and women like Julie Plec and Shonda Rhimes creating/showrunning multiple series.

A: I find that in our industry, and in Canada in particular, there are a ton of female voices but it’s always the men who are being asked to moderate panels and speak as experts. This is a great way to prove that women can be funny, insightful and opinionated. It’s also the perfect venue to talk about something that is a part of almost everyone’s lives: television.  

Why did you choose to do to the podcast together?

E: Well, first and foremost, we get along pretty well. You know, after years of seeing each other at TV-related events and screenings. But also, I think we’ve all got pretty diverse interests and opinions on TV, which can create some intriguing debates.

M: I’ve admired both Emily and Amber’s work as journalists for quite a while and getting to know them has been awesome. We’ve always had great conversations about TV in social settings. Our tastes are different but that’s what makes it interesting. They challenge some opinions that I’ve held for a long time, and I can appreciate things now that I had no time for in the past.

A: I admire both of these women a great deal. It was a no-brainer to work with them. I shouldn’t even call it work, because doing this podcast has felt like anything but. It’s really nice to let loose and just share opinions with two people whose insights you really want to hear too. Plus they’ve both turned me onto some great shows.

Though the podcast is great with just the three of you, if you had to bring someone else in, who would be your ideal guest on upcoming episodes?

E: Ideal guest? As in like anyone and not just the people we know? Well, I’m gonna go with Retta because girl knows and loves TV more than most people. Also, she’s hysterical and super nice and was on one of my favourite comedies of all-time, Parks and Recreation.

Actually, I’d take any of the ladies from Parks and Rec, to be honest. Rashida! Amy! Aubrey! Call me!

M: Oh, Retta would be amazing! I love reading her TV-watching tweets. My dream guest would be Aisha Tyler, who nerds out about TV and also hosts one of my fave podcasts, Girl on Guy. She’s a superwoman, a real renaissance woman. Her enthusiasm and no BS attitude would make her a perfect addition.

A: Also Retta. She’s No. 1 as far as I’m concerned. I would also probably faint if we ever had Amy Schumer on the show.

[Jane's note: I met Retta at SDCC and she is incredible! I endorse this choice!]

Alright, here’s a fun one, if you could live in any fictional/fandom world, which would it be?

E: Whoaaaaa. Tough one. I’m going to say the Buffyverse in the early Buffy years? Like Seasons 1 through 3 when they were still at Sunnydale High and the Bronze still looked like the grimiest rejected lazer tag venue. I just really want to solve mysteries with the Scoobies and possibly take Xander’s virginity before Faith swoops in. (FYI: I hate Faith and I will not apologize for this.)

M: It’s hard to resist the pull of Dillon, TX and Stars Hollow, CT but I think I’d go with the fictional University of New York in the Felicity-verse. Experiencing NYC as a student alongside Felicity, Ben, Noel, Julie and Elena would be exciting. And I want to work at Dean & Deluca! I can already hear Javier saying, “Oh Me-leee-sa.”

A: Vikings. Sure, it would be tough times, but Lagertha is one of the best female characters ever written. Even though it’s a period piece, it just seems as though the women were held in equal esteem with the men, and were able to choose what they wanted for their lives. Plus they had spirit animals.

Now for some quick takes. No need for long answers here, ladies, just hit me with the first thing that pops into your head.

Current obsession?

E: Crimson Peak! Not a TV show, but this movie made me feel way more things than a lot of movies have in the past year. It’s gorgeous and gory and oh my god Jessica Chastain is perfect as the villainous Lucille. I seriously can’t stop thinking/talking about it (sorry, friends) and how Guillermo Del Toro can create great female characters, both dead and alive, when he puts his overactive imagination to it.

M: Sonic Highways. More of an ongoing obsession since it aired on HBO, but it’s my go-to feel good solution for any day. Dave Grohl’s a great storyteller, and he’s so enthusiastic. It’s like a religious experience for me.

A: I recently got a Chromecast, and now all I want to do is watch shows on my TV, as controlled by my phone. In terms of actual shows, I couldn’t get through Narcos fast enough. Such a great show!

Current thing that makes you RAGE?

E: The fact that we don’t have Hulu here and I have to wait that little bit longer to see The Mindy Project.

M: Clickbait headlines that really have nothing to do with the content in a post or article.

A: When hosts open with singing bits on SNL. Such a small thing, I know. But c’mon. It’s such a fallback at this point. I’d much prefer a well thought-out monologue or interesting sketch setting up the night’s tone.

Pop culture-y item that’s coming out soon that you’re too excited about?

E: I’ll definitely be headed to the earliest screening of Star Wars in December with my family and boyfriend, who legit did a happy dance when the tickets were secured. But what I’m really excited for, if I’m gonna be totally honest, is Quentin Tarantino’s latest, The Hateful Eight. I’m a huge QT fan, and I think this one, despite its early controversies, is gonna be mega. Jennifer Jason Leigh is already my fave character, hopefully joining the ranks of my other fave QT heroines.

M: In addition to Star Wars, Marvel’s Jessica Jones is tops on my list. My plan is to sit in front of my TV on the Saturday and watch it from beginning to end. They did an amazing job with Daredevil so I’m fairly certain this will be equally awesome. Also, how can you go wrong with Krysten Ritter and David Tennant in the same show?

A: I already have my Star Wars tickets in hand, so that should be something. And of course the end of The Hunger Games. But really, I just want to see what comes of this script that JLaw and Amy Schumer are working on together. Because… who doesn’t?

Girl crush of the moment?

E: Kate McKinnon in Ghostbusters. But also her on SNL. I mean, the woman can play both Hillary and Bieber!

M: Mine’s a tie. Ashley Johnson on Blindspot and Kether Donohue on You’re the Worst. Both amazingly talented women. Two very different roles.

A: Katie Aselton from The League. She’s funny, can hang with the guys, and she looks great doing it. Actually, The League co-creator Jackie Marcus Schaffer is also up there. Girl is hilarious.

What’s one thing that you love that you wish got more attention?

E: Fresh Off the Boat. It’s one of the most underrated, yet excellent comedies and has that family vibe that you grew up expecting from network comedies, while still being modern in its diversity. Also, Constance Wu, who plays the mother is just the best thing ever. I relate to her drive for success and strange obsession with Stephen King all too much.

M: X Company. It’s the WWII spy drama that aired earlier this year and will be back for a second season in 2016. Great performances, intriguing story, and a kicka$$ female lead in Evelyne Brochu as Aurora Luft.

A: 19-2. It’s a Canadian drama on Bravo starring Adrian Holmes and Jared Keeso. But it also features really great storylines for the women. Many of them are in positions of power, and have had to deal with some real struggles. And from everything I’ve heard about Season 3, the women are about to really rule that show.

Guilty pleasure (though I believe no geeky love should ever cause you shame):

E: I don’t really feel guilty about the things I love. I’ve kinda learned that doing that doesn’t do anything for your self-esteem or general happiness. I’m not trying to be sassy or self-righteous, but honestly, I’m pretty unabashed about the things I l-o-v-e. And the things I don’t.

On that topic, no I’m never going to get into Game of Thrones and you can stop shaming me for it.

M: I don’t really have any guilty pleasures. If something makes me happy or entertains me, I have zero shame about it. Sometimes I question myself if I don’t love something that everyone else raves about, but I’ll chalk that up to my rebellious streak.

Over the past year, I have developed an appreciation for Dancing With the Stars, a show that I swore I’d never watch. Their definition of “stars” is questionable, but it’s been fun getting caught up in the excitement … especially when your fave contestant wins!

A: I definitely embrace the term guilty pleasure. As in, I can’t believe I spend my time watching those unauthorized Lifetime specials, but hot damn if I don’t get stupid excited every time they announce one. Bad wigs and all.

One recommendation that a fangirl just HAS to read/watch/play/ingest:

E: Hard one! But I’m going to suggest Freaks and Geeks because it’s a show that really hammers home the point that being dorky is actually pretty universal. Just because someone is more superficially cool than someone else doesn’t mean they can’t get down with a game of D&D in the right circumstance. Also, Lindsay Weir is a great role model for us gals who don’t want to settle for adhering to any labels and want to be both responsible and spontaneous.

M: This may be a bit on the nose, but Rainbow Rowell’s book Fangirl is a must-read for any girl that’s been passionate about something and most of the people around her just don’t get it.

A: That’s so tough because I feel like everyone has different tastes. I will say Vikings, because I love everything that show does. I’ll also say Buffy, because that was the show that started off a long and happy career for me back in the day.

Time for plugs! Where can people find your content and chat with you?

E: You can always find me at Cinefilles.ca, the TV and movie review site I co-created (it’s run wholly by women!). But I’m also currently writing for The Mary Sue, HelloGiggles and Yahoo Canada, and recently co-wrote two fictional horror stories for Unfriendly Productions web series Girl Up and Die. Oh, and you can always get me at my Twitter account @emilygagne. I love to talk about feminism, horror movies and snacks (usually at the same time)!

M: TheTelevixen.com is the main place to find my writing. It’s a site that I started back in 2008 and is geared toward women who love TV. And I’m always on Twitter @thetelevixen.

A: I’m heavy into the freelancing circuit right now; you can catch my stuff at The Hollywood Reporter, The Toronto Star, The Wrap, IGN, The Loop, TV Week, TV Weekly and Indiewire. I’m also on Twitter at @amber_dowling.