6 episodes

Hey folks. Mandy Kaplan here. I’d like to share a bit about my intentions and mission for MMAN if you’ll indulge me. You will? Huzzah!

Look, I am a lot of things. I’m a writer, actress, mother, and lover of musicals and cats, but NOT Cats, The Musical. Give me a little bit of credit, would ya? So...throughout my life, I’ve been surrounded (and intrigued) by all things nerd. A sister who plays D&D, a Star Wars-obsessed husband, friends who love anime, comic books, video games, and...well, you get the picture. Somehow, I have always held it all at arm's length. Not to get too deep, but maybe I never thought I was smart enough to follow it. Or maybe I have control issues and have never been able to embrace fantastical things like dragons and time travel. Until now!

So, with an open mind and heart, I am ready to join this massive (and beautifully inclusive) club and GEEK THE #%$ OUT! It’s time for all my wonderfully strange friends to baptize me into NERD-DOM. Please join me on this journey. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover or remember a side of yourself along the way. Or at least make fun of me as I try!

Make Me A Nerd with Mandy Kaplan TruStory FM

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 30 Ratings

Hey folks. Mandy Kaplan here. I’d like to share a bit about my intentions and mission for MMAN if you’ll indulge me. You will? Huzzah!

Look, I am a lot of things. I’m a writer, actress, mother, and lover of musicals and cats, but NOT Cats, The Musical. Give me a little bit of credit, would ya? So...throughout my life, I’ve been surrounded (and intrigued) by all things nerd. A sister who plays D&D, a Star Wars-obsessed husband, friends who love anime, comic books, video games, and...well, you get the picture. Somehow, I have always held it all at arm's length. Not to get too deep, but maybe I never thought I was smart enough to follow it. Or maybe I have control issues and have never been able to embrace fantastical things like dragons and time travel. Until now!

So, with an open mind and heart, I am ready to join this massive (and beautifully inclusive) club and GEEK THE #%$ OUT! It’s time for all my wonderfully strange friends to baptize me into NERD-DOM. Please join me on this journey. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover or remember a side of yourself along the way. Or at least make fun of me as I try!

    A Supernatural Crash Course with Krissy Lenz

    A Supernatural Crash Course with Krissy Lenz

    This week, Mandy settles into the passenger seat of the old Impala with comedian and podcaster Krissy Lenz for a road trip down the highway of "Supernatural," the long-running TV series about two brothers hunting monsters across America and facing their daddy issues.
    Krissy, a self-proclaimed nerd and host of the Supernatural drinking game podcast, “Gank That Drank,” introduces Mandy to the show's premise and its significance in the genre TV landscape. The two discuss the series' impressive 15-season run and its blend of horror, humor, comedy, and family drama.
    Their conversation touches on the show's early episodes, which Krissy notes are steeped in urban legends and local lore. From the "Woman in White" of the pilot to Wendigos and Bloody Mary, "Supernatural" initially drew heavily from campfire tales and regional myths.
    The pair also explore the show's evolution, with Krissy hinting at the introduction of angels in later seasons and even a meta episode where the main characters enter the world of Scooby-Doo.
    It turns out, the show is perfect fodder for a drinking game, with rules like drinking whenever Dean calls Sam "Sammy" or someone crashes through furniture. This game, it seems, is not for the faint of liver.
    Subscribe to Krissy’s podcasts right here! 
    Gank That Drank: A Supernatural Drinking Game Podcastthe Most Excellent 80s Movies Podcast
    ---Learn more about supporting this podcast by becoming a member. It's just $5/month or $55/year. Visit our website to learn more.

    • 51 min
    Ocean's One: A Star Wars Heist Explained

    Ocean's One: A Star Wars Heist Explained

    Ever wonder what happens when you mix a sci-fi novice with a medium-level nerd and throw in some Star Wars? Well, buckle up, because that's exactly what this episode of "Make Me A Nerd" delivers.
    Mandy Kaplan, whose imagination may have gone the way of the Death Star years ago, sits down with podcaster Ocean Murff to chat about "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Ocean, proud owner of a mere 2,000 comic books (down from 4,000 - he's practically Marie Kondo-ing), attempts to guide Mandy through the galaxy far, far away.
    Mandy, it turns out, is more comfortable with spontaneous musical numbers than space politics. Who knew? She bravely admits to feeling lost among the planets and governors, but finds her footing when she realizes it's basically "Ocean's Eleven" in space.
    By the end, Mandy hasn't quite reached Jedi status, but she's at least made it to "Star Wars curious." Ocean's mission to create a "small sliver" of enjoyment seems successful. Maybe next time they'll tackle a sci-fi musical - now that's a force Mandy could get behind.

    Listen to Ocean’s new show, “The Adrian Moment,” right here on TruStory FM!


    ---Learn more about supporting this podcast by becoming a member. It's just $5/month or $55/year. Visit our website to learn more.

    • 48 min
    The Enduring Legacy of Star Wars with Kyle Olson

    The Enduring Legacy of Star Wars with Kyle Olson

    In this week's episode of "Make Me A Nerd," host Mandy Kaplan welcomes her friend and fellow podcaster Kyle Olson to discuss his deep love for all things Star Wars. Kyle, a self-proclaimed geek who considers his fandom a core part of his identity, shares his passion for George Lucas's groundbreaking 1977 space epic, Star Wars: A New Hope.
    As children of the 80s, both Mandy and Kyle grew up in the era of Spielberg and Lucas blockbusters that brought a new level of cinematic entertainment to the masses. Kyle explains how Star Wars and other "nerd" properties have since become mainstream pop culture juggernauts, with comic conventions drawing crowds rivaling the populations of small cities.
    For their discussion, Kyle had Mandy watch the "4K77" version of Star Wars - a fan restoration of the original 1977 theatrical cut, before Lucas's controversial later changes and additions. Mandy recalls her own early Star Wars memory, amazing her mom as a toddler by pointing out Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca in a store window display.
    Join Mandy and Kyle as they dive deep into the Star Wars that started it all, and Kyle attempts to awaken the Force within his friend and indoctrinate her into the ways of this landmark sci-fi saga. It's a heartfelt and humorous conversation about childhood nostalgia, the mainstreaming of geek culture, and how the universal themes and iconography of Star Wars continue to captivate audiences over four decades later.

    ---Learn more about supporting this podcast by becoming a member. It's just $5/month or $55/year. Visit our website to learn more.

    • 59 min
    Whip It Good: Mandy Takes on Castlevania with JP Karliak

    Whip It Good: Mandy Takes on Castlevania with JP Karliak

    This week, Mandy is joined by voice actor, writer and activist JP Karliak to discuss the animated Netflix series Castlevania.
    JP, a self-described "voiceover artist, queer activist, snappy dresser", has voiced characters like Morph in X-Men 97, Boss Baby, and Green Goblin on Spidey and His Amazing Friends. He also co-founded the organization Nerds Vote to encourage gamers, cosplayers, and pop culture fans to get out and vote, and Queer Vox  to provide training and professional support for LGBTQIA+ voice actors in the entertainment industry while advocating for equitable opportunities and authentic representation in voice performance work.
    JP brought Castlevania as an entry point for Mandy because of its manageable 4-episode first season and gothic horror themes, which he thought might appeal to Mandy's sensibilities. The series, based on a long-running video game franchise, follows monster hunter Trevor Belmont as he battles Dracula and his demon army.
    Will JP’s thorough exploration be enough to make Mandy a convert? Listen in and find out … maybe it’ll be just as enticing for you!
    Learn more about JP on his website at JPKarliak.com.

    ---Learn more about supporting this podcast by becoming a member. It's just $5/month or $55/year. Visit our website to learn more.

    • 44 min
    Legion: A Superhero Show for Non-Believer with Tommy Metz III

    Legion: A Superhero Show for Non-Believer with Tommy Metz III

    What does it mean to be a nerd today? That's the question explored in the premiere episode of Mandy Kaplan's new show, "Make Me A Nerd.” To help out, she’s joined by filmmaker and frequent collaborator Tommy Metz III who brings something he nerds all over: Marvel’s Legion on FX.
    First, it’s memory time. They reminisce about their own nerdy interests growing up, from Mandy’s childhood crush on Batman's sidekick Robin, to Metz's love of horror comics over traditional superhero fare. They examine how properties like The Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things have brought elements of geek culture to the mainstream.
    Despite this mainstreaming, Tom’s pronouns are “outsider” when it comes to hugely popular franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To quantify his nerd factor, Mandy has him take a Buzzfeed quiz on the topic. Questions range from his Harry Potter bona fides to his video gaming prowess. In the end, Metz scores an impressive 86% on the nerd scale, which will be immediately documented in his permanent record.
    The conversation then turns to homework: Legion, based on the Marvel character. While normally averse to superhero adaptations, Tom is obsessed with it, which of course makes it the perfect fodder for helping Mandy on her own nerd journey.

    Watch Legion on FX/Hulu

    ---Learn more about supporting this podcast by becoming a member. It's just $5/month or $55/year. Visit our website to learn more.

    • 55 min
    A Trailer... about all the things I don't understand yet.

    A Trailer... about all the things I don't understand yet.

    Make Me a Nerd is a podcast for full-blown nerds and those who are nerd-curious. Its host, Mandy Kaplan, is a mainstream middle-aged mom who loves all things Football, Taylor Swift, and Housewives. Each week, she will be introduced to some form of nerdery way outside her comfort zone. By who, you ask? (we know it's whom, that was a "nerd test," and you passed it) A full-blown sci-fi/D&D/Ren Fair-loving geek guest determined to expand her horizons and recruit her to nerd-dom. You know what they say: "May the forest be with you"!

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

Punchy333 ,

Delightful!

Mandy’s journey into nerd-dom is hilarious but also informative! Check it out!

Bizzy writes reviews ,

Mandy is a queen!

Highly entertaining!!!!

SBG228 ,

Love the humor

Highly recommend! Witty, smart, engrossing. I love her voice and the topics! Looking forward to hearing new episodes!

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