The Pop Culture Preservation Society is a podcast dedicated to preserving and elevating the unsung pop culture nuggets of the classic Gen X childhood. Were you there when Marcia broke her nose? Tiger Beat delivered the news? And John Travolta was stuck in that plastic bubble? Then this is the podcast for you!
Join enthusiastic fangirls Carolyn, Kristin and Michelle — die-hard members of the Big Wheel Generation — as we discuss and dissect the crushes, clothes, books, movies, songs, tv and toys that shaped our youth. We’ll also chat about the role nostalgia plays in our lives and how recalling these positive memories increases our sense of connectedness and well-being. And really, isn’t that something we could all use a little more of right now?
We hope you’ll join us as we wrap ourselves in the comfort of many of the pop culture moments that defined us when we were younger … and still bring us joy all these years later.
Nanu nanu, keep on truckin', and may the force be with you all!
Happy 3 Years, Pop Culture Preservation Society!
It's our "Podcastiversary" and we're celebrating by bringing you an encore of our 100th episode retrospective, where we reminisce about where (and how) we started and how far we've come! We're also bringing you an ALL NEW opening conversation where we chat about all that's happened in the past 48 episodes (spoiler-alert: it's a LOT!). Grab a glass of Asti Spumante and join us in toasting to all the incredible moments of the past three years!
Turkeys on TV: Take Two
Join the PCPS as they celebrate their favorite thing about Thanksgiving -- TV!
Today's encore of episode 92, “Turkeys on TV,” takes a deep dive into three of our favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes as well as a peek into our 1970s classroom festivities. (Which one of us puked up Thanksgiving dinner lunch in the library?)
We’re also giving you a brand new intro conversation where we all agree on WHO we are most thankful for (do you have a mirror handy??) as well as paying tribute to Matthew Perry and all the wonderful memories he left us with. Thankful for our friends, indeed.
Dear Nina: The Childhood Friendships That Shaped Us
Have you ever stopped to acknowledge the profound impact of your childhood friendships, even the most casual and fleeting ones, on your adult identity? This week's episode is a re-share of Kristin's interview with Dear Nina: Conversations About Friendship; a discussion that shows how nostalgia for our childhoods is helpful when discovering who we are today. Carolyn and Michelle help introduce the episode with their own discoveries, too -- friends who mirrored their complicated family situations, friends who showed them what wealth really looks like -- we all have people from our pasts who helped us learn about ourselves.
Here's what Dear Nina has to say about this episode: Walk down memory lane with Kristin Nilsen, a middle-grade fiction writer and co-host of The Pop Culture Preservation Society Podcast, as we scrutinize our early social interactions and their lasting influence. We acknowledge the importance of these friendships, even those that were temporary, and appreciate the roles they played in shaping us. We also take a quick nostalgic dive into the central friendship themes in our favorite childhood books from Charlotte’s Web to The Secret Garden to The Babysitter’s Club series and the Sweet Valley High series. Special shoutout to Braeside Elementary School and the many classmates who made my childhood so special."
Many thanks to Dear Nina for the opportunity, the conversation, and for the friendship!
Dirty Dancing: Chemistry, Classism, Controversy…and The Time of Our Lives
Once again the PCPS is holding a college-level course on an iconic movie from our youth: this time it’s the 1987 feel-good, forbidden-love, hip-swivelin’ classic Dirty Dancing. But as you’ll hear in this episode, Dirty Dancing was so much more than a “dance movie.” In true PCPS fashion we’re dissecting everything from the ironic chemistry of the co-stars to the very serious, critical issues the movie explores like classism and the controversial abortion storyline. We’re also celebrating the soundtrack and giving love to all those indelible songs that take you right back to Kellermans! Lace up those Capezios and join us for this in-depth discussion of Dirty Dancing!
That Time There Was a Poltergeist on The Waltons
In today's episode we'll be saving an obscure episode of The Waltons called the Changeling in which the littlest sister, Elizabeth, is haunted by a Poltergeist --YEARS before the movie Poltergeist hit theaters. No one in the entire world seems to remember this oh-so-70s episode except Kristin who hasn't stopped thinking about it since 1978 -- and that includes not just Carolyn and Michelle but also Kami Cotler, the actress who played Elizabeth Walton in the episode! So we made Kami rewatch the episode and join us on the podcast for a conversation about this very un-Waltons-style episode of the Waltons that forever linked puberty and poltergeists in Kristin's pre-pubescent mind. Kami spills the tea on all the ghosty shenanigans (hint: watch Bewitched for tips) and how it felt to go through puberty on Waltons Mountain with millions of viewers tuning in each week. We think you'll love Kami as much as you loved Elizabeth -- and The Waltons might be your newest Halloween ritual! You're welcome!
Pop Culture Therapy: Love Loss and Little House on the Prairie
In today's episode, we'll be celebrating the discovery that our childhood memories might be just what the doctor ordered, in a discussion of how nostalgia has helped so many of our listeners through difficult times. When we started this podcast several years ago, our goal was not a serious one. First and foremost, we wanted to entertain. And we wanted to do that by bringing funny, unexpected references to things that people once held dear -- like romper stompers, and Dr. Shrinker and the 64 box of Crayola crayons with the sharpener in the back. But then something surprising happened -- almost immediately we started getting emails and DMs from people who shared with us that they had found us at a very important time. It might have been illness or heartbreak or job insecurity. And often, because we are of a certain age, it was that last kid leaving the nest or grieving the loss of a parent. And somehow these discussions of Schoolhouse Rock and Battle of the Network Stars gave us the superhuman strength to carry on. We'll delve into the science behind this phenomenon with Jennifer Cramer-Miller, author of the book Incurable Optimist: Living With Illness and Chronic Hope and give you all a peek into our Pop Culture Therapy Toolboxes -- aka the music, tv shows and other pop culture remedies we turn to when we need to soothe our ragged souls.
Visit Jennifer Cramer-Miller’s website
Follow Jennifer on Instagram and Facebook
Purchase Incurable Optimist: Living With Illness and Chronic Hope on Amazon or Bookshop.org
Can’t Stop Listening
I still sing the Great Space Coaster theme song. Often. I’m glad you do too. This podcast is an instant dose of sunshine when I need it and it’s so inspiring that you three are self-taught, self-run, living and loving a new dream in your 50s! Can’t wait to hear more.
Where Have You Been All of My Life???
I just found this podcast and I am in love. I am also part of the Big Wheel Generation and listening to your stories is so completely and validating. I am only a few episodes in but I can’t wait to binge them all. 5 stars—No Notes.
Delightful balm to the Gen X soul.
I’m getting older (though I hate to say it) and I need a break from the news sometimes! This podcast is my go-to relaxation pod for warm and fuzzy feelings to chase away the blues. Thank you PCPS for all your hard work! It is appreciated!