186 episodes

After years of wide-eyed blogging about the surreal 1980s perfection of Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High book series (and the surprising psychodrama that lurks below the town's perfectly-tanned surface), host Marissa Flaxbart is now forcing people to read the series with her.

But beyond its obsession with the ubiquitous-yet-obscure book series, SWEET VALLEY DIARIES is a podcast about nostalgia — '80s nostalgia in particular — and the ways this nostalgia can (spectacularly, hilariously) fail us. It's a riotous cultural conversation about which parts of the past we long for and which ones we want to leave behind for good. It's about friendship, honesty, and learning to speak your truth in the face of a boyfriend-stealing cheerleader or an evil triplet. It's all the life lessons you could ever hope to learn from two size-6, blonde-haired, aqua-eyed, identical 16-year-old twins. Strap in.

Sweet Valley Diaries Marissa Flaxbart

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 83 Ratings

After years of wide-eyed blogging about the surreal 1980s perfection of Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High book series (and the surprising psychodrama that lurks below the town's perfectly-tanned surface), host Marissa Flaxbart is now forcing people to read the series with her.

But beyond its obsession with the ubiquitous-yet-obscure book series, SWEET VALLEY DIARIES is a podcast about nostalgia — '80s nostalgia in particular — and the ways this nostalgia can (spectacularly, hilariously) fail us. It's a riotous cultural conversation about which parts of the past we long for and which ones we want to leave behind for good. It's about friendship, honesty, and learning to speak your truth in the face of a boyfriend-stealing cheerleader or an evil triplet. It's all the life lessons you could ever hope to learn from two size-6, blonde-haired, aqua-eyed, identical 16-year-old twins. Strap in.

    Extra Drama #82: A Legend of Readin'

    Extra Drama #82: A Legend of Readin'

    A correction email about ROSA'S LIE and truly the most epically hyperbolic Reader of the Month winner to date!


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    • 9 min
    Book #82: KIDNAPPED BY THE CULT!

    Book #82: KIDNAPPED BY THE CULT!

    When there's an exclamation point in the name of the book, you know it's going to be a good one. But will KIDNAPPED BY THE CULT! ever deliver on the promise of its title? Find out with filmmaker Sam Wineman as he falls in love with every character in Sweet Valley and Marissa dreams up some new cult-themed merch.


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    • 1 hr 27 min
    Extra Drama #81: Becoming Rosalita

    Extra Drama #81: Becoming Rosalita

    Christian Dueñas is back for more on Rose Jameson/Rosa Jimenez. We also imagine an all-boys Jesuit version of Sweet Valley High and read a particularly purple Reader of the Month letter.


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    • 20 min
    Book #81: ROSA'S LIE

    Book #81: ROSA'S LIE

    Welp, Season 9 is starting with a bang. We've got another racism book on our hands. Thankfully, no one gets hurt this time (though a certain Nana Jimenez would probably be pretty darn hurt if she found out what her granddaughter did with her cake!). Christian Dueñas, host of the brand new music show PRIMER, is our guest and guide through this wild and barely-tolerable tale of Pi Beta Alpha and their newest pledge, Rose Jameson. Also Todd and Bruce are in a fight.


    Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

    • 1 hr 15 min
    SUPER STAR: BRUCE'S STORY w/Jack & Tanner

    SUPER STAR: BRUCE'S STORY w/Jack & Tanner

    Oh-h My-y God, we've got an EXTREMELY special episode at long last! As only the Super Star books can, BRUCE'S STORY brings you a ridiculous Sweet Valley Saga from the POV of one of its richest and least likable characters. Bruce Patman (or, if you prefer, "Pac-Man") sits at the center of this one, looking really dumb but in a way that's unsettlingly...endearing? Maybe? STRANGE BEDFELLOWS co-hosts and past chaos-agent guests Jack Shepherd and Tanner Greenring are back to help us see the real Bruce at last.


    Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Mini Extra-Drama #80: Double the Sweetness

    Mini Extra-Drama #80: Double the Sweetness

    Don't forget about the Reader of the Month letter from book 80!


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    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
83 Ratings

83 Ratings

Jessica or Elizabeth ,

Six stars

This podcast is SUCH a fun listen. Marissa’s tone captures the youthful enthusiasm with which I originally experienced the series. Hurrah for schmaltzy soap-operatic YA, hurrah for 80s/90s nostalgia, hurrah for having a hobby and sharing it hilariously with the world. Thanks and keep going!

Scp114 ,

Fantastic podcast and host

Marissa is the friend we all needed in the 80s/90s to guide us through the Sweet Valley universe. She’s smart, funny, and has become increasingly vulnerable over time in terms of how the gorgeous “perfect size six” twins affected her - and many of us. She does a great job with the recaps and analysis. My only slight critique (?) would be she doesn’t need a guest/co-host every time. Marissa, you got this. I like the banter, especially recently, but am also super happy to just listen to you ruminate on the latest book. Thank you for making this podcast!

coolakhani ,

So fun!

Love the hot takes on SVH! Total nostalgia for the books and the 80s, the fashion, the stories. I loved these books as a kid and an adult so really enjoy the recaps and the analysis.

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