Season 2 Finale: Who Was The Worst Professor At Hogwarts?
It's the last episode of Skillset’s Season Two, our masterclass on high school movies. But I can’t throw my graduation cap before I get to talk about three of my all-time favorite flicks. First up, Bring it On introduced us to the crazy world of high school competitive cheerleading. But it turns out some of those insane moves -- okay, a lot of them -- aren’t technically legal. So how real is Bring it On ? We ask Susie Knoblauch of the National Federation of State High School Associations who oversees cheer battles to separate the truth from the tinsel. Then, we talk about the most famous prom dress in movie history. Hint: It’s pink. It’s covered in blood. It’s Carrie’s, and costume designer Luis Sequera had the tough job of updating the iconic gown when Hollywood remade Carrie 37 years after the original. That’s several lifetimes in teenage trends. And finally, let’s go to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts where the class subjects are fiction, but the teaching styles are all too real. There’s good teachers and bad teachers, boring classes and classes that should be interesting but somehow still wind up boring because the teacher doesn’t care. Dr. Melissa Johnson of Virginia Commonwealth University studied their teaching styles and discovered who is the worst teacher at Hogwarts -- and it isn't because they tried to kill their students. Skillset will be back in early spring with our third season and a new theme. We’ll be traveling around the world in eight episodes, so subscribe to the show on your favorite podcatcher and join us for a new adventure and a new batch of experts.
William Shakespeare , Class Of So Freakin’ Baked
This week, Skillset skips across time from Ye Olde England to modern day stoners to ancient beasts. First up, William Shakespeare stopped going to school when he was 13, but his plays make great high school movies -- especially if they star Julia Stiles. Dr Gitanjali Shahani, a professor of English at San Francisco State University, explains the lasting power of 400-year-old blockbusters. Here's another Shakespeare fun fact: Last year, a research team found traces of weed and cocaine on Shakespeare’s pipes. The Bard was baked? Sounds like the plot of a teen movie, like the stoner comedy High School where a kid feeds his entire class pot brownies to duck out of a drug test. That sounds extreme, but according to Emily Feinstein of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 90% of teens say their classmates smoke, drink or use drugs during the school day. That stat is staggering, so we called up Emily to learn more. And if after all that, you think you’re seeing things, you’re not alone. Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, the star of one of my all-time favorite teen movies, One Crazy Summer , has spent years on a mission to find Bigfoot. Is he for real? Is Bigfoot for real? Let’s ask on this week’s episode of Skillset.
Don't You Forget About John Hughes
Pay attention, class. This week Skillset salutes to John Hughes, the prom king of the high school movie. First up, step into the office of high school principal Sean Gaillard to ask if that class-skipping punk Ferris is really the hero of Ferris Bueller. Then, we hand the microphone to guitarist Sam Cannariato of the cover band Molly and the Ringwalds to talk about how John Hughes' soundtracks became eternal hits. And finally: legend has it that John Hughes' original version of The Breakfast Club was two-and-half hours. Audiences have never seen a full hour of lost footage, including a whole new character. Assistant editor Nancy Frazen was there -- and we ask her what got cut out. So raise a fist and let's get marching on this week’s episode of Skillset.
The Risky Business of Rebellion
Welcome to another episode of Skillset – the podcast where every guest is an expert, and every week they teach you and me a new way to look at the movies. Today is dedicated to the rebels, the shit-stirrers, the trouble-makers whose aggro energy we’re going to need for the next four years. This isn’t a time for obedience. Let’s start with the first ever revolutionary teen: James Dean, who exploded into pop culture with 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause , released one month after he died in a car accident. He never got to see himself a star, but he made a big impression in Hollywood and on David Loehr, who moved to James Dean's hometown of Fairmont, Indiana to open the James Dean Gallery where he runs the annual costume contest. Then let's hang out with one of today’s major teenagers, actress Hailee Steinfeld, star of the new film The Edge of Seventeen in which she plays a junior named Nadine who breaks every rule. And finally, let's take off our pants and talk about Risky Business , the movie about a high school senior who opens a brothel in his parents home and turned Tom Cruise into a legend. But we’re not talking about his underwear. We’re going to be talking about his Ray Ban sunglasses and the power of one cool kid to rescue a failing 50-year-old company. So let's flip up our shirt collar and get going on this week’s episode of Skillset.
Mark Duplass And Lindsay Lucas Bartlett
Open your heart to Skillset, the podcast where every guest is an expert, and every week they teach you and me a new way to look at the movies. This week's episode is dedicated to two movies about all-consuming high school love. First up, let’s analyze the most wicked game in Winona Ryder and Christian Slater’s Heathers. It’s a cruel little sport called croquet, and like the Heathers, actress and comedian Lindsay Lucas Bartlett played it competitively in high school, no holds barred. It turns out croquet is the true test of a person’s morality where nice people risk finishing last. And then, writer-director-Hollywood renaissance man Mark Duplass comes into the studio to open up about the high school girlfriend he swore he was going to marry, back when he was a kid in New Orleans shooting movies with his older brother Jay. Mark was a huge romantic, the type who would have held a boombox over his head. In fact, he still might -- let's find out on this week’s episode of Skillset.