Skip to content

Voice to Voice with Sarah Koenig of ‘Serial’

If I had to pick five words to explain the astounding appeal of the Serial podcast and its beloved host Sarah Koenig, it would be these, uttered by Koenig earlier this season:

“That’s me, calling the Taliban.”

The most popular podcast of all time, Serial dives deep into a dramatic true story each season, untangling clues and cover-ups almost in real time, week by week. Last season, which was downloaded over 100 million times and earned a Peabody Award, was about the murder of a high school girl whose ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted of the crime. This season centers on Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who walked off his Afghanistan base in 2009 and spent five years in a Taliban prison.

Continue reading Voice to Voice with Sarah Koenig of ‘Serial’

Eff, Yeah! Swearing Finally Has Its Day

It’s a damn good time to be a four-letter word in America. Last week, before President Obama revealed his softer side during a speech on gun control, he let his sailory side rip during an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld.

“I curse,” Obama said when asked how he blows off steam. “Bad stuff or stupid stuff is happening constantly every day. So you have to be able to just make fun of a lot of that. … That’s when cursing is really valuable.”

You heard it here first, my friends: The expletive is on the bleeping rise, and I’m not just talking about my 10-year-old bellowing along with “S.O.B.,” the popular new throwback ditty by alternative radio darlings Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. No, I’m talking about widespread institutional clemency on cussing. Continue reading Eff, Yeah! Swearing Finally Has Its Day

Alert! This Won’t Depress You

I know, you guys; it’s bad out there. Just blowfish-ugly in every direction. Terrorism and police brutality. Rising sea levels and E. coli outbreaks. The words “President Trump.”

Here in our dusty California hometown, we can’t get the skies to rain — and yet we’re drowning in bad news. We skulk away from headlines, afraid to learn of yet another calamity. The other day, I attended a holiday parade and quietly wondered if the van on the street corner, the one whimsically arrayed in holiday lights, might just be packed with explosives.

But enough. Refusing to hand over my seasonal smiles to dread, I begged my fantastic friends for some reasons to feel hopeful about humankind — just a few tiny toeholds to help me clamber up on top of the Awful for some much-needed perspective. They delivered, as fantastic friends do. And I’m regifting their 20 gems to you. Happy holidays. Continue reading Alert! This Won’t Depress You

Few Smiles in ‘I Smile Back’

It’s the kind of performance you’re dying to see — but can’t bring yourself to watch.

Comedian Sarah Silverman takes a dramatic-as-a-heart-attack turn as a wealthy suburban mom devastated by anxiety and addiction in the new feel-bad movie of the season, I Smile Back.

The role’s got Oscar nod written all over it: See the actress grind on a teddy bear, sleep with strangers, snort cocaine off a bathroom floor, lie right to the face of her saintly husband — and ache with excruciating, visceral love for her still-perfect children. Silverman is 100 percent committed and compelling as Laney, the Shakespearean-tragedy-of-a-mommy so terrified of being abandoned by the people she loves that she systematically, almost willfully, destroys any reason for them to stay.

Continue reading Few Smiles in ‘I Smile Back’

No One Cares About Your Hymen

Tradition deems that a bride should give a few gifts on her wedding day. She might give jewelry to her bridesmaids and chocolates to her guests. She might bestow a monogrammed hankie on her mother, and will likely present her groom with a little sumpn special back at the hotel ifyouknowwhatimsayin.

But here’s a nuptial-day trinket you don’t often see a bride offer up in 2015: a note from her gynecologist to her father avowing that her hymen is thoroughly, virtuously intact. A Maryland bride did just that recently, posing with her dad, a big ole virginal grin, and a physician-signed “certificate of purity.”

Let’s review: Her wedding. Her gyno. Her father. Her hymen. The situation is wrong on so many levels. Here are just four of them.

Continue reading No One Cares About Your Hymen

My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
The contents of this site are © 2015 Starshine Roshell. All rights reserved. Site design by Comicraft.