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Parents Just Don't Understand
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Parents Just Don't Understand

Author: Kurt & Denise

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A half-serious podcast about children's media, parenting, and the nature of childhood. We're a couple of parents who analyze and discuss books, TV shows, movies, games, and other media for kids, both past and present. Hosted by Denise and Kurt Schiller.
28 Episodes
We're joined by Malcolm ( to journey through a slew of kids Thanksgiving specials, from 1972's A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to (much better) modern specials from Hey Arnold! and Craig of the Creek. Malcolm on Twitter:
Blippi Is A Worker

Blippi Is A Worker


Kurt and Chris discuss crappy children's YouTube channels, faceless content mills, the evils of advertising, and Baby Shark. Plus, we unmask a well known children's YouTube host.
Over the Garden Wall

Over the Garden Wall


We're talking Halloween, spooky stuff, and the 2014 gothic folk adventure Over the Garden Wall with returning guest and new cohost Chris Woodward. Truly, the Grinch is gonna getcha. Check out Kurt's new digital magazine Blood Knife at and
Hey folks, we're back! And we're joined by Brett Payne of Street Fight Radio to talk about the 1990 anti-drug mega-crossover event Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. We also discuss leftist parenting, DARE, beautiful shroom experiences, Reagan-era deregulation, and — shockingly — a little-known U.S. senator from Delaware. Listen to Street Fight: Follow Brett on Twitter:
We're joined by writer and journalist Andray Domise to talk about depictions of cops in kids cartoons and their role in normalizing police violence against black, indigenous, and other marginalized communities. We also discuss parenting in times of social and political change, the late-80s sci-fi cartoon COPS, the sci-fi western Marshall BraveStarr, and anti-drug PSAs. Andray on Twitter: Andray's writing at Maclean's:
Kurt & Denise went on This Might Be A Podcast to talk about the They Might Be Giants song "I Am A Paleontologist!", parenting, dinosaurs, science, and a whole bunch of other stuff. This is a great podcast and you should check them out!
After recording our Hobbit episode, Chris was kind enough to stick around to share his perspective on a topic a lot of parents are grappling with as a result of the COVID-19 crisis: talking to kids about illness, health, and medical care.
We're joined by fellow parent and friend of the show Chris Woodward to discuss J.R.R. Tolkien's 1937 children's fantasy classic The Hobbit, as well as the 1977 animated version from Rankin-Bass.
Podcaster and childcare worker Ben Udashen of the Unpopular Front podcast returns to talk about parenting and childcare during a pandemic, the political economy of childrearing and household labor, universal childcare, and the swift changes in parenting norms we're seeing as a result of COVID-19. Ben's Twitter: Unpopular Front: "The Coronavirus is a Disaster for Feminism," Atlantic: "Red Diaper Babies," Jacobin:
This week, we're joined by Jack Allison of JackAM and Struggle Session to answer the question: "When's the right time to talk to YOUR kids about The Force?" We discuss the Star Wars Forces of Destiny children's web series, why and how kids have connected with Star Wars throughout the years, and what they can (and can't) learn from it. Jack on Twitter: JackAM: Struggle Session:
This week we're joined by podcaster & music teacher Greg Simpson of This Might Be A Podcast to discuss a unique band that's just as popular with small children as with adults: They Might Be Giants! We also discussed music education, curating the soundtrack of a childhood, what makes for good children's music, and why terrorizing babies with loud sounds is actually very smart and good. This Might Be A Podcast on Patreon: TMBaP on Twitter:
This week, we're joined by Podside Pete of the sci-fi & fantasy podcast Podside Picnic to explore a throwback to the golden age of cartoons: Jonny Quest! We explore the show and its latter day descendants (The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest & The Venture Bros, as well as the history of boy science adventures, pulp literature, racism and xenophobia, the Cold War, sci-fi adventures at the End of History, and a whole dang slew of other things. Listen to Podside Picnic: Podside Picnic on Twitter: Podside Pete on Twitter:
Rise of the Gamer Dads

Rise of the Gamer Dads


This week we've got one from the archives! In an ep that was previously lost to the mists of time, Kurt sits down with James the Anonymous Gamer Dad to talk about video games from childhood to parenthood. We discuss managing screen time, micro transactions, what kids can learn from games, and whether or not James's kids are actually any good at Fortnite. THE ANSWER MAY SURPRISE YOU! For more family gaming content, check out Kurt's guest spot on the Sleazoids film podcast to talk about TRON and THE LAST STARFIGHTER:
Frozen & Frozen 2

Frozen & Frozen 2


Denise and Kurt take on Disney's modern cultural juggernaut: Frozen and Frozen 2. We discuss how to smash the patriarchy, why eco-terrorism is cool and good, conservative media having a meltdown about cartoons, and the full range of Frozen tie-ins and spin-offs. We also spend a few minutes catching up about what's been on the TV in the Schiller household. Follow us on Twitter: Listen to We Need to Talk About Kevin: Intro by Matt Lilienfeld ( Outro:
We're joined by Justin Roczniak, better known as urban planning and Cities: Skylines aficionado donoteat01, to discuss the labor politics and mass transit infrastructure of Thomas the Tank Engine. We dig into Sir Topham Hatt's troubling history of strike-breaking, Sodor's surprisingly durable residential housing, and the nature of locomotive sentience and being. ALSO: British Rail privatization, locomotives of the Great Leap Forward, *tons* of train info and, as a special bonus for our Philly native listeners, some complaints about SEPTA. donoteat01 on YouTube: Justin's Twitter: Well There's Your Problem: Philadelphia Transit Rider's Union: Intro by Matt Lilienfeld ( Outro:
Trevor and Jordan of Trevor Talks Titans stop by to talk about Cartoon Network's DC Superhero Girls, a new kids cartoon from Lauren Faust (of My Little Pony fame). We discuss representation in media, compare and contrast superhero shows, and explain why Poison Ivy's eco-terrorism is totally cool, actually. And check out our sick new theme from Matt Lilienfeld (@IntellectualDa8)! Trevor on Twitter: Jordan on Twitter: We Need to Talk About Kevin: Fun Time Calls / Trevor Talks Titans: Intro by Matt Lilienfeld ( Outro: "Inspired" Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
We're joined by Leslie Lee III (@leslieleeiii), Batman scholar and host of the leftist pop-culture podcast Struggle Session, to talk about Batman: The Animated Series. We explore the show's unique style and legacy, how it connected with both kids and adults, and how it compares to other superhero adaptations past and present. For more Batman content, check out Struggle Session's Patreon for a recent discussion of The Dark Knight Returns with Kurt of PJDU and Elana Levin of the comics podcast Graphic Policy. Leslie's Twitter - Struggle Session
This week we're joined by Emma Bowers (@hyenasandgin), anime correspondent for the leftist pop-culture podcast Struggle Session, to talk about Hayao Miyazaki's all-time classics My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. We also discuss what it was like being an anime fan in the VHS era, working with children, and reveal Emma's anime origin story. Emma's Twitter – Struggle Session –
SPOILERS! You've been warned. Here's some bonus discussion with Ben & Karlo from our His Dark Materials episode where we delved into the overall plot of the books, what it was like growing up in the shadow of the Christian Evangelical movement and the rise of New Atheism, and SLAYERRRRRRR. (Audio got a bit spotty at times, sorry about that.)
We're joined by podcaster Ben Udashen and fantasy author Karlo Yeager Rodriguez to discuss the massively popular His Dark Materials series, which uses YA fantasy to explore weighty topics like growing up, authority, the nature of belief, and magical talking animals. We also offer up our thoughts on the first two episodes of HBO's new TV adaptation, and possibly uncover a secret anti-Catholic agenda at Borders books. Ben's Twitter - Unpopular Front podcast - Karlo's Twitter - "This Is Not My Adventure" at Uncanny Magazine -
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