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What the Kids Were Watching
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What the Kids Were Watching

Author: Sarah A. Ruiz and Rafael A. Ruiz

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Welcome to What the Kids Were Watching, a podcast dedicated to exploring the weird, wonderful, and terrible babysitter movies of Sarah and Rafael’s youth. In this podcast series, your hosts will revisit the movies they watched on repeat during their younger years, played in perpetuity thanks to their VCRs and HBO. Each episode includes a frank discussion about why the hosts loved the movie as kids, what they think upon revisiting the movie, and whether or not they’d recommend rewatching it. Not quite a gushing nostalgia-fest and not quite a harsh critical take-down, What the Kids Were Watching is funny, informative, and always honest.
23 Episodes
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To paraphrase Nelson Wright's first line in the movie, today is a good day to talk about "Flatliners." This beautiful and bizarre 1990 film directed by Joel Schumacher captivated Sarah and Raf as young adults, and they have a lot to say about it. But does it hold up like the museum's giant sculptures...or more like the leaking ceiling?Stylish and moody, "Flatliners" is the story of five ridiculously good-looking medical students who take turns stopping their hearts to experience the afterlife...
Just in time for the 35th anniversary of "Beetlejuice," the second episode of Season 3 is here!Released on March 30, 1988 (yes, it's technically a spring movie), "Beetlejuice" introduced the world to "the ghost with the most." Raf remembers this film really fondly, while Sarah was a little more apprehensive about it in her early years. But these days, both love revisiting it regularly, especially since it gives them the chance to talk about Tim Burton's overall career trajectory and goth repr...
Welcome back to the couch! Season 3 of "What the Kids Were Watching" is here, and Sarah and Raf are getting into the holiday spirit with the 1988 film "Scrooged."As with some of the previous films discussed on this podcast, "Scrooged" -- an 80s retelling of "A Christmas Carol" starring Bill Murray -- has proven a bit divisive for our hosts. Raf has wanted to talk about this movie since the podcast launched, while Sarah was resistant. "I didn't want to have to face how I just didn't love...
In the final part of a two-part podcast episode, film historian and author Eric Lichtenfeld ("Action Speaks Louder") joins Sarah and Raf for the second half of their conversation about the 1988 action film and Christmas classic "Die Hard."This time, the group dives even deeper into the important tropes and meaning found in the beloved film: what the music is really saying; how John McClane is pride and Hans Gruber is vanity; and the sheer delight of stealing a candy bar from the Nakatomi Corp...
For years, people have argued about whether or not the 1988 action masterpiece "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie. Sarah and Raf are not here to argue about that. They're here to close out Season 2 with an incredible guest star who provides in-depth insight into the film's production and ongoing influence -- someone who literally wrote the book on "Die Hard." (Well, he wrote the Library of Congress essay that accompanied the movie's induction into the National Film Registry.)Film historian and a...
The Addams Family: They're creepy, they're kooky, and now they're an essential part of Thanksgiving thanks to the 1991 film "The Addams Family" and especially the 1993 sequel "Addams Family Values." These goth-tastic films, both of which were released during the holiday season, were a much-needed seasonal respite from the season's treacly offerings when our hosts were growing up. "It was teenage catnip," says Raf. "Hot Topic: The Movie," adds Sarah.Decades after their releases, the Addams Fam...
Do you like strong female protagonists, Dire Straits songs, dope sweaters, and robots who take everything literally? Then you -- like our podcast hosts (and guest star!) -- probably loved the 1986 film "SpaceCamp." Dubbed "baby's first 'Apollo 13'" by Raf, this charming film follows a group of teens and their rejected-astronaut-turned-reluctant-leader Kate Capshaw as they accidentally blast off into space on the world's most expensive test drive.The film did poorly at the box office, as it la...
What do you get when you combine a life-destroying journey across space and time with the fun-filled tale of a wise-cracking kid and his wacky robot friend? The answer: Disney's "Flight of the Navigator" (1986), a strange but mostly loveable combination of eerie sci-fi film and "a boy and his dog" story (except that the dog's a robot).Fun is threaded throughout this film, starting with the opening scene of a dog frisbee-catching contest that keeps teasing the audience with faux spaceship sigh...
In many ways, "Demolition Man" is a perfect "What the Kids Were Watching" movie: Sarah saw it way too often as a child; revisiting it reveals a deeply flawed film; and Raf knows a whole lot of facts about it. Nearly thirty years after its release, this 1993 action film continues to raise questions. Is the movie really "Brave New World" fanfic? What would you do if Taco Bell was the only restaurant left? And -- most importantly -- why the three seashells?Fortunately, the podcast hosts are will...
Like a fine merlot and a cheeseburger, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989) and "Encino Man" (1992) make a surprisingly good pairing for a podcast double feature. Both films feature characters from the past suddenly introduced to the present as hilarity ensues. Both introduce male friendships that are warm and supportive. And, like most comedies of the time, both feature scenes in malls.However, "Encino Man" remains burdened by something that "Bill and Ted" is refreshingly devoid of: a...
It's time to turn in your receipts for the petty cash and declare "Dishes are done, man," because the hosts (and a special guest star!) are here for the cult classic "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead." This 1991 film may have faltered at the box office, but it found a dedicated fan base through cable and VHS rentals, encouraging a generation of Gen X kids and older Millennials to yell "I'm right on top of that, Rose!" at work.While Raf doesn't count the movie among his favorites, two of i...
Pop quiz, hot shot: What deliriously fun, fast-paced film released in the summer of 1994 made Keanu Reeves an action star? The answer, of course, is "Speed." (Or as Homer Simpson called it, "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down.") The movie also served as the directorial debut of "Die Hard" cinematographer Jan de Bont. Plus, it made the world fall in love with Sandra Bullock, and it inspired Sarah's love of retro cat-eye glasses."Speed" is one of those movies that's so improbable and over-the-top,...
Get your air horn ready, because Season 2 of What the Kids Were Watching is finally here! Sarah and Raf are back on the couch, ready to discuss the films they watched ad nauseam as kids -- and, as usual, they have a lot to say about them.But the inaugural episode of the second season is more animated than usual, as the hosts find themselves drawn to talking about cartoons for the first time in the podcast. They tackle three animated features that were created to sell lines of toys: "The Care ...
In the Season 1 finale of What the Kids Were Watching, the hosts finally find a dino-sore spot: a film they vehemently disagree on. The 1993 dinosaur action/adventure/thriller/total special effects game-changer "Jurassic Park" had so much influence on Sarah that she talks at 1.5 speed for most of the podcast. Raf, meanwhile, is ready to roar with critiques and complaints about the movie.But as the hosts discover, there's a lot to love AND dislike about the original "Jurassic Park." For exampl...
"This movie is basically Merrie Melodies meets 'Chinatown.'" So begins Sarah and Raf's analysis of the groundbreaking live-action-meets-animation film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." This 1988 movie enchanted both of our hosts when they were young, driving them to learn as much as they could about its production. And what a production it was! From lawyers fighting over Donald and Daffy getting an equal number of frames per second to robots that had to move like animated penguin waiters, this film ...
The 1994 comic book film "The Crow" has a famous and heartbreaking history. Its star Brandon Lee — son of Bruce Lee — was tragically killed in an on-set accident. Because of this, the film was edited down with much of its expository material removed, and the result was a tight and haunting story with an iconic lead performance. Sarah and Raf note that it's hard to watch Heath Ledger's Joker in "The Dark Knight" and not think of Lee's Eric Draven.That doesn't mean "The Crow" is a perfect film....
The late aughts had “Twilight,” but in the early 90s, vampire fans were sinking their teeth into “Interview with the Vampire” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” — and today, these two movies are the subject of a bloody good podcast episode. Raf explains how these films were groundbreaking in many ways, from portraying vampires as creatures worthy of sympathy to featuring a gay subtext that was rarely seen in the era's big-budget films. Sarah admits she hasn't seen these movies as many times as Raf h...
The legacy of the supposedly family-friendly comedy "Short Circuit" is a frustrating one; and in this podcast episode, Sarah and Raf try to parse out what's salvageable from the 1986 film and what's not."Short Circuit" is the story of a robot/mobile nuclear weapon that gets struck by lightning and, Pinocchio-like, goes on a series of wacky adventures to become alive. Or, as Sarah sums it up: "This whole movie is like one big commercial for a surge protector." In addition to the robot Johnny F...
For Sarah and Raf, a certain 1989 marketing juggernaut changed the way they saw movies forever...and thinking about it drives them both a bit batty.In this podcast double feature, the hosts tackle Tim Burton's toxic-candy-colored "Batman" (1989) and the much-maligned "Batman Returns" (1992). Raf discusses how "Batman" laid the groundwork for modern-day comic book movies and ushered in the era of affordable VHS tapes. Sarah, meanwhile, notes that the film's kid-focused marketing and gritty emb...
It takes a very special movie to get someone to start a podcast. For Sarah, that movie — the movie that launched the idea of What the Kids Were Watching — is the 1986 Eddie Murphy comedy "The Golden Child." Like many people their age, Sarah and Raf saw "The Golden Child" multiple times before the age of 11. HBO had it on constant rotation, Eddie Murphy was hilarious, and the film had fart jokes. What's not to love?Well...quite a lot, actually. Revisiting "The Golden Child" over three decades ...
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