Fireside Friends is a podcast that discusses various forms of media and how they reflect our lives. Hosts Ryan, Allen, and Kaity get together every month to talk about a piece of media that interests them, whether it's a film, short story, comic book, or video game.
Regardless of what they are talking about, Fireside Friends is a podcast that welcomes thoughtful discussion and fun times. Cuddle up, grab a hot beverage, and enjoy.
This month, the Fireside Friends crew talks Full Metal Alchemist and recounts concert horror stories before discussing the 1979 film The Warriors for their shared experience!
This month, the Fireside Friends are back on their bullshit with a discussion of the anime Sanrio Boys. How cute is the anime? Does it come off as a cynical marketing scheme? Do the boys kiss? The answer to all of these questions (and more!) can be found in our discussion. Also in this episode, we ask ourselves: What media did we used to be ashamed of liking? What did we dismiss at an early age, and what was met with mockery from our peers?
And finally, the most important question: What’s with the Kidz Bop cover of All The Small Things?
This month, the Fireside Friends crew gathers in a circle around the fire for discussions about how technology fits into our lives. In our first segment, Jen Unkle joins us as we discuss navigating social media and how to manage time in our capitalist hellscape. In our second segment, we discuss The Circle! We talk about how it tackles topics of social media addiction, the oversharing of personal information online, and the growing surveillance state. To top things off, we dig into select sections of the novel that The Circle is based on, bringing everything full circle and embarrassing author Dave Eggers in the process.
CW: We discuss Doki Doki Literature Club, which (poorly) handles themes of anxiety, self-harm, and suicide. We also touch on the transphobia present within the game’s fanbase.
Fireside Friends returns with the original crew and a new format! In our first segment, we talk about anime, various visual novels, and recount our experiences with attending gaming and science fiction conventions. In our second segment, we discuss Doki Doki Literature Club! We focus on the way the game approaches the topic of mental health, the shattering of the game’s fourth wall, and its toxic community
Ryan and Allen take one final look back at 2017 and discuss their favorite media discussed on and off the podcast, their biggest disappointments, and their biggest surprises before looking ahead to what they’re excited for in the New Year.
Next month’s shared experience is Doki Doki Literature Club!
Joel Bocko joins us to discuss Lost Highway. We talk about how the film uses its two protagonists to explore themes of exploitation by the hands of abusive men. We also discuss David Lynch’s use of VHS horror, as well as question his depictions of absurd house parties. Finally, we examine the film in the context of Lynch’s entire filmography.
In this recently recovered episode of Fireside Friends, Shannon Strucci joins Ryan, Allen, and Jen to talk about the 2007 film [REC]. We discuss the film’s use of its small budget, well-considered characters, and the found footage format. We mention the film’s Hollywood remake, Quarantine, as well as [REC]: Boat Edition; we end the cast with a discussion of some of our favorite (but mostly our least favorite) horror movies and franchises.
Ryan, Allen, and Jen discuss Bound! We talk about the film’s portrayal of its queer relationship, the ways in which the film succeeds at building tension, and where it stands among the rest of the Wachowski films. We also address the heated Car/Truck debate. Are trucks considered to be a type of car? (No.) Is language needlessly complicated? (Maybe.)
Join Allen and Ryan as they commit crimes* and discuss the 1984 film, Repo Man! We talk about the film’s outrageous antics, and its themes surrounding white suburban punks and radiation research. We also reflect on Harry Dean Stanton’s vast career and discuss some of his most memorable roles.
*No actual crimes were committed in the making of this podcast
John Stull joins us to read and interpret lyrics from Father John Misty’s latest album, “Pure Comedy.” Is this a good album? Does it have a solid political message? Are the lyrics evocative? The answer to all of these questions, of course, is no. However, we hope you enjoy listening to us highlight the album’s most embarrassing material, as well as the in-depth analysis from Genius.com’s users. Hang on to that centrist feeling, dear listeners, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Persona Non Grata is a mini-podcast series that follows Allen and Ryan as they make their way through Persona 5. This episode, Jennifer Unkle frees us from having to play any more of this game by guiding us through the remaining plot points. Hear us react to the game’s most ridiculous plot developments and find out which ones we accurately predicted!
M joins us to discuss Twin Peaks: The Return! We talk about our favorite moments of the season, how much the new show fits in with the original series and Fire Walk With Me, and ruminate on how Twin Peaks will always be a show filled with mystery. Who is the dreamer?
Jennifer Unkle joins us to discuss Don’t Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain’t Your Story by Christine Love! We talk about the issue of privacy in the digital age, the guilt of voyeurism in the context of visual novels, and the validation that comes with positive depictions of queer relationships in games.
Fireside Friends has found a new home at Abnormal Mapping!
What does this mean for the podcast going forward? Ryan and Allen walks you through the details.
Thanks much to all of the people who have supported us up to this point. Your support and generosity means the world to us, and we wouldn’t have made it this far without your help.