Hosted by Lewis and produced by longtime friend Blake Howard, Podcats — much like the film it’s discussing — is far smarter than you’d expect it to be. Each episode is heavily researched and scripted, and wrapped in a sound design that would make Radiolab proud.
Lewis travels to the family home of Archie Comics creator Bob Montana, and interviews his daughter on the enduring legacy of Archie Comics.
She also interviews the writer-director team of Pussycats — Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan — who bring along the star of the film, Rachel Leigh Cook, as a surprise guest. This discussion threads through the series, as the trio discuss the difficult pre-production, the fun on set, and their shared heartbreak at the terrible reception of the film.
And then there’s the music, which features a mix of nineties pop icons and indie darlings; from Beyonce (who was almost cast as the singing voice of Josie), to Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo (who did actually sing for the movie).
And while Lewis treats each interview as a serious work of journalism, she’s constantly happy to interrupt herself to let you know she’s in fan girl heaven, meeting her idols. It’s this tone that makes the series so joyful for fans of the movie.
Like the previously covered podcast Wind of Change, Josie and Podcats globetrotting narrative is a wonderful escape from our current situation, and a loving look back to a movie that has earned its place as a nineties classic.
“Oftentimes things that are considered overly female get overlooked and are not [taken] seriously,” said Lewis.
“And Josie and the Pussycats is pink and it’s glittery or they’re wearing leopard print bikini tops, but the central message of the film is this really biting, smart analysis of consumerism and capitalist culture, and how the things that we consume are fed to us. It is really clever and is something that lives on.”