Older episodes we love

Episode 22: Hell on Earth

The Underworld as myth and metaphor. Derek & Laurel take on different interpretations of classic Underworld tales and try to understand how we work through the same questions and anxieties in today's secular storytelling. (Spoilers for Get Out and Wonder Woman.)

Episode 21: Ulysses

Happy Bloomsday to one and all! Celebrate the legacy of Homer's classic (and its contemporary interpretations) with us as we take our own virtual odyssey through literature and film. The Coen Brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou, an American Odyssey, throws us obstacles both literal and symbolic, and brings us face to face with the myths, magic, and darkness in our nation's past.

Episode 20: Dark and Full of Terrors

Finally, a full-on Game of Thrones discussion from your favorite nerds. An in-depth examination of Stannis Baratheon and his origins in history and myth. The dumpster-est people have the most interesting story arcs.

Episode 19: Don't Break the Rules

Derek & Laurel debate alternate endings to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Spoiler alert: Laurel schools Derek on the rules of the wizarding world. Turns out, storytellers can't just do whatever they want--and the Midnight Myth is here to lay down the law.

Episode 18: Woman Inherits the Earth

Your hosts explore the eternal conflict between man and nature through the lens of the 1980s classic, Jurassic Park. Laurel speaks ill of the dead!

Episode 17: This Is the Girl

If you're easing back into the Black Lodge with Showtime's revival of Twin Peaks like we are, buckle up for a journey through Lynch's masterpiece, Mulholland Drive. Listen to Laurel try to hold it together as Derek critiques one of her favorite shows. So, so, SO many spoilers.

Episode 16: The Memory Game

On the temptations and the dangers of nostalgia goggles. We cite our favorite nostalgia-driven pop culture phenomenon, Stranger Things, as an example of how to do it right. We recommend listening in your childhood basement.

Episode 15: The Holy Grail and Other MacGuffins

An investigation of objects as plot devices, emphasizing the famed cup of Christ as it appears in The Last Crusade and other re-tellings. If you choose to listen to some other podcast, you'll know you chose... poorly.

Episode 14: Cha-Ching

Turns out Hollywood is more interested in making money than taking artistic chances. Huh. We explore the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its relationship to arts patronage dating back to the Middle Ages.

Episode 13: The Clock Is Broken

Ceci n'est pas le Docteur. A case study on Doctor Who, "The Girl in the Fireplace," which laments the passage of time and human mortality. With monsters!

Episode 12: Zoo Me

From the Big Bad Wolf to Bunny cops. How cute fluffy animals help us break down complex concepts like Stranger Danger and racial inequality.

Episode 11: Don't Disconnect Me, Brah

Derek and Laurel talk about the singularity. Enough said. (Contains spoilers for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ex Machina.)

Episode 10: Punk Rock Justice

O.J. Simpson as art. Inspired by the trial of the century (and the FX show), we go back to the trial of the millennium--from Aeschylus' Oresteia. And, for good measure, we throw in some Marvel Civil War!

Episode 9B: Take this Ring

Wait, Tolkein didn't invent that? Follow Derek & Laurel as they pick apart some of the Lord of the Rings' least original motifs (like, idk, the magic ring), but still end up showering endless love upon it.

Episode 9A: Spears Shall Be Shaken

On one of the most important (and least original) franchises in storytelling, JRR Tolkein's Lord of the Rings. Find out why Wizards make great party guests, and why the Dwarves are the Republicans of Middle Earth.

Episode 8: Destiny's Child

On prophecy, fate, and free will. We get down and dirty with the Oracle at Delphi, the witches, and Sibyll Trelawney, tracing the evolution of destiny's role in our favorite stories. Get your tea leaves ready.

Episode 7: There Is No Spoon

On Pax Americana and the hollow echoes of Utopia in 1990's American consumerism. Yikes. We talk about the Matrix, mostly.

Episode 6: Rebel Rebel

On stories of rebellion, resistance, and revolution--from Rogue One to Hamilton. We try to understand why rebels continue to resonate, and how national myths can influence culture for generations.

Episode 5: The Joke

Enter the Clown Prince. We look at one graphic novel, "The Killing Joke" and its lasting impression on Batman and comics everywhere. Some adult content discussed as we question the efficacy and sensitivity of stories of sexual violence.

Episode 4: Rock Bottom

How are the mighty fallen. We check in with Hercules, Maximus from Gladiator, the Count of Monte Cristo, and more at their absolute worst and ask them "why keep going?"

Episode 3: Detected

One of the most popular, most frequently portrayed characters in all literature is examined. We'll deduce the real reason Sherlock Holmes gets (and stays) under our skin.

Episode 2: Hey Princess

On the hero we deserve, Princess Leia and the legacy of the Disney Princess. We'll dip our toes in the murky waters of writing better female characters, but it's okay if you didn't bring your swimmies this week--we'll dive a lot deeper in episodes to come!

Episode 1: Villainy

On the nature of evil, the redemption arc, and the power of perspective. Listen to us try not to talk about Darth Vader for an hour.