The Waves

The “Rainbow Gel Pen” Edition

The Waves on Elizabeth Holmes, Hulu’s PEN15, and Trump’s relationship with women.

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On this week’s episode of The Waves, Hanna, June, and By the Book’s Kristen Meinzer discuss Elizabeth Holmes, the Stanford dropout who charmed Silicon Valley—and just about everyone else—before her company, Theranos, was exposed as a failure and a fraud. The story has spawned a book, a podcast, and soon an HBO documentary. How did she do it, and why are we still so fascinated by her rise and fall? Then, PEN15 is a new series in which thirtysomething comedians Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play versions of their middle-school selves—and star alongside actual teenagers. The hosts debate whether the gimmick works and discuss how the show’s refreshing frankness about the sexuality reflects a wider trend in streaming TV. Finally, they’re joined by Nina Burleigh, author of Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women, to discuss the president’s relationship to Ivanka, his grandmother Elizabeth (“the original Trump”), and more.


In Slate Plus: Is it sexist to separate boys and girls in sports?

Other items discussed on the show:

• The By the Book episode “Astrology for Happiness and Success
• “This CEO Is Out for Blood” by Roger Parloff in Fortune
• “Blood, Simpler” by Ken Auletta in the New Yorker
• “ ‘She Never Looks Back’: Inside Elizabeth Holmes’s Chilling Final Months at Theranos” by Nick Bilton in Vanity Fair
• “Theranos’ Downfall Isn’t Just Elizabeth Holmes’ Fault” by Shannon Palus in Slate
• John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood
• ABC Radio’s The Dropout
• “31 Going on 13” by Jessica Pressler in Vulture
Beverly Hills 90210
• “Teen Girls Finally Get to Touch Themselves” by Soraya Roberts in Longreads
Eighth Grade
Sex Education
• Nina Burleigh’s Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women
• “Exploring the Secret History of Trump’s Women” by Hanna Rosin in New York magazine


June: Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

Hanna: Sara Dickerman’s Secrets of Great Second Meals and the new season of High Maintenance

Kristen: The new podcast Trashy Divorces

This podcast was produced by Danielle Hewitt. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.

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