The Waves

The “Live From Sydney” Edition

The Waves on Isn’t It Romantic, Nakkiah Lui’s How to Rule the World, and cancel culture.

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On this week’s episode of the Waves—recorded in front of a live audience at the Sydney Opera House—June, Christina, and Noreen unpack Isn’t It Romantic, Rebel Wilson’s (mostly) affectionate sendup of rom-coms. The genre is in the midst of a renaissance, but do the movie’s attempts to subvert its tropes get in the way of a satisfying story? Then, they’re joined by Nakkiah Lui to discuss her new play, How to Rule the World, the way she’s been received in the arts as an Aboriginal woman, and how she aims to break taboos through humor. Finally, “cancel culture” is under renewed scrutiny thanks to a series of scandals in the YA world as well as a wider reckoning around icons like Michael Jackson. The hosts debate whether it’s targeting the right people (and corporations) in the right ways, and they reveal some of their own personal crusades.


In Slate Plus, the hosts answer listeners’ questions live from the Sydney Opera House.

Other items discussed on the show:

Isn’t It Romantic
• “In Her Rom-Com Spoof, Rebel Wilson Is Funnier Than She’s Been in Years” by Inkoo Kang in Slate
• Amy Schumer’s I Feel Pretty
The Big Sick
• Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell’s Pretty for an Aboriginal
• “Nakkiah Lui on the Pressure to Be a ‘Good Aboriginal’ ” by Michael Lallo in the Sydney Morning Herald
• “Is Australian Theatre Racist?” by Nakkiah Lui in the Guardian
• “NT and VIC Make Courageous Strides Toward Treaty” by Hannah J. Cross in the National Indigenous Times
Kiki and Kitty
A YA ‘Sensitivity Reader’ Had to Pull His Own Book After Twitter Turned on It” by Ruth Graham in Slate
• “The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter” by Kat Rosenfield in Vulture


Christina: It’s Too Late to Cancel Michael Jackson” by Carl Wilson in Slate and The Favourite

Noreen: Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women

June: Miss Sherlock and Hugh Ryan’s When Brooklyn Was Queer

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

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