The Waves

The “Avocado Turd” Edition

The Waves on Operation Varsity Blues, Beto O’Rourke’s 2020 bid, and Shrill.

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On this week’s episode of the Waves, Hanna, Marcia, and Noreen discuss Operation Varsity Blues, the college admissions scandal that’s implicated the likes of Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. They unpack how coverage of the debacle intersects with our expectations for mothers—and exposes the more subtle ways in which higher education already privileges the rich and powerful. Then, Beto O’Rourke’s bid for the presidency has been hotly debated since he appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair last week. Is the profile a sign of preferential treatment or a quietly devastating deconstruction? And what does his reception by the media and the public say about the Democratic Party as a whole heading into 2020? Finally, Shrill is a new Hulu comedy adapted from Lindy West’s memoir of the same name. The hosts debate whether it matters that protagonist Annie is so much more passive than her real-world counterpart and why the series seems to fall short of its revolutionary potential.


In Slate Plus: Is it sexist that March Madness brackets are always for the men’s tournament?

Other items discussed on the show:

• “How Does William H. Macy Fit Into the College-Admissions Scandal?” by Julie Miller in Vanity Fair

• “Is Lesley Stahl a Good Mother?” by Mona Gable in HuffPost

• “How Parents Are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood” by Claire Cain Miller and Jonah Engel Bromwich in the New York Times

Big Little Lies

• “The Dark Joy of ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ ” by Willa Paskin in Slate

• “Beto O’Rourke: ‘I’m Just Born to Be in It’ ” by Joe Hagan in Vanity Fair

• “The Politics of Beto and Amy O’Rourke’s Marriage” by Ben Terris in the Washington Post

Shrill starring Aidy Bryant

• Lindy West’s Shrill

• “Lindy West Is Watching Herself” by Madeleine Aggeler in the Cut



• Marcia: The feminist sports podcast Burn It All Down

• Hanna: Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace’s Creativity, Inc.

• Noreen: The Ringer’s Jam Session

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

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