Article by:
Leona Chen

Available to listen on Spotify

[Bouncy intro music plays]

ELAINE: Welcome to Obsessed by Bobblehaus. I'm Elaine– 

JANA: – And I'm Jana, and we are your host of this podcast. 

ELAINE: In each episode, we'll talk about things in pop culture and media that we're obsessed with will unpack our feelings about the good, the bad, and why they matter. 

JANA: So why did we want to start this podcast? For me, this felt like an opportunity to recreate those slumber party conversations that I cherish so much. But we can also talk about pop culture and its significance. 

ELAINE: And I personally love to talk. And I have waited my entire life for someone to ask me to be a podcast host. And it finally happened. 

JANA: And by the way, we've never actually met in person. 

ELAINE: Yeah. We actually don't know each other that well at all. And so to kick things off and start getting to know each other a little better, we are going to each share three moments in pop culture or media that we're obsessed with. 

JANA: So for us to choose these moments, they have to fulfill our criteria that we created. Number one, did this moment bring you joy? Number two, did this moment change the way you felt about yourself, your community, or your cultural identity? Number three, was this moment culturally significant? And number four, was this moment unique? Do you want to go first?

ELAINE: I think I'm starting with a pretty iconic moment when BLACKPINK headlined Coachella…  

JANA: (Ugh!) 

ELANE: It was when I was still in high school and my non-Asian friends weren't really into K-pop and thought it was a little weird that it was becoming so popular. 

JANA: (Murmurs in agreement)

ELAINE: So this moment of Rose screaming at the top of her lungs… Do you remember that? 

JANA: Yes. Classic. (laughs)

ELAINE: At Coachella. It was so special, and it made me literally giggle in my room as I watched the replay version of this. Do you remember that moment with Rose? 

JANA: I do, but I think you should play it. 

ELAINE: Okay, let me play it. 

JANA: Okay.

[Clip plays BLACKPINK Coachella performance) “So this song is called ‘As if it’s your last,’ so I want everyone to dance like it’s your last!”]

[Elaine and Jana both laugh and sigh.]

JANA: I love her, she’s so cute.

ELAINE: Miss Rose. 

JANA: Did you watch her Vogue ‘Get Ready for the Met Gala with Me?’

ELAINE: (in an accent) Of course, babes.

[Jana laughs.]

ELAINE: She's like, this doesn't come with rice–  

JANA: --Th-there's no rice? 

ELAINE: There's no rice? And she's like, oh, what do you guys eat in Paris? 

JANA: Okay, first of all, I'm really jealous that you found K-pop in high school because I am a pretty new K-pop fan. I would say I think it was around, like, 2019 that I started dabbling. 

ELAINE: Wow. 

JANA: Yeah. And I honestly think that I don't know. K-pop has, like, helped me so much because they just have so much pride in being Korean, and I'm not Korean, but I'm Asian. And it just makes me feel like I should also be proud. 

ELAINE: (Murmurs in agreement)

JANA: And I feel like if I had had that, like, found that and found that feeling in high school in my youth, I feel like I would have had way higher self esteem as a teenager. 

ELAINE: After watching that, I read a few articles, and I was like, yeah, yeah, it's pretty cool. Everyone is finally catching up. But this was the first time a K-pop girl group has ever performed at a US music festival. 

JANA: Wow. 

ELAINE: And obviously you know that most of the songs are in Korean, but I'm assuming that Coachella is mostly an English speaking crowd, but they still loved it, right?

JANA: Right, right.

ELAINE: I know there's some fans who are like, oh, Coachella, whatever. But honestly, if you watched 21… so if you don't know, 21 was a girl group, second generation K-pop, that was together from 2009 to 2016. It was also the original girl group CL was in. 

JANA: I love CL. 

ELAINE: And… yeah, CL is spicy. She is everything. She was going to play a set at 88 Rising, and I think she wanted to reunite 21. And this moment just felt so special for me because I remember listening to them and remembering how unconventionally badass they were. 

JANA: Yes

ELAINE: They were all so different. And they all were not that hyper feminine K-pop girl group that I was so used to. 

JANA: (Murmurs in agreement)

ELAINE: We saw a lot of Girls Generation. They were also talented and beautiful. But 21 embraced how kooky and weird played with their fashion. And I felt this girl boss energy when I was a teenager listening to them, and it just opened my eyes up on ways to play with your femininity and not just being conventionally… Yeah, like you said, we don't have to be hot just by some male standard. 

JANA: Right!

ELAINE: We can have crazy hair like Dara. And her hair was like this [motions] like a shark fin. K-pop idols at Coachella has to be one of my top moments. But what about you? 

"K-pop just opened my eyes up on ways to play with your femininity."

JANA: My first is Lucy Liu in Charlie Angels and Charlie's Angels Two Full Throttle. (giggles)

ELAINE: (Gasp) Love!

JANA: So good. Yeah. So first off, I will start by saying that Charlie's Angels Two Full Throttle is without a doubt my favorite movie. And I can say that with complete confidence and…  … Everything that is wrong with me and everything that is right about me– 

ELAINE: Oh my god.

JANA: – can be rooted back to the fact that this is the piece of media that feels the most ‘me’ to me.

ELAINE: It shaped you. 

JANA: It did. It really did. I was raised by these women. But, yeah, if you don't know, basically, Charlie's Angels is about these three super hot, powerful, intelligent women who are BFFs and also spies. And they are the top of their field, of course, but they're also always getting underestimated, but they always prove people wrong and end up kicking their asses and it’s amazing…  

ELAINE: Do you know what this reminds me of? 

JANA: Hm?

ELAINE: Do you remember Totally Spies? 

JANA: Oh, my God. Of course I remember Totally Spies. Okay, I saw a TikTok. Sorry, quick tangent. I saw a Tik Tok the other day where this girl was basically saying ‘as I was a kid growing up, I thought these cartoon characters were maybe Asian.’ And she listed Alex. I think her name is Alex from Totally Spies.

ELAINE:  I think so, yes. She had the yellow outfit. 

JANA: Yes. Yes. I think… I see it. She was, like, brown, too. I think she could have been Filipino– 

ELAINE:  – and she was the cutest one. Arguably, she had the best voice, the best style… 

JANA: I loved her. And then what was the Redhead's name? I think the blonde one was Clover. 

ELAINE: Clover was iconic. She reminded me of Sharpay… 

JANA:  I love that.

ELAINE: I don't remember. She was a leader. Right? The green one…

JANA: The redhead. 

ELAINE: Yes. 

JANA: What was her name? 

ELAINE: Listeners, the only way we can find out who the redhead was is if you DM us or message us or let us know. 

JANA: Yeah, we can't Google it. There's literally no way that we can find out unless you tell us. (laughs)

ELAINE: It's physically impossible for us to Google something. 

JANA: Yeah. Okay. Anyways… (laughs)  so back to Charlie's Angels. Lucy Lu plays Alex, another iconic Alex, obviously baseline – she is a gorgeous, powerful Asian woman in a leading role in a mainstream American movie, which is a huge deal, especially back then. I used to play Charlie's Angels with my friends in elementary school.

ELAINE: (Gasps) Aw. I love that.

JANA: Yeah. I was always Alex because she was the Asian one, but it was actually really exciting that there was an Asian one to begin with. (laughs)To this day, when I watch these movies, which I do often, and I watch Lucy Liu, I do feel powerful, personally, And I do feel like I can do anything.

ELAINE: Yeah. When I watched your video on Instagram, there was a snippet of an interviewer who asked her, “oh, are you a martial arts expert? Did you show the girls the ropes?” And she was like, “is it because I'm Asian–” 

JANA: –Asian 

ELAINE: “… that you think that?”

JANA: Of course they're going to assume that she's the martial arts expert because she's the only Asian person in the room, and I just love that she did not put up with it at all. And I love this motion. 

ELAINE: It was so iconic

JANA: And I love how the girls backed her up. And I love when she's like, what was his name? Rove or something? She's like, it's okay, Rove. It's okay, Rove.

ELAINE: It's okay. And she flips her hair a little bit Because that's a Lucy Lu thing for sure. 

JANA: It’s so nice to see her embody that strength off-camera, too.

ELAINE: She’s powerful, for sure.

JANA: You know she makes, like, Sapphic paintings? 

ELAINE: What? She's an artist?

JANA: She's an artist. Literally. Google it. It's amazing. I love her.

ELAINE: Oh, my God. She's multi-talented. 

JANA: She is! Okay, so within these movies... I also wanted to talk about three specific moments that are burned into my brain. So the first one is… I think it's in a montage in the first movie, she is… picture this. She is blonde, dressed like a cowgirl riding a horse and hog tying a man in the middle of the street. 

ELAINE: As one should. 

JANA: As one should! Okay, the second one, I'm just going to play for you. 

[ Clip plays: They should be answering to you… not you to them. Who else has an idea like this man's Coke machine? All right, tell me. Better yet, can anyone show me?]

JANA: UGHHHH!!!

ELAINE: A goddess.

JANA: Okay. And then the last one I will say is… this is at the beginning of Charlie's Angels Two Full Throttle. This is the first time that you see Alex in this whole movie. She's folded into a shipping container of some kind and she somehow unscrews all four screws on the top of the box at the same time from inside the box. And she gets out, she flips her hair because she always has an amazing hair flip. And she goes, “get off the babysitter. Daddy's home.”

ELAINE: (Gasps) I can’t believe that.

JANA: How could I not base my entire personality after this film? 

ELAINE: Lucy Lu makes me blush—

JANA: – I’m covered in sweat. 

"Everything that is wrong with me and everything that is right about me can be rooted back to the fact that this is the piece of media that feels the most ‘me’ to me."

ELAINE: Speaking of things that make me blush, my second favorite moment has to be Tony Leungg in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

JANA:  Hot, hot, hottie.

ELAINE: Very hot. He plays Wen Wu, who is this very complex villain and father of Shang-Chi. So before the movie came out, there was some controversy on social media that Marvel was going to villainize a Chinese character in Shanghai. But I have to say that this film did a great job introducing Wen Wu through a romantic backstory that added such good emotional complexity to this character. 

JANA:I love that first scene so much where they're fighting, but it's like they're dancing. 

ELAINE: I could watch a whole movie of just that scene. They're fighting, but they're dancing. And it's by this mountain… 

JANA: Ugh. 

ELAINE: And the actress is also a very iconic Chinese actress, and she was recently in a lot of HBO shows. So, again, lots of representation. Very cool. And having grown up watching his movies, like, In the Mood for Love.

JANA: Mmmm…

ELAINE: He acts with his eyes, right? And it's so easy to just fall in love with him. And he has this presence about him. Love Simu Liu, and I love his acting in it. But I think Tony, he stole the show. 

JANA: Yes.

ELAINE:  To see this Hong Kong cinema icon being recognized as a leading actor in Marvel made me so happy. Yes, it's a movie about martial arts and dragons and Chinese heritage and culture, but it also represented it in a different light by exploring the really complex relationship between father and son and dealing with grief, love and family. And it's not a simple movie about Kung Fu. It's a story about Asian families and Asian identities and what we go through. And it made it such a special antagonist in this movie. 

JANA: Quick side note, did you know that Park Seo Joon is going to be in a Marvel movie? 

ELAINE: (Gasps)What? 

JANA: I think it's like the next Captain Marvel or something. 

ELAINE: Did you watch Shang-Chi?

JANA: Yes….  I did, yeah. I loved it. I went…  I watched it alone in the movies by myself and just, like, sat in a corner seat and cried. And it was amazing. 

ELAINE:I watched Shang-Chi. And then I called my mom after to tell her how amazing it was. And she did not care about it at all. She was like, yeah. I was like, oh, representation. 

JANA: Yeah. 

ELAINE: And she was as if this was just another movie for her, which is valid. This is for her, a source of just entertainment, right? 

JANA: Yeah. It's so funny how…  because my mom is the same way. I feel like she watches things and she's rarely moved to tears, I feel…  and I feel like it's because she's not, like, grasping to see herself in the movie. I feel like our generation is obsessed with representation. We've been raised to be obsessed with representation in the media that we consume, which is fair. I think it makes sense. But our parents are not like that at all. I feel like they just go for entertainment, not to have any grand realizations about themselves. And that is what we're looking for or what I'm looking for, at least. 

ELAINE: Yeah. For us, we see a piece of ourselves on the screen… but for our parents, they're just like, okay, thank you, next. Let's move on. 

JANA: Thank you, next. Have you seen Bao? 

ELAINE: I have not. I don't think I can do that to myself. 

JANA: I don't think you should. And I do not think Pixar has any business inflicting that kind of emotional warfare on people watching Encanto or whatever. 

ELAINE: Warfare?!
JANA:
Yeah, literally. It is like, cruel. The feelings that that brought out in me are so… it is painful to watch. But anyways, I saw that in theaters with my mom, and I was sobbing… inconsolable. Movie theater napkin pressed against my face, trying to just make it through the next 5 minutes. And my mom is asleep. Besides me. Just dead asleep. 

ELAINE: She's probably like, this is food… why are we… 

JANA: Or, like, this is for kids. It's like a kid's short… It has nothing to do with me–

ELAINE: – Why are we crying?

JANA: This is my identity. Literally. 

ELAINE: Yeah. 

JANA: Don't watch it. I don't recommend it.

JANA: Okay. Anyways, to take a left turn into something a little more light. My next piece of culture-slash-media that I'm obsessed with is the Twilight Saga. 

ELAINE: No… (giggles) I can't (laughs) believe it.

JANA: Why? Wait. Hear me out. Hear me out. First off, I will say that everything I'm about to say is largely based off of the movies. I haven't read the books in a really long time, so I can't speak to that at all. 

ELAINE: Right. 

JANA: But I did have a signed copy of the first Twilight book that my mom bought me from Costco. I just think obviously it was like a huge cultural phenomenon in the early 2000s. There were like midnight releases of all the movies, and I went to every single one. There were like, debates about every single one. 

ELAINE: Every single one?

JANA: Yeah, I think so. Yeah it was all literally anyone was reading. I think 50 Shades of Gray is based off of Twilight fan fiction. Did you know that? 

ELAINE: Oh, interesting. 

JANA: It's like this shy, doesn't know how beautiful she is, but looks gorgeous without makeup girl who loves Jane Austin. And then there's this cold, rough around the edges guy that never lets anyone in, that kind of thing. And has like, a dark past. It's like the exact same formula. 

ELAINE: We love that cliche. 

JANA: Yes, we do. And I just think it's so funny. Also, the way that teenagers are taking to Twilight now, like, Olivia Rodriguez has a Breaking Dawn charm bracelet–

ELAINE: – A woman of taste. 

JANA: A woman of taste. And I feel like they think it's so funny and campy and silly, which it is. But for us at the time, if you were really obsessed with Twilight, it was, like, the most serious thing in the world. It was like, this is like, what I should be looking for in my future partner. 

ELAINE: Kind of toxic, maybe. 

JANA: Toxic, made of stone, watches me sleep, won't have sex with me until we're married (laughs) 

ELAINE: And they were supposed to be, what, 17? It's insane.

JANA:  I just think it's really fun. And the Twilight saga obviously has a lot of issues. A lot of people see it as, like, pro life propaganda… 

ELAINE: What?

JANA:  … purity culture propaganda. Yeah. So, like I mentioned briefly, Edward refuses to have sex with Bella until they are married. In Breaking Dawn, they finally have sex. Bella ends up getting pregnant with a half vampire, half human child who is essentially sucking the life out of her. Like, her body cannot. 

ELAINE: She literally goes…

JANA: Yes, exactly. That sound you just heard. 

ELAINE: It was so scary.

JANA: Yeah, it's gnarly. So essentially, her body cannot handle this baby, and it most likely will kill her if she keeps carrying it. There's, like, some debate with Bella and Rosalie where Rosalie is like, it's just a baby. Like, stop calling it a fetus. It's just a harmless baby, blah, blah, blah. Like, essentially placing the value I've been saying essentially so much, but placing the value of this fetus, which it is at the time, placing the value of the fetus above Bella's life. 

ELAINE: It was actually scary. The scariest part of the whole Twilight series was seeing Bella getting her soul sucked out of her. I think she was obviously stereotypical of that time, of how women were portrayed or the ideal woman was Bella…  and the ideal heterosexual relationship was not ideal, but it was what people sought after, right? That intense, emotional…

JANA: All-consuming…

ELAINE: Stalker-y… all-consuming love

JANA: Love that makes you a bad daughter, a bad friend, completely disappears from everyone else's life except for your boyfriend’s. I just think it's so interesting because we as a collective, now online, I feel like we're just obsessed with nostalgia and with looking back and just, like, marveling at how absurd everything that we consumed when we were younger was. 

ELAINE: Right. For sure. Yeah. 

JANA: Like Twilight, we're obsessed with Y2K fashion and Paris Hilton and tablets, like, all these things. It's just fascinating to look back on and think of how these things probably affected us then and now… By the way, really quickly, I have to ask you, do you know about the Chinchilla scene? In the first Twilight movie. 

ELAINE: I don't know. What is it? Is it grotesque? 

JANA: No, I'm looking it up right now. Hang on…

ELAINE: I'm scared. What are you going to show me? 

JANA: I could never explain it. I'm just going to play part of it for you. Okay. This is a deleted scene that is available on the extended version of Twilight, which you can purchase online. 

ELAINE: Have you purchased it? 

[Clip plays (Twilight excerpt): I had a Chinchilla, and me and my mom used to make these out of the chinchillas droppings and, like, paper towel rolls. Maybe. That's weird.”]

ELAINE: What on Earth is going on? I need some context for that scene. 

JANA: I don't think you do…. Okay. Anyways, lightning around for our last few moments because we are going a lot longer than we expected. 

"I need some context for that scene."

"I don't think you do."

ELAINE: When you were talking about Paris Hilton and nostalgia, I remembered that my third favorite moment has to be Juicy Couture tracksuits of the 2000s. 

JANA: (murmurs in agreement)

ELAINE: It was everything. And seeing Paris Hilton being photographed wearing her Juicy with her designer bags was a pinnacle moment of fashion for me. 

JANA: I still want a juicy guitar track suit really badly. 

ELAINE: I think we have to get the hot pink one.

JANA: Yeah, I think that's the one. 

ELAINE: Yeah, it's the Sharpay vibe. It's the Paris Hilton vibe. And for me, this moment made fashion really accessible. It was literally the time of US Weekly, Stars ‘They're Just Like Us’ and they're just wearing at leisure with their designer handbags. And I thought that was so iconic. I'm obsessed. 

JANA: My final moment is going to be V from BTS whispering in Olivia Rodrigo's ear at the 2022 Grammys. 

ELAINE: Oh, my God. I can't. 

JANA: Yeah–

ELAINE: Obsessed.

JANA:  I know. As a Filipino American V bias that was incredibly targeted at me and my community, and that's literally all I have to say about it. 

ELAINE: Period. 

JANA: Period. Okay, now let's wrap things up with our one and only segment… Crush corner. ELAINE: Crush Corner. 

JANA: We need a jingle for that. But, Elaine, who are you crushing on? 

ELAINE: Since we're talking about Rob Pattinson in Twilight, I recently watched Batman, and he is just as dreamy, maybe even more now he's not a vampire. So I would have to say Rob Pattinson is my crush right now. 

JANA: Wow. That's a good one. 

ELAINE: What about you?

JANA: (Australian accent) I'm going to say Nigel Barker, noted fashion photographer. 

ELAINE: Oh, my God. Good choice. Excellent choice. So that's all we have for today. 

JANA: This has been OBSESSED by Bobblehaus. Thank you so much for tuning in and we'll talk to you soon. Bye!

[Outro music]

SHARE