Welcome to our new feature: Head of the Cast, where we’ll highlight some of the best podcasts covering pop culture.
Two confessions: First, I never got the appeal of podcasts until about a year ago when fellow ProFan Kituria recommended a podcast dedicated to a show we both loved, Game of Thrones. When done right, podcasts are such a natural extension of being a part of a fandom that I kicked myself for denying them for so long. Most podcasts are done by people who truly love the subjects they’re speaking on and do so for free. A good podcast is not just enjoyable to listen to, but it makes you want to join the conversation. Still, when the second season of GoT ended, I went back to my podcastless existence. A week ago today, I was at my desk at work and still riled up over the previous night’s Game of Thrones season 3 finale. The aforementioned podcast wouldn’t be available until Tuesday night at the earliest, but I was desperate to hear others dish about one of my favorite shows. I did a search on iTunes for other Game of Thrones podcasts and found Sistah Speak Game of Thrones. Could it be? A podcast about Game of Thrones by black women? I downloaded EVERY episode and immediately started with their very first one, a recap of season one. I listened at my desk whenever I didn’t have meetings, in my car on my way to and from work, and early in the morning when I should have been writing episode recaps – yes, you can blame the Sistahs for my late Defiance recap.
Second confession: I may be a bit obsessed with these women, Sistah J. and Sistah K. I can’t believe I just admitted that in public as I’m sure they are reading this thinking, “What the hell did we just get ourselves into?” I promise, ladies. I’m not a stalker. Although, Sistah J., you are adorable when you sleep. I kid! I kid!
If you’ve never heard of the Sistah Speak podcast, you are in for a treat. As I type this (Friday night), in just four days I’ve listened to every one of their Game of Thrones podcasts and most of their True Blood shows. Let me tell you right now: This ain’t yo mama’s podcast. These women are loud, honest, a tad foul-mouthed (which I fucking love), hilarious, warm, and keenly observant. I’ve read all of the Game of Thrones books and watched every episode at least five times a piece – hell, I’ve watched The Red Wedding episode about a dozen times now – and I was very impressed with their insight, theories, and character analysis after only having watched an episode once or twice.
Please don’t let my use of words like “loud” and “foul-mouthed” fool you. Sistah Speak is filled with intelligent discussion from, as they say, a sistah’s point of view. Two minutes into my first experience with these ladies, I went on Facebook to tell everyone I knew how wonderful they were. For many black women, it will be like sitting around the living room or kitchen table and talking about your favorite shows or “stories” (a.k.a soaps) with your girlfriends, sisters, and mothers. However, no matter your age, race, or gender, you’ll be sucked in by their laid back style and honest criticism.
And it’s so much fun! Even when they disagree, you get the feeling you’re privy to the kind of lighthearted arguing that goes on between two people who genuinely love and respect each other. Their affection is extended to their listeners who act as co-hosts of sorts with their entertaining feedback (of which the Sistahs read during every show) and inside jokes.
If you really want to have a good time while you listen, get yourself an adult beverage and partake of their drinking game (developed by a fan) in which you take a sip every time Sistah J. says, “First of all…” My friends and I are solid fans after one week and have already added to that:
- Take a drink whenever Sistah J. pronounces “pyre” as “pi-ree.” (Seriously, every episode of every show should have a pyre in it, just so we can hear her say it.)
- Take a drink whenever Sistah K. corrects Sistah J.’s pronunciation.
- Take a drink whenever Sistah J. gets corrected and pronounces it “pi-ree” anyway because she gives zero fucks.
- Take a drink whenever Sistah K. sighs and says, “Oh, Sistah J.”
- “Boop!” Take a drink!
- Take a drink whenever they cackle. But do so after YOU’RE done cackling with them or you might choke.
Still not convinced? Have a listen as Sistah J. and Sistah K. so kindly took time out of their busy schedules to answer some questions for Project Fandom and then excuse me while I fangirl.
Sistah Speak Interview Part 1
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Sistah Speak Interview Part 2
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For more Sistah Speak, click on the photos below to subscribe to their podcasts. You can also find them on Facebook. Their popular True Blood podcast is back and you can listen to them dissect season six here.
And ladies, ProFan John made your house sigil for you: