Until a few years ago, actress Melissa Joan Hart had never listened to a podcast. Now she is hooked. The Sabrina The Teenage Witch star said she began listening to them on road trips, and soon decided she wanted one of her own.
She and her friend Amanda Lee recently started broadcasting “What Women Binge,” a podcast dedicated to the books, TV, movies, and — of course — the podcasts that they listen to.
“We’re gonna talk about everything that people are obsessed with,” Hart told Channel One Style. “Guilty pleasures, everything from books, podcasts, TV shows, movies, everything.”
During the first episode, Hart and Lee talked about how they met and discussed the first episode of Hart’s TV series Clarissa Explains It All. Hart said she had never seen the series, which aired from 1991 to 1994 on Nickelodeon.
“People are shocked I’ve never seen my show,” Hart said during the first podcast.
She admitted that before she met her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson, she wasn’t much of a TV watcher.
“I had never watched Cheers or Friends or Seinfeld until I met my husband,” she said.
“‘Binge’ has become such a dirty word”
Hart and Lee said the podcast came about because of the pandemic. Everyone they knew was bingeing something, from TV shows to novels to podcasts.
“Everybody was like, ‘I need a good book to read, guys,’” Hart said. “Or, ‘I need a good podcast to listen to on a road trip.’ Or, ‘What show do I watch? I’m done with every show I can think of. What’s next?’”
Hart started an Instagram page to share some of the things she had enjoyed. But it was her friendship with Lee that inspired her to start a podcast.
The two women met when their sons became friends at school. They began going on walks together and found that they spent the whole time talking about what they were reading and listening to and watching.
“I know that ‘binge’ has become a dirty word,” Hart said during the first podcast. “But we’re using it in the healthy sense.”
“I have a feeling some of our guests are going to surprise us with what they’re into,” Lee said.
Behind the scenes
During the first podcast, Hart shared some behind-the-scenes stories from Clarissa Explains It All. She said she got her breakout role after a veterinarian saw her in an off-Broadway show and recommended her to the show’s creator.
She auditioned three times for the role, but once she got the job, she never had to audition for anything again. Every part she played afterward was either offered to her or created for her.
Hart also talked about working to lose her New York accent, which still comes out on certain words.
Their second episode featured actress Candice King. Their next episode, which will air on January 19, features actors Greg and Vanessa Evigan.
In addition to recommendations, the hosts share the shows, movies, and podcasts they can’t stand. In Lee’s case, it’s the HBO program Curb Your Enthusiasm.
“I think Larry David is so talented,” she said. “And I think the show is brilliantly done. However, I have never been so stressed out in my entire life. There is nothing that makes my skin crawl more than knowing that his character is about to do something horrible to someone else.”
What Women Binge is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeart. A video version can be watched on YouTube.