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Marissa Flaxbart
Going to the movies and writing are my two favorite pastimes. Watching TV is up there, too. I also love sitting someplace for hours having a long conversation. Preferably Europe.
Interests: comedy, movies, writing, books, singing, performing
Recent Activity
Q: What happens when you’ve just published a book about impending girlfriend death and every fiber of your being says, “Can we go darker?” A: “KIDNAPPED!” Marissa is joined by accomplished podcast producer Mischa Stanton (in a real recording booth!), and together they try and explain what the hell happened... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Sweet Valley Diaries
If you happen to have been reading this blog for the long term, 2011's Sweet Valley Confidential may have been spoiled for you back in...well...2011. If not, MAJOR SPOILER ALERT FOR SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL! Katie LaDue joins Marissa once again, this time to examine WHEN LOVE DIES (and a few... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
This is what it sounds like...when love dies. Sweet Valley High goes full soap opera and Marissa talks through the pain with teen television drama aficionado Katie LaDue. Oh, and file this one under "Very Special Episodes" because the topic of facing one's own mortality made us accidentally get a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Are modern day teens woke enough to laugh at Suzanne Devlin? Were 12-year-old readers in the '80s indoctrinated into the grand tradition of victim-blaming and rape culture? Does Jessica Wakefield know what sex is? Marissa and guests William J. Stribling and Sinead Persaud answer none of these hard-hitting questions in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Sweet Valley Diaries, my podcast (and long-running, if somewhat neglected blog) about Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High book series, returns today for its second season. I'm delighted to share this labor of love with the world; this new season, which... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2018 at Popular Sentiment
It's the premiere of Season 2 of Sweet Valley Diaries! Let's celebrate by shipping Jessica to New York and getting beloved teacher Roger Collins fired for unspecified sex crimes! Don't panic, everyone. Marissa and her guests, William J. Stribling and Sinead Persaud (of Shipwrecked Comedy!) are here to hold your... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Technically summer doesn't start until next week, but here at the Diaries, summer break is in full effect...and it's PERFECT. In this special between-seasons episode Marissa and guest-friend Alex Bishop dig into the series' first SPECIAL EDITION novel. Are you ready to bike a major chunk of the California Coast... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
In this final episode of Season One, Marissa uses the power of the internet to call guest Mary Parker in Boston, and they BOTH use the power of imagination to invent several possible stage adaptations of the comitragic saga of Annie Whitman and Jessica Wakefield. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
It's the final main episode of Season One, and we've come full circle. This is the tale of a wannabe cheerleader with a bad reputation that started Marissa's obsession with Sweet Valley High lo, those many years ago. Mary Parker was there to see that obsession take root. Now Mary... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Marissa is joined once again by her dad, Don Flaxbart, an she's steering him staring down Memory Lance. Was high school in the 1960s Southwestern US anything like that Sweet Valley High life? Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
So you love Ned Wakefield's dad jokes? We'll do you one better: a real life dad! Marissa's own actual father, the wise and weird Don Flaxbart, joins shares his thoughts and insights on this, the first "teenage romance of any kind" that he's ever read. Will the lanky boy get... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Now that all that coma/personality swap/assault unpleasantness is behind us, let’s get back to what really matters in Sweet Valley: the beach, boys, and miscommunications involving suntan lotion. Marissa is joined by Russ Nickel, funny guy, writer and former beach boy (not the singing kind…though he does sing a lot... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Outtakes, b-roll, and real talk about the actually important moral of HEART BREAKER. Marissa is joined once more by former youth body-surfing competitor Russ Nickel, who points out all the dad jokes in the book and reads some favorite passages. Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
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On Saturday, I bought one of those tiny flower growing kits from the $1 bin at Target. I took it home, opened it up, and read the instructions. “Plant no more than 3 seeds!” it read. Then I opened the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2018 at Popular Sentiment
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DEAR SISTER tried our nerves and bruised our spirits, but we lived to tell the tale. Listen to both the main episode and the bonus episode via the links below! Alex Jennings as Carla Natali on ABC’s The Goldbergs. Not pictured: Alex Jennings as Marla Natali on ABC’s The Goldbergs.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Strap on your hot pink crash helmet! Just after Valentine’s Day comes a tale to warm the heart and then chill it so fast that it bursts and ruins your freezer. Pop culture lover and all-around funny gal Denise Boylan joins Marissa to unpack this tale of private jealousy, romantic gestures, and innuendo. Hot Clam Special, anyone? Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Thanks so much! I would love for all the Sweet Valley Fans out there to find their way to the show, and this will be a huge help. :)
#TIMESUP, Scott Daniels. In this episode, I make reference to some promotional material I wrote for the Sweet Valley Confidential launch. The book's pre-launch website (where these things were originally shared) has been defunct for a few years now, but you can take a look at my comedic flow chart,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
What happens when Jessica Wakefield defies her parents and stays out ALL NIGHT LONG with a sleazy, pornstachioed college guy? No, seriously, I'm asking YOU: What happens??! Listen in as Marissa and her guests, Jess and Brian Reece, enumerate the many ways they were scandalized by Book 5 of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
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After several grueling minutes of internet research and fruitless Google Image searches, I have determined that Lila Fowler's car might just have been a 1980 Triumph T8 Convertible. And I even found a picture. So, yeah. Not an ideal getaway car. Listen to the new EXTRA DRAMA Bonus Episode, where... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
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Yes, it's THAT book. The one where Robin Wilson is publicly shamed, doesn't get into PBA, retreats inward, starves herself, loses a million pounds, and then becomes fun and popular. High school BFFs Marissa and her guest, photographer Mary Kate Battles, have some rather strong feelings about all this. Side... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Marissa interviews her guest Adaora about what it was like reading about the Wakefields et al from across the continents. Together, they consider: Is Enugu the Sweet Valley of Nigeria? Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
“Is Dad having an affair with his female coworker? She’s an attractive woman, right? So…probably.” - Every Wakefield Child Marissa and her guests Kat and Selah vent about this and other Book 1 B-Stories. Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
Host Marissa Flaxbart takes guests Selah Kahrmann and Kat Hazelton down the Sweet Valley rabbit hole as they discuss the very first book in the Sweet Valley High series. Interested in reading along? Check your local library or used bookstore, or get the Kindle edition here: Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries
The latest phase of my Sweet Valley Obsession is the most fun one yet. Making the podcast is such a delight, and I hope you'll help me out by listening, subscribing, and spreading the word! Just like this site, we read the books with a mix of reverence and disdain,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2018 at Sweet Valley Diaries