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Casually Obsessed

Casually Obsessed

By Chelsee Bergen
Long form conversations about the pop culture and content we can’t stop thinking about. That book we want everyone to read, that television show we rewatch. A new guest joins each episode to go deep on our latest obsessions.
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Big Casually Obsessed News
Casually Obsessed is getting an email newsletter! Every week I'll be sending out an essay about a piece of pop culture I can't stop thinking about. If one of the things you like about the podcast is hearing  the nitty-gritty things someone loves about a piece of pop culture, I think you're going to love the newsletter. Similarly, if you want the deep dive *feeling* of the podcast but in a shorter format, the newsletter will be perfect for that. You can subscribe at or by going to and hitting the 'newsletter' button.  I'll be sending out the first essay on Monday, August 2nd and then every week after that. If you want to get some behind the scenes on why I decided to launch this newsletter, check out this blog post ( Please help support Casually Obsessed by signing up for the newsletter and then let me know what you think!
August 01, 2021
Make Your Own Dickinson
Emily Dickinson is goth girl shit. We're talking about the Apple+ tv show: Dickinson. 
April 26, 2021
Sarah Dessen and the magic of the early internet
We’re talking about the prolific YA author, Sarah Dessen! Dessen published her first novel in 1996 and as of 2019 has published 14* novels (*in the intro to this episode I mistakenly say 20- apologies!). She’s won numerous awards for her work, had two of her novels combined into the film How to Deal, and in 2019 Netflix purchased the rights to adapt 3 of her novels (This Lullaby, Along for the Ride, and Once and for All) into films. // This podcast is produced by Chelsee Bergen. The theme music is ‘I Dunno’ by grapes.
April 12, 2021
Harley Quinn, Birds of Prey, and a Fantabulous Emancipation
We're talking about Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn!  A few things we discuss in the episode: The incredible costume design, especially for Harley;  Comic book movies more broadly (we have some notes); Confusion around why people don't just move out of Gotham city! Bisexuality;  Misogyny (it's the villain);  Violence (there's a lot of it) This episode is a special cross over with The Bi Pod, a podcast about all things bisexual. You can find episodes of The Bi Pod at You can find the show notes for this episode at You can find the show on Instagram @casuallyobsessedpodcast. This podcast is produced by Chelsee Bergen. The theme music is 'I Dunno' by grapes.
March 29, 2021
Orphan Black Part 2: Who gets forgiven?
We're back with more Orphan Black talk! In part two of this two-part conversation we go deep on a few characters and dig into the themes of the show.  Some things we talk about in the episode are: Why can we forgive Helena but not Rachel? Bioethics and corporate interests What's the deal with Paul? The Castor clones & whether the ends justify the means Tatiana Maslany & Ari Millen The importance of Felix You can find the show notes for this episode at You can find the show on Instagram @casuallyobsessedpodcast.  This podcast is produced by Chelsee Bergen. The theme music is 'I Dunno' by grapes.
December 21, 2020
Orphan Black Part 1: Don't Say The C Word
We're talking about our favorite biological identicals and the people who love, created, and try to murder them! Returning guest Julian Lejbman helps me dissect the BBC America sci-f thriller Orphan Black.  A few things we discuss in the episode are:  What we tell people who haven't seen Orphan Black before when we pitch the show to them; How Orphan Black transforms over time; Alison's existential crisis about being a clone; Factions within factions within factions (there were almost too many factions); Who's your favorite clone? ; Moral relativism and the doctors who practice it; Sarah Manning is bad at doing the right thing but she's really trying; What makes a maternal clone? This episode is part 1 of a 2-part conversation. This first part is light on spoilers so it shouldn't ruin anything if you haven't seen the show or have only seen parts. Part 2 will be out on December 21st.  You can find the show notes for this episodes at You can find the show on Instagram @casuallyobsessedpodcast. Like the show? Please subscribe to it so you never miss an episode, and then share it with a friend!  Casually Obsessed is produced by Chelsee Bergen. The theme music is 'I Dunno' by Grapes. 
December 07, 2020
Star Trek Picard - Part 2: Space Battles and Gaslighting
Part 2 of our Star Trek: Picard conversation has arrived! Allison and I dig into the characters from the series and the complex Star Trek universe. A few things we discuss in the episode are:  Building the ship of fandom while you're flying it Romulans: from mustache twirling villains to sympathetic antagonists? The effects of forming cultures and personalities around fear and trauma Romulans & Vulcans -- same scary eyebrows, different cultural context Is brooding a personality? Don't gaslight people!  You can find the show notes for this episode (and part 1) at You can find the show on Instagram @casuallyobsessedpodcast. This show is products by Chelsee Bergen and the theme music is 'I dunno' by Grapes. 
November 23, 2020
Star Trek Picard - Part 1: Don't Buy Into Your Own Hype
We're boldly going where no man has gone before and talking Star Trek!  Returning guest, Allison Arcos, joins me to talk about the CBS All Access show, Star Trek: Picard. Here's a short summary for Picard: 14 years after his retirement from Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) is living a quiet life on his vineyard, Chateau Picard. When he is sought out by a mysterious young woman, Dahj (Isa Briones), in need of his help, he soon realizes she may have personal connections to his own past. We had so much to say that I split our conversation into two parts. This episode is part one, where we talk about the world of Picard and the setup for the series. We include some details about the show, but this episode is generally spoiler free. We'll go more in depth and more spoiler-y in part two. A Few Things We Discuss In The Episode: Being tourists to the universe of Star Trek Picard reckoning with his past Who gets to have an opinion? What makes someone a ‘fan’? The smart people at CBS All Access Anything we mentioned or recommend in this episode will end up in the show notes, which you can find at Casually Obsessed is hosted and produced by Chelsee Bergen. The theme music is 'I Dunno' by grapes. 
November 09, 2020
Veronica Mars Part 2: We're Not Mad, Just Disappointed
In the second part of our Veronica Mars conversation we dig into season 4 and the Veronica Mars movie! This is a spoiler-full episode, so if you haven't watched the latest (last?) season of the show we recommend just sticking with part 1 of our conversation.  Some things we cover in the episode: Veronica grew up quickly, and then stopping growing at all How does the Veronica Mars movie fit into things? Did Rob Thomas know this would be the final season? You gotta be single to solve crimes, apparently Days of Wine and Roses (or how the season should have ended)  Can you have too much of a good thing? All.The.Feelings. You can find the show notes for this episode at Once the transcript for this episode is available it will also be available at You can also find the show on instagram @casuallyobsessedpodcast. This podcast is produced by Chelsee Bergen. The theme music is 'I dunno' by grapes. 
October 26, 2020
Veronica Mars Part 1: Rob Thomas Buy Us Drinks
We’re talking smart mouthed teen detective, Veronica Mars! Bill Friday (poet, baseball enthusiast, noir know-it-all) and I had so much to say that we split this conversation into 2 parts. In this first part, we discuss the first three seasons of the show (we go into season 4 and the movie in part 2).  A few things we discuss in the episode: The problem of ‘cinematic’ television The many threads that came together to make Veronica Mars Whether or not we care about mysteries How the show got us hooked by not giving us too much information How Lily Cane lives on after death You can find the show notes for this episode at You can find the show notes for this episode at This show is produced by Chelsee Bergen. The theme music is 'I dunno' by Grapes.
October 12, 2020
Pop Culture as Self Care: Listener Messages
I asked listeners to call in and talk about a few pieces of pop culture that have been helping them cope with the stress and isolation of COVID-19.  In light of the very necessary uprising happening in the United States and across the world, I wasn't sure that I should still release this episode. Black lives matter, and I believe that white people, like myself and many of the listeners of this show, should be prioritizing our time, energy and resources toward supporting Black folks doing this work.  What ultimately made me decide to put this episode out is that I've been privileged enough to have people in my life remind me that this is longterm work and, to be a good accomplice, I need to take care of myself. Burnout accomplishes nothing. Maybe you need a similar reminder to rest and recover so that you can keep doing important work. Call your city council person and demand they defend the police; reorganize your budget so that you can give more money to black led organizations; have tough conversations with your family and friends. And then watch a show you love; read a book; lay on the floor and listened to a good album.  I hope these messages will give you ideas for content to be part of your own rest and recovery.
June 15, 2020
Ninth House Wants You to Ask Some Questions
Magic might just want to murder you!  Zan Romanoff and I are talking about Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. This adult fantasy novel imagines that each of Yale’s Ancient Eight secret societies practice a different form of magic while a shadowy ninth house watches over them all. The main character Alex Stern is headed for anything but the Ivy League until she catches the university’s attention when she’s the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide.  In this episode we talk about: How the magic of Ninth House differs from Harry Potter and many of the other magic school books we're used to; Why it feels like this book was written especially for us; Not wanting to read about happy people when you're struggling; The grand tradition of children of the west running away to the east to become "real" people; What violence we are and aren't comfortable with, and what that might say about us; Darlington is an addict and we love him.  You can find the show notes for this episode, with links to everything we talked about, at  You can Zan on Instagram/Twitter @Zanopticon and at her website, Casually Obsessed is on instagram @casuallyobsessedpodcast. 
May 25, 2020
Red, White and Royal Blue: you should read it even though it’s popular!
In this spoiler-free episode we gush about Casey McQuiston's Red White and Royal Blue and topics like: Avoiding things that are popular; Our theories on why straight women like content about gay men; Quintessential queer experiences; Why books like this matter (even when their covers are bubble gum pink); Writing about an identity other than your own; Author's we want to be friends with (and maybe date); Perfect nights with chosen families. You can find the show notes for this episode at  For a complete episode transcript, visit
May 04, 2020
Tamora Pierce, Prolific Author Queen
Tamora Pierce is kind of a big deal. She's the best-selling author of over 20 books set in her Tortall universe, as well as more than a dozen other books and comics. Guest Allison Arcos joins our host, Chelsee, to talk about why Pierce's work has stuck with the both of them for nearly two decades. Chelsee and Allison also give their recommendations for things you'll like if you're a fan of Tamora Pierce. Some conversation highlights are: Judge books by their covers and people by their bookshelves; Shame around reading young adult as an adult; Not marrying the first dude you have sex with; Content that hits differently as an adult; The time Chelsee met Tamora Pierce; The age old question of how to pronounce ‘Tamora’ You can find the show notes for this episode at
April 13, 2020
Casually Obsessed is a new podcast of long form conversations about the pop culture we can’t stop thinking about. That book we want everyone to read, that television show we rewatch. It’s a podcast not about loving one thing, but loving many things — fervently and sometimes fleetingly. You can expect a rotating roster of guests having in-depth conversations, giving thoughtful recommendations, and a hot take or two. You can find the show on instagram @Casuallyobsessedpodcast, and find show notes and other content at
March 26, 2020