Penn Badgley, Nava Kavelin, and Sophie Ansari are embracing the cringe and reading your middle school stories on ‘Podcrushed’

Society & Culture February 10, 2023
Listen to ‘Podcrushed’

Get ready to embrace cringe-worthy middle school stories, self-discovery, and heartwarming tales on Penn Badgley, Nava Kavelin, and Sophie Ansari’s “Podcrushed.” Each episode kicks off with Penn reading your true and outrageous middle school stories that seamlessly segue into personal anecdotes and conversations with the hosts and guests. We’re talking awkward moments, schoolyard spats, body hair blunders, childhood crushes, and more relatable tales.

If you’ve watched You on Netflix, you might have a flashback to Joe’s creepy and iconic narration scenes. But this podcast is extremely lighthearted. To celebrate You’s fourth season, Sophie and Nava interviewed Penn all about the first five episodes. FYI, this conversation has plenty of spoilers.

Weekly episodes are less than 70 minutes on average. Start the series in any order, and check the episode’s title if you’re looking for a specific guest. Guests have included Meghan Trainor, Jenna Ortega, Conan O’Brien, Amy Schumer, Nicole Byer, Tati Gabrielle, Rainn Wilson, Evan Rachel Wood, Drew Barrymore, and more of Penn’s friends.

Penn shared he is a middle school dropout, Sophie is a former 5th grade teacher, and Nava is a former middle school director. Like the controlled chaos of middle school, the stories and conversations shared each episode run the gamut from hilarious to heartbreakingly serious. All 3 hosts also share embarrassing anecdotes, like the time Penn unfortunately tweezed his eyebrows, sadder memories from childhood, and shocking, LOL-worthy moments.

Penn and the podcast’s first guest, Leighton Meester, had a reunion and reminisced on the first project they ever worked on together, which wasn’t Gossip Girl! They talked about playing teenagers in their 20s and the impact this had, and continues to have in modern shows, on teenagers IRL. They discussed gender, body image, unrealistic beauty standards, learning through life, aging, media’s influence on society, and so much more. Leighton shared plenty of advice for young adults in this episode – and had the realization that she might be old enough to play Timothée Chalamet’s mom on camera.

We recommend “Podcrushed” for fans of “The Mortified Podcast,” a series where adults read from their adolescent writings and share stories.

Tune in weekly for new episodes of “Podcrushed” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Listen to ‘Podcrushed’

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