What We're Listening To: Wiser Than Me

September 27, 2023
What We're Listening To: Wiser Than Me

This month, we've been deep diving into "Wiser Than Me," the podcast hosted by the one and only Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Yep, that's right, Elaine from Seinfeld and Selena Meyer from Veep is here to chat with some incredible women who don't get nearly enough airtime in our culture.  

In the very first episode, Julia kicks things off by explaining how she was inspired while watching a Jane Fonda documentary. She was struck by the fact that we just don't hear enough about the lives of older women, and she's not wrong. She gets real about it, throwing in a few well-placed expletives just to emphasise her point. And voila, a podcast was born.

Now, let's talk production quality. With Julia's celebrity clout, it's no surprise that "Wiser Than Me" has a team of producers and advertisers backing it up and the production quality is top notch. But of course, even with a slick team beside her, sometimes things go awry. In the first episode, right in the middle of her chat with Jane Fonda (which, by the way, covers everything from vibrators to Katharine Hepburn's competitive streak), Julia’s house loses power (and wifi).. Her colourful reaction is caught on tape, and it's a reminder that even the most perfectly curated conversations can't escape the occasional tech fail. It's raw, it's real, and it's beautifully honest.

Now, let's talk about Julia as a host. She's refreshingly open about her own experiences and delves into personal topics like her narcissistic father, her battle with breast cancer, and even losing a baby late in pregnancy. And her  guests respond in kind, opening up about their own lives in ways that feel less rehearsed and more candid.

We're talking Isabel Allende confessing to some serious life choices, Diane Von Furstenberg sharing her mother's liberation from Auschwitz, Darlene Love's Elvis stories, and Fran Lebowitz revelling in revenge tactics. And to cap it all off, each episode ends with Julia calling her own Mum, a sweet nod to the closest “wiser than me” woman in her own life.

These "old ladies" (as Julia affectionately calls them) have stories that are dripping with history and artistic achievement. They can drop names and knowledge like nobody's business. But they've also faced a kind of misogyny that we need to remember, and they're still fighting the good fight. These women are mothers and daughters who can whip up meals, design clothes, belt out tunes, and stand their ground. They know how to live a little, and they're here to share their wisdom, humour, intelligence, and empathy with the world. We’d be wise to listen up. 

Written by Alice Abba

Sharing my love of all things adventure, travel, food & fun with Connected Women.