August 29, 2023
Remember sex before the internet? ‘After Hours’ host Zach Noe Towers joins Ashley to discuss ‘The L Word’ and ‘Queer as Folk’ late night viewings, why TV needs more sluts, and the rise of kinky Charlotte York. They also share their thoughts on the return of ‘Futurama’, ‘Solar Opposites’, and review VICE’s ‘Dark Side of the 90s’.
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S2E58 — More Sex on TV w/ Zach Noe Towers
Zach Noe Towers [00:00:00] You had to do so much to see sex. So, once you got it, you were like, “I’m watching that. You can’t stop me.
Ashley Ray [00:00:07] I remember when The L Word came out and I was just like, “I am going to sneak out of my bed at night, go downstairs, and watch TV on the lowest volume because I need to see this.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:00:16] The difference between volume one and, like, two was monumental. You’re like, “I’m going to wake up the entire house if I do one more click.”
Ashley Ray [00:00:29] Welcome to TV, I say with Ashley Ray–your go-to podcast for discovering what to watch on TV and getting behind the scenes insight from the people who make the shows you love. You just heard a little tease of my chat with the wonderful Zach Noe Towers, who’s the host of the sex advice show After Hours with Zach Noe Towers on SiriusXM’s Netflix is a Joke Radio. I love Zach. He is also an expert on the Vice series Sex Before the Internet. And today’s episode, we’re going to talk all things sexy–all things TV. Why are people so against sex scenes in movies and television these days? Why is it such a taboo conversation? Zach and I are going to get into all of that after this break. You guys. I am so excited for our guest today. Welcome to TV Clubs, Zach Noe Towers–one of my favorite comedians, podcast hosts, just all-around favorite people in the world…
Zach Noe Towers [00:01:27] Oh my gosh. Right back at you. I was so excited as I was approaching the Sirius studios. I was like, “I get to see Ashley!”
Ashley Ray [00:01:34] Yes. I truly was like, “We have to make this happen.” And now during the strike, when basically all the TV is off, I’m like, “I’m just going to have the people that I think are funny come on.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:01:43] Please. Please. I love all the work you do. My goal one day is to create a TV show that you eviscerate on Twitter.
Ashley Ray [00:01:52] You know, I think someday I will praise a show you make on Twitter.
Zach Noe Towers [00:01:56] I’d love that, too.
Ashley Ray [00:01:57] And I think it will probably be the raunchiest, sexiest show that ever gets put on television.
Zach Noe Towers [00:02:03] From your lips to God’s ears. Is that the saying?
Ashley Ray [00:02:06] Yeah. Yeah. I think actually they should do, like, a Queer as Folk, like, reboot, but kind of like And Just Like That with the original cast and you should write and showrun and direct it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:02:15] I fucking love that. There’s a friend who’s been approached about doing a show that they want to call Sluts. And it’s, like, queer sex workers. And I’m, like, in that brainstorm session. I’m throwing my ideas. So yes, I think we’re cooking. We’re moving towards that.
Ashley Ray [00:02:32] TV needs more sluts.
Zach Noe Towers [00:02:35] It does.
Ashley Ray [00:02:36] And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to get into all of these… There’s just so much right now where people are shocked by sex on television. It’s, like, where have all of these Puritans come from? There was a tweet this week that went somewhat viral where someone was defending sex scenes in movies and they were like, “Sex scenes help make a movie. It’s part of the art of it. It helps tell the story. They’re so necessary.” And all of these people who are in their 20s–like fully 25-year-olds–were like, “No. Sex is never needed in a movie. It’s just a way to sexualize the culture and to sexualize situations. And there’s no reason why you can’t just skip past the sex scene and just show them in the bed afterwards.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:03:19] I don’t under– We are a sex driven species. We wake up in the morning, for the most part, a lot of us, like, wired to kind of seek out that pleasure or that reproduction or that thing. It’s why we get all these fine, shiny jobs and stuff. We’re like, “Look at me. I can provide for you, fuck boy.”
Ashley Ray [00:03:39] “I’m sexy. You’re into it.” And all of a sudden there’s, like, this backlash, where people are just like, “Why does this have to have sex? Why? I don’t want to see this. If it has sex in it and I’m sitting with my parents, what’s going to happen?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:03:51] I mean, I hate to break it to you. Your parents have fucked at least once.
Ashley Ray [00:03:54] At least one time.
Zach Noe Towers [00:03:56] I do think… Okay, I have a theory, I guess, with the younger generation. Have you ever heard the statistic that most sex between younger people is happening virtually?
Ashley Ray [00:04:04] Yeah.
Zach Noe Towers [00:04:05] So maybe that’s kind of part of it. They’re not used to the intimacy of it all.
Ashley Ray [00:04:09] It’s so odd. And also, they’re losing their virginity way later. Like, most of them aren’t even having their first relationships until they’re, like, 25, 26. And I look back on my life, and I’m like, “I was fully dating at, like, 14.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:04:22] Oh, meeting at the ice-skating rink.
Ashley Ray [00:04:25] Going to the movies.
Zach Noe Towers [00:04:26] Bowling. Yeah.
Ashley Ray [00:04:27] Talking to my friends about the bases. That was what we did at 16. And now the kids are just like, “That is something you don’t talk about until your brain is fully developed at 25.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:04:36] That is so strange. And that actually kind of breaks my heart because, like, I understand not wanting to sexualize people that don’t want to be sexualized maybe. And I understand we don’t maybe want big titty blond girls selling us beer all the time. But there is a happy medium in the art of television and film where it’s like, “This is a huge part of your day-to-day life. We should be able to see it and it not be so like, ‘Gasp.’”
Ashley Ray [00:05:03] “Goodness gracious.” And for me, I think it’s just another way to learn about characters. Seeing how two characters have sex tells you about their dynamic–what they’re into about each other. You learn so much from it. And these kids today–they don’t want any of it. They are just like, “It’s totally inappropriate, especially if you’re under 18.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:05:20] Fucking prudes. Do we sound like boomers? “Kids these days don’t want to fuck anymore.”
Ashley Ray [00:05:27] Every time I do, they’re just like, “Okay, you boomer.” And they’re like, “Stop calling us ‘Puriteens.’” And I’m like, “But you kind of are? You guys are freaking out about, like, sex scenes.” And a part of it is good, right? Like, yes, I love that they speak up about sexual assault and violence and they are happy to call those things out. But just nobody can be normal on the Internet now with sex. And that’s wild because… You were in a documentary called Sex Before the Internet, which I absolutely loved. It was on Vice. I watched every single episode.
Zach Noe Towers [00:06:01] Same.
Ashley Ray [00:06:03] Oh, yeah. You did. You watched every episode, did you? Every single one?
Zach Noe Towers [00:06:07] Yes.
Ashley Ray [00:06:09] You were interviewed for it?
Zach Noe Towers [00:06:10] I watched the promos. I don’t think I have access to Vice. Can I say that?
Ashley Ray [00:06:15] It’s really hard to get Vice.
Zach Noe Towers [00:06:18] Okay! Thank you1
Ashley Ray [00:06:18] It is. The only way I know to do it is to pay for Hulu with live TV and spend $90 a month. And that’s the only way you get vice shows. Or if you download the Vice app and show them you have a cable plan, you can watch it that way. So, if your parents have a cable plan, you can log in to Vice.
Zach Noe Towers [00:06:35] Or, like, cross the troll bridge and answer three limericks.
Ashley Ray [00:06:39] It is so hard to watch their shows. And I am the only one who’s ever watching them. I’m just like, “So you guys see, like, Dark side of Comedy?” And everyone’s just like, “No. How would you even?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:06:49] “What are you talking about?” If they were smart, they would honestly release it in one minute. TikToks. All of them. Just put it out there.
Ashley Ray [00:06:56] People on TikTok love this because it’s basically the kind of renewal of the, like, VH1 I Love the ’80s, I Love the ’90s style TV, where they’re just like, “Let’s have a bunch of talking heads talk about sex before the internet and phone sex and all this stuff that people want to know about.” But then they put it on Vice where people cannot find it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:07:15] Also they have, like, legit people. Like, I’m one of the goofy clown commentators they have, but they have legit sex workers from that day and age, creators, critics, historians… And I’m just like, “I love dicks–now, then, before the internet…”
Ashley Ray [00:07:35] It’s, like, you, Luenell, and Nikki Glaser, I think, who are just there to be really funny. And you are. When you watch it, you’re going to love it. It is such a funny show. I loved it because I feel like I came of age during that period where I didn’t really start getting online until, like, fifth, sixth grade.
Zach Noe Towers [00:07:55] That’s almost the exact same. And it was, like, with friends often. Like, at a friend’s house, you’d dial up and go online and, like, maybe look for boobs or something. Like, you know what I mean?
Ashley Ray [00:08:05] And you would just be like, “Oh, like, a Playboy page.” But you couldn’t, like, get past it. You’d see, like, the front page of playboy.com and be like, “Oh my goodness. Whoa.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:08:13] “Oh my God. Do sex.com! Do sex.com!”
Ashley Ray [00:08:17] And it was just, like, the most…
Zach Noe Towers [00:08:18] Rudimentary.
Ashley Ray [00:08:20] Rudimentary, childish way to do it. And then watching Sex Before the Internet and just seeing people be like, “I would just make do with scrambled TV porn.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:08:29] Yes, the Spice Channel.
Ashley Ray [00:08:31] Yeah, the Spice Channel. There’s a whole episode about, like, phone sex work, which I feel like is making a comeback.
Zach Noe Towers [00:08:38] Is it?
Ashley Ray [00:08:38] It kind of is.
Zach Noe Towers [00:08:39] Maybe that’s pandemic related, too, because people needed intimacy and they also needed not to die from breathing into someone’s mouth.
Ashley Ray [00:08:47] And I still think the webcam dynamic is very intimate. Like, I think there are some people who just get it on via phone. That’s what they are into. The good old days.
Zach Noe Towers [00:08:59] The good old days.
Ashley Ray [00:09:00] The kids don’t know anything about it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:09:02] You know, do you miss the structure of like, “Oh, I’m having internet time here, and then I go off and live in the world”? I kind of wish we had that.
Ashley Ray [00:09:12] I miss that separation.
Zach Noe Towers [00:09:15] You set your away message and you go.
Ashley Ray [00:09:17] And you’re truly away. And you come back, and you’re like, “Oh, I have messages.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:09:20] Yeah. You’re like, “Oh, shit. Someone’s mad at me.”
Ashley Ray [00:09:23] “Is this person’s away message about me?” Oh, my gosh.
Zach Noe Towers [00:09:26] “That has to be about me.”
Ashley Ray [00:09:30] “This bitch is sub messaging me.” I truly would… My crush–anything that was a song lyric, I would just be like, “He has feelings for me. The reason he posted these Sum 41 lyrics is because of me, clearly.” Okay, so Sex Before the Internet–a lot of it also is about people using movies and TV shows to kind of understand and define their own sexuality. What are some of the big scenes in movies or TV shows that you remember just kind of, like, shaping your sexuality?
Zach Noe Towers [00:09:59] Oh God, that is a wonderful question. I definitely sexualized everything from, like, Disney princes… I mean, like Prince Eric, Aladdin–I want to see what was going on behind those flowy pants.
Ashley Ray [00:10:11] Absolutely.
Zach Noe Towers [00:10:13] Queer as Folk, definitely. Like, I was a videocassette to DVD blockbuster rental. I saw it go from video cassettes to DVDs, if that makes sense.
Ashley Ray [00:10:23] Oh yeah.
Zach Noe Towers [00:10:24] So I think I was renting VHS of Queer as Folk when I was, like, in middle school maybe. And watching that with a friend that… Neither one of us said we were gay, but we were like, “This is supposed to be a really great show. The critics are saying this is a really good show.”
Ashley Ray [00:10:41] That’s how I watched The L Word. I was just like, “Oh, the critics… This is much-watch television. It’s very dramatic.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:10:49] “Yeah. And, like, ahead of its time.”
Ashley Ray [00:10:51] “It’s very artistic.” And then the whole time I’m like, “No, I want to see Brian, like, fuck someone in a nightclub.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:10:58] Oh my God. And I kind of… Okay, you know the twink from Queer as Folk? He and I did musical theater together in St. Louis. I was a kid. He was, like, a college age. And he, like, left the musical to do Queer as Folk, which I thought was very cool. But yeah, so Queer as Folk scenes. I guess Sex and the City was kind of a formative moment, but Sex and the City also did it in a silly way that made it very approachable. As important as serious sex is in TV and film, I love to see kind of wacky sex, too, because it just makes it more like, “This is not a big deal, right? It happens.”
Ashley Ray [00:11:35] Yeah. Like, sometimes you’re going to date a guy who maybe wants to pee on you. It’s just that’s life. That’s dating. Be comfortable with it. Are you watching And Just Like That?
Zach Noe Towers [00:11:45] Okay. I tried to watch the first episode, and it didn’t latch.
Ashley Ray [00:11:50] You have to try.
Zach Noe Towers [00:11:51] I have to push through?
Ashley Ray [00:11:51] You have to push through because it is, like, my manna from heaven at this point. The joy of my week is just a new episode of And Just Like That. I think they need to air it every day, like a soap opera. The finale is this week, and I don’t know what I’m going to do without that show.
Zach Noe Towers [00:12:10] Does it feel like the episodes are being thrown together daily? When you say, like, daily soap opera, does it feel like they’re like, “Fuck it. We’ll just get it.”
Ashley Ray [00:12:20] Yes, but in the best way, where they’re just kind of like, “You know what would be funny in this one? Let’s just, like, have Miranda get eaten now by Che and then get, like, locked out of her building naked. What a high jink?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:12:36] That’s still happening? That’s amazing.”
Ashley Ray [00:12:38] There’s so much to say about Che and Miranda.
Zach Noe Towers [00:12:42] Comedy concert.
Ashley Ray [00:12:43] Comedy concert. Basically, this whole second season, Che’s show has, like, blown up. They’re going out to LA to film a pilot. And obviously they bring Miranda with. And on set, Miranda is in the audience, which is a little like, “Okay, Miranda is your girlfriend. You didn’t get her in your greenroom?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:12:59] She’s watching the monitor.
Ashley Ray [00:13:01] Literally. Yeah, like, she’s literally just in the audience–comes in with, like, the studio audience.
Zach Noe Towers [00:13:05] Oh my God! With, like, the warmup comic throwing baloney sandwiches at them?
Ashley Ray [00:13:10] And I’m just like, “Okay, Che. That’s a little sketch.” And then Miranda sneaks her phone in because her son is having, like a panic attack because his girlfriend broke up with him. So, she brings her phone with her because she’s so worried. And the phone goes off during Che’s big monologue. And this is, like, the big… They’ve been calling it “the family scene.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:13:31] “We have to get the family scene. It has to be perfect.”
Ashley Ray [00:13:36] And then Che’s just like, “Miranda! You ruined the family scene!” I rewound just that line, and I say it all the time in my head. I mess something up, and I’m like, “You ruined the family scene. “As a comic, I would love to be like… You need to watch it because I want to know your opinion because so much of it is them being like, “Well, Che is a standup. That’s why they’re a shitty actor.” It’s truly them just being like, “You know stand-up comics can’t act.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:14:10] “They suck! They’re mentally ill!”
Ashley Ray [00:14:11] Yeah, it is just them constantly being like, “Che, you suck. You can’t act. Why don’t you just go back to your stand-up career?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:14:18] Did they break up over the family scene?
Ashley Ray [00:14:20] It was the family scene and then a few other things–mostly, like, Che turned out to actually be married to a man, but it was, like, for a green card situation. But then she brings the guy. But then they bring the guy to New York, and, like, they try to have a threesome with the husband and Miranda. And Miranda, like, breaks her knee almost.
Zach Noe Towers [00:14:42] No!
Ashley Ray [00:14:44] And then finally, it’s just like, “This isn’t working. Like, let’s just break up.” And then Che also hates themselves because they’re just like, “My show was canceled. My pilot wasn’t picked up.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:14:55] Damn, these are, like, all big sitcom high jinks situation.
Ashley Ray [00:14:59] Yeah, but it’s Sex in the City flavored, and it’s so good. And just as a comic, it is always my dream to tell jokes about an ex and have them be in the crowd. So, I can’t even fault Che for that.
Zach Noe Towers [00:15:13] Have you had people slide into the DMs and be like, “Is that joke about me?”
Ashley Ray [00:15:16] I have. Absolutely. And I’m just like, “Yeah.” Like, I have a joke about a guy who asked to come in one of my frying pans.
Zach Noe Towers [00:15:26] His jism?
Ashley Ray [00:15:26] Yes. That was his kink.
Zach Noe Towers [00:15:30] Wow. Like, heated?
Ashley Ray [00:15:32] Yes.
Zach Noe Towers [00:15:34] I just looked at your producers like, “Are you getting this? Can you believe?”
Ashley Ray [00:15:40] I just need the people to know that this exists because it shocked me.
Zach Noe Towers [00:15:44] But a perfect thing for, like, a Sex and the City episode.
Ashley Ray [00:15:46] Yeah. Perfect. Oh my gosh. Carrie absolutely needs to go out with a pan cummer.
Zach Noe Towers [00:15:50] And then, like, before they can clean it up, they come over for brunch, and someone’s cooking everyone’s eggs in it.
Ashley Ray [00:15:56] And Carrie’s like, “Oh no! I should’ve told you.” And everyone’s just like, “We didn’t know you were dating a pan cummer, Carrie.” But then you know what? Charlotte would be kind of into it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:16:09] Has Charlotte gotten kinky?
Ashley Ray [00:16:10] Oh my God. You need to watch the new season.
Zach Noe Towers [00:16:13] Okay.
Ashley Ray [00:16:13] Charlotte is the kinkiest, kinkiest slut on the show now. Like, at one point there’s an entire plotline where Charlotte is like, “I’m a come slut, and I love when my husband comes on me.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:16:25] What?
Ashley Ray [00:16:28] There’s a whole thing where you see them having sex. And she’s like, “Come on me, Harry. It’s your birthday. I want to do something special. Come on me.” And he, like, can’t. And she’s like, “We need you to do exercises because for me, it’s like the fireworks. I need more of it.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:16:40] Is she still doing it in her Charlotte way?
Ashley Ray [00:16:44] She’s just like, “I just like a lot of cum. For me, it’s the fireworks after the show.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:16:49] That was a great impression. The look to the side.
Ashley Ray [00:16:52] The coy little… And everyone is just like, “Oh my God.” Charlotte literally calls herself a come slut in the show. And I was like, “This is a new era of Sex and the City.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:17:02] Is this because they had to squeeze the show out of Samantha and, like, dabble it on to all of them?
Ashley Ray [00:17:09] Oh, yeah. It’s definitely one of those things where Samantha’s not there to be the sexual cornerstone. And so, they’re like, “Okay. Make Charlotte a little kinky. Like, Miranda gets a little kinkier with some stuff. You know, having threesomes.” There’s a whole thing with Miranda and, like, strap-on dildos that’s like… I’m so glad Cynthia Nixon was comfortable being so naked in front of the camera.
Zach Noe Towers [00:17:33] Really?
Ashley Ray [00:17:33] Oh, yes. Cynthia is, like, naked probably every episode this season.
Zach Noe Towers [00:17:37] Go Cynthia!
Ashley Ray [00:17:39] Like, they’re really putting the Sex in the City and…
Zach Noe Towers [00:17:42] Into just like that.
Ashley Ray [00:17:44] Yeah. And I’m going to lose myself when that show is gone.
Zach Noe Towers [00:17:47] Wait, can I ask because I know nothing, did Samantha wind up making a cameo in this?
Ashley Ray [00:17:50] It’s in this last episode.
Zach Noe Towers [00:17:51] Okay, because that was, like, hinted at.
Ashley Ray [00:17:54] It’s hinted at, and we don’t know the premise. And all anyone knows is that it’s either, like, a phone call between Samantha and Carrie or it was shot in a car. Kim Cattrall just did a thing where she was like, “Yeah, I went, I shot for two hours, I made a lot of money, and I left the set.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:18:11] Go Kim, honestly. I really don’t know what the rivalry is, but I think I’m Team Kim.
Ashley Ray [00:18:15] I’m Team Kim. I’ve never related to Carrie.
Zach Noe Towers [00:18:19] I mean, is that a thing, though, where girls wanted to be Carrie?
Ashley Ray [00:18:21] I guess.
Zach Noe Towers [00:18:23] Like, “I’m the Carrie, and you all are my backup.”
Ashley Ray [00:18:27] I always was like, “Carrie’s the boring one. I’m Samantha. I’m cool. Like, I’m sexually free.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:18:34] Yes. Yes! Where are the Samanthas in Gen Z? Where are they? We need the Samanthas.
Ashley Ray [00:18:39] And that was the conversation where people were like, “How come there isn’t a Gen Z Sex and the City or a Gen Z Girls? Why don’t we have that today?” And it’s like, “I just don’t think Gen Z can be represented by those shows.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:18:53] It doesn’t sound like it.
Ashley Ray [00:18:54] Yeah. There are Gen Z shows that focus on 20 somethings that are fun, amazing, great, and get that experience. But I think if you tried to take the Sex and the City dynamic and apply it to Gen Z, they would be like, “Why are you doing that to us?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:19:07] Sex Lives of College Girls dabbles in it for sure.
Ashley Ray [00:19:10] Dabbles in it a bit.
Zach Noe Towers [00:19:11] It’s kind of like Sex and the City for kids. And I mean that in a PG rated sort of way.
Ashley Ray [00:19:17] Like, I would let my 15-year-old niece watch that.
Zach Noe Towers [00:19:20] Yeah, they’re going to learn a little bit. It’s going to be fun.
Ashley Ray [00:19:22] You’ll learn. Yeah. It’s not like there’s going to be an episode about, like, golden showers. But Sex and the City–I’d be like, “Maybe wait until you’re in high school.” That’s when I watched it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:19:31] Oh, I mean, I watched stuff… Man. It was just different in the ’90s. I think because it was hard, like… Sex over the internet–you had to do so much to see sex. So, once you got it, you were like, “I’m watching this. You can’t stop me.”
Ashley Ray [00:19:46] I remember when The L Word came out, and I was just like, “I am going to sneak out of my bed at night, go downstairs, watch TV on the lowest volume because I need to see this.
Zach Noe Towers [00:19:55] The difference between volume one and, like, two was monumental. You’re like, “I’m going to wake up the entire house if I do one more click.”
Ashley Ray [00:20:04] And just the second I hear any movement, I’m like, “Last channel button. Last channel button.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:20:07] Yeah, it’s an infomercial for like nonstick pans.
Ashley Ray [00:20:14] It’s like something like that, where I’m just like, “Oh, yeah. Nick at Nite. Yeah, mom, I’m just watching Laverne and Shirley.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:20:19] “The Munsters is on.” We just shot Sex Before the Internet Season Two, and there used to be a Playboy channel.
Ashley Ray [00:20:44] Yeah.
Zach Noe Towers [00:20:45] Okay. And it had, like, a strip poker game. It was a guy versus a girl. And, like, if the guy got a question right, the girl had to take off a piece of clothing. And they would walk each other to a bed and take the piece of clothing off. It was in front of a studio audience.
Ashley Ray [00:21:00] A studio audience!
Zach Noe Towers [00:21:01] I couldn’t even conceive of that show right now.
Ashley Ray [00:21:04] You could not do something like that.
Zach Noe Towers [00:21:07] Isn’t that weird?
Ashley Ray [00:21:08] You could have, like, a Playboy channel today. Like, if someone was like, “Oh, we’re going to make an OnlyFans channel,” people would be like, “What?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:21:15] “Not in my country.”
Ashley Ray [00:21:16] “Not here. You’re trying to ruin all the children.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:21:20] It’s so weird.
Ashley Ray [00:21:21] Yeah. I don’t know. I think part of it is maybe we’re being more sheltered. People aren’t getting the opportunity to engage with things and find things. Like, when I was a kid, I remember just, like, in a LiveJournal, finding, like, Hedwig and the Angry Inch–all of these just weird sexual movies. And now everything’s just streamlined to YouTube and TikTok. That’s, like, how kids are finding things. And so, there was this, like, big thing with South Park that just happened. Basically, all of these Gen Z people–all these like younger kids–and Gen Alpha… You know, I keep saying Gen Z, but Generation Alpha is, like, 16 at this point.
Zach Noe Towers [00:21:56] Is that true? That makes me queasy.
Ashley Ray [00:21:59] Like, we say Gen Z, but Gen Z is in their 20s at this point. All these people who found out about South Park through TikTok and were like, “Oh, this is, like, a funny meme they have about, you know, Pride Month. This is so funny. This show is so funny. I love seeing it on TikTok.” And then they started watching the show.
Zach Noe Towers [00:22:18] From, like, the beginning?
Ashley Ray [00:22:19] The beginning. And there’s all these people who are just like, “I was watching South Park for the first time, and they said the F word.” And then people are generally like, “You guys, they use a lot of slurs on South Park. How did this show not get canceled?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:22:38] And you’re like, “Yeah, it was a lawless time.”
Ashley Ray [00:22:41] We’re like, “You’re watching a show from the year 2002.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:22:45] Now, South Park, like, has a message. It’s kind of like there’s, like, a theme to it. It used to be like, “Aliens came and probed me. And you’re gay now.”
Ashley Ray [00:22:57] Yeah, I remember in, like, middle school and stuff, watching that show and being like, “This seems like it’s a bit much.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:23:03] I was not allowed to watch it.
Ashley Ray [00:23:07] Yeah, my mom had a blind spot for adult animated shows, where she would just kind of be like, “Oh, it’s a cartoon. It must be for kids.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:23:13] Not even Ren & Stimpy was for kids. Ren & Stimpy was a deranged show.
Ashley Ray [00:23:17] It was a deranged show. And people are like, “What is wrong with millennials?” It’s because we grew up with that.
Zach Noe Towers [00:23:22] Watch what we watched.
Ashley Ray [00:23:23] So maybe the kids have a point. Maybe our generation is messed up because we grew up watching this. So maybe they’re going to be better than us.
Zach Noe Towers [00:23:35] God, I hope that. I hope that in general. I hope every generation keeps getting better. But, like, I hope it also doesn’t mean that, like, we turn into a puritanical society. And they’re doing it from, I think, a point of safety and precaution. But there’s got to be, like, a middle ground.
Ashley Ray [00:23:52] And it’s so removed also from context because they don’t think about the context. They’re not learning the context because they didn’t watch VH1 I Love the ’90s. They’re not watching Vice Dark Side of the 2000s because they can’t get Vice. So, they don’t have the context of, like, “Oh, well, when these episodes were airing, George Bush was in office. This country was incredibly conservative. There was this huge, like, backlash to anything that was diverse after 9/11.” So South Park doing an episode about Jihad and all this stuff–yes, today, it’s like, “Oh my gosh, this is so horrible.” But at that time, it was like, “Oh, they’re making somewhat of a point.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:24:27] “Yeah, they’re making a stance.”
Ashley Ray [00:24:29] They’re making a stance, they’re using satire, and now you’re watching it with the satire totally removed.
Zach Noe Towers [00:24:35] Truly out of context. I hate when people judge something from, like, ’99 with a 2023 filter. You can’t do that!
Ashley Ray [00:24:43] It doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work.
Zach Noe Towers [00:24:45] I also don’t understand why, like… Have you been flagged for content ever?
Ashley Ray [00:24:49] Absolutely.
Zach Noe Towers [00:24:50] Okay, why can’t we just register as 18 and up? And then, like, unless you’re registered 18 and up, you can’t see the cleavage or the butt. I’ve been, like, flagged for an underwear butt crack.
Ashley Ray [00:25:06] It is impossible for me to post content on TikTok. Every other video–I spend 40 something minutes trying to put a TikTok together because I’m old and I don’t know how to do it. It takes forever. And then I spend all this time, and then they’ll be like, “Sound removed because you said fuck.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:25:24] Meanwhile, there are ones with a million likes where they’re saying “fuck” and “pussy” and stuff.
Ashley Ray [00:25:28] All this stuff. And they’ll use their, like, slang words. Like, on TikTok, if you say banana, it means penis or, like, a mascara means dick and all this stuff.
Zach Noe Towers [00:25:38] Wait, are those real?
Ashley Ray [00:25:39] Those are real. What are we as a country that we can’t even talk openly about these things using the words?
Zach Noe Towers [00:25:45] Oh, I know. I know. It’s crazy.
Ashley Ray [00:25:48] I feel like it’s even worse on Instagram. They hate sex workers.
Zach Noe Towers [00:25:52] Oh. Such a Christian-valued… I don’t want to say Christian values. It’s just, like, a very prudish site.
Ashley Ray [00:26:02] Yeah. I don’t get it. And now all we have is like Twitter/X
Zach Noe Towers [00:26:10] And Threads is the same. I think I went to post something with, like, “Bitches better be ready.” And it’s like, “We just want to let you know threads like this have been taken down in the past.” It’s like, “You really want to go?”
Ashley Ray [00:26:22] “Are you sure?” So, are you fully on threads? Have you given up on Twitter?
Zach Noe Towers [00:26:33] No. So, before Elon, I loved Twitter. Toxic as it was, I could see my sex worker friends, I could post a wildly crazy scenario or sexy thing… Like, I felt very free there. With warts and all, I felt very free there. And now, since Elon’s there, I still visit it, but I don’t really twee– I don’t really X? What are people saying?
Ashley Ray [00:26:56] I still say “tweet.” I’m like, “Screw you. I’m not calling it “X.” Are you kidding?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:27:01] It just sucks that the one platform where I did feel like, “Oh, like, I can really be expressive here Without much backlash,” is the one that I resent so much.
Ashley Ray [00:27:11] Yeah. Okay. I wish I had that dynamic because I can’t say anything on Twitter without backlash.
Zach Noe Towers [00:27:18] From people, yes. But, like, from the institution of Twitter, where they’re like, “You can’t say that.”
Ashley Ray [00:27:24] True. Twitter didn’t care.
Zach Noe Towers [00:27:24] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Twitter’s like, “Get in here Nazis!”
Ashley Ray [00:27:26] Yeah, everybody! What do you want to say? And then eventually they tried to put a little thing up that was like, “If you call someone dumb or directly call them a name, it’ll be like, ‘Most people on Twitter don’t use this kind of language. Are you sure you want to call this person a dumb idiot?’” And I was like, “That’s all anyone uses Twitter for.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:27:43] “This was the nicest way of me saying that.”
Ashley Ray [00:27:47] “I’m politely being like, ‘You’re a dumb idiot.’” And I loved it. And now it’s just like, after Elon, there’s just so much junk and right wing anything. You can’t post about anything without someone replying and being like, “Did Hillary Clinton make you post this?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:28:06] Yeah. And also, like, “Fuck off. Just not like my thing and move on with your dumb life.”
Ashley Ray [00:28:13] “Why are you fighting with me?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:28:15] Like, how bad does the world have to get before people actually use their energy to take down a real threat, not Ashley Ray being a silly goose on Twitter?”
Ashley Ray [00:28:26] And it just shocks me constantly what people react to on there. Every time I’m like, “I’m just another day closer to getting off of the platform forever.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:28:37] What’s the marker for you? When you get, like, that huge deal and you’re like, “I’ll let you know where I’m going to be.”
Ashley Ray [00:28:45] I think this past week, Ayo Edebiri and Rachel Sennott–they both deleted their Twitters.
Zach Noe Towers [00:28:49] Yes!
Ashley Ray [00:28:50] And it was like, “Good job, girls. I’m so proud of you.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:28:54] Have you seen Bottoms?
Ashley Ray [00:28:56] No, I haven’t seen it yet. It looks so, so good.
Zach Noe Towers [00:28:57] It is so funny.
Ashley Ray [00:29:00] I am seeing it opening day in theaters because it looks incredible. I think they’re both amazing. And that was, like, the thing. They’re going to be so big they don’t have to be on it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:29:09] They’re like, “Fuck it.”
Ashley Ray [00:29:11] They just can be hot on Instagram. That’s the goal.
Zach Noe Towers [00:29:13] Well, yeah, both of them. The Bear and Bodies Bodies Bodies–I would have been like, “Bye!”
Ashley Ray [00:29:19] Yeah, for me, I’m always like, “When I sell that thing–when I have that Deadline article that’s like this overall deal–then I’m going to be like, ‘That’s the last thing I post, and I never come back.’”
Zach Noe Towers [00:29:31] I love that. “Post, pin, bye!” Are you deleting it, or are you just logging out?
Ashley Ray [00:29:37] I think I would just log out just because at this point, I’m always afraid of people impersonating me on all these platforms because there’s so many scammers.
Zach Noe Towers [00:29:46] It’s, like, laughable, but it’s also truly dangerous. It’s truly dangerous that it’s so easy to impersonate people. And with all the dumb dumbs running around.
Ashley Ray [00:29:57] People just believe it. So, you’re not watching Dark Side of the 2000s on Vice either?
Zach Noe Towers [00:30:04] Is it sex based, or is it, like, attacking Paris Hilton and Britney Spears?
Ashley Ray [00:30:10] Each episode focuses on a different thing. So, the first one was Jon & Kate Plus 8 and, like, really getting into the reality of that show and how horrible it was for the children, which I had no idea about because I didn’t watch it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:30:23] It makes sense though because it was, like, the beginning of reality TV and it’s, like, kids, first of all, and then putting them probably through grueling–
Ashley Ray [00:30:30] Oh, yeah, they were filming those kids 24/7. And they interview the kids in the show, and they’re just like, “You got used to it. From the age of two, I was just always in front of a camera. Like, the camera crew guys were like my family. I didn’t see how it was weird until I got older, and I would be like, ‘I don’t want to do my homework in front of the camera. I don’t want to, like, do this.’”
Zach Noe Towers [00:30:50] Yeah, like, “Go away.”
Ashley Ray [00:30:51] And Kate, like, put one of the kids in a mental institution because he didn’t want to film anymore.
Zach Noe Towers [00:30:57] That does sound crazy to me. If you’re an out of work actor, you’re crazy.
Ashley Ray [00:31:03] Yeah. And he, like, didn’t talk to either of his parents for, like, two years. And Jon had to, like, do all this legal stuff to get him out. So that one was interesting. And then there was one that’s just like, “Here’s how people were mean to Lindsay Lohan.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:31:16] You’re not convinced on that one. “Here’s why I’m mean to Lindsay Lohan.”
Ashley Ray [00:31:22] Well, most of it was, like, people being like, “Perez Hilton and all these blogs were so mean.” But, like, it was the people who wrote the blogs. And I remember as a kid being like, “Why are you being so mean?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:31:34] I mean, talk about a time where it was okay to be like, “Look how fat she got,” and she’s really thin.
Ashley Ray [00:31:40] And they show all of that. And then they interview the people who wrote it, and they’re just like, “Well, do I feel bad about it now? Sure. But, you know, at the time, that’s just, like, how we did what we did.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:31:51] “It’s our culture.”
Ashley Ray [00:31:51] And I’m like, “Okay. I remember thinking that was wrong, but okay.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:31:57] I mean, we were young. But, like, having seen her in Parent Trap– That’s where I fell in love with Lindsay Lohan. Yeah, I don’t know. I felt like I was a kid when she was a kid.
Ashley Ray [00:32:09] Yeah. And then they were calling her fire crotch, and there’s, like, a whole segment on that. Like, the funniest part of these documentaries is that Vice takes these subjects and makes them seem as important as the Civil War.
Zach Noe Towers [00:32:23] Just sepia toned. Slow motion.
Ashley Ray [00:32:28] And they’re like, “I think we all remember where we were the day Lindsay Lohan got in that car with Paris and Britney.” And it’s, like, this slow, dramatic music. And someone’s just like, “And when I turned and I saw Lindsay walking towards the car, I knew history was about to be made. And I said, ‘Lindsay, get in the car.’”
Zach Noe Towers [00:32:49] And that was fire crotch.
Ashley Ray [00:32:50] Yeah it makes me feel so old.
Zach Noe Towers [00:32:55] I mean, it’s well documented, but also it feels like when social media was, like, blossoming and new.
Ashley Ray [00:33:02] Yeah. I’m like, “Right, this didn’t happen, like, ten years ago.” I’m always like, “What do you mean? This was 20 years ago.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:33:10] 2013 was ten years ago.
Ashley Ray [00:33:13] And I’m like, “What?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:33:15] I’m like, “It’s just the 2000s right now. We just got to the 2000s.”
Ashley Ray [00:33:19] Like, if you ask me, I’m like, “2003 was like, what?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:33:23] Before the pandemic.
Ashley Ray [00:33:24] Before the pandemic, it was 2003. And now it’s 2023. And I watch these shows, and I’m just like, “It’s Vice’s job right now just to make me feel bad?” Is that what you’re doing when… I mean, you might watch Season Two of Sex Before the Internet.
Zach Noe Towers [00:33:40] And if anyone on Vice is watching, I have and I will continue to support.
Ashley Ray [00:33:46] As long as you post those promos, baby.
Zach Noe Towers [00:33:48] Well, you know they sent me and Luenell to do Good Morning America, which was wildly irresponsible of everyone involved because, like, we’re the two loosest cannons. You don’t want to put us on live TV.
Ashley Ray [00:34:01] Yeah, I was a little like, “You’re not going to send, like, one of the doctors?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:34:04] Yes! Send the doctor, Nikki Glaser, or something.
Ashley Ray [00:34:06] Yeah. But, I mean, how did that go? Was it a lot of rules?
Zach Noe Towers [00:34:11] It was not a cultural fit. Yeah. They were like, “What do you think you’re going to say to this question?” I said, “Oh, you had to walk ten miles just to see a boob.” And they’re like, “Okay, you can’t say ‘boob.’” And I was like, “What?”
Ashley Ray [00:34:23] You can’t say “boob” on morning television?
Zach Noe Towers [00:34:25] Well, first of all, I don’t want to say “boob.” Like it was just what was going to come.
Ashley Ray [00:34:29] But that’s the joke.
Zach Noe Towers [00:34:30] And then I was like, “Instead of sex, should I do this?” And they go, “No hand gestures.” And I was like, “Okay.” And this was right before we went on. So, I was just, like, boring on it, which I hate.
Ashley Ray [00:34:42] Can you even say the name of the show?
Zach Noe Towers [00:34:43] I know! I’m going to be bold and say we all have somewhat of a sex life minus, I guess, extremely asexual people, who are not into it at all. But, like, we all have a sex life, so why aren’t we talking about it?
Ashley Ray [00:34:57] Why can’t we talk about it
Zach Noe Towers [00:34:58] And if we continue to make it a shady, dirty, secretive thing, that’s when people feel isolated and alone. So, joke about it. Ask your parents. I honestly don’t think the birds and the bees conversation should be this horribly upsetting thing for parents to tell their kids.
Ashley Ray [00:35:13] Yeah, and honestly, it’s just… Yeah, it’s science. And it empowers kids to know about themselves in their bodies so they can’t be taken advantage of. But, you know, this is our country.
Zach Noe Towers [00:35:24] This is our country. God bless America.
Ashley Ray [00:35:27] I’m thankful for things like Sex Before the Internet trying to change that if people could watch it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:35:33] My flagged account–you can always try to look at something there for a moment.
Ashley Ray [00:35:37] Yeah, I feel like they would flag clips from the show, even.
Zach Noe Towers [00:35:41] I’m doing my show at Sirius, After Hours, which is me and a comic–which you have to do sometime–talking about sex.
Ashley Ray [00:35:49] Which is actually my next question. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your SiriusXM show, After Hours with Zach Noe Towers?
Zach Noe Towers [00:35:56] Yes, I do! Thank you!
Ashley Ray [00:35:59] Please tell us about it!
Zach Noe Towers [00:36:00] After Hours is me and a comic talking about their sexual journey, sex in TV–it’s a Netflix show, so sex on Netflix–sex in the news… And then we take listener calls for questions, stories, advice, and requests. And it’s just, like, silly and fun. And like Bob the Drag Queen has been on Taylor Tomlinson, Dave Merheje, Sabrina Jalees, Steph Tolev, and Mark Normand’s coming up. And it’s just on the SiriusXM app, or it’s on Channel 93 on every other Thursday.
Ashley Ray [00:36:32] That’s amazing. I feel like you’re one of the best people to get sex advice from.
Zach Noe Towers [00:36:36] Thank you. I’ve definitely had a lot of it, and I’m very interested in it. And, like, I do feel like if we’re living a purpose driven life, I do want to make sex more approachable and conversational and, like, fun. It’s supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to be scary. It’s not supposed to make you feel bad. It’s not supposed to be, like, a secret.
Ashley Ray [00:36:55] You should just be able to talk about it. So, okay, I’m going to ask for some sex advice right now.
Zach Noe Towers [00:37:00] Oh my God. Okay.
Ashley Ray [00:37:01] I didn’t plan on this. We’re just going to do it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:37:04] To be clear, I have no actual training. It’s just life–the School of Life.
Ashley Ray [00:37:10] People ask me to write, like, advice for polyamorous dating relationship advice columns. And I’m like, “I am not a professional. I have just dated a lot of married couples who make mistakes.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:37:20] Yes, you have. Are you their type?
Ashley Ray [00:37:23] Like, married couples? Absolutely. Yeah. I’m, like, the unicorn.
Zach Noe Towers [00:37:28] I found out that my type is guys who are already in relationships because, like, gays are pretty open. I kind of get the boyfriend experience, but I’m fresh, new, and shiny.
Ashley Ray [00:37:40] I’m shiny. I’m the fun. It’s like, “Go back to your wife–your whatever.” Oh, I’m obsessed with it. I love dating people who have primary relationships because I just get to be like, “Oh, we hang out, we go to dinner, and then I’m like, ‘It’s 10:30. Get back to your wife and kids.’”
Zach Noe Towers [00:37:56] “Bye. Babe, I’m sleeping alone tonight.”
Ashley Ray [00:37:57] Yeah, I like my space–my bed. “You fit into my schedule. I see you one day a week–two days a week–but it’s not the, like, ‘Why aren’t you texting me?’”
Zach Noe Towers [00:38:05] Wait, do you have a primary?
Ashley Ray [00:38:08] I consider myself solo poly, so I have people I date, but I’m always single.
Zach Noe Towers [00:38:13] Okay, I love that.
Ashley Ray [00:38:14] And so I’m seeing someone right now where it’s like, “I call this person my partner, but they have a primary.” So, it’s perfect.
Zach Noe Towers [00:38:23] Dude, I just heard solo poly from you for the first time, and I think I identify as that. That or I’m seeking to be, like, a monk who fucks. I want enlightenment, and I want to bring peace and tranquility, but I want to have sex.
Ashley Ray [00:38:36] I want to have sex still.
Zach Noe Towers [00:38:37] So whatever that is.
Ashley Ray [00:38:39] And I think dating in LA is very difficult. I struggled my first two years here, and then I just kind of was like, “You know what? I’m going to batten down the hatches. I’m going to lock in. I’m going to figure this out.” And I did this project. I was like, “I’m going to do 52 first dates and go on a new first date every week for a year.” And I got a month and a half into it, met someone, and was like, “I never want to date again. Why would I do this? This is horrible.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:39:12] Oh, whoa. But you did hit it off with this person?
Ashley Ray [00:39:15] I met two people who I, like, really hit it off with and was like, “Okay, cool. Actually, I don’t ever want to sit with someone and be like, ‘So how many siblings do you have?’ ever again.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:39:24] It can be the worst way to spend time ever.
Ashley Ray [00:39:28] And there’s this thing with, like, LA egos, I feel like, where people just kind of are like, “I do social media for Nickelodeon, so I’m kind of a big deal.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:39:37] Yeah, it’s like, “Okay.”
Ashley Ray [00:39:40] Or they’re like, “I live in LA, so I’m kind of a big deal.” And it’s like, “Yeah, we all live here.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:39:43] “We all live here, bitch.”
Ashley Ray [00:39:45] “We all live here. Calm down.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:39:45] “I pay $2,000 rent-free for rent, too.”
Ashley Ray [00:39:49] But there was someone I met doing this who I thought was pretty great. We hit it off. We started seeing each other for a while. And then one day in the bedroom, he was like, “Look, this is what I’m going to need every time. This is what I’m going to require. I don’t just like a blowjob. What you have to do is give me a hand job, at the same time, suck on my balls, and then also finger me in the ass–all at the same time.” And I was like, “That’s not a blowjob. That is first, second, and third shift.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:40:23] That’s an orchestration.
Ashley Ray [00:40:25] That’s the whole thing. That’s, like, a whole…
Zach Noe Towers [00:40:27] “Do I have an assistant?”
Ashley Ray [00:40:28] Yeah. I’m like, “This is difficult. What are we doing here?” And I was like, “I’m good. I don’t think this is going to work.” And he was so insulted. He was like, “How dare you? Don’t you see how important I am?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:40:42] I don’t like any of that.
Ashley Ray [00:40:43] “I deserve that. This is what I’m into. And if you can’t hang with it, like, I’ll go find, like, a Playboy model who wants to do it.” I don’t know.
Zach Noe Towers [00:40:51] I guarantee you she doesn’t want to do all that stuff either.
Ashley Ray [00:40:54] Right? I was like, “Who do you think you are?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:40:57] And this was the end of the relationship?
Ashley Ray [00:40:59] That was the end.
Zach Noe Towers [00:41:00] I think it’s asking a lot. You know what you’re worth. You know what your time’s worth. You know what you’re into. So, I think there needs to be a solid amount of overlap. Like, if you loved fingering guys–sure. But, like, no. “Let’s compromise. Let’s put something in your butt, and then maybe I’ll do the ball and…”
Ashley Ray [00:41:19] “We can work our way there.” And also, on his part? No reciprocation.
Zach Noe Towers [00:41:24] Oh, no, no, no. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, you guys were just looking for different things. I’m sure he’s going to find some sub person who wants to, like, do his laundry and suck his balls…
Ashley Ray [00:41:32] And, like, work that thing like a Bop It.
Zach Noe Towers [00:41:35] Exactly. Truly!
Ashley Ray [00:41:38] “Poke it. Turn it. Twist it. Lick it.” As a not expert advice sexpert–
Zach Noe Towers [00:41:44] I don’t live in lack ever. So, I just know that that person’s not for me because here’s the other thing. He said he needed it every time? If we’re talking once a month, you get your wack-a-doodle, you know, slap and stick. Whatever. A blowjob. Okay. Sure. “Once a month, like, I’ll put my bib on, and let’s go to town.” But, like, no. And he sounds really demanding. And he should know that… I think it’s beautiful that he knows what he needs and knows what he wants. But if you don’t find that connects with your heart, we do not live in fear of there not being enough guys to jerk off in this town. There are plenty of men to jerk off in this town.
Ashley Ray [00:42:42] So I did want to ask what you’re watching right now. You mentioned to us that you’re watching the new Futurama.
Zach Noe Towers [00:42:48] Yes.
Ashley Ray [00:42:49] How are you feeling about it?
Zach Noe Towers [00:42:50] So I was late to the Matt Groening… I wasn’t allowed to watch Simpsons as a kid. So, like, two years ago, I started watching Simpsons from the beginning. And then the next logical thing was to go to Futurama. And Futurama–I really love Bender a lot because he’s parallel to me as Roger from American Dad. Roger’s my favorite character, I think, that’s ever written. Ever! He’s perfect.
Ashley Ray [00:43:17] Absolutely. We did another episode about American Dad and Roger and how Roger represents just, like, the elderly gay man character.
Zach Noe Towers [00:43:26] Yes. He’s the pervy gay man–cross-dressing. He’s exactly that. He’s, like, in Palm Springs at a bar right now at 2:00 p.m., having, like, a tequila sunrise or something.
Ashley Ray [00:43:36] Wearing a caftan and just being absolutely decadent about it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:43:39] Yes! And being inappropriate–grabbing people when he shouldn’t. But you’re like, “Oh, I could break you in half.”
Ashley Ray [00:43:44] “You know what? You’re fun. I’ll have some drinks with you. I’ll watch you do karaoke. I love it.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:43:48] And he probably does have a heart of gold. He’s just, like, wildly problematic.
Ashley Ray [00:43:52] It takes some work to get to that level.
Zach Noe Towers [00:43:54] Yes. But Futurama I really enjoy. I love cartoons, I love adult cartoons, and I’m enjoying Futurama. I don’t really look at it with, like, a magnifying glass. But I do think they’ve done a good job of it feeling like they didn’t take ten years off.
Ashley Ray [00:44:09] Yeah, that’s the biggest thing. I haven’t started the new episodes yet. And I kind of was waiting because I was just like, “I don’t know. What is the tone going to be like? Am I going to be like, ‘Why are we doing this now?’”
Zach Noe Towers [00:44:19] It feels the same.
Ashley Ray [00:44:20] And that’s what I want because Futurama is one of those shows where I’m like, “It never should have been canceled. It should have just been on the air the whole time, like The Simpsons.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:44:28] I didn’t realize I was watching the last episode of Futurama. Do you remember the last episode of the first chunk? They, like, freeze time on accident, they live their whole lives, and then the professor comes and, like, finds them. And he’s like, “You have to go back to the beginning.” He’s like, “What do you say? Do you want to do it all again?”
Ashley Ray [00:44:45] Oh my God, I’m getting goosebumps.
Zach Noe Towers [00:44:47] It was just such a heartwarming way to end that show. But they really picked it up, like, pretty flawlessly. I’ve forgotten that they took the time off. They sound the same, I think. And, yeah, it’s just fun.
Ashley Ray [00:44:59] I’m going to dig in this weekend.
Zach Noe Towers [00:45:00] Oh, good. It’s so exciting.
Ashley Ray [00:45:02] I’m excited because I just did all of the new season of Solar Opposites.
Zach Noe Towers [00:45:06] Wait, when did the new season come out?
Ashley Ray [00:45:08] Yesterday. Truly yesterday.
Zach Noe Towers [00:45:09] I fucking love Solar Opposites.
Ashley Ray [00:45:13] Well, if you’re listening to this last week, it came out. But there’s 11 episodes in this new season. It’s so good.
Zach Noe Towers [00:45:20] Are they all out?
Ashley Ray [00:45:20] They’re all out. It is such a good season. And, you know, they had to get rid of the guy from Rick and Morty–Justin Roiland. He did horrible things. They got rid of him on the show. And to replace him, they hired the British guy from Downton Abbey, like Matthew Crawley–the one who, like, comes back from the war and, like, doesn’t have his memory.
Zach Noe Towers [00:45:50] Oh my– Fun fact about me: Never watched Downton Abbey.
Ashley Ray [00:45:55] It is boring. I look back on that time when I was sitting there like, “Oh my God, I can’t wait for Downton Abbey. Oh, goodness, are they going to get the proper China in time for the dinner party?” Like, that’s truly the drama of this show. I’m like, “Why did I ever get into it?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:46:10] But honestly, Maggie Smith.
Ashley Ray [00:46:13] She was the reason to watch.
Zach Noe Towers [00:46:14] And she’s snarky, isn’t she?
Ashley Ray [00:46:15] She’s, like, the snarky one who’s like, “I’m never going to get remarried. I love being a rich widow because I finally can do what I want.” And you’re just like, “Go off. Feminism.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:46:23] Samantha.
Ashley Ray [00:46:25] Yeah, yeah. She’s the Samantha of the show. But, like, they bring him in, and they just, like, don’t even address the fact that they’re changing the voice actor. They just, like, have him get hit with a voice ray, and that changes his voice. And then they all just go, “You know what? This voice is better. Let’s just go forward with this one.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:46:43] Oh, I love that.
Ashley Ray [00:46:44] And yeah, they just don’t even try to make it a big deal.
Zach Noe Towers [00:46:46] I love that.
Ashley Ray [00:46:47] In the first five seconds of the season, they’re just like, “He’s British now. Moving on.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:46:51] Oh my gosh, I love that.
Ashley Ray [00:46:53] It’s so good. You get all the classics. The SilverCops are back. The people in the wall.
Zach Noe Towers [00:46:57] The wall. It’s so dramatic. I love it.
Ashley Ray [00:47:04] It’s so, so good.
Zach Noe Towers [00:47:05] The insulin. Yeah.
Ashley Ray [00:47:06] Yeah. And it does end on a note that feels very series finaleish. And we don’t know if it’s going to get renewed, but it ends on this note of, like, “Oh, that could be the end of the show.” And with all the stuff with Justin Roiland, who knows?
Zach Noe Towers [00:47:21] I was going to say that’s got to be a huge wrench in the thing.
Ashley Ray [00:47:27] And, like, with Rick and Morty, it was pretty easy for them to move on because Justin hadn’t really written on the show in a long time. It was just, like, replacing a voice actor. And they’ve been renewed. Like, they got renewed already for, like, 600 episodes or something. Adult Swim was just like, “We’re renewing the show for ten seasons.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:47:45] “Keep the lights on for sure.”
Ashley Ray [00:47:47] So they were just like, “We’re replacing him, and we’re just going to keep moving forward.” But he was way more involved with Solar Opposites.
Zach Noe Towers [00:47:52] Wow! What a blessing.
Ashley Ray [00:47:55] Yeah. Yeah. Is there anything else you’re watching?
Zach Noe Towers [00:47:57] I’ve been watching Praise Petey.
Ashley Ray [00:47:58] Oh, yes.
Zach Noe Towers [00:47:59] Which I like.
Ashley Ray [00:48:00] We had Anna Drezen on the show to talk about it. I am obsessed with it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:48:05] I love that they dropped two episodes a week. It’s a little meal.
Ashley Ray [00:48:07] It’s my Friday treat.
Zach Noe Towers [00:48:13] Exactly. It’s great. I love Annie Murphy. It’s one of those things I didn’t know she was the lead, but, like, two minutes in, I was like, “This is Annie Murphy from Schitt’s Creek.”
Ashley Ray [00:48:24] And she’s, like, very much playing that same character. And I love every guest actor. John Cho is in it.
Zach Noe Towers [00:48:33] Brian Jordan Alvarez. Do you know him? He’s one of the voices.
Ashley Ray [00:48:38] Yeah. He was in this latest ep. It’s just so funny and…
Zach Noe Towers [00:48:42] I love cult stuff.
Ashley Ray [00:48:45] Yeah, I love cult stuff.
Zach Noe Towers [00:48:46] I think cult stuff is very interesting.
Ashley Ray [00:48:47] And when I first heard about it, I was like, “This sounds so weird. How is this going to work?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:48:53] On Freeform of all things.
Ashley Ray [00:48:54] Of all things. And I love it. It has such an FX vibe.
Zach Noe Towers [00:48:58] It does. It really does. Freeform used to be ABC family, so I thought they still had, like, a family vibe.
Ashley Ray [00:49:07] So, they kind of do. And then about four or five years ago they were like, “You know what? Let’s try to really target people in their early 20s–teenagers–and pivot to shows like Single Drunk Female. And they tried to do, I think, Little Demon, which was another…
Zach Noe Towers [00:49:24] I loved Little Demon.
Ashley Ray [00:49:25] Loved Little Demon
Zach Noe Towers [00:49:26] Is it done? Damn it!
Ashley Ray [00:49:28] Not only did they cancel it, they fully took it off the platform. You can’t even watch it now.
Zach Noe Towers [00:49:34] No! That blows my mind. Aubrey Plaza, Danny DeVito, and his real-life daughter.
Ashley Ray [00:49:40] It was so funny. It was, like, sexy–had, like, a cool, queer mom character. It’s sweetly taken off because now Freeform is like, “Well, we tried doing the, like, dark, edgy stuff. It didn’t make us money, so let’s take all that stuff off of the platform and pivot to Disney appropriate material.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:49:59] I don’t really understand the whole “Let’s take it off thing” unless it’s also, like, a tax thing. But I’d rather see, like, “Oh, they have such a wide variety of things.”
Ashley Ray [00:50:11] But instead they just take it completely off, which they did with so many animated shows.
Zach Noe Towers [00:50:17] But yeah, Praise Petey I love. Solar Opposites I love. I’m so excited to dive back into that. Futurama and Praise Petey are the two that I get excited that it’s, like, new episodes.
Ashley Ray [00:50:27] Praise Petey–every time I’m just like, “Oh yes, we’re doing this.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:50:29] Yeah. Wait, are you watching anything?
Ashley Ray [00:50:34] I’m watching everything.
Zach Noe Towers [00:50:38] Anything that you are obsessed with?
Ashley Ray [00:50:39] I mean, Below Deck: Down Under has just been killing it this season. And they brought back João, who is one of the, like, just most controversial bosun’s in Below Deck history. So, it’s about to get real good this season, so I’m excited about that. Praise Petey. Oh, Miracle Workers.
Zach Noe Towers [00:50:59] Oh, I’ve never watched it, but I feel like tonally it is my vibe.
Ashley Ray [00:51:03] It’s really good and every season is a different time period, so this new one is, like, Mad Max–the future. And it’s so, so funny. It’s really good. It’s probably my favorite one they’ve done since the first season, but people aren’t really talking about it. And it’s one of those shows that’s, like, on Max, but they’ll probably take it off soon. So go check it out. And then I just started this documentary on Max that premiered called Telemarketers.
Zach Noe Towers [00:51:29] Oh. Hate them.
Ashley Ray [00:51:32] Yes. And it’s about the biggest telemarketing scam company in America. And it’s, like, this company that was called the Civic Engagement Group. And basically, they would say, “Oh, we’re raising money for police in New Jersey. Do you want to donate?” And they’d give 10% of the money to the police and keep 90% of it. And they opened offices all over the country. And they would just hire, like, high schoolers and people with records and ex-cons.
Zach Noe Towers [00:51:58] Oh my God.
Ashley Ray [00:51:59] And this guy who worked there was like, “It’s so insane working here I’m going to film it.” And it’s truly people doing heroin at their desk and smoking pot in the office. And they’re just 17-year-olds and 20-year-olds who are like, “They pay $10 an hour. Who cares? Whatever.” And then slowly they try to take down the company. And I love this documentary. It is so wild because it is truly, like, a 17-year-old boy who dropped out of high school, got a camera, and is just like, “So me and my friends are going to spray paint, drink eight beers, and then go into the office.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:52:31] Wait. And is it their documentary?
Ashley Ray [00:52:33] Yeah, it’s their documentary. And they started filming this in, like, 2004. So, the footage is, like, really old and shows them just truly scamming people–lying and being like, “Well, I’m a police officer too. So, you know, 100% of this money is going to go to the cops.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:52:48] Oh my God.
Ashley Ray [00:52:50] So it’s on Max. It’s really good.
Zach Noe Towers [00:52:52] Is it a series or a feature?
Ashley Ray [00:52:54] It’s a series. It’s a four-part series.
Zach Noe Towers [00:52:58] I’m getting a little resentful of series documentaries. I feel like they take one little thing, and they really milk it. And I get a little bored sometimes when it’s a series.
Ashley Ray [00:53:07] Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I hate it. I think anything more than four episodes–it’s going to waste time.
Zach Noe Towers [00:53:12] Yes.
Ashley Ray [00:53:13] This one is four episodes, so I’m like, “Pretty perfect.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:53:16] Great, great, great.
Ashley Ray [00:53:17] But the first episode–it was kind of like, “Okay, you told us everything that happens. The company, like, got sued, and they end it. What are these other three episodes even going to be?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:53:28] Sure. But they’ve been good?
Ashley Ray [00:53:30] I’ve only seen the first one.
Zach Noe Towers [00:53:30] Oh my God. Okay. Okay.
Ashley Ray [00:53:32] Yeah. So, I’m really like, “What else do we cover here?”
Zach Noe Towers [00:53:34] The Murdaugh Murders. That kept me very engaged. That one–I was like, “What?” in every episode.
Ashley Ray [00:53:41] Every episode, you’re just like, “How could this get crazier?” And then next thing you know, they’re like, “The dad tries to fake his own death.”
Zach Noe Towers [00:53:48] Crazy.
Ashley Ray [00:53:50] So, Zach, do you have anything else you want to plug?
Zach Noe Towers [00:53:53] Come see me on tour. I’m doing a tour starting in September through December. Different dates in different cities. But go to zachnoetowers.com.
Ashley Ray [00:54:02] Yeah, Get those dates. Listen to the podcast or radio show, After Hours. Listen to it on the app. And also, as we’ve been saying, if you want to support the actors and writers who are still on strike, anyone in LA or New York can join a picket line or drop off food and water. You can also donate money to the Entertainment Community Fund, which helps non-actor Hollywood crew members who suffer hardships due to the strike. You can donate at entertainmentcommunity.org. And make sure to direct your gift to the film and television category when asked. Yeah, we’re still on strike, so–hey–help us out. You know, who knows when we’ll be back to work.
Zach Noe Towers [00:54:34] We should picket together. I went this morning.
Ashley Ray [00:54:36] Yes, I was going to go this morning. And then I slept in. But I’m down to go.
Zach Noe Towers [00:54:42] Let’s go.
Ashley Ray [00:54:43] So, TV Club, make sure that you are caught up on every show we talked about–just everything. Go watch Dark Side of the 2000s, which I’ve also been enjoying every week. And then we’re getting a second season of Sex Before the Internet. So, I feel like that’s a scoop because I didn’t know.
Zach Noe Towers [00:54:59] Maybe I wasn’t supposed to say it. Well, we’ll figure that out.
Ashley Ray [00:55:02] But you can at least watch the first season, which I absolutely loved. And, you know, thanks so much for listening. We’ll be back next week with another episode. TV, I Say with Ashley Ray is an Earwolf production made by me, Ashley Ray-Harris. It’s engineered by Abby Aguilar, produced by Anita Flores, executive produced by Amelia Chappelow. And our original theme song is by RaFia. It means so much to me if you go rate, review, subscribe. Follow TV, I Say. Let us know what you think and tell your friends. Share with your Golden Girls. Tell your Boys. If you love my TV recommendations, let everyone you know know. For special TV Club members, join my Patreon.
September 19, 2023
It’s almost time for the ‘The Golden Bachelor,’ and Ashley Ray couldn’t be more excited! TV Lover and host of High and Mighty, Jon Gabrus joins the pod to discuss why older women are sexy, cringey reality show kissing, and his love for ‘Project Runway All Stars.’
September 12, 2023
Guest Anthony Atamanuik
Things that don’t make Ashley Ray panic? Cult documentaries! ‘Don’t Panic’ host Anthony Atamanuik joins the podcast to discuss the story of Teal Swan, who made the best NXIVM doc, and whether or not he’d join a cult.
September 5, 2023
The Roys, the Lyons, The Righteous Gemstones, who’s your favorite TV family dynasty? ‘Even the Rich’ hosts Brooke Siffrinn and Aricia Skidmore-Williams join Ashley to discuss real and fictional family dynasties, the worst actor on Sex & the City, and Hulu’s current obsession with turning everything into a docu-series.