VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Happy Valentine’s Day, sweethearts! Tighten your straps and practice your safe words, because we’re getting kinky with 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey!

The lovely Katie Rife (The AV Club) joins us to discuss Sam Taylor-Johnson’s joyless adaptation of EL James’ dangerously unsexy Twilight fanfiction novels detailing the dom/sub love affair between clumsy ingenue Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and brooding baby-billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). In between, we discuss issues of kink, consent, the dark underbelly of Christian and Ana’s relationship, and the film’s troubling absence of dong. Also, some fun Mad Libs of one of the book’s steamier segments!

Enjoy our episode, along with our custom cocktail and drinking game below!

(Thanks to our sponsor Overcast as part of the Chicago Podcast Coop!)

Related links: 

This Week in Academia: Meg Barker’s “Consent is a grey area? A comparison of understandings of consent in Fifty Shades of Grey and on the BDSM blogosphere.”




  1. Any time someone talks up how amazing/talented/smart/sexy Christian is (complete with Ana swooning)
  2. Every time you see the color red (the red room, conference tables)
  3. Whenever a new over-the-top slow jam comes on the soundtrack


Ana shouts in the climactic argument, “Why does it have to be like this?!”

Next episode, we swim into the depths of Academy Awards speculation with our Oscar special, where we’ll talk about Guillermo del Toro’s Best Picture nominee The Shape of Water!

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About Clint Worthington

Clint Worthington is a Chicago-based film/TV critic and podcaster. A member of the Chicago Film Critics Association, you can find his other film work at Consequence of Sound (where he is a Senior Staff Writer), Crooked Marquee, IndieWire and UPROXX. He is also the co-host of Nathan Rabin's Happy Cast.

One thought on “VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

  1. Nice episode and interesting drink recepie, as usual!

    50 Shades was the “saga” that broke Read It And Weep – they charge $1,000 to do the third one, and no-one has been able to gather those funds yet.

    Regarding the drink, there was a joke soda-pop called “Tentacle Grape” (see link). It was anime-themed.

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