Forget everything Mel Gibson taught you about What Women Want; this is where wisdom lies. Boners of the Heart is like listening in on a slumber party, but in a non-creepy way.
BotH is a podcast where Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden bare their numerous romantic celebrity crushes. Two episodes deep, we’ve endured a blow-by-blow retelling of Snedden’s erotic dream which changed her views on Danny DeVito, followed Matafeo’s unlikely fascination with Rick Moranis, and been privy to detailed accounts of their first, prepubescent crushes. The delight is in the details. So far Snedden in particular delivers on this front, from recounting the highlights of her DeVito dream to a pretty honest reveal of where her Leonardo DiCaprio poster used to be located.
There is a clearly superficial theme, but a real shining light of each episode is the occasional almost-accidental vulnerability as the hosts share more details about what they find attractive about the famous fantasy men. I’ve learnt about their thoughts on bereaved widowers, devoted single fathers, and what it does to your psyche when someone compares your dream date to your little brother (dealbreaker). Even in the superficial realm there’s a lot to learn. For example, a lot of back hair is actually maybe ok (“shout out to guys with hairy backs, no disrespect, love it”), but the way a man’s body hair “waves in the water” in the pool is creepy.
This is a Tim Batt/Little Empire Podcast production and, like the fledgling production company’s flagship The Worst Idea Of All Time, the actual material here is mere fodder. Replaceable, unimportant. It’s a vehicle to transport the listener to what’s really going on: Rose and Alice’s burgeoning friendship. When the two mentioned that their friendship was very new, it gave me flashbacks to the early days of Worst Idea. Those boys used to bring up the same thing, and now Tim and Guy are a world-class comedy duo, partners for life in my own headcanon. And with Boners, here we are again – in on the ground floor of a very entertaining relationship. A place where ever-present self-deprecation spills over into “woman on woman violence”, as they put it. A place where Matafeo relentlessly interrupts Snedden’s repeated attempts to make a single point, and then scolds her for taking so long to get to it. A place where embarrassing teenage stories are recited and not judged. A place to annoy each other with fake fan call-ins, and threaten to broadcast one another’s phone number. Most importantly, it’s a place where all these endearing possibilities are tied together in a consistently hilarious delivery.
In a way, it’s a pretty narrow and specific premise which may run its course sooner than one might hope – I’m not sure what will happen when the girls run out of celebrity crushes to divulge. But from the way Matafeo, a self-proclaimed horndog, talks, maybe that’ll never happen. Whatever the future holds, for now, I have a boner in my funny bone for Boners of the Heart.
Listen to the official Boners of the Heart trailer: