Pleasantville - Verbal Diorama

Episode 6


Published on: 6th May, 2019

Ahh, the 1950s. A time of tradition; where fathers were the breadwinners and worked the 9 to 5, mothers were homemakers and caregivers and children were obedient. Men ruled the roost, women ruled the kitchen and children were seen and not heard.

Are you looking for the ideal place to raise your nuclear family? Choose Pleasantville! An idyllic black and white utopia with no sex, drugs, rock and roll or emotion of any kind. It's swell!

Ahh Pleasantville. The town of choice for repressed sitcom families everywhere. The town of choice for 90s movie siblings to crash into and change irrevocably.

Are you looking for the ideal movie about repression and the power of change? Choose Pleasantville! An idyllic black and white utopia, where you can introduce sex to the people, words into books, art onto walls and emotion into the every day lives of the perfect residents. It's pasty, but it won't be for long!

Pleasantville is a movie that uses the metaphors of inserting colour into a predominantly black and white movie to represent change, and also the fear of change. On the surface it’s the story of a pair of teenagers who upset a fictional world, but underneath it has layers of deeper meaning. What is a perfect life? Who are we if all we do is follow the status quo? It’s a story about being more than what other people might want you to be.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Pleasantville! You can get in touch on

Twitter @verbaldiorama

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or you can email me general hellos, feedback or suggestions:

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My website has been set up and is at

And remember, nothing is as simple as black and white.

Special thanks to the following people for their contributions to this episode:

Kristin from @soimwatching




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About the Podcast

Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.
Are you interested in how movies are made? Do you wonder how a film went from conception to completion? If so Verbal Diorama, hosted by Em, is the podcast for you!

Movies are tough to make, and Verbal Diorama is here to celebrate the coming together of teams of extraordinary cast and crew, bringing us movies that inspire us, delight us, make us laugh, make us cry and petrify us. This podcast discovers the stories behind the scenes, and proves how amazing it is that movies actually exist!

Welcome to Verbal Diorama. The podcast all about the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't! Subscribe on your favourite podcast app, and enjoy new episodes every week.
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About your host

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Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

Episodes are audibly book ended by Jess. She sadly passed away in March 2022, aged almost 18. She featured in many episodes of the podcast, and that's why you can hear her at the end of every episode. The role of official feline producer is now held by the comparatively quieter Evie.

I love podcasts, and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.