ET exclusively premieres the trailer for the BFFs' Crooked Media podcast.
Saved by the Bell alums Josie Totah and Alycia Pascual-Peña are reuniting for a new project, a no-holds barred podcast with their BFF, Yasmine Hamady, where they get real about everything from hookup culture to critical race theory to LGBTQ+ rights. Dare We Say, which launches Aug. 11 as part of the Crooked Media family, sees the trio as they have passionate (and sometimes respectfully heated) discussions about the issues and topics that affect their lives, and only ET exclusively debuts the official trailer for the podcast.
The three best friends, who moved in together at the start of the pandemic in 2020, spend each episode digging deep on a specific topic while also bringing in special guests -- such as fellow actors, comedians, politicians and those older than them -- to shed light on issues they may not be experts in and to better contextualize the world their generation, Gen Z, was brought into. Their disparate upbringings, identities and perspectives fuel the animated conversations that drive their new podcast.
The idea for a podcast between the three grew organically. After meeting years ago, Totah and Hamady spent hours chatting like they had been best friends for years, even bringing up the idea of creating a podcast together. Once Pascual-Peña came into the picture, on the Netflix film Moxie with and later Peacock's Saved by the Bell, it was as if they were all separated at birth, Totah said. Then 2020 happened, and the need for an outlet to express their frustrations and digest what was happening in the world held much more urgency than before. Two years later, their podcast dream is now a reality.
"While everything was happening around us, we were all processing it and going through it together, when people would tell us that they learned from our conversations or after hearing us speak, they were like, 'You guys should make a podcast about this,' it reignited our initial dream and wanted to make it a reality," Totah shared with ET over a Zoom call with Pascual-Peña and Hamady. "And we just really wanted to have a space that talked about things that are really important to us, but also a space that we could really have fun on and play games and love each other even more."
"What really encouraged us more than anything was we knew that we were best friends and we could talk for way too long, but people would leave our house and would say, 'I really learned from that,' or, 'Wow, that was a perspective I've never heard before,'" Pascual-Peña added. "I think that is what really galvanized us into wanting to pursue a platform to have these discussions and also have discussions that we wish we had heard or empowered us. We felt like we were learning from each other and we were cultivating this beautiful community that empowered us and we were saying, 'Hopefully, we can bring this joy and bring laughter and education to other people,' because all of us are part of a marginalized group in some type of way. Let's create that space since we don't see it."
Hamady noted that their different backgrounds and varying opinions keep their debates interesting and illuminating. "A lot of times, at least in podcasts, you see a group of people who don't have an actual relationship before the business relationship, who have all the same thoughts, same discussions and topics," she said, adding that having "diversity of thought" is important and encouraged on Dare We Say. "We actually disagree on a couple things. We have our own opinions because that's the world we live in. Not everyone's going to think the same. Obviously, our morals are all aligned, that's non-negotiable. But, I feel like these topics, we want to spark change, we want to spark thought, we want to spark conversation from all aspects -- not just the left, not just the right, the middle, up and down."
"Alycia is a proud, beautifully talented, intelligent Afro-Latina from the Bronx. Yasmine is from Palo Alto and went to theater school. And I'm a former recovering child actor who grew up in San Francisco, but I lived in L.A. for the past 10 years. Those three journeys are completely different," Totah said. "Yasmine and I are both of Lebanese descent, and are very proud of that. And so, I think everyone can find themselves in at least one of us. You could find yourself in at least one of us and relate to our experience."
Joked Hamady, devolving the conversation into NSFW territory: "We're sisters, but from different worlds -- in the same uterus, different sperm donors, one might argue."
Totah acknowledged that their friendship journey over the last several years hasn't been perfect, and some of that comes through in the podcast. "Because we're so different, we have to put in the work to combat our differences and to embrace them to work together," she said, "because we can't help the fact that we are all where we're from or the story that we have, but we can help the fact of what we choose to do with that and how we embrace each other. I think that is the most beautiful part of our dynamic."
As the trailer tees up, Totah, Pascual-Peña and Hamady aren't afraid to go there if they have to. But the girls said they had a long discussion before agreeing to do the podcast about setting boundaries. "We're not just having these fun little conversations. We're talking about everything from hookup culture to our backgrounds, to our sexual identity and everything in between, and not everything is going to be easy to talk about, so what are we OK with saying?" Hamady said. "People are going to have access to this all over the world. We just want to make sure that we're all on the same page when talking about things and also when we pitch episodes, and thoughts that we want to do, sometimes we're like, 'Mmm, maybe not.' And I'm like, 'Why don't we want to do that?' Having that clear communication in dialogue and always approaching with love."
Though Totah and Pascual-Peña are a little less than three months removed from Peacock's surprising cancellation of Saved by the Bell, they seem comfortable moving on to bigger and better things -- together.
"Honestly, I think that our plan is working. Our plan has been to keep working together and look at us now. You're talking to us on a mother flipping Zoom for another thing!" Pascual-Peña said. "We're grateful for the time that we had on the show. We were really proud of certain things that we were able to say. As much as it's lived in what we've done with the show, in those two seasons, I just am really grateful for the opportunity to work with my f**king best friend, made such beautiful relationships and I have been really humbled and honored that people come to us and tell us that we made them laugh or they saw themselves in us, in one way or the other. I think we did our job and we're proud and we're trying to work together until we're old and gray. I think we're successful in that and Yasmine is on the bandwagon, so, girl, you're going to keep seeing us. We're good, we're great."
"We might write a Saved by the Bell reboot, but it's only us three," Hamady joked.
"That's the only IP we're going to pull from for the rest of our lives," Totah chimed in. "We're only going to do Saved by the Bell reboots."
Dare We Say drops Aug. 11, with new episodes every Thursday everywhere you get your podcasts.