Podcast: RISKY BUSINESS Declared Women are Products and Money is all that Matters.

A woman in pink shirt and shorts kicking on the ground.
A pink and black button with a picture of a car

When you’re looking to explain the 1980s, look to Risky Business. Teens were attracted to the Paul Brickman comedy by the music video featuring Tom Cruise dancing in his underpants. Running constantly on MTV, teens watched and rewatched the “Old Time Rock n’ Roll” music video and its resonant clips of a line of beautiful prostitutes walking into Joel’s house, a Porsche screeching at top speed to outrace Guido the Killer Pimp, and Cruise sporting Ray-Bans. It was all so, so cool. The video had a purpose: it got kids and teens to watch the R film in the theater or on HBO. It was satire, a warning, but that’s not what teens took away. Joel’s mother’s fragile egg was a precious item, but it wasn’t meaningless: it represented the kids of the ’80s. And, as film authorities Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, explain, ’80s teens — like the egg — came out of the experience slightly cracked.  The duo look at how a teen sex movie in the Reagan era impacted a generation.