Emma Starer Gross ’15 and Ananya Menon ’15 Change the Landscape of Children’s Entertainment with New Webseries

“Jeanine Basinger personally emailed to ask if we’d consider donating the series to Wesleyan’s archives.”

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Childhood can be a stressful time. On top of endless school days and social politics, children’s brains are often filled with pressing and relevant questions like “how will I make money after losing my job?” or “how do I know if I have an STI?”. Luckily, Emma Starer Gross ’15 and Ananya Menon ’15 are here to help these inquisitive young minds as hosts of their new webseries Kiddie Kiddie Bang Bang. In each episode Emma and Ananya break down a new topic with their wisdom and sage advice. Thankfully, they were able to take time out of doing their important work to answer some of our questions.

How would you describe Kiddie Kiddie Bang Bang to someone who hasn’t seen it?

Emma: Haha. That’s a great question! Do you want to take this one Ananya?

Ananya: Ok, Emma! First of all…thanks so much for reaching out to us. This project has been in the works for a while now; we’re excited to share it with our friends, family, and saboteurs. Kiddie Kiddie Bang Bang is a critically acclaimed children’s television program that seeks to educate young minds. In this season we address topics children face each and every day, such as broken condoms and donating plasma for money.

What inspired you to come up with the idea for the show?

Emma: Ananya and I noticed a gap in children’s programming, and rather than act as passive bystanders, we decided to evaluate our assets, leverage resources, and build a brand that would fill a void in the global marketplace.

Ananya: And iterate towards a more economical market “fit.”

Emma: Exactly.

Ananya: Synergizing innovations in an established ecosystem.

Have you gotten any interesting responses from viewers?

Emma: We mostly received fan mail from grateful parents, thanking us for making their jobs (the most important ones in the world!) a little bit easier.

Ananya: Jeanine Basinger personally emailed to ask if we’d consider donating the series to Wesleyan’s archives.

Emma: One of our key marketing strategies was telling people their photos were featured in one of the episodes (they weren’t). This forced viewers to watch the entire season, looking for their picture.  We received a lot of frustrated emails from those individuals.

Including both of you, there were a bunch of other Wesleyan alumni involved in this project. Has it been easy to maintain connections to classmates post-graduation?

Ananya: Yes, Chloe Shipko, Elizabeth Litvitskiy, Gerard Liu, and Emma Hagerman worked very hard to help us realize our project.

Emma: When I was younger, every year before Christmas break, I checked the same book out of the library. When I headed back to school in the new year, I returned the book with a letter to my future self, one that I would find when I checked out the book the following December. By the time I reached twelfth grade, the book was filled with the letters I had written myself over the years.

Are there any topics you haven’t covered yet, but would like to in the future?

Emma and Ananya (in unison): Yes. O.J. Simpson

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Emma: “Follow  your dreams or die trying,” –Wesleyan Public Safety.

Is there a season 2 in the works?

Ananya: Yes. It’s in development now with talks of Claire Danes as the spokesperson. You can follow our negotiations on our twitter @Emmaandananyaha.

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Here is episode 1 of Kiddie Kiddie Bang Bang: