Where audio meets reality TV – that is where Lemonada’s Being Studios is carving out its podcast niche as today it releases a second series that makes the average person the star, albeit with a twist. Being Golden is a six-part unscripted doc-reality podcast that follows four diverse people over the age of 60 living in Los Angeles. The show will be more MTV “Real World” than “Murder She Wrote.” Lemonada says the podcast will give listeners a glimpse of life in the so-called golden years, complete with sex, drugs and retirement plans.
“Any preconceived notions, assumptions, or biases about the golden years are turned upside down this season,” says Stephanie Wittels Wachs, chief creative officer at Lemonada Media. “This group of wild seniors are bucking all of our tired tropes. It’s been absolutely thrilling to witness.”
Each of the Being Studios series has the goal of immersing the listener into the world of each of its casts, says Wittels Wachs, and Being Golden is no different. The show’s four cast members will discuss new careers, new love interests, heartbreak, and plenty of drama reminiscent of its reality TV roots. The first three episodes will be released on Monday, November 14.
The diverse group of four featured on the podcast includes Gloria, a twice-divorced, outspoken, unfiltered feminist from Texas who is spending her retirement painting, working on a book and attending political rallies with her married gay sister. There is also Buzz, a divorced proud father of four who left his stable longstanding job to take on the L.A. hustle and pursue his lifelong dream of becoming an actor, despite health concerns and warnings from his children. The show also features Henri, a Chicago native who is also pursuing an entertainment career in L.A. and is struggling to stabilize her life and move out of the motel she’s currently living in while also working on building a relationship with a son she gave up for adoption. And there is Elise, a model, beauty pageant title holder, influencer, CEO, former optometry practice owner and single mom of a teenage boy.
Lemonada’s Being Studios was launched in July 2021 with the hiring of reality television veteran Kasey Barrett. Its aim is to create new audio reality series of what it’s like to “be” someone else. Barrett is a veteran of TV shows such as “The Real World” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians and has said that Lemonada’s Being series is part doc-reality and audio-first podcasts. “Think: reality TV meets podcasting,” she said.
Being Golden is the follow-up to Lemonada’s Being Trans, which was released in April and followed a similar model as it allowed listeners to follow along with the lives of four transgender individuals living in Los Angeles. The six episodes were created from hundreds of hours of live conversations, experiences and intimate moments with cast members recorded by Barrett.
Lemonada has said it plans to release at least two Being Studios podcasts per year. The format does not come cheap. When Lemonada launched Being Trans, it spent about $100,000 per episode according to a New York Times report. That is twice what the company usually spends on an episode for other podcasts.