This Week in Podcasts a weekly roundup of mini-reviews of all of the podcasts I’ve listened to in a week. If you see any podcasts that you feel are missing from my list, there’s a good chance I haven’t listened to the show yet! Feel free to give me recommendations–as well as any feedback or discussion!–in the comments below, in my asks on tumblr, or on twitter.
As a note, I’m spending this weekend out of town, so this week’s post will only track through Friday instead of Saturday. This week, Season 2 of Limetown was announced, and I am ecstatic. I knew I was holding onto that stagnant podcast feed for almost two years for good reason. TV adaptations were also announced for Sword and Scale and Up and Vanished. This was also a great week for podcasts, so we have no pitfalls that couldn’t be explained by a Podcast Problems post, and we have four highlights.
And hey, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter!
The Hilarious World of Depression
“Guy Gulman Is a Brilliant Comedian and an Ineffective Offensive Lineman”
With shows like The Hilarious World of Depression in which some sort of celebrity is interviewed, the listener’s previous appreciation of the celebrity is usually tantamount to their enjoyment of the episode. This, however, was not the case in this week’s The Hilarious World of Depression. I didn’t have any knowledge of Guy Gulman when I listened, and it was still one of the most intimate, moving episodes to date. The discussion with Gulman was both raw and gentle, and exactly what makes this podcast so noteworthy.
“Halloween Special: Spirits of Greater Boston”
This week’s Greater Boston was a fictional episode of Spirits, a nonfiction podcasts about myths and folklore, set in the Greater Boston universe, in which audio dramas The Bright Sessions, Wolf 359, and ars PARADOXICA are TV shows. Everything about this episode was fun. The acting by Spirits hosts Amanda McLoughlin and Julia Schifini was absolutely convincing, making the episode feel like a real episode of Spirits. I have suspicion that much of the episode was improvised (with important plot- and world-relevant details planned) to make sure the cadence was natural, and it absolutely was. Not only was this a fun addition to the mythos of Greater Boston, it was also so indicative of how supportive and collaborative the audio drama world is.
The Bright Sessions
This episode of The Bright Sessions was one of the most intriguing, stressful episodes in recent history. “Subject #E-307” is a conversation between Wadsworth and Damian, the two most intense, manipulative characters of the show. The conversation was like watching a stressful tennis game; the back-and-forth pacing was quick and manicured, but in a very believable way. The episode sounded scripted only in that both Wadsworth and Damian, as characters, have a very specific voice and tone they purposefully put on when trying to assert their dominance. The episode filled in some very necessary plot details missing from the first episode of this season, but really, this episode was masterful in all the ways The Bright Sessions usually shows its mastery: its character writing and acting.
Showcase from Radiotopia
“The Polybius Conspiracy #5 – The Seller”
I’ve already discussed this podcast, and today’s episode adds nothing new to what I’ve already said. I had to Google “Is The Polybius Conspiracy fiction” again, and I yelled, “What?!” several times while listening. This is going to be the last time I bring this podcast up, because I get the feeling it’s always going to be more of the same. I just wanted to emphasize one last time that you should all be listening
This Week’s Ratings
- The Hilarious World of Depression, “Guy Gulman Is a Brilliant Comedian and an Ineffective Offensive Lineman”: A-
- The Sporkful, “Monologues Are Like Meatballs, Says Actor Michael McKean”: C
- The Cryptid Keeper, “Episode 32- Ghouls”: B-
- What’s the Frequency?, “Audio Experiment Halloween Special”: B
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking, “18: Chapter 2”: B
- Greater Boston, “Halloween Special: Spirits of Greater Boston”: A-
- Within the Wires, “Season 2, Cassette 5: Van Gogh Museum (1977)”: C+
- My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 978: Pumpkindaze 2017”: B-
- DCOMedy, “Episode 15: Why Is He Made of Frogs???”: C-
- Hello from the Magic Tavern, “Season 2, Ep 33 – Necromancer Performance Review”: B-
- Code Switch, “To Fail or Not to Fail: The Fierce Debate Over High Standards”: B
- Pop Culture Happy Hour, “Stranger Things 2”: C+
- Note to Self, “Nyet Just a Conspiracy Theory?”: B
- Myths and Legends, “88-Ragnarok: Doom”: B
- 99% Invisible, “282- Oyster-tecture”: B
- Beautiful Stories from Anonymous Strangers, “85. Moravian Trademonk”: C+
- Limetown, “Season 2 coming 2018”: A+++, but this might be cheating.
- Wonderful!, “Ep. 9: Alligator Jealousy”: B
- The Bright Sessions, “Subject #E-307”: B+
- Spirits, “Episode 49: La Lechuza”: B-
- Wolf 359, “Episode 56: Idle Hands”: B
- Heaven’s Gate, “3: The Mothers”: C+
- Wonderful!, “Ep. 9: Alligator Jealousy”: B
- Victoriocity, “The Pleasure Coast”: B
- Imaginary Worlds, “Fan Fiction (Don’t Judge)”: B
- Snap Judgment, “Duality”: C
- Radiolab Presents: More Perfect, “Citizens United”: B-
- The Adventure Zone, “Commitment – Episode 2”: B
- Girl in Space, “Nothing Gold Can Stay – 104”: B
- Showcase by Radiotopia, “The Polybius Conspiracy #5 – The Seller”: A