This Week in Podcasts is back! This Week in Podcasts is 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.
This week was a phenomenal week in podcasting. We have five highlights (a clear record) and only one pitfall! This week, I reviewed Yesterday’s Chip Paper and Unmapped. I also finally became a patron for What’s the Frequency.
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The Big Loop
“Goodbye Mr. Adams”
This is a podcast episode that seemed to shake the world–or, at least, the audio drama community. The Big Loop is a science fiction/magical realism podcast in which every episode is on a different subject. I don’t want to say much on this episode, because I want you to listen it, so I will say this: the episode features The Bright Sessions‘s Briggon Snow in hands-down the best performance he had given, at least in audio. The moment I finished the episode, I set a reminder for myself in December 2018 to remind me that this episode needs to go on at least my 2018 Best in Performances list, if not writing and favorite episodes as well.
Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People
“94. The Puppet Master”
I don’t have anything insightful to say about this episode. Chris Gethard being completely unable to hold back laughter has already made 2018 worlds better than 2017. I laughed harder for this episode than I have in weeks–while at my desk, at work.
The Bright Sessions
In case audio drama fans needed more reason to be extremely emotional over Briggon Snow, The Bright Sessions delivered an intense and beautiful episode this week. In a much-needed character-centric episode, the tension of everything that’s been unfolding in the plot finally came to a boiling point for Adam. The main foci here are Caleb and Adam, both of whom received gorgeous performances from Briggon Snow and Alex Gallner, respectively. The writing between these two characters is always some of the best, and this episode did not disappoint.
“From Earth to Fons”
Tides debuted its first episode this week, and it’s already such a great listen. Tides fits easily into the isolated-in-space science fiction genre with shows like Girl in Space or Wolf 359, but it still feels completely unique. The protagonist, Dr. Winifred Eurus, is played by Julia Schifini of Spirits and What’s the Frequency, and her performance here is so engaging. Dr. Eurus is delightfully sarcastic and smarmy but still loveable, working as a great–but not overly obvious–mouthpiece for the audience with her scientific curiosity. Tides will be listed on my This Week in Podcasts lists, and it will likely be getting a First Impressions review when it hits five episodes.
Within the Wires
“Season 2, Cassette 10: Karikari Contemporary Gallery (1986)”
Within the Wires is one of the most underrated Night Vale Presents podcasts, and its season two finale this week displays exactly why it deserves more discussion and praise. Seasons 1 and 2 of Within the Wires were about different subjects and different stories, but they always felt like clear conceptual siblings. In its finale, there was a shocking and beautiful connection to the first season that took me completely off guard. It was one of those rare podcast moments that was literally jaw-dropping. The writing and acting in the episode were, of course, beautiful as well. Within the Wires is an audio drama that demands close attention and patience, and it aways rewards its listeners more than we could expect.
My Brother, My Brother and Me
“MBMBaM 388: Face 2 Face: The Mystery of the Seven Parrots”
What makes My Brother, My Brother and Me stand out from other comedy podcasts is the brothers’ natural sweet, absurdist humor paired with their dynamic. What doesn’t make it stand out from other comedy podcasts is the jokes that rely on memes and pop culture moments. I’d be happy to never hear the brothers talk about dabbing, fidget spinners, or vaping ever again. The jokes are lazy, played out, and catering to the fans who think making a reference is the same as making a joke. While this episode had some funny moments–the titular parrot question was really solid–it was too drenched in the least funny types of McElroy moments to be saved.
This Week’s Ratings
- The Hilarious World of Depression, “Linda Holmes Leaves Law to Concentrate on Watching TV and It Works Ou Great”: B
- Within the Wires, “Season 2, Cassette 10: Karikari Contemporary Gallery (1986)””: B+
- Pop Culture Happy Hour, “The Golden Globes Awards”: C+
- Hello from the Magic Tavern, “Season 2, Ep 42”: C
- What’s the Frequency, “You Read It”: B
- The Cryptid Keeper, “Episode 41 – The Encantado”: B-
- 99% Invisible, “290- Mini-Stories: Volume 4”: C
- Love and Luck, “Episode 19 – Witch Boyfriends”: B (Full review of the series coming soon)
- Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, “94. The Puppet Master”: A-
- The Big Loop, “Goodbye, Mr. Adams”: A+
- My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 388: Face 2 Face: The Mystery of the Seven Parrots”: C-
- Tides, “From Earth to Fons”: B+
- The Bright Sessions, “Adam”: B+
- Spirits, “Episode 59: Lạc Long Quân and Au Cơ”: B
- Unmapped, “#6 – Surprise! Travel! (ft. Lillian Rafson from Pack Up & Go)”: B
- Pop Culture Happy Hour, “I, Tonya and What’s Making Us Happy This Week”: C+
- The Adventure Zone, “Amnesty – Episode 1”: B
- Showcase from Radiotopia, “Secrets #1 – Discover a Secret”: C
- 2298, “ENTRY THREE / FLUTTERED”: B