Untypical is a new fantasy/action/comedy audio drama by East Corp, known for its other major audio drama, Fallout Equestria. Untypical is set to debut Friday, February 16th, and focuses on a group of people with what might call mutations or superpowers.
What initially stands out in Untypical‘s pilot episode is its lush worldbuilding and frenetic energy. Untypical feels akin to other sci-fi/fantasy westerns like the Borderlands series or Fallout in its blend of the antiquated and the futuristic. The backdrop of an old Western town in a science fiction locale (the moon, which might be beaten in sci-fi cred only by Mars) plus the addition of magic powers, though, makes unplaced feel unique but still familiar. The characters, similarly, feel at first glance like they might be at home in the X-Men universe. As the episode unfolds, though, it’s clear they could only exist in this setting that is as strange and delightful as they are. This is in no small part due to the solid performances by the cast across the board, who all work within this broad space while still sounding genuine.
Untypical has a knack for setting an audio aesthetic that helps root its characters, setting, and action in a world the listener can see without having seen it. Between the bluegrassy twangs of bed music, the vocal distortion on characters, and the abundance of sound effects, the podcast feels immersive and believable, even given its larger-than-life concept. Untypical is a cinematic listen with imagery and sound design that are distinct enough for the listener to visualize everything going on.
The production work also adds depth, clarity, and excitement to the fight scenes, too. Elena Fernández-Collins’s review of Untypical‘s pilot episode discusses the success of the podcast’s combat scenes, but their praises deserve to be repeated. In Unplaced, the action is set to the background music a la Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver (2017). Each gunshot, each punch syncs perfectly to the music behind it. The tactic not only works in an ear-candy sense but also helps orient the listener and make the fights easier to follow: latching onto a familiar rhythm or melody makes everything feel less chaotic.
At times, the pilot episode of Untypical was admittedly hard to follow. The plot moves at a breakneck speed for almost the entire hour of its untimely, but this seems necessary for its aesthetic and genre. The characters were initially a bit difficult to separate but became much clearer as the episode progressed–and will, of course, become even clearer when Unplaced has less exposition to worry about.
Untypical will premier in wide release on Friday, February 16th. You can find it and subscribe now on any major podcatcher. Look specifically for Untypical, not The Untypical Podcast–though the difference in branding imagery should make that distinction apparent.