This Week in Podcasts: 4/1/18 – 4/7/18

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! You can see my current list of podcast subscriptions here. Feel free to give me recommendations–as well as any feedback or discussion!–in the comments below or on twitter. 

This week, I wrote about why you should be listening to Fall of the House of Sunshine, an absurd (but shockingly well-built) comedy musical audio drama. I also explained my frustration for podcasters who treat their audience as a third wheel.

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Highlights

The Bright Sessions
“Wadsworth”

Between “50 – Rose” and now “Wadsworth,” I wouldn’t be surprised if every episode leading to The Bright Sessions‘s conclusion winds up on that week’s Highlights list. This week’s episode is a more subdued production than “50 – Rose,” of course, but the emotional and philosophical depths it reached were stunning. The episode examines the ethics of Wadsworth, diving into why she does what she does. The episode doesn’t allow the easy “Wadsworth is evil” reading that would allow the listener a straightforward antagonist to triumph over. She also isn’t painted as a tragic hero. She’s multi-dimensional, like every character in The Bright Sessions.

Wooden Overcoats
“Season 3 Episode 7: The Sunshine Treatment”

On its first episode of this season, I predicted Wooden Overcoats would allow their characters a little more depth, but I didn’t predict that depth would extend to Eric Chapman. Tom Crowley’s performance as a rapidly unraveling Chapman was hilarious while still heartbreaking. Hearing this side of the otherwise always put together funeral home director was surprisingly nice and unfortunately relatable. Ciara Baxendale’s performance as Georgie is always a favorite, but her emotional moments in this episode were absolutely devastating.

The Amelia Project
“Percy”

It’s difficult to discuss “Percy” without giving the concept of the episode away, which I would be loathe to do. “Percy” is the type of episode that would be infuriatingly navel-gazing or precious if done by a team even slightly less talented than The Amelia Project‘s. It’s an episode that, by all accounts, should have had me rolling my eyes. Instead, I found myself laughing to the point of tears many times over. One of the things that The Amelia Project does well is their pacing: there’s always an initial setup that’s funny, some early character jokes that get laughs, and then a focus on more of the plot. Then, about three fourths into the episode, something else is introduced to bring new life back into the comedy. The Amelia Project is a perfect study in blending comedy with an actually interesting story, and “Percy” is one of the best examples to date.


This Week’s Ratings

Sunday, 4/1/18

  • Conversation with People Who Hate Me, “The Trans Ban”: B
  • Darknet Diaries, “Ill Tills”: B

Monday, 4/2/18

  • We Fix Space Junk, “S01E03 – The Popcorn Men of Eternia III”: C+
  • My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 400: The Escape to Margaritavilla Red Carpet Extravaganza”: B-
  • Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, “106. Tasmanian Sex Ed Circus Peformer”: C+

Tuesday, 4/3/18

  • Note to Self, “How to Have No FIlter”: B
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour, “Love, Simon”: C+
  • The Amelia Project, “Prelude: Semi Skimmed Milk”: B
  • 99% Invisible, “301- Making it Rain”: B
  • Aftershocks, “Settling In”: B-
  • Violet Beach, “9 – Communication Issues”: B (Full review coming this week)
  • Love and Luck, “Episode 31 – Mini Episode 2”: B

Wednesday, 4/4/18

  • Wooden Overcoats, “Season 3 Episode 7: The Sunshine Treatment”: B+
  • Wonderful!, “Ep. 28: Wuh-Woh, WaghettiOs”: B-
  • Fall of the House of Sunshine, “Season 2, Episode 1: The All New All Different Abnormal Y-Team”: B
  • Spirits, “Episode 71: Hierarchy of Angels”: B
  • Han and Matt Know It All, “Overcoming Tabletop RPG Anxiety Revisited | Opinion Overflow #34”: B-
  • The Bright Sessions, “Wadsworth”: B+

Thursday, 4/5/17

  • Radiolab, “Border Trilogy Part 2: Hold the Line”: B
  • Invisibilia, “Everything Good”: C
  • The Amelia Project, “Percy”: B+
  • The Adventure Zone, “The The Adventure Zone Zone: Experimens Post-Mortem, More on Season Two!”: C+

Friday, 4/6/17

  • The Allusionist, “76. Across the Pond”: B

Saturday, 4/7/17

  • 2298, “ENTRY FIFTEEN / DIRECTIONS”: B-
  • Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services, “The Initiate Files: Case One”: B
  • Ostium, “Episode 17 – Rapa Nui”: C+
  1. That Wooden Overcoats episode stayed me, for all the reasons you mentioned, but here’s another. It really showed the power of pacing. The contrast between the pacing of the scene where Chapman is in the Funn’s home, and Rudyard is finally getting everything he ever wanted, and the pacing of the scene with Georgie and Dr. Edgeware in the rain, is breathtaking.

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    1. Wow, YES. You’re right–the pacing was absolutely phenomenal. I think I have a tendency of taking the pacing for granted with Wooden Overcoats. Thank you for reminding me that I shouldn’t!

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    2. Also, MANIFENESTRATION–wow. That user name is worth so many 100 emojis.

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  2. Slayed, not stayed. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. I’m simultaneously frustrated and intrigued by 2298. Clearly the episode length is A Thing, but every time an episode ends I feel like it’s slammed on the brakes right when things are starting to happen. But the story itself is interesting, and I’m curious to see where it goes.

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