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 reviews for Song Salad, my new favorite nonfiction podcast, and Very Random Encounters, a fittingly very random actual play podcast. I bemoaned the now-canceled Alex, Inc. and tried to describe what it could mean for podcast adaptations overall. I also collaborated with Elena Fernández-Collins on a comprehensive how-to guide for a podcast press kit. Over on Discover Pods, I also wrote a feature on ars PARADOXICA and why I think it’s one of the best time-travel stories in any medium.
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Terrible, Thanks for Asking
Terrible, Thanks for Listening can be a grueling podcast, but it’s well aware of that–and usually, the way it leans into despair, hoping to find some morsel of truth or hope or beauty pays off. This week’s episode, “34: Karen” exemplifies how much further this podcast is willing to go than others and what amazing stories they can find in doing so. “34: Karen” starts out seeming like it’s going to be a sweet, but fairly basic story about a baby prevailing even when her mother died and she was severely premature. Most podcasts would leave the story here, tell the listener that baby is a grown woman now, and let the listener get that sweet endorphin release at a scary story that turned out to be fine in the end. Instead, Terrible, Thanks for Asking goes into what that reality is like for a grown woman who never got to meet her mother, whose father loves her but might not always know how, who struggles in her own life. The reality of those sweet simple stories is that those babies who prevailed grow up into adults with problems of their own; their story doesn’t stop there. Terrible, Thanks for Asking not only embraces this, but weaves a haunting story along the way, and seemingly helps repair some emotional bridges in the process.
“ENTRY TWENTY / GREATER GOOD”
In 2298‘s twist-filled conclusion, things for Profile 24 have come to an end–but also, an interesting, surprising beginning. The execution here is lovely. In interest to keep this free of spoilers, I’ll say that I gasped at least twice in the episode and listened to its eight minute duration for at least half an hour on repeat, trying to absorb everything that was happening. The tone of the writing and acting were surprising for many reasons, and as usual, the sound design helped ground everything with its distinct textures. (And no, I didn’t just like it because my name was used–but I’ll admit I did grin a lot when I heard it.)
This Week’s Ratings
- We Fix Space Junk, “S01E08 – The Awakening”: B
- Hello from the Magic Tavern, “Season 2, Ep 58 – Garbage Lady (w/ Betsy Sodaro Live in LA)”: C+
- The Once and Future Nerd, “I’ve Been Working on the Whale-Road, Pt. 1”: B
- Nancy, “The Rowan County Clerk”: C+
- Han and Matt Know It All, “#69 Han and Matt Talk About Sex”: C
- Potterless, “Ep. 41 – Half-Blood Prince Ch. 7-9 w/ Gabriel Urbina & Sarah Shachat”: C+
- Song Salad, “Ep. 110 – Punch My Heart”: B
- Violet Beach, “Other Side”: B-
- My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 405: Gumpy, Hey!”: B-
- Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services, “The Initiate Files: Case Two”: B
- The Habitat, “Bonus: The Is Not My First Rodeo”: C
- What’s the Frequency?, “8. Feedback”: B
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking, “34: Karen”: A-
- The Penumbra Podcast, “2.20: Second Citadel – The Moonlit Hermit (Pat 2)”: C
- Join the Party, “25. Bachelorette Party VI”: B+
- Love and Luck, “Episode 36 – Michael”: B
- Tides, “The Sea Lady”: B
- 99% Invisible, “Breaking Bad News”: B
- Pounded in the Butt By My Own Podcast, “Slammed in the Butt By My Handsome Laundry Detergent Pod, Read By Justin McElroy”: C+
- Join the Party, “Afterparty: Bachelorette Party VI”: B
- Spirits, “Episode 76: Yowie”: B
- ars PARADOXICA, “34: Path”: B
- Fall of the House of Sunshine, “Season 2, Episode 5: Crisis on the Infinite Dankents”: C+
- Wonderful!, “Ep. 33: Fbutter and Sprawn”: B-
- Song Exploder, “Liz Phair – Divorce Song”: C
- Caliphate, “Chapter Four: Us vs. Them”: B
- Han and Matt Know It All, “The Critically Acclaimed Musical That We Hate | Opinion Overflow #38”: C+
- Bitrate, “Mining the Data of Podcasts”: B-
- Oh No Ross and Carrie, “Ross and Carrie and Claire Get Straightened Out (Part 2): ‘What Was God Thinking?'”: B
- Boom, “Faults”: B
- The End of Time and Other Bothers, “3: The Academy of the Fallen, Part 2”: B
- 2298, “ENTRY TWENTY / GREATER GOOD”: B+
These weekly roundups are some of my favorite to write, but they’re also some of the most exhausting posts to write. Keeping up with all these podcasts is time consuming! These posts are brought to you with deep thanks to my Patreon supporters. Becoming a supporter will get you access to my planning blog, customized podcast playlists, and the ability to request reviews for podcasts you love. Find out more here!