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 a list of podcasts that can help when the world is terrifying which is, you know, all the time. I also write a review for Tides, a fantastic science-fiction audio drama that’s as heavy on the science as it is on the humor.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Podcast Problems newsletter for weekly recommendations, news, musings, and more!
This short review will have to be vague, because to say anything about it would spoil so much of what this audio drama is doing leading up to its finale. What I can say is that the writing is everything that other time travel stories should be taking note of; it balances the meticulous timeline, the characters, the pacing, the drama, and the humor perfectly. The sound design is, as always, incredible, lending enough to be immersive without distracting from everything else, especially in an episode that moves rather quickly. More than anything else, though, this episode showed so much of what Kristen DiMercurio is capable of as an actor. There’s a scene in which she needs to balance two very different motivations while still keeping true to Sally Grissom, and the end result is more believable than any other work of science fiction that’s attempted to do the same thing.
The End of Time and Other Bothers
“4: The Academy of the Fallen, Part 3”
This hilarious actual-play podcast just keeps getting more fun. This episode feels the most hijinksy-heavy to date, which is saying a lot: Darcy’s hanging off the edge of the mountain, Blat’s having a tea break with a demon, and Eggerton is . . . having a kitchen adventure. What makes this episode such a standout is not just how hilarious it was (at one point I had to pause because I was laughing too hard to hear what was going on), but how fantastic the sound design and music were. The sound design helped give a sense of actual peril and suspense, even with how silly the events happening were; the music, on the opposite side of the spectrum, helped everything feel even more ridiculous. The End of Time and Other Bothers isn’t just helping set a blueprint for what the future of actual play podcasts should look like: it’s doing the same thing for comedy podcasts, too.
I did live reactions to this episode in the Patron-only channels of our new Discord server. The server is open to anyone who wants to talk podcasts, but certain channels like my live listens, a Q&A, etc. are reserved for my Patreon supporters at the $2+/month level.
This Week’s Ratings
- Nancy, “You’re Not a ‘Bad Gay'”: B
- The Once and Future Nerd, “I’ve Been Working on the Whale-Round, Pt. 2”: B-
- Ostium, “Episode 20 – Once More with Feeling”: C+
- Hello from the Magic Tavern, “Season 2, Ep 60 – Outside (w/ Paul F. Tompkins)”: C-
- The Sporkful, “How to Read a Taco”: C+
- Han and Matt Know It All, “#71: Han and Matt Hoard Their Apps”: B-
- Girl in Space, “Did You Come Into Contact with Unknown Forces – Episode 109”: B-
- Potterless, “Ep. 42 – Half-Blood Prince Ch. 10-11 w/ Dottie James”: B
- Song Salad, “Ep. 112 – Cheque Yourself Before You Wreque Yourself”: B
- My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 407: Morton Shart’s Joke School”: B+
- The Allusionist, “78. Oot in the Open”: B+
- Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, “113. Irish Wake”: C
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking, “36: Rose Tulip”: C
- The Penumbra Podcast, “2.21: Juno Steel and the Monster’s Reflection (Part 1)”: C
- Join the Party, “27. Bachelorette Party VII”: B+
- Pairing, “Dracula”: C+
- Love and Luck, “Episode 38 – Puzzle Piece”: B
- 99% Invisible, “308- Curb Cuts”: B+
- Join the Party, “Afterparty: Bachelorette Party VII”: C+
- ars PRADOXICA, “35: Tangent”: A
- Fall of the House of Sunshine, “Season 2, Addendum 2: Epilogue for a Heavy Drinker”: C+
- Wonderful!, “Ep. 35: Jackbutt”: B-
- Song Exploder, “Jon Hopkins – Luminous Beings”: B
- Caliphate, “Chapter Six: Paper Trail”: C+
- Oh No Ross and Carrie, “Ross and Carrie Haunt Chris Shelton: Electromagnetic Field of Dreams Edition”: C
- Pop Culture Happy Hour, “Solo: A Star Wars Story and What’s Making Us Happy”: B-
- The Splendid Table, “632: Food Myths”: B
- Bitrate, “Are We Megatron?”: C
- ars PARADOXICA, “Introducing StarTripper!!“: B
- The End of Time and Other Bothers, “4: The Academy of the Fallen, Part 3”: A-
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 and people who have supported me via Ko-Fi. 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!