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 reviewed the interesting and lovely travel podcast, Far from Home and interviewed Marit Higraff of the BBC’s Death in Ice Valley. The Austin Film Festival also announced their judges for their fiction podcast competition. On Discover Pods, I wrote a list of some of my favorite comedy podcasts, and on Bello Collective, I interviewed the team behind my favorite nonfiction podcast of 2017, Nancy.
Join the Party
“29. Bachelorette Party IX”
Join the Party has been a favorite since its beginning, but this final installment in the Bachelorette Party arc solidifies how misguided I was in my initial worries for the podcast. For those who don’t yet listen to Join the Party, this podcast is an actual play Dungeons and Dragons podcast–and this week, the players hit an emotional climax when confronted with one of their main NPCs, Alonzo. This episode epitomizes so much of what makes Join the Party a standout: the conflict here was caused by weeks and weeks of building authentic tension between the team and Alonzo, both from the dedication to their characters put forth by the players and the plot woven by their DM, Eric Silver. Silver’s dedication to his own NPCs, too, is what drives so much of this conflict. In other actual plays, DMs often seem to make their NPCs more malleable to keep the plot moving or make for “good audio”; sometimes the improv “yes, and” rule is leaned on too heavily and the character is muddied in the process. Here, Alonzo sticking to his guns–his flawed, flawed guns–is what caused one of the best scenes in one of the best episodes so far.
Love and Luck
“Episode 42: Repairs”
The world has been difficult lately. The world has been difficult always, but it feels like it has been especially difficult lately. In true Love and Luck fashion, though, their release this week felt like a remedy–even if a short one–for so much of the exhaustion brought on by the world. In this episode, Kane and Jason deal with the recent vandalism in their community, but they’re struggling . . . until their community all pitches in to help out. The writing here is beautiful; handled in less deft hands, the moment could have felt too saccharine or too easy, but here, it feels real. This is also helped by phenomenal acting from both Lee Davis-Thalbourne and Erin Kyan who always sound natural and authentic, but the level of performance in this episode is beautifully emotional without being broad. Like Join the Party‘s episode this week, this episode of Love and Luck feels like the epitome of what the show stands for.
This Week’s Ratings
- Nancy, “Take the Long Way Home”: B+
- The Once and Future Nerd, “I’ve Been Working on the Whale-Road, Pt. 4”: B
- Hello from the Magic Tavern, “Season 2, Ep 64 – Scholar and Ogre”: C
- Words to That Effect, “WTTE – 021 – The Invention of Time”: B
- We Fix Space Junk, “Marilyn’s Diary E01”: B
- Potterless, “Ep. 44 – Half-Blood Prince Ch. 14.1 w/ Kelly Beckman, Amanda McLoughlin, and Julia Schifini”: B
- Greater Boston, “Season 3 Visual Trailer: Justice”: B+
- Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, “117. Smoking Weed Christiania”: C
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking, “40: Expect Good Things”: C+
- Join the Party, “29. Bachelorette Party IX”: A
- Love and Luck, “Episode 42 – Repairs”: A
- My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 411: Face 2 Face: Bon Voyage!”: B-
- Song Salad, “Ep. 115 – Feet, Butt, or Knees”: B
- 99% Invisible, “312- Post-Narco Urbanism”: B+
- Pop Culture Happy Hour, “The Great Big Stand-Up Roundup”: C+
- Rough Translation, “Ghana’s Parent Trap”: B+
- Join the Party, “Afterparty: Bachelorette Party IX”: B+
- Spirits, “Episode 82: Your Urban Legends X – The Third Spaghetti Fighter”: B
- Fall of the House of Sunshine, “Season 2, Addendum 3: The 5,000 Surgeries of Doctor Lu”: C
- Song Exploder, “Yo La Tengo – Here You Are”: B
- Wonderful!, “Ep. 39: The Lovers Pose”: B-
- ZigZag, “Chapter 3: Higher Than We Knew”: B
- Caliphate, “Chapter Ten: One Year Later”: B
- The Amelia Project, “Vueve Clicquot”: B-
- The Good Place: The Podcast, “Chapter Four: Manny Jacinto and Joe Mande”: C+
- Bitrate, “Do You Listen Back to Podcasts?”: C+
- Oh No Ross and Carrie, “Ross and Carrie Go Out of Body (Part 1): International Academy of Consciousness”: C+
- The End of Time and Other Bothers, “6: The Riddle, Part 1”: B
- The Magi King Dom, “REC 1: THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH”: 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 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!