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. You can see a list of every episode that has scored within the A range here.
“2.1 The Secret of Point Mystic Pt. 2, ‘Between Worlds'”
Point Mystic, a largely improvised horror audio fiction, returned with its second season on Halloween. As always, Point Mystic remains one of the most frightening, unnerving podcasts you can find: what makes Point Mystic scary is its slow build of something strange being around the corner, not jump scares or any character insisting that things are scary. Point Mystic allows its listener to encounter its world in such a natural way regardless of its supernatural elements. Because the performances are improvised, they’re more organic, and enough respect is given to the worldbuilding to make it seem truly real. In this return to the audio fiction after a long hiatus, that beautiful, unsettling quality remains true and heightened.
“The Crucible of Modern Salem”
ICONography is a new favorite listen, a podcast about the icons–real and imaged–in a specific place. Each season focuses on one area: in season one, the focus was on England, and now in its second season, the focus is on New England. This week’s episode was an inquiry in Salem, specifically in how Salem operates with its history and lore of witch trials. Host Charles Gustine speaks to the Witchfinder General of Salem and analyzes pieces of media from The Crucible to Hocus Pocus to dissect different facets of witch mythos in the town. It’s a brilliantly insightful episode that, in true ICONography fashion, flits between different pieces to analyze effortlessly before bringing all of the discussion together to form one thesis statement at the end. The writing and editing of the episode are nuanced and deep without ever feeling inaccessible.
After what felt like a lovely end to the first season of Kaleidotrope came “Episode 9,” a confusing entry that, while noble in effort, felt flat and confusing. Hearing what happened to each character mentioned in the series was nice, but the drastic changes in audio quality, introduction of strange new characters, and continued exposure to the protagonists (who had a perfect end to their story the episode prior) was an unfortunate way to end an otherwise delightful season.
This Week’s Ratings
- Kaleidotrope, “Episode 9”: C-
- Arden, “The Skunk Ape Did It”: B+
- The Dream, “Episode 7: Lazy, Stupid, Greedy or Dead”: B
- 20 Sided Stories, “POKEMON! – Bonus Halloween Special (w/ Chad Ellis of Station Blue)”: B
- Nancy, “Definitely, Maybe”: B
- HORSE, “Ep. 9: My Claw-Footed Pool on the Floor”: B
- The Far Meridian, “2.5 Playback”: B
- Twenty Thousand Hertz, “Theater for the Mind”: B-
- My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 431: A Very Spooky Burger”: C+
- Within the Wires, “Season 3, Reel 5: March 2, 1954”: C+
- Everything is Alive, “Annie, Jack o’ Lantern”: B+
- Greater Boston, “Episode 28: Hit It with a Tiny Mallet”: B
- The Amelia Project, “Percy Part 2 – World Audio Drama Day Special”: B
- Limetown, “London”: B
- Palimpsest, “Episode 205: Curtains”: C+
- Iconography, “The Crucible of Modern Salem”: B+
- The McElroy Brothers Will Be in Trolls 2 (/World Tour?), “Chapter 7”: B
- Greater Boston, “Haunted Truck in Salem, MA”: B
- Point Mystic, “2.1 The Secret of Point Mystic Pt. 2, ‘Between Worlds'”: B+
- I Never Saw That, “42 Full House“: B
- Wolverine: The Long Night, “Chapter 9: The Changing”: B
- Shedunnit, “1.0 Surplus Women”: B
- Spirits, “101: Día de los Muertos (with Trina Espinoza)”: B
- Wonderful!, “Ep. 57: Gooey for Garfield”: B
- Kane and Feels: Paranormal Investigators, “Wonderland I”: B+
- The Adventure Zone, “Live – Halloween Special!”: B+
- The Soundtrack Show, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: The Music Part II”: C+
- ZigZag, “What IS Fact-Checking?”: C
- Darknet Diaries, “Alberto”: C+
- Those Happy Places, “Episode 19: Pirates, Revisionism, Revisions, and Adaptations”: B
- Alba Salix, Royal Physician, “Episode 201: By the Book”: B
- Pop Culture Happy Hour, “The Haunting of Hill House”: B
- Boom, “Disconnected”: 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!