TWIOAT Sanity Check
I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to calculate the Kiwi’s sanity each week. No doubt it will involve very precise formulas and calculus so rest assured it will be a completely objective assessment.
I don’t like history.
No, that isn’t exactly right – I understand the value of learning history but I don’t always enjoy learning history. At least, historical media I’ve been exposed to has tried to capture the epic sweep of ideas, people, and movements as they rage across the years, using a wide-beam searchlight to illuminate as much space as possible to convey an epic scope and reach. This approach inspires awe and, for me, also boredom. You Must Remember This ditches the searchlight and grabs that trusty flashlight you reach for when you have to poke around under the sink. And the sink in question on YMRT is the dank, twisty history of Hollywood.
Recording studios are consistent, but a tad sterile. And couch podcasters can be too casual. Sometimes you want a change of tone and there’s nothing quite like a recording in front of a live audience. I know a few avid podcast fans who won’t listen to anything recorded – it’s a shame but I can’t exactly blame them. A lot can go wrong: technically difficulties, one really loud laughter, wacky reverb. On the other hand there’s a special energy from an excited audience that’s difficult to capture in any other location. These podcasts make the most of their setting, and then some.
A public radio standard, The Moth is storytellers on stage with tales spanning the emotional and experiential spectrum. Stories of loss, humor, love, reconciliation – the details may be scattered but they are, at their core, human stories. As a consequence of the variety on display I don’t always connect with the storytellers right away but, more often than not, I’m always glad when I stick through to the end. While the audio for all of these shows is good considering the live format, I think The Moth is most consistently the best. I doubt the aforementioned live-show haters would have a problem with the format if they all sounded as reliably solid as The Moth.
Recommended Episode: Most recent episode
The TWIOAT sanity Check
Though never a formal declaration I think I had, on some level, decided I was done with The Worst Idea of All Time podcast. Because – real talk – do we really need another season of punishment? It’s one thing to watch a grown man get kicked in the nuts, but it’s another thing all together to watch him get some strange fascination out of his misery every week. No matter how entertaining Batt and Montgomery are (and they are very, very entertaining) there’s a certain amount of shame in watching the two pummel themselves week in and week out.
The Kiwis started their second season watching Sex and the City 2 for a year two weeks ago and I had not yet listened to any of the new material as of Thursday. I saw the numbers begin to tick upward on my podcast app and ignored them. “No,” I said to myself, “Be strong. Don’t be complicit in their misery!” (My inner monologue is very dramatic) Then Thursday afternoon I listened to all three episodes of the second season and here I am writing about them again.
So much for holding out, huh?
RPR’s three part network guide wraps up with a look at the network’s topical podcasts. Earwolf has a surprisingly strong lineup in this category – so let’s get started!
Last week on twitter I asked whether or not it was good enough for a podcast to be thought provoking without completely accurate. I brought that up because of this podcast which, like Cracked itself, is informative (and funny) if not 100% trustworthy. But I don’t think it’s meant to be.
The answer to my own question is a qualified “Yes, it is OK.” It is OK in the case of The Cracked Podcast at least, because the hosts approach their topic from an angle of philosophical (yes, philosophical) inquiry rather than academic rigor. The hosts are more interested in shifting perception and changing minds and in that aim they’re ssuccessful. With managed expectations, The Cracked Podcast is entertaining, engaging, and even educational – in an exploratory sense, anyway.
Kinda like … A listicle written with thought and consideration
Recommended Episode: Cracks in Human Perception
Part two of the Earwolf Guide cover’s the network’s talk shows (part one: improv and misc here). The distinction is somewhat arbitrary – a couple of these shows dabble in improv and vice versa. If not 100% accurate it is, at least, a good place to start.
Here we go!
Jeff Garlin chats with celebrities on stage. “Chat” is the operative word here: the conversations are mostly loose and breezy. Garlin is a good conversationalist – the show doesn’t dive deep into labyrinthine psyches but it doesn’t need to, either. As Garlin describes the show, it’s like listening in on two friends having a conversation over a cup of coffee. And it is that – not an in-depth examination of failed relationships over (several bottles of) wine.
Kinda like … Eavesdropping on those two famous people over there, in the corner. No, they don’t see us, look away, act casual!
Recommended Episode: Episode #15 Amy Poehler
Welcome RPR’s first Network Guide! Quick reviews and recommendations for all of Earwolf’s current run of podcasts all in one place!
This and future guides will be split up over three days. Each day will focus on a particular category or categories of podcasts within the network. Day 1 is Improvisation and Miscellaneous, Day 2 will be Talk, and Day 3 will be Topical.
Each podcast has a mini review, recommended episode, a quick example of what the show is like, links to other related media, and links to other material for podcasts I’ve already covered.
For the sake of brevity and sanity I’m only doing shows that are currently airing new episodes. Yes, I know You Talkin U2 to Me is probably done, but there was a new episode released a couple weeks ago at the time of writing and I’m pretty sure there will be a couple more. I’m not certain Topics will be airing new episodes but it has not been moved into Earwolf Classic in the official Earwolf Forums so I’m assuming it’s fair game.
Like all my reviews and features I hope this helps you find a new shows to add to your subscriptions. It’s all for you, reader, so please – enjoy!