2017 · Podcasts

On repeating a formula

If you’ve ever peeked at my podcast recommendation list, you’ll know that I’m a fan of supernatural, spooky fictional storytelling. Welcome to Night Vale, Spines, The Message… I love that shit. I’ve been following The Black Tapes for awhile and although I’m not as fond of Tanis, I still keep up (usually when I’m out of the Black Tapes). Both of those podcasts have been on hiatus for a bit as the people behind them work on a third podcast, something that was initially described as completely different from both the Black Tapes and Tanis. They released the first episode a week ago. It’s called Rabbits.

Thing is, it’s not different from the Black Tapes or Tanis, at least not judging by the first episode. The tone is the same, the music similar, the story… well, again it’s an ancient conspiracy about a weird mystery that no one in the world knows about aside from the intrepid reporter and yet somehow they’ve managed to dig up rare audio clips in the very first episode. It’s dark and mysterious and located in the Pacific Northwest and on the Deep Web (I could’ve bet money on the deep web coming up again) and even the commercial break in the middle of it is taken from the exact same copy as the latest episode of Tanis. It’s drenched in pop culture references and spooky background audio that isn’t always relevant to what’s going on.

Will I listen to Rabbits, despite all this? Probably. It’s just disappointing that they’ve apparently found a formula and now they’re churning out several podcasts on the same theme, almost creating rip offs of their stories. Comparing that to Night Vale Presents, where each story has its unique identity, this kind of approach feels lazy and uninspired to me. I just wish that for once, it wouldn’t be a lone reporter risking their well being to get to the bottom of a mystery they’ve somehow become obsessed with. I wish that the format was different. I wish something was different.

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