Author Topic: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers  (Read 332 times)

saltine

  • Administrator
  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9342
I am housebound due to nasty weather so I listened to all 7 episodes and thought it was compelling enough that if others here are listening, you might like to discuss.

At the start, I was a bit put off by the New Yorker in poor Alabama set-up at the beginning, but the reporter developed a genuine regard for the people and I think that came through in the episodes.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 02:16:41 AM by saltine »
Texan Down Under

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17713
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 02:11:52 AM »
I listened to the first five episodes today.  I plan on listening to the other two tomorrow. 

The most surprising thing to me is how irritated I was by John in the first episode and by the second episode I really liked him, and grew to like him more as the series goes on. 

Overall, it is very reminiscent of Serial Season 1 or Making of a Murderer.  Quite compelling.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

saltine

  • Administrator
  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9342
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 04:30:14 AM »
Yeah, I wouldn't compare it to those shows, but OK.

It's more like a bio, but with twists.  I have listened to most of Criminal podcast episodes and it's like the best of those.  Storytelling with an element of foreboding...

John B's story is amazing.  I know those folks are among us, but still it was a revelation.
Texan Down Under

DarkeningHumour

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10165
  • When not sure if sarcasm look at username.
    • Pretentiously Yours
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 06:08:22 AM »
Nasty weather in Australia? I assume you mean it's hotter than usual?
Society is dumb. Art is everything. - Junior

https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/

saltine

  • Administrator
  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9342
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 06:28:34 AM »
Effects of Typhoon Debbie which struck our coast north of us,  but sent us lots of wind and a ton of rain.  All shops and schools closed for the day to keep people in and off the dangerous roads.  Local flooding but we're on 4th floor, so fine.
Texan Down Under

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17713
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 02:02:18 AM »
With this story, like Serial, etc, it's guesswork to know what the direction or conclusion would be. From the beginning, there was death involved, crime, and those elements were hinted at through the fifth episode, which is why I connected it to those shows.

Now that I'm done and see the whole thing, I realize, it is a biography, or more like a funeral speech, of a remarkable individual.   I am so pleased to have heard it.  I'm sure there will be reports later about some of the dangling threads.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

saltine

  • Administrator
  • Godfather
  • *****
  • Posts: 9342
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 02:41:13 AM »
OK, I see that ... the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I thought it was more intriguing than it would have been if were a murder mystery. 

At the very end, when the mercury poisoning was brought up, I felt it had a bit of bait and switch which the second Serial did too.



I know I'd love to hear more stories like this one. 
Texan Down Under

philip918

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4002
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 11:55:38 AM »
Not quite through the first episode, but John B. McLemore is already an all-time great character. He's like Holden Caulfield grown up and written by William Faulkner.
"If God gives you lemons find a new God."

oneaprilday

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 13742
  • "What we see and what we seem are but a dream."
    • A Journal of Film
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 12:41:04 PM »
Serial was great. It was a page turner in audio form. But all I really remember about it is the whodunit. The characters haven't stuck with me. I can't think of any major themes that really haunt me. I'll probably never listen to it again.

S-Town  is different, and it's unfortunate that Serial-like expectations seem to be plaguing it. I loved it. So deeply human and emotionally and thematically complex. I agree I think it is best to describe it as a biography of sorts, oldkid, a biography where  other people and their lives pop up here and there - just as vivid as the central figure  - to challenge what we think we know about that figure and to complicate what we think we know about them. And there are just so many moments - that felt visual, almost cinematic - that will stick in my mind. It's one I will listen to again.

For anyone who hasn't read Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily," do it. It's a brilliant parallel for this.

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17713
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: [Not TV] S-Town Podcast from Serial / This American Life Producers
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 05:17:08 PM »
I did revise my opinion in a different post yesterday after I had finished it.  But on the other hand, I hold to what I said, comparing S-town to Serial.  First, that's what Ira Glass said, so I'm with him.  But more importantly, I see it building and having a mystery, especially listening the first time.  I do remember the main character of Serial and found him to be really likable and I was torn between him being completely innocent and being a really good actor.

I think the central character of S-town is richer and far more interesting.  There are depths to him... but that's kinda the comparison.  For Serial the depths were: "What happened that night?"  For S-town the depths are: "Who is this guy and what is his connection to the town?"  Both build and tantalize and slowly, carefully reveal.  I don't think that S-town loses anything in a comparison to Serial.  It's difference makes it all the more fascinating.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky