Podcasters are People: The Intimacy of Medium vs. Parasocial Relationships

A masterfully written piece by Wil that every podcaster who’s growing a fanbase needs to see.

Wil Williams Reviews

There’s an issue in podcasting that’s bothered me about fandom culture for as long as I can remember. It’s the uneasy feeling I get when I see fanfiction written about real people. It’s the pang of pain I feel for celebrities whose personal lives get speculated on by complete strangers. And it’s something I’m seeing more and more of in podcasting.

The phenomenon is what happens when parasocial relationships allow strangers to feel educated about, or entitled to, a creator or performer’s life.

If you want a primer on the topic, we covered parasocial relationships in podcasting on an episode of Tuned In, Dialed Up, the podcast I make in partnership with fellow podcast critic Gavin Gaddis:

What is a parasocial relationship?

Coined in the 1956 piece “Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance” by Donald Horton and Richard Wohl, the term “parasocial…

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In a dark world ‘Forest Guide’ lights the way.

Forest Guide is a four-part magical realism fiction podcast from Crossroad Stations, written and directed by Jim Robbie and the Wanderers‘ Jack Pevyhouse. The show follows a night in the life of Shiloh (Pevyhouse), a bartending grad student (and ex-poet) who has lost his way in life. That is, until one night when the titular Forest Guide (Julia Schifni) shows up to get Shiloh back on track.

Continue reading “In a dark world ‘Forest Guide’ lights the way.”

Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet: reviewing the reviews.

Any time you click away from the page for a product or business on the internet without looking at the reviews you are doing yourself a disservice. While the rest of the world ticks along at its normal breakneck pace a beautiful, unappreciated artform matures with every passing second: the pissed-off reviewer. Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet is a new podcast purpose-built to read you some of the choicest examples.

Continue reading “Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet: reviewing the reviews.”

An Arm and a Leg: Bonding Through Frustration

Paying for healthcare in the United States is terrifying, and Dan Weissmann wants to help, at least a little bit, with a podcast about how scary/sucky it can be.  An Arm and a Leg could’ve easily been a bog-standard bit of journalism with Weissmann interviewing a bunch of talking heads, arranging things so fun facts pop up at appropriate intervals to keep listeners hooked. Job done. 

Continue reading “An Arm and a Leg: Bonding Through Frustration”

The Nine Worst Albums of 2018 (according to me)

One of the ways I offset some of my podcasting overhead is by freelance reviewing music for a small publication. Since I’ve had this job for over a year now I have a hearty backlog of reviews from my listening to at least four new albums per month. Let’s dive into the backlog and look at the worst examples, be they downright offensive or just bland wasted potential. 

Continue reading “The Nine Worst Albums of 2018 (according to me)”

The Top 9 Best Albums of 2018 (according to me)

One of the ways I offset some of my podcasting overhead is by freelance reviewing music for a small publication. Since I’ve had this job for over a year now I have a hearty backlog of reviews from my listening to at least four new albums per month. Let’s dive into the backlog and look at the best of the best! Presented in no particular order.

Continue reading “The Top 9 Best Albums of 2018 (according to me)”

The Grinch (2018): The marketing sucks, I still cried.

Universal Studios has set this movie up for failure among critics by launching a marketing campaign that feels like they had a bunch of slogans for a second wave of Grumpy Cat ads that never came to be and just slapped the Grinch’s face on it. Yesterday I enjoyed a stack of green pancakes while sitting in the shade of an Ihop window vinyl with the words “I’m not impressed” next to that smarmy looking green fuck.

The next day I was crying over  a nice thing that smarmy green fuck did in his movie, so there’s that.  Continue reading “The Grinch (2018): The marketing sucks, I still cried.”