Heya, welcome back! I know two posts in a week is odd for me (and don’t expect it as a regular thing, at least until I take my qualifying exams), but I’m enjoying the free time of my semester being done, and I feel like I owe you a bit of extra goodness for the long lull while I was off in Florida decompressing from what has been bar none the STRANGEST (not to mention most overscheduled) year of my life. Also, I’ll have a new header up in the not too distant future. Nothing against the Monkees or Daria, I just try to keep it fresh with my current interests in the manner of Flick Filosopher‘s Bias Meter. (That said, AURYN and the Frodis Femmes ain’t going NOWHERE). With that bit of business out of the way, on to part two of my favorite podcasts!
I officially want somebody to do a podcast like this for each and every one of the vintage TV series I love (Golden Girls in particular screams out for this kind of treatment). Kenny, Simon (aka “Meds”), and Al are exploring what I feel is the greatest ensemble show of all time episode-by-episode, dissecting strengths, weaknesses, characterizations, plots, and random obscure trivia. Being a geek, I slurp all that up like catnip . Currently they’re nearing the end of Season two, and new eps come out on the first and fifteenth of the month.
The basic rundown of a typical show goes like this: After the intro and dialogue highlights from the episode in question, the guys give us a summary of the episode including info like directors, writers, and shooting/air date, as well as the featured characters and general plot. Then they dig a little deeper, providing a bit of analysis of the episode as well as their general opinions of it, and any amusing anachronisms and continuity gaffes. It’s a short sweet podcast, running just a hair over 20 minutes most episodes. They do shout outs to their other podcasts and other friends of the show, and while these are at the end of the ep and easily skipped, I’ve picked up leads on some interesting things that way. Since, in my opinion, the show didn’t make the good-to-great transition until season 4, I’m waiting semi-patiently for BJ and Colonel Potter. However, as I’m being forced to revisit the early shows week by week I’m gaining a new appreciation for the merits of Henry and Trapper, and will probably break out the box set to re-watch some of the eps they’ve discussed recently. At the pace they’re going it will take another six years or thereabouts to cover the whole series, and I just hope they can keep it going!
If you are unacquainted, the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic community is less a fandom then a phenomenon. The show, which IMHO is the best kid-targeted cartoon I’ve seen since Powerpuff Girls (if not Animaniacs), has many of the traits of my most beloved fandoms: a canon of childlike (NOT childish) whimsy and silliness spiced with enough grownup wit to make draw in all ages, a rabid fan base of loyal and artistic geeks, a strong social cohesion that is born of the wider culture’s misunderstanding and disdain of the source material and/or community (“eww…Bronies!” *Camille eyerolls*), and a list of injokes and mashups riffing off the source material that stretches from Los Pegasus to Manehattan. Besides. as I’ve mentioned elsewebs, I AM Twilight Sparkle.
I’ve dipped my toe into one of the Mane (har har) forum communities, MLPforums. Most weekends you can find me overthinking episodes under the nom de Cheval “Emerald Glow”. My current favorite voice of the fandom is the Bronyville podcast, hosted by the inimitable Apple Cider and Chef Sandy. Well known fan artists, authors and musicians, voice actors from the show, even episode screenwriters can and do make guest appearances. More than a simple episode recap, the weekly 2-hour show covers all aspects of Pony culture from upcoming conventions, fandom gossip, the latest merchandise, and rampant character and plot speculation. Falling in love with this podcast is what took me from interested fan to “Brony” (niggling issue of my gender aside*), and I advise it for anyone who’s watched a few episodes and wants to see just how far down the rabbit hole goes. It’s a true immersion experience in one of the most all-encompassing and flat-out creative fandoms I’ve ever seen. Even if you’re not into “marshmallow horses”, I seriously suggest you take a listen to learn more about this wildly growing subculture.
I hope you consider checking out one or all of the four podcasts I discussed this week! Each of them takes a different approach to their chosen fandom(s), but all are worth a listen. I’ve enjoyed catching up these shows since my return from my sorely-needed vacation in Orlando. Speaking of said vacation, next post will be exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter through the “lens” of cultural theory–sort of an ersatz ethnography if you will. I promise to keep it heavy on the Fizzing Whizbees and light on the Foucault. After that I plan to take advantage of my holiday vacation by shooting out a wee backlog of 2-4 of my less evergreen post ideas, including an analysis of the evolution of Pinkie Pie in this series of MLP, and the long-promised results of my “What is a “Real Fan”?” survey? See you next time, and have a happy holiday of your choice!
*Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the term “pegasister”. Sorry guys, but it’s stupid. (Besides, as mentioned, I’m totally a Unicorn.)