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On my last Content Consumption Log post I asked for recommendations for narrative audio, and I got some! So here's some assorted thoughts on what I've listened to.

Wolf 359, Episodes 1-14

This was not so much recommended as suggested by [personal profile] alexseanchai, so I sought out more information and found a blog post by Wil Williams, "You Should Be Listening To: Wolf 359". This made it sound appealing, so I dove in, heeding the advice that it "got good" around episode 10.

Even though Williams mentions that the main narrator, Eiffel, can be very grating, I really feel I need to emphasise it, because he is so. obnoxious. The early episodes were a real trial to get through. And (mild spoilers) it doesn't so much "get good" around episode 10 as it does take an abrupt turn from quirky light comedy with unsettling weirdness peeking in around the edges to a full on conspiracy drama.

I'm going to continue because I'm committed now and I really want to know what's going on! (But I hope Williams is right that Eiffel becomes better developed /o\)

PS: Did we really need a creepy experimental Russian doctor character? Come on.

Canon Romance(s): None so far

Tides, Episodes 1-8 (Season 1 Complete)

After reading the Wolf 359 post mentioned above, I poked around the blog a little more in hopes of finding other recommendations. I found this review of Tides: First Impressions: "Tides" a Refreshingly Funny, Smart Sci-Fi Audio Drama.

It's slow moving and contemplative, and largely concerned with exploring ideas of alien biology. The protagonist, Dr. Winifred Eurus, is fascinated by her surroundings but also deeply annoyed at being stuck on this planet alone, and her abrasive commentary on her situation really adds an interesting edge to the podcast.

Spoilers below!

I felt like the ending was an unwelcome tonal shift from theoretically plausible alien biology to Star Trek style "Oh, come on" science fiction. But maybe I just don't know enough about biology to know how implausible everything else was, too.

The first half of the last episode, where Fred berates her crew-mates for not rescuing her, was so painful to listen to I had to read a transcript instead. But I think it was a really interesting thing to include too.

Canon Romance(s): None so far.

After listening to these two I was thinking about how scripted podcasts seem to feel the need to explain their medium in a way traditional radio dramas didn't necessarily - Welcome to Night Vale, The Strange Case of Starship Iris, Wolf 359 and Tides all present an in-universe justification for their audio existing.

Immediately after having this thought, I listened to one that didn't.

The Chicago Center for Supernatural Support, Episodes 1-12 (Complete)

This was recommended to me by [personal profile] donutsweeper. There's very little information about what it's actually about online, so let me attempt to summarise: In a world where supernatural creatures are real, but most of the world doesn't know about it, the Chicago Center for Supernatural Support attempts to help werewolves and other supernatural creatures cope with their lives in any way they can.

I really enjoyed this, it was kind-hearted and fun, and I liked the way the shifting points of view developed the characters of most of the Center's employees and associates.

Some more specific, spoilery reactions:
- I'm never very into romances that start on the basis of intense physical (aural?) attraction, so I found it hard to buy in to August and Grant. (This is mostly like a me thing, not the writer's fault.)
- Regina needs to divorce her husband as soon as possible, yikes. Mocking her job and her clients in front of his coworkers is horrible D:
- The ending felt unresolved to me, epistolary is not my favourite format to begin with, and trying to figure out August's thoughts on her change by reading between the lines of the letters was not fun for me (although I suppose it was creatively interesting). I hope she'll be okay.

I'm going to throw out a mild warning for episode 6 (Jasmine), for use of lycanthropy as a metaphor for sexual assault.

Canon Romance(s): f/m
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