Return Home: a new serialized podcast drama in the style of Lost and Twin Peaks


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Thanks! Something to occupy my mind while I’m waiting for the next episode of The Black Tapes, Tanis and Limetown.


#3

Who else is freaking out with excitement over the radio theatre renaissance that’s happening in the podcast world? There’s a LARB piece called “Antique Nightmares” from last Halloween that describes it well, linking everything back to my favourite figures of the old realm like Wyllis Cooper (Lights Out, Quiet Please). For me Limetown is the high watermark of the new wave so far. Every episode feels like months of distilled effort. But I’m greedy to download even the lesser experiments out there. Fiction podcasts are beginning to take over Netflix as my main filler of dead time in the evening.


#4

“Melancholy Falls, NJ”

My home town was “Melancholy Bay, NJ”…


#5

Am I missing something with Tanis? Black Tapes and Limetown got me good, but that one just doesn’t. The first episode was just a narrator breathlessly reporting what seemed like unrelated, undeveloped writing prompts. Has it changed?


#6

wow, a cross between Lost and Twin Peaks. Imagine the ending!


#7

Vert, I am mostly in your camp regarding Tanis but try the very latest episode (“The Map”). Things actually happen. Don’t worry about spoiling earlier episodes for yourself, they’re very expository and won’t hook you fast enough.


#8

Thanks, I’ll give that a shot.


#9

What do Lost and Twin Peaks even have in common?


#10

Like Lost? So the main character goes from somewhere in America back East to his hometown, then West again, then East, then someone claims he’ll die if he doesn’t come West again but can’t tell the reason why. Then any other characters we’ve met along the way change their minds and go back the other way (East is it now?), but find that they’ve been deceived and need to go West. Then repeat for six seasons.

Like that?

There’s an expression I heard Dan Harmon use on Harmontown. They were joking about an improvised movie pitch, cobbling together a story with some other person. Dan objected at one point and said, “No, that would be too back-and-forth-y.” Perfect expression to sum up the worst aspects of Lost.


#11

Chris Mulkey.


#12

Does it also have a shitty ending?


#13

I found this a little weak sauce so far. Seems to have spent a long time getting up to speed if it’s already 40% done. (5 eps, right?) I’ve seen the “you’re not what you think” trope before, so hopefully they do something more interesting with it.

I had the opposite reaction to Tanis. I enjoyed the confusion of identity part, sort of PhilipKDick’ey and really enjoyed the way the season came together to encourage a relisten. I find the Black Tapes a little less interesting because the demonic spirit lurking in my mirror or house trope will never be as strong for me as the horror movie commercial my local cine showed when I was seven. We came for the Disney show (jungle book?) but they showed the Halloween movie commercials anyway and that unfiltered experience is much more interesting than Alex’s work.

Has anyone else tried the new Nightvale show, Alice? That seems more promising, if less subtle.


#14

Yeah, those first two Return Home episodes (or episode fragments, I guess) have been rough treading. It swings between unfiltered first person storytelling and a produced radio drama, but without enough of the trappings of either to give the story any pace.

Going to listen to Alice Isn’t Dead tonight.


#15

I’m with you on Tanis. Bad writing throughout. And he’s the absolute worst fake interviewer ever.

I didn’t make it more than 5 or so minutes into Return Home before I unsubscribed.


#16

I was surprised by Alice Isn’t Dead. I liked the cut-up structure and found the story and performance gripping. I’ve cooled on Welcome to Night Vale. It has become kind of formulaic.


#17

I wasn’t impressed with Return Home, but this thread has given me Limetown, which I really liked, and now I have Tanis and Black Tapes to try, so I’m quite pleased with how this is going.

I also really liked Alice isn’t Dead.


#18

My favorite are the interviews that go like this:

“We’re trying to find certain… spooky things.”
“Really? What kind of things?”
That’s what we’re trying to find out.” ::Inception noise::

Or:

“This weird thing happened on the internet once.”
“Tanis?!”
“…Maybe.”

I did try jumping in at “The Map”, and thanks again @gazuga, it was a good starting point. But damn, those first few episodes are still total wankery.

It’s tough to listen to that first ep. The second one is more interesting. Worth keeping an eye on these guys, at least.


#19

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