Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Podcasts – Are you listening? [Reviewing]

I enjoy podcasts. They help me walk to work, work during work, wait/sleep for/on planes and feed my geekiness.

For those who aren’t down (yet), podcasts are audio files made by individuals who generally discuss whatever the hell interests them. Basically, podcasts are blogs for your ears.

I like blogs so it’s a natural progression for me to like podcasts, so if YOU like blogs you better get on the podcast train before it leaves the station.

I will briefly discuss some of the podcasts I subscribe to and enjoy (or used to enjoy). If you know of podcasts I’m missing out on, please leave a comment so I subscribe to that too! NOTE: I got tired and couldn’t review all the podcasts I enjoy (and don’t enjoy) but don’t worry I will review more in the future (that is, if you even care).

Smodcast was my first podcast I listened to (at least I think it was). I can’t recall how I stumbled upon it, but I can only assume it’s because I’m a fan of Kevin Smith the writer and director of such films as: Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma (said in the voice of Troy McClure).

But I can distinctly remember their first podcast I listened to, it was called Harry Scotter and the Order of the Penis. Yes, you read that right. Throughout the podcast Kevin Smith mocked Scott Mosier (his co-host and friend) for being a fan of Harry Potter. Apparently Kevin was shocked that Scott was a big Harry Potter fan (maybe big is too strong of a word) and asked him to discuss the final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As Scott describes what happens in the book, Kevin mocks Harry Potter, gillyweed, and all the characters, even discussing what Ron will probably do to/with Hermione (you can only imagine). I gotta say it was the funniest podcast I’ve heard to date.

That single podcast got me hooked to Kevin and Scott. Their podcast doesn’t really follow a formula (Harry Potter isn’t a big hot topic for them) they actually discuss whatever is going on in their lives, such as Scott’s vasectomy, Kevin’s sadness over Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and other random stuff. But starting a couple months ago Kevin’s been talking (a lot) about hockey and his love of Wayne Gretzky, and well I’m not a hockey fan (go Flyers) so this podcast has moved towards the bottom of my listen to rotation.

But I highly recommend it for those who are easily amused and like random stuff but be warned, this is certainly rated M for mature.

Being a big Star Trek The Next Generation fan, I was in heaven when I found Make It So. This group of Brits discuss all matters related to Star Trek (not just TNG) and I thoroughly enjoyed it for at least 30 - 50 episodes. Then I started to realize these guys might not be as knowledgeable about Star Trek as I originally thought. I would often find them saying stuff that wasn’t exactly cannon (which is understandable, it takes years and years of geekiness to become a Star Trek expert and I can confidently say I’m NOT a Star Trek expert), they often aren’t prepared for the podcasts (they tend to be a bit unorganized to me), and they often go OFF topic (which is rather annoying when they discuss personal friend stuff).

I will give them some slack because they have completed over 100 Make It So episodes and I’m sure it’s hard to come up with new stuff to say but at least you can be organized or have a real topic to discuss. But I guess my biggest gripe is that they don’t get very deep with Star Trek (probably because I don’t feel like they are the super Star Trek geeks), they tend to discuss the surface and silly issues (such who’s the worst character, how much Wesley Crusher sucks, the best first officer, etc.) which is cool but sometimes you want to dig deeper.

But I’m still a fan and encourage all those Star Trek fans to subscribe, but it’s not in my top MUST listen to immediately rotation.

Apparently (according to wikipedia) Simply Syndicated is the largest independent podcast network in the UK. They have 14 different podcasts with 2 affiliated podcasts.

I feel like they are a group of Brits in their early 30’s who like a lot of random stuff (mainly TV and movies) and have a lot of podcasting gear. I’ve only listened to:
  • Movies You Should See – I can’t say I’m a big fan because, well, their movie choices don’t usually interest me. I like that they select random movies (one week Big and the next week The Odd Couple), but the randomness of their movie choices leaves me to only listen when I actually like a movie they are reviewing. And please take the word “review” very loosely.
  • Richard & Allison’s Super Happy Fun Time – I tried to listen to this (I really did) but it was so hard because they literally don’t talk about anything. And I don’t want to be too cruel, but they aren’t that interesting to listen to their ramblings. There are some podcasts where someone can talk about nothing but because that person is interesting or funny you will listen, sadly this is not that podcast.
  • The Definitive Word – I occasionally enjoy this podcasts because they do cover interesting topics such as, vegetarians, winning the lottery, virginity, and the top 5 sitcoms to name a few. I will admit they get off topic a bit but its okay because it’s more of a free-flow podcast.
But I encourage you to check out all their podcasts, I do enjoy getting the point of view of our cousin’s across the pond.

I love this podcast. You know why, because these guys (and one gal) are smart and get deep with the Star Trek and all things science fiction. They have unique points of view on everything and I love it.

The first podcast I listened to was Episode 16.5 The New Movie, where they discussed the new Star Trek movie. Since I loved the film (the geek in me couldn’t help but watch it 4 times), I assumed this would be a love-fest and they would rave about how the movie rocked. Uh, no.

Karen (who I want to call the voice of reason) explains in detail why she didn’t like the film. And you know what? I totally understand her reasons because she fully explained her argument and I didn’t go into defensive geek mode and get angry at her, but I ended up agreeing with a lot of what she said. Sadly I realized maybe I hyped this film too much in my head and felt silly because I didn’t see all the holes Karen saw in the film (I was on my new Star Trek film high, impervious to anything negative about Star Trek - what plot hole? Who cares that Nero could have actually SAVED Romulus!). But on the other hand I loved that Rick liked the film was excited about the film and Kennedy’s Burger King toy (sadly my Burger King was all out).

I think the thing I love the most about this podcast is that they are adults.

So if you want an adult view on all things science fiction you MUST subscribe to this podcast.

In the upcoming days, I plan to review:
What are your favorite podcasts?


  1. Hey Camille,
    Jay from the Masters of None Podcast on Simply Syndicated. Wanted to invite you to check our show out sometime. Hope you dig it.

  2. @Jay thanks for the comment. Actually I listened to the "quickie" episode where you guys reviewed the new Star Trek film a couple weeks ago and it was hilarious. Seriously, I laughed hard. And I was one of the two people who got the "Good Morning, Miss Bliss" joke... I will certainly be subscribing.

  3. Hi, Camille,
    Karen just found this lovely review and guided me here. I just wanted to say thank you so much for enjoying the show, and for telling folks about us.(although I know several people who would disagree with your call Kennedy and me grownups, but that's neither here nor there) And I certainly agree that Karen is, indeed, the voice of reason on the Starbase. She definitely keeps Kennedy and me from going so far into the geeky depths of minutiae that we'd fall into a the black hole of trivia never to be heard from again. :-)

    Thanks again, and I hope you're still listening.

    Rick 'Adm. Marius' Tetrault

  4. @Marius thanks for commenting. Yes, Starbase66 stays in my top 3 podcast rotation. That reminds me, I must put a Starbase66 badge on this page somewhere.

    -Faithful listener!

  5. I am so living this every day, good topic.


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