Studio: Jonathan Mitchell
Category: Performing Arts
What It Is
A modern spin on the radio dramas of old.
A new episode comes out every month, so this one doesn’t have the fastest release schedule. The entire archive can be found on the iTunes page. The show prides itself on its production values and it is perhaps the best sounding podcast I’ve ever encountered.
What About It
Mitchell and the folks at Radiotopia have their own spin on radio dramas. The episodes are twenty minutes or so typically and tell a brief, self-contained story. The show likes to tell stories that could only be told in this format, ie. stories that it would be hard to film, as with one episode that finds a guy continually waking up from dreams within dreams, or an episode I’ll recommend below that has a twist that you simply couldn’t replicate in a visual format. The show is incredibly well produced and well-acted; there’s not a hint of cheese in these radio shows and they often have a twist of some kind that’s reminiscent of The Twilight Zone or something to that effect. It’s a mind-expanding show and one you can probably keep up, since the release schedule is so slow.
You’re hankering for drama done different.
Avoid Like the Plague If
You can’t stand self-aware, post-modern titles.
Best Entry Point
I’m going to recommend a couple. For an example of just how well the show utilizes the audio format, check out Can You Help Me Find My Mom?, the tale of a young girl lost in the big city. The less said the better. And I’ll recommend a rather troublesome episode, Joe Frank. It’s an exploration of the guy who inspired Mitchell to do this show, an artist named Joe Frank who produced similar dramas years ago. The last half of the episode is given over to an abstract, very artsy piece that I really didn’t like, but I will just tell you that the first half of this episode is one of the most harrowing things I’ve ever heard. It’s the story of a divorced couple and a wife who can’t let go. It’s told via a series of phone calls and it is . . . breathtaking, disturbing and brilliant. So, the first half of Joe Frank.