Welcome to Podcast Portal: a spontaneous column that will highlight podcasts of all genres that are lesser known or new shows that are worth giving a listen. With the medium continuing to grow, it is hard to acknowledge all of them. However, I am going to try and find as many noteworthy titles as possible to share and hopefully expand your mind to the greatest growing medium out there. If you have any podcast that you feel is worth adding to the Podcast Portal, please make sure to inform me whether through the comments or through an e-mail (information in sidebar).
SHOW: Balecast's Podcast
HOSTS: Marla and Patrick
EPISODE BEING DISCUSSED: Out of the Furnace
As discussed repeatedly in the Podcast Portal, this is the era of fan shows. With several TV recap shows springing every time a new show hits the air, there is an unlimited supply of content out there for fans to hear fans talk about things they love. Same goes for films, video games, and whatever else wants to be talked about. In the case of this particular podcast selection, I have decided to look at a show that promises to take a look at the catalog of actor Christian Bale and discuss his entire career. With the first episode covering his most recent film Out of the Furnace, there isn't any guarantee of an order here, but the payoff should be interesting.
Why should we care about a podcast revolving around Christian Bale? The two time Oscar nominee has had an impressive career and has been known to be one of the most intense method actors currently out there. As co-host Marla makes clear early on, another big appeal is that on top of his good looks, he may also be somewhat of a psychopath. With both of the hosts claiming to be at varying levels big fans of his work, it was an interesting feat to see if they could pull off a podcast highlighting the work of one of this generation's best actors.
To say the least, Bale gets a lot of love on the show. Some of it actually is literal love. For those offended by language and sexual conversation, this show isn't for you. In a sense, the show mistakes fandom for lust at various points during the half hour discussion, which includes an entire digression about how unattractive Forrest Whitaker is. While it is acceptable for comments of Bale's attractiveness to pop up from time to time, it appears too frequently and results in a sense of obsession with the body instead of the work.
This isn't to say that the film is discussed. There are stretches where they do discuss the film and even go into spoilers. The only question is how deep you are accepting this dissection to go. While it hits a lot of the main plot points, there's also the fact that their arguments are surface level. They discuss scenery and location with some success but cannot get beyond calling the characters hicks and despicable in some manners. The discussion is fine, but with the running theme of sexual attraction proving to be too much, the show begins, promising to be monthly, with something to be desired. It doesn't quite cover Bale's work in the film with some insight, but instead a simple "I liked it." That isn't bad, but they need to work on making the audience understand why it was good.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
WORTH A SECOND GO?: If the hosts work out the kinks and find a format that works. They have chemistry, but their obsession with Bale the person may get a little tiresome. However, I am really excited to hear their thoughts on Fat Bale (American Hustle) and Skinny Bale (The Machinist), if just for a laugh.