Mar 9, 2015

Podcast Portal: Off the Binge - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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: Off the Binge - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
HOSTS: Taylor, Anna and Jacob
NETWORK: Rival Podcast Club

It seems like binge culture is going to forever be instituted in society thanks largely to the advent of Netflix and the ability to stream countless content on a moment-by-moment basis. In fact, it is likely that you have done similar things in the past few years in order to either seem cool or because of a deeper addiction. Of course, there's podcasts to share these ideas with a larger spectrum of people. However, has there really ever been a podcast that has incorporated the idea and managed to make an effective chronicle of a series? Well, from the sound of the first Off the Binge episode, it looks like it may be up for the challenge.
As everyone likely knows by this point, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt premiered on Netflix this past Friday to rave reviews. Some of you are already through all 13 episodes. However, this show plans to do something that hasn't been done before, at least in a public setting: it is going to be the equivalence of a binge podcast with each episode being reviewed one day after the other. In fact, as of the time of writing, this was the only Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt podcast out there, which makes it even more special. The show may not seem like the immediate subject for a binge culture podcast, but based on the first full episode, it actually seems like a compelling idea.
The three hosts of the show are practically novices when it comes to the expectations. Opening with their predictions for the series, they unfold onto subjects such as their favorite jokes and personal opinions on the cast. It manages to be both impersonal and factual in a way that feels immediately accessible. There's tangential content, but the informed and charismatic side is never overshadowed. There's conversations about prescient topics such as if there should be a "the" in the title. In fact, some people aren't exactly on board with the first episode. The diverse opinions alone makes for an interesting read of the episode.
To its credit, it feels like a show that could perfectly accompany any episode provided that they maintain the same level of enjoyment. It is engaging and definitely makes rushing through the show just to keep up sound like a great idea. While I myself have yet to finish the series, I likely will be checking in with the episodes as I reach the end. I'm also hoping that their upcoming ventures in the binge medium, whatever they may be, will be just as fun and informative while also keeping it light and breezy. It is a charming debut and one that gives me hope that this unique show will get to be something very interesting by the end.

OVERALL RATING: 3.5 out of 5
WORTH A SECOND GO?: I am planning to listen to all episodes as I watch the series. It is very accessible and fun in a way that sounds professional yet is fine breaking off into tangents that don't detract from the content. There's also a network of other shows that after being won over by this show, I likely will give a chance.

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