Podcast

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Podcast Episode 7: Expectations

Can it be? A seventh episode of the podcast? More than a year late? It is! And we have an eighth ready to go in three weeks! Enjoy!

(Fun fact: Soundcloud just removed the first two episodes and informed me that I have to pay twice as much now ($16 dollars a month unto eternity instead the current $8 a month) if I want them back.  This is insane, in a world in which YouTube hosts all the video you want for free forever.  Is there no better way to do this?)

8 comments:

James Kennedy said...

It looks like all 7 episodes are still available on iTunes...

Matt Bird said...

Because I paid the bastards $135. For storage on the internet! In 2018! Assuming the prices don't go up again, that's $1,350 for the next 10 years of hosting. Oh, wait, I forgot, my wife has a podcast too, so that's $2,700. For the next 100 years: $27,000! No, wait, let's assume they double their prices every five years: That's $283,115,520.00. We could buy a mansion to last us the next 100 years or podcast storage!

James Kennedy said...

"If you're like me, you hate going to the post office . . . "

Matt Bird said...

You can read the ads while I heckle you.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Regarding the Screwtape: The Series idea, I'd be worried about how to make an episode after the pilot remain fun. The audience will know the targeted human can't fall until the second-to-last episode due to dramatic necessity. (Not the last episode, because we need a finale in which the hero finds Christ and is Saved, because c'mon, know your audience.) Thus the setup runs the risk of creating a Wile E. Coyote setup: "how will the devil fail this time?" It could be fun, but it could be repetitive very quickly. If this were a streaming series, that's a problem.

So: how about making it Sex and the City?

No, seriously.

Wormwood is in exile on Earth. As are several other demons. They share a crappy apartment. Each of them is charged with tempting this one doofus. They connive, develop plans, backstab each other, and engage in stupid plans. Wormwood has an advantage, though - he's secretly corresponding with his uncle, the high-ranking tormentor demon Screwtape. We get Screwtape's advice at the beginning of every episode and Wormwood's Carrie-Bradshaw-writing-her-weekly-article scene at the two-thirds mark that sums up the episode's theme (and shows that Wormwood is a moron).

We'll follow the human doofus as he tries to be a good person. He really does try. But he's weak and foolish and vain. As well as the target of four deeply, deeply inept hellspawn. So we root for the guy to get what he's after - something concrete and obviously good - and simultaneously kinda-sorta root for the demons to hose him. If it were a ten-episode season, the serialized part could be the human's pursuit of his goal and the gradual development of a plot by two of the other demons to be the ones to send the human to damnation while hosing Wormwood and his weird buddy, Fartwaffle.

Imagine a climax of the backstab sub-plot where Wormwood and Fartwaffle have to prevent the human from falling into sin, because their rivals will win if he does...and they're really, really bad at it. Or the human's quest for, say, family reconciliation or love blows up in his face.

Now all it needs is nudity and kung fu fighting and you're all set.

Matt Bird said...

See, I would assume that he would be helping his nephew corrupt a different guy every week. You could even have it be all across history, if you really wanted to blow the budget.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

I'd avoid a "sinner of the week" style, so the viewers could become attached to the target of the demons and be invested in the outcome. How much do you care about the suspect in any given Law-N-Order episode? A clod introduced and damned or saved in forty-five minutes would barely register. A clod introduced and made known to us through his trials and failures would matter. We'd care about the guy and whether he gives in to his (literal) demons.

"Sinner of the Week" also creates a problem of stakes. If the SotWs continually find salvation, the show would be predictable to the point of irritation and have no stakes.
Permissible in a classic-era sitcom, not permissible now, and never all that interesting. If the demons win, even once, predictability is gone and stakes skyrocket, but the fun drains from the show and any wit becomes depraved indifference to suffering. Given the short time we'd get with the SotWs, the would necessarily be barely characters at all, making their fates seem more arbitrary.

Think of it like a thriller. We have one (or a gaggle) of idiot lunatics who want to torture people to death. A series in which they stalk a different person every week and the person either gets away or they do, in fact, capture and torture the person to death, would be bizarre and either boring or disturbing. A series in which they stalk one person and we get invested both in the person and the hunt, could be dramatic, moving, and funny.

That's my take.

James Kennedy said...

Harvey, your take on this idea is brilliant! Much better than mine!