Lately I just keep subscribing to more and more podcasts. Right now I listen to about 30 of them. Yeah, that sounds like a lot, but it's not as much as you might think. Most shows update weekly or monthly. One of them, the Dilbert Animated Cartoons podcast, does update daily, but each episode is literally 30 seconds long, so that doesn't exactly require a huge chunk of my time. This is the first of a series of posts I'll be blogging over the next few days, where I will review my favorite podcasts. There are some shows that I really feel more people need to check out. Some of this stuff is incredible.
I really like podcasts that are relevant to my other (usually geeky) interests. Starkville's House of El podcast (affectionately known as "SHoE") is my undisputed favorite. I look forward to it every week. This show is awesome. The two hosts, Derek Russell and Steve Glosson, comment weekly on the CW TV show Smallville, as well as other developments in the world of all things Superman. These guys are great! I discovered the show a little less than a year ago when I started really heavily getting into Smallville and decided to search the iTunes store for something pertaining to it. Boy am I glad I did! These two bring a weekly dose of humor and really interesting discussion that will make anyone want to watch Smallville if they don't already. They've managed to score some awesome interviews with people involved with show, from former cast members to writers. Probably the most interesting interviews are their conversations with John Schneider (Clark Kent's adopted father Jonathan on the show and Bo Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard) and Steven S. DeKnight (writer of such awesome Smallville episodes as "Zod" and "Justice"). So they're definitely not, as some people believe, a couple of guys sitting in a basement with a microphone. The last two years have seen them rise to prominence among podcasters. This summer they even hosted panels at San Diego Comic-Con International and Dragon*Con in Atlanta. So they are definitely to be taken seriously. Check them out whether you like Superman, Smallville, both or neither. They get a 5 out of 5 chocolate mole pies (inside fan joke) on the Frank Scale, as well as the highly prestigious Frank Ramblings Seal of Approval.
Around the same time that SHoE started to really hit its stride in the fall of 2006, another hit TV show premiered on NBC: Heroes. Graham Hancock and Tucker Colburn, two weekly contributors to SHoE, recognized early on that Heroes would be very successful and that it deserved a podcast of its own. So they started the extremely popular Tenth Wonder Podcast (known to many fans as 10W). This show is very similar to SHoE, but it still maintains a unique feel. They review and discuss episodes of Heroes on a weekly basis, also conducting the occasional interview with people on the creative staff. Early in the show's second season, Graham visited the set and managed to meet show creator Tim Kring and producer and comic book legend Jeph Loeb, as well as a few cast members. Writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite agreed to a phone interview with 10W a while back, and still keep in contact with the podcasters. 10W is my number two favorite podcast. Awesome production. Around Season Two, Tucker moved away and wasn't able to continue co-hosting with Graham anymore, so Derek from SHoE stepped in as Graham's co-host and continues to do so to this day. The show has by no means suffered for this. It manages to maintain its level of quality no matter who hosts. Over the summer, 10W also scored panels at San Diego Comic Con and Dragon*Con. The guys are definitely in touch with their fans. I sent them an email towards the end of the summer and attached some photos I took of billboards for Heroes in Manhattan. Not only were they nice enough to read my email on the show, but they even included my photos in their enhanced AAC artwork. That was cool for me. Also, in the ultimate act of fan-acknowledgement, ever since Heroes' third season premiered two weeks ago, they've branched out and begun a weekly streaming video post-show where they give their first impressions of a Heroes episode just after it airs. There is an accompanying chat room where viewers can voice their comments and ask the hosts questions or propose topics they'd like to hear them talk about. It's a great interactive experience and a must-see for any Heroes fan. The Tenth Wonder is awarded 5 out of 5 eclipses (another inside fan joke), as well as the Frank Ramblings Seal of Approval.
Next Time: Geek Out Loud (official podcast of geekoutonline.com) and the Force-Cast.