Hey Down In Front Review – Zimbellina

Hey down in front

This is a conversational podcast. They chat mostly about movies. Three friends who all have an interest in movies get together and chat about movies while they watch a different movie every week. To be fair I don’t get to watch too many new movies and watch more tv than movies so I didn’t know all the movies they were talking about over the episodes I listened to. But I picked episodes that I had seen the movies of so I had a point of reference.

They talk about the movie and it’s sequels (if any) while the movie plays. So you can hear the movie in the background but can’t quite hear it and so you can’t really follow the movie. They talk a lot about various issues about the movie, whether it’s good, getting more into the background and discussions about the movie. They’re quite harsh on some movies I think but people are generally polarised by movies, you either love or hate them mostly.

The hosts talk a lot about cinematic aspects of the movie, like the score, the shots, the actors. Sometimes you can tell where they’re up to in the movie.

Stand out episode – Jurassic Park. I love this movie and watched it a lot with my son when he went through his dinosaur phase so I could follow along to where they were quite well. They talk about how they made the dinosaurs, half CGI and half realistic puppets and people in suits (for the raptors). They talk about all the merchandise that came along with the movie like video games and such. They talk favourite lines which is fun. My favourites are mostly from Jeff Goldblum. It makes you want to be in the room with them to discuss the movie though which is a bit frustrating to listen to but i assume you can interact with the hosts on twitter and such after you listen to an episode.

They point out plot holes and talk their way through the movie, making jokes and laughing at silly things in movies. They don’t take themselves or their movies too seriously which is an interesting break from those who get very frustrated with talking about their favourite movies. They don’t always agree but that doesn’t make them angry at each other which is good. They joke and talk and it’s like having a beer with the guys while watching a movie you like.



Hello friends!

I’m going to cut straight to it, because this is a podcast I love so much and I believe it deserves so much love & attention!

Today, I’m going to share a quick write-up about Creepsville, a podcast hosted by my dear friend Bella. Creepsville is a podcast that focuses on urban legends, murders, and the paranormal, originating from her home country of Australia as well as throughout the world.

At the current moment, there are eight episodes of Creepsville – the topics range from haunted Brisbane to exorcisms to The Slit Mouth Woman. All spectacularly spooky episodes paired with Bella’s incredibly soothing voice.

Similar to Good Nightmare, Creepsville is a great podcast to listen to when I’m driving to and from work, as well as when I’m home and trying to relax. Bella has a way of delivering some rather creepy information in an accurate but calming way. And honestly, anything that’s spooky automatically has my whole heart.

Bella is really good about staying active and interactive with her listeners, both on her personal Twitter as well as her pod Twitter, and through other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

I love listening to a podcast that is so eccentric, especially one hosted by somebody that is so charismatic. Bella puts in so much effort to researching, recording, and editing. She is so talented, especially for such a new podcast. Each episode is an improvement from the last, even though they’re all still so good.

Bella herself is such a kind-hearted and hilarious human. I absolutely adore her, she genuinely is a beautiful soul. She is so friendly, as well. There really isn’t anybody in the world quite like Bella.

At the moment, Creepsville has 11 reviews on iTunes that equates to three stars. I personally give it five out of five, because I just love and adore it so much! You can find Creepsville on iTunes and most other podcasting platforms, as well as on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Bella, sweet pea, please never change! You are such an amazing podcast host, a wonderful friend, and just all around a lovely human. Thank you for all that you do and all that you contribute to the podcasting community! I love you dearly!


Thinking Sideways Podcast – Zimbellina

Thinking Sideways Podcast

5/5 stars


Thinking Sideways mostly deals with weird and mysterious happenings. The hosts cover a wide range of stories, history and mysteries. They go through the story in chronological order which helps with complicated stories. They have smart insights into intents and motives, such as when talking about killers. The three hosts have a great chemistry together and never talk over each other which is great. This means there isn’t a chaotic feel to the pod which can happen when you have a higher number of hosts. Going through the theories shows these hosts intelligence. They go through theories and posit different ideas, which I really enjoyed. They obviously do a lot of research and know a lot about a wide range of topics which makes the debates and conversations very fulfilling and full of facts.

Standout episode – The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve been into Poe since I was young so this was a favourite of mine. I’ve never looked into his death in much detail but I’ve heard rumours of it over time. Learning about it properly was good, even though there’s still mystery surrounding Poe’s death. The records are sketchy so there’s a lot of mystery and speculation around Poe’s death. He didn’t die in the gutter drunk though which is what I thought happened before. The story was changed a few times but you’ll have to listen to the episode to know what the stories are! They also go into his life so it was a really well rounded, well researched episode.

I really appreciate the way the stories are all told in the same way, in a sequence that stays the same. It’s an interesting and easy way to listen, it gives you all the history you need and then goes on to the theories and everything else. The hosts give well thought out answers to questions and have done their research. And they’ve been going since 2013 so there is an immense back log that I’ll be making my way through as quickly as I can. 5 big ass stars! Great mystery and weird happenings pod!

But Why Tho?


This podcast matters. But Why Tho? Is a pop culture podcast that is a bit different from all the rest. The episodes aren’t just about why some aspect of pop culture is good, bad, both, or neither; each episode goes further and explains why this bit of pop culture is important to pop culture as a whole and what it’s done to further its genre, make something more mainstream, etc. With certain areas of pop culture/fandom still seen as niche, this kind of analysis is important because it brings pop culture to those who may not be inclined to see what the chain reaction has been in society due to the creation of what is being discussed in each episode. This series covers all different kinds of things: video games, movies, television shows, older things, newer things, etc. I also really appreciate that this podcast doesn’t shy away from discussions about race, gender, class issues, and other topics that are usually seen as academic or uninteresting to most listeners but the hosts do this in a really accessible way that is easy to listen to and easy to comprehend and understand.

Other great things about the podcast have to do with the hosts and their dynamic. I love the way they converse with each other, all the jokes that get thrown in, how when a host doesn’t know something or isn’t a fan of something they aren’t afraid to say so, and also how each host gets to take a turn being the lead on a subject — especially if it’s something that’s totally their jam. This show also does some really fun crossovers and I’ll get into more about that in this next section where I tell you all about what episodes you absolutely need to hear, but I’m totally a sucker for a great crossover and/or a great guest host.

Episodes I recommend: Star Trek (a great look at one of the shows that made fandom and conventions come more into the mainstream), Hayao Miyazaki (if only just for the fun argument of whether all the Ghibli movies take place in the same universe or not), Horror (I really appreciated the guest host!), Mortal Kombat (one of my favourite game franchises and the hosts did the series so much justice with regards to its pop culture importance), Quentin Tarantino (if I recall correctly, the episode was done before all the things that have come to light recently from Uma Thurman’s experience; the episode was great, but I would love for the show to revisit this with all the new information further regarding Tarantino’s problematicness), Bill Nye the Science Guy (Matt is a really great host and I’m glad he was on this episode! If I were to get someone started on this show out of order, it would definitely be with this one. Pretty much everyone knows who Bill Nye is, but we might take for granted why he’s important to pop culture and society; this episode does a great job of breaking that down), eSports (bringing video games even more mainstream and paying people’s college tuitions; how could this show not discuss MLG and all the games that have been played professionally?), True Crime (I am huge into true crime and have been for pretty much my entire life; it’s how I’ve made most of my friends, it’s the genre that most people go searching for podcasts for, the notion of commodifying death/true crime as a form of capitalism, the cathartic use of true crime by those with mental health issues, etc.), Selena y los podcasters with It’s About Damn Crime (I love both of the sets of hosts for this episode and Selena is life so of course this episode is gold.), Religion & Myth in Assassin’s Creed (so one of my passions and something I wish I could study more is pop culture portrayals of religions. This episode wasn’t the standard kind of analysis that Assassin’s Creed usually receives and that was super important to me.).

But Why Tho? is an absolutely fantastic podcast and has easily become one of my favourites. I wish I could be friends with the hosts in real life and pick their brains. Each episode captured my attention in so many ways that I could continue to gush about, but I’ll just end this review here and tell you to subscribe and listen to this podcast right away.

Conspiring To Argue (Why What You Are Doing Matters)


I have spent entirely too much time mulling over how to go about this post. I’ve spent several weeks (months, at this point) thinking about how, why, what to say. Am I too close to the show itself to give an unbiased review? Yes. Am I too invested in the hosts’ personal lives? Yes. Am I too tired to write a cohesive post at the moment? You betcha. Can I get my head out of my own ass long enough to give you a well-written, deeply thought out review of this particular podcast? Nope, but I’m going to do what I do best: post an uncomfortably long personal tale of how two strangers effectively changed (saved?) my life while sprinkling in some details about how awesome the pod is.

I can remember the exact date and time that I began listening to Conspiring To Argue (July 16, 2017 at 10:36p.m. in case anybody is curious). I remember feeling, as soon as I hit play, that these two random dudes from one of the more relevant places in Iowa would become incredibly prominent in my life. Now, seeing that it’s been seven months of pure devotion on my part (amazing considering how short my attention span is), it’s as good a time as any to try to delve into why this podcast is so important to me.

I was not in a great place at the time. I was ten days shy of turning 21, which for most people is a great time. But, for me, I was just as miserable as I’d always been. I was listening to an episode of Hillbilly Horror Stories at the time, and they gave a shout out to this podcast. And I was like, “Okay, I’ve never actually listened to any podcast that anybody else has recommended…might as well try it out.” And so, I did. As fate would have it, they’d just posted an episode that day about a crazy ass house in Gary, Indiana. And I shit you not, I was in love. Here sat two guys arguing about whether things really are as simple as they appear, whether things really happen the way officials claim they did. Here sat two guys who reminded me of the me I used to be. The one who had an interest in digging deeper, in questioning the validity of things. The me who, at one point, could hold a similar conversation with a friend and find the humor in the drama, the light in the dark. It was not as simple as “Oh, these guys are fun and I like this podcast.” It was never just that simple. Like I said, this was a particularly dark time for me; I was battling disaster after disaster both internally and externally. I had effectively shut out all of the things that would require me to feel. Prior to this point, podcasts existed in my life in the same way music did – anything to fill the silence, give me some background noise, I would accept it. At this point in time, when Nic was still Nic and I didn’t know how poor JJ’s spelling could actually be, I was sleeping as little as possible and surviving on energy drinks & stale crackers. I was barely surviving. (It’s amazing how much can change in seven months, by the way).

God bless, am I just writing in circles here? I think I am. It’s fine. We all have a right to become overly emotional and nonsensical every now and then.

So, yes. I was immediately addicted to this podcast. Part of it is, like I said, how much it reminded me of me. But another part of it is just how unique it actually is. There are pods out there that will cover similar topics and have a similar premise, but CTA just has a different vibe. When you sit down and listen to it, you just know that Nic and JJ are having fun. You know that, regardless of the topic, they just genuinely enjoy each others’ company and genuinely enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing – both pretty important for a solid friendship, I’d say. You can listen to podcasts that are similar and maybe you’ll get that same vibe every now and then. But for Nic and JJ, it’s consistent. Every time you listen to a new episode, you can feel this sense of camaraderie that is really hard to gather from other similar shows.

Another thing that really had my attention was how interactive these guys were with their followers on Twitter. As most of you are well aware of now, I spend a vast majority of my time on Twitter (by vast majority, I mean 23/7 – the extra hour is for snacking). Facebook, IG, Snapchat, I’ll check those every now and then. But I am alwayyyys on Twitter. A lot of the podcasts I listened to at the time (and let’s be real, even now) are more likely to interact via Facebook. I simply do not like Facebook. So it was surprising to see these guys actually stay consistent and interact with followers on the social media platform I love most. It made things far more convenient for me, that’s for sure.

Once again, going back to how this time was a dark one for me – I knew that the things I happened to be feeling at the time were eating me alive. I knew that I couldn’t carry it all in my head. I’d became so invested in listening because it was a safe place for me. It wasn’t just background noise, not this time. Listening genuinely felt like being in the eye of a hurricane. You knew you weren’t out of the woods yet, but you had a few minutes to breathe and prepare yourself for the tail-end of the storm. When I was coming home from work, back into a place where I’d just be stuck in my own head with my own thoughts, it became a safe place to retreat to for a while – to get some rest before having to stand back up and face everything again.

I don’t really just open up to people and trust people, but that’s more or less exactly what I did when I really started talking to Nic and JJ. It was so easy to feel like I could tell them anything, because it really felt like I’d known them my whole life. (My mom jokingly refers to them now as the brothers I wish I had any time I talk about them. She’s not wrong). The more I listened, the more I opened up, the closer I felt. Nic and I have almost too much in common, and JJ is incredibly smart, even if he can’t spell. Sometimes talking to Nic is like talking to myself. Sometimes talking to JJ is so similar to conversations I had with my dad I have to pause for a moment. But I have never ever felt an ounce of shame or guilt from sharing with them the truth of how I feel or what I’m going through. That is unheard of in my life and I am truly grateful.

We are seven months down the road now, and I will stick to open honesty here: a lot of things have gone wrong in my personal life these past seven months. I’ve withheld a lot of secrets, lied about how I’ve been, pretended that I’ve just been dealing with everyday life when, in reality, I’ve been dealing with everyday life on top of some heavier, darker tasks and decisions that have really been draining. The past two months especially have been literal hell. I have said things I’ve regret, done things that I can’t undo, hidden things that just couldn’t stay in the dark forever. I thought I had to bust through some of these obstacles kicking and screaming. I thought I had to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders alone. Through all of this, Nic and JJ were there. Whether through listening to old episodes, silly hockey arguments, or the heavy stuff that I only ever seem to spill out when the sun goes down, they were here.

The main point of this post, other than to spill my guts & gratitude, is to remind each of you that what you do really matters. I go on these rants a lot on the promo Twitter account discussing why podcasts are so important – why you, as a host, are so important. It’s not just me kissing ass or whatever. It’s because for somebody out there, you are the eye of the storm, the light in the dark, the family they’ve searched their whole lives for. You are the best friend that somebody needs, the escape somebody reaches for, the peace in the warzone. As an adult, you know as well as I do that life is not kind. What you do matters to people like me. The next time you get discouraged when you see the stats, just remember that numbers are meaningless in comparison to changing someone’s life for the better.

Nic & JJ – I know I say it a lot, but thank you both for everything. Thank you both for helping me find my way back to me. Thank you both for sticking with me through all the dramatic bullshit. I know sometimes it seems like my life is more of a dramatic TV show than anything. Thank you both for helping me work through it. Thank you both for never doubting me, for always believing in me. Thank you for reminding me that love and friendship is something I deserve, too. Thank you for reminding me that there are things worth staying for. I could go on forever, but if you can imagine it, I’m thanking you for it. I love you both so dearly, and I will forever be grateful for your friendship.

For the rest of you – readers who are listeners and readers who are hosts – please do not ever forget that you matter. That what you do matters. Please do not ever forget that you are wanted and needed, that your kindness and friendliness is what can make all the difference in someone’s day or even life.

(Now that I am back from vacation, I have a new laptop, and my world is starting to level out a little, I’ll be far more active again. Soon, this post will be followed up with an actual real review of the show. But because I’ve seen so much unrest in the pod community lately, I felt now was a good time to share this. Thank you all for your interaction and support with us – we greatly appreciate it!)


True Crime Garage Review – Zimbellina

True Crime Garage Review


Nic and The Captain have been releasing true crime episodes for a long time. So long that they have a backlog of episodes that aren’t on iTunes anymore. However I just found out there are more episodes on podbean, from season 2 onwards. It’s interesting to hear where they came from since I hadn’t heard these eps because they’re not on iTunes for free. Some things have changed but the overall content of the show is the same. They just seem a bit more polished, and easy going behind the mic in more recent episodes. Now each early episode is $2 each and you can buy them on their web site or on iTunes. You can also buy the music, which is all done by The Captain, which is pretty cool.

So each episode follows the same routine. First the business, which is any reviews, people “filling up the beer fridge”. Every week they drink a different beer and give it a bit of a review. Then Nic introduces the topic generally with some of The Captain’s music underneath and then they go to the main part of the episode. Nic gives an overview of the case, followed by the time line and what happened with The Captain chiming in at certain times. They both get their opinions in there as well which is interesting. Sometimes they don’t have the same opinions, which is likely to happen, but they are very respectful of each other’s opinions even when they differ vastly from each other. They argue without getting angry at each other although they’re passionate about what they’re saying.

They cover a range of cases, anything from the Slenderman case which was pretty famous to not so well known cases. They bring the same smart sensitivity to each case they talk about. Towards the beginning they did more single episode cases but lately they do deep dives into cases over multiple episodes. This gives them the ability to really go into depth on one case at a time which I enjoy because I get all the details from one place and this clears up time restraints which can affect how much content you can cover in a podcast.

Standout episode – Episode 54 – The Serial Killer’s Apprentice. This is a case where a rapist, Robert Buell, is convicted and people think he killed a girl as well. Before being put to death he denies he was the killer. It turns out there are other murders which match the original killing in the 1980s. In this episode Nic and The Captain are joined by James Renner to discuss whether the rapist was also a killer or if there is another man responsible, known as the serial killer’s apprentice.

These two are very entertaining, respectful and at appropriate times amusing. Very detail oriented, Nic and The Captain continue to release great episode after great episode. They take their job seriously and they don’t disappoint. 5/5 bottle caps!

– Zimbellina

Fun Dip and Cherry Coke

A drawing of a human face with greenish blue hair and wearing heart shaped sunglasses is centered on a pink background and accompanied with the text "Fun Dip & Cherry Coke".Remember all those movies and television shows you loved as a kid? Wouldn’t it be fun to watch them now that you’re an adult and see how they hold up? Then join host Kira and her friends on a pop culture nostalgia adventure that is the podcast Fun Dip & Cherry Coke.

The episodes all follow pretty much the same format: Kira and one of her friends introduce what they’ll be watching and talking about that episode, the friend explains the gist of the piece of pop culture (subjects range from music to movies to television), the episode takes a quick break so the two can partake of the pop culture nostalgia, and then the two come back from their viewing/listening to discuss the work in further detail and talk about whether it holds up to the first time they viewed it during childhood/adolescence.

My favourite episodes are: “Millennium – Backstreet Boys”; “Clarissa Explains It All” (quick side note: I have never talked back to/interacted with an episode of a podcast as much as I have this one; I was laughing, responding to the hosts, etc., the entire time. Nineties Nickelodeon is my jam and Clarissa Explains It All is one of my favourite shows of all time, so as soon as I saw this episode I *knew* I would at the very least love this one episode if I didn’t end up loving the show); “Earth Girls Are Easy”; “The Last Unicorn”; “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”; “Hocus Pocus”; and the newest episode, “Fantasia”.

As someone who loves pop culture but has some significant gaps in their pop culture knowledge, I love that the host does too and also totally admits to it! And with a title that’s a throwback to one of my nostalgia songs and a theme song that reminds me of nineties children’s television shows, I think this is a show that pop culture buffs and newbies alike should be getting in on. I’ve been meaning to fill some of the gaps in my pop culture knowledge and this show has definitely inspired me to make a list of what I want to watch and then tackle that list! I’m definitely looking forward to more episodes from Kira and her fantastic, informative friend group!