The Last Ovation Review – Zimbellina

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The Last Ovation Review 

This podcast is hosted by Melissa and is about the lives and deaths of famous celebrities. It spans over various decades, with a range of older icons and more recent deaths.

The episodes go through the lives of the celebrity, so it doesn’t just focus on the death of the person but celebrates their lives as well. It delves into their past and the pasts of anyone involved in the celebrity’s death, for example in the Rebecca Schaeffer episode, her killer, Robert, is also talked about in depth.

The episodes are not very long, anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes which are perfect for a commute or small binges. Or, if you’re like me, it makes it easy to binge entire seasons.

The episodes are very well researched and thorough especially considering the length of the episode. There’s a lot of information in each episode. The sound quality is very good and the host’s voice is soothing and easy to listen to. There is a lovely use of background music, not too little and not too much and just at the right time to help accentuate what is being said. Additionally some episodes have snippets of interviews or songs which enriches the story being told.

The death’s are treated with respect, it doesn’t feel lurid or sensationalist to listen to. There’s also a fun little trivia section at the end of the episode as a palette cleanser which lifts your spirits after hearing about the person’s death.

Standout episode: Bruce and Brandon Lee – This episode was a longer episode since it covered both father and son, Bruce and Brandon Lee. Both of these deaths were sudden and under slightly mysterious circumstances which has led to a lot of conspiracy theories. However, Melissa goes through the life of both Bruce and Brandon Lee and explains their deaths plainly and without sensationalising them. Both deaths are tragic but Melissa treats the actors with great respect and tells their stories very well. Greatly recommended if you are interested in learning more about either of these men.

The podcast covers a great range of celebrities, with season 1 covering movie stars and season 2 focusing on musicians. People from all parts of fame are represented and it covers a wide range of people so there’s something here for everyone. This podcast was thoroughly enjoyable to binge and will become part of my regular rotation.

5/5 shining stars

– Zimbellina

The Human Circus Review – Zimbellina

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Firstly a confession. I know nothing about Medieval history. I don’t know anything about the geography, the travelling, the religion, the countries, the wars or any of it. This I am rapidly remedying through this podcast, The Human Circus.

The Human Circus dives deep into medieval history through key historical figures over loose seasons. The starting ‘season’ has 4 episodes whereas their second one has 7. The seasons run as long as it takes to tell the story of that key figure. With each season different aspects are spoken about but the podcast entails all those things that I don’t know anything about. Trade is very important, especially for travellers so there’s a lot of trade talk and stories about travelling through different countries. It’s very interesting to witness whole countries come and go through the eyes of different people.

The podcaster, Devon Field, uses a lot of sources and knowledge about a lot of different things. He also uses primary sources which I liked a lot because it shows how invested Field is in getting the information right. He also has a lovely voice, it’s melodious and soothing. The voice work is excellent and very easy to listen to. It’s not boring and you’re interested in everything he has to say.

This podcast is jam packed full of information. It’s a huge, interesting infodump of all you need to gain an understanding of what was happening in the world in medieval times. This is done through focusing on one person and their travels, but a lot is explained and talked about through slight tangents. Mainly it focuses on famous travellers and looks at the world through their eyes, going into meetings with allies and enemies that each traveller experiences.

Religion, trade, economy, wars, clothes, royalty and the movement of key players of the medieval years are all talked about in great depth, which is difficult to do seeing as there is a lot of history to talk about here and the episodes are around the 40 minute mark. But this is just enough time to get a good amount of information exchanged without boring the listener or going on too many tangents.

So far the people covered have been Johann Schiltberger, Thomas Pallam with the current season being about Marco and the Polos.

Standout Episode: To See the Mongols 1: Giovanni Carpine Goes East. This focuses on the Mongols expanse into the rest of the world. in 1241 Latin Christiandom was having a crisis and the Mongols seemed to be knocking on their door. They had defeated and then united all their rivals, destroying empires and then absorbing them or leaving them totally desiccated. They defeat everyone and they were coming for Europe. But then, suddenly, they’re gone. With the use of hindsight we can see some issues which led them to withdraw, the main one being that their Kahn had died and a new Kahn needed to be chosen, but the weather played a part too. So in this breathing space steps Giovanni Carpine.

I’ll let you get the rest of the story from the episode but it’s an interesting one. I’m happy to have discovered this podcast so I can fill the hole in my head about medieval history. Additionally, I found out this podcast is part of The Recorded History Network which has a lot of interesting history podcasts on it that I’m going to binge as well. Too many podcasts, not enough time!

5/5 sailing stars!

Who’s Right?

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I’ve referred to them as “the 4chan of podcasts” a million or so times. As a disclaimer, because I want to make this perfectly clear, this podcast is not for everyone. If you are easily offended, this isn’t the show for you. But if you’re like me and can spend hours browsing 4chan and Reddit without batting an eye, then you may wanna check them out.

Doug and Anthony are…interesting. They are two self-proclaimed assholes who, according to several of their episodes, don’t care as long as they make themselves laugh. It’s an interesting concept to have a podcast that doesn’t really have any sense of direction. They kind of just talk about random stuff, whatever they find funny at the moment. Topics include news stories with incredibly strange headlines, personal anecdotes from their day to day lives, their opinions on current events, Twitter feuds, and dark humor.

It is one of the most unique podcasts I’ve listened to…ever.

Like I said, Doug and Anthony are self-proclaimed assholes. But they’re also…not that bad. They’ve always been really…kind?…to me, and pretty encouraging when they see I’ve been struggling. They have a messed up sense of humor, but I’d argue that they’re probably good guys. Or maybe the show is just funny. Either way, I like them.

And I’m not the only one. They have over 4,000 followers on Twitter and several five-star reviews on iTunes. They’re a podcast that people from all walks of life listen to, and I’ve never listened to a pod that has made me laugh as hard as these guys do.

Like I said, it really isn’t for everyone. But if you can stomach it, give them a listen. You may be surprised at how much you actually like it (I know I was).

Anthony, Doug – keep doing what you do, guys. Thanks for always being hella cool. You’re doing a damn good job at keeping me laughing, and for that I thank you.

The End of Time and Other Bothers Review – Zimbellina

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The End of Time and Other Bothers is a new podcast coming April 15th. I got the awesome chance to listen to the first episode and I feel like such a lucky girl. What a lovely gift to wake up to!

So, firstly to be totally honest I didn’t know how I would react to this podcast as it is a role playing game being played in real time over the episodes. I’ve never played a real life role playing game like D&D, I’ve never even been in the same room as one being played. However, I’d love to learn it’s just not something that ever crossed my path. Until now. The End of Time and Other Bothers is like a D&D game but in the world of Alba Salix. There are two other Alba Salix podcasts, Alba Salix and The Axe & Crown, this is the third release by these world builders.

Sean the GM does a wonderful job building up the world. He leads the characters through their worlds, building up piece by piece, until you can have a fully imagined world. He’s fabulous at his job and really pulls you into the world he is building.

The other main characters, Blat, Darcy and Eggerton, are very well built up over the first episode. Blat, a half demon, is introduced first, is a file clerk who works in the bottom of a main building in the main part of Steadfast and it’s through him that we learn of the big event of the episode which I won’t say because that would ruin the surprise. Eggerton, a flightless fairy, is then introduced while he’s in the middle of getting ready for a big presentation that gets turned on its head by his nemesis very quickly. And finally Darcy, human cafeteria worker, is introduced. She’s quirky and interesting, I’d keep your eye on her she seems important. There is one other character but I’ll let you learn about that one on your own.

I’m so excited for this to launch. It is funny and surprisingly captivating. It is just like an audiodrama but it’s unfolding as you go in a way that audiodrama’s don’t really feel like. This feels different, like anything could and does happen. It adds drama and excitement to the show. I didn’t know what I expected going in but this was very good and I expect it to be a huge hit with the audiodrama and role playing communities. At least we’ve only got a little bit left to wait! Definitely get on this once it releases.

5/5 slightly singed stars.

Mars 2060 – The Colony Files Review – Zimbellina

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This podcast is a hidden gem of an audiodrama. I haven’t heard much about it but then maybe I just don’t run in the right circles on Twitter. Anyway, the first season of Mars 2060 focuses on the first set of astronauts to set up a habitat on Mars and study the planet. A second ship filled with supplies and more people comes about a year later. The story is told through a series of interviews by two people, Jenna and Megan. Megan is on Earth, interviewing the team on Earth and those who returned with the second ship when it went back to Earth. Jenna is on Mars and interviews both those from the first and second crews.

At first everything was going fine for the first crew then people started getting sick. A lot of people were falling ill but they couldn’t work out what was causing the illness and they couldn’t contain it. This happened when the second ship was on it’s way to Mars but wasn’t quite there yet. The sickness had to be contained and they needed to find the reason everyone was getting sick before the second ship landed. The second ship had orders that they weren’t to disembark if the sickness was not contained and they had to turn around and go back to earth.

“Mars is unfriendly. We are at work here everyday.” 

At first the major worries are psychological, such as anxiety and depression, but they had psychologists on Mars and they found ways to deal with this adequately such as with music or in extreme cases with medication but medication was not used a lot. These people were chosen to be able to withstand a lot of mental and physical strain. They were well trained and eager to do their jobs.

Some people were up there to search specific rock formations on Mars. The ship is divided into people who believe the rock formations are made by aliens and those who think there is either not enough evidence for that or they believe the formations are naturally made. The divide is not extreme, but it is there.

There is an interesting unfolding of the story through the interviews. Slowly with each interview more and more is learnt by the listener but at the same time more and more questions are raised. The interviews make you feel part of the crew and you feel what they feel as they explain the different reactions they had to landing and living on Mars. For example, there is an underlying questions of whether or not there were once aliens on Mars. If there was what happened to them? Did someone make the rock formations? And then there is the sickness that takes over the crew. How are they getting sick and what can be done to stop this sickness before it takes over the entire crew?

I listened to this in one go, so I don’t have a standout episode for you today because it seemed to me to be just one story. The voice recording is outstanding, the story telling is realistic and there are recognisably human moments even in such an inhuman place as Mars. The story quickly descends into a tense, mesmerising tale, told tantalisingly slowly, giving bits and pieces of the story before changing track and focusing on something else. This way of storytelling can sometimes be frustrating but all of the storylines in this audiodrama are so interesting you don’t mind being pulled from one storyline to another. It ends on a cliff hanger, but luckily I have been told there will be a second season. I cannot wait to see where this story takes me, it’s wonderfully told and everyone involved in the making of this podcast should be very proud of what they have produced. Loved it!

“The option of quitting was taken off the table the day we launched.”

5/5 red and dusty stars.

Redhanded

Redhanded.

Hey guys! Ren with another podcast to review. I must say so far I’ve been really lucky with the podcasts I have been assigned to review. True crime and people who love it too is a lucky break for me. I do know I will be doing some that aren’t and I can’t wait to learn some new stuff about things I don’t know about.

Redhanded is a relatively new podcast and is hosted by a couple of ladies from across the pond from me. First, I love their accents and tend to just get lost in the lovely accents. Can my fellow Americans agree that sometimes just hearing things in a British accent makes them sound better or not as bad? These ladies, like yours truly, will let a cuss word fly when appropriate. Let’s be real talking about murderers means it’s always appropriate.

Suruthi and Hannah are smart women who make you want to listen to their take on stories you may have already heard of. I like that they have quite a few I don’t know and many of the British ones I’ve never heard of. One of my favorites is “The White House Massacre”. This one was new to me and completely had me engrossed. I love that it is well researched and the crimes and victims are always treated with respect with a bit of comedy when they can.

One of my favorite things is that the ladies do not just take everything at face value. Both have called BS on certain details. What I love even more is that they question things and often comment on how they need to know more. This by no means is to be taken as they don’t thoroughly research their topic, because they do. Sometimes there are just questions that are unanswered or were never asked. As a naturally curious person, it is nice to hear others ask questions that I wonder about myself.

I always pick a couple of episodes to listen to and get an idea about the podcast. I pick one that interests me and one that doesn’t (then at least three or four more). I picked for the interest for me Episode 10 The Oklahoma Girl Scouts Murder. I will say I picked this one because I was a Girl Scout and I went camping. My dream was to be counselor at a camp eventually (that dream never came true).

Three young girls are sexually molested and murdered. This had me on edge from the beginning. The ladies make even grisly murder not horrible as it can be. Their discussion of “Soccer” was hilarious and helped to break up the knot in my stomach. Kids and crimes is hard for me and this really helped me. The girls don’t overdramatize things and I appreciate this.

My favorite line ever: “It’s insane to me that someone could be a local celebrity because they are good a PE.” This line is reference to a convicted rapist that an entire town hides because…he was good a PE because here in America that makes you a hero. Their laughter with this and how they look at it endeared them to me forever.

Give them a listen! You won’t regret it.

True Crime Guys Review – Zimbellina

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True crime guys

True crime guys, Michael and Lorne, offer a range of crimes to choose from. They cover heavy hitters like Bonnie and Clyde and lesser known stories like the death of Colleen Ritzer. They lay out the story in a logical manner, telling the tale of the death in chronological order, adding in details about the killer as they go. It’s obvious these two have done their research.

The boys go into a lot of detail and don’t shy away from the gory stuff but they don’t use it in an exploitative way, they just relate the facts of the case as it is. They are very easy to listen to and their voices are quite soothing. I’ve fallen asleep to them before. Not because they’re boring obviously but because their voices are so nice to listen to.

They add in extra stuff about themselves when it’s relevant, such as memories that the crime calls up but these asides are always relatable and they quickly get back to the story without getting too distracted.

Standout episode – The tragic death of Colleen Ritzer. This episode focuses on the story of school teacher Colleen Ritzer who was killed violently on school grounds. The boys take a deep dive into the background of not only the victim but the killer as well. The killer has obvious mental issues, probably relating back to his childhood. The hosts go through all the things in the killers childhood which could have affected him to the point where he raped and murdered a teacher. They don’t make excuses for the teenage killer but they do go into the possible reasons why he did what he did. The boys talk about a lot more in the episode but I don’t want to ruin the episode for you because it’s well worth a listen.

You’ll want to binge listen to this podcast and they have a good amount of episodes which means more hours of binging! They don’t get boring, they keep what they talk about fresh by talking about different kinds of killings and adding in the more famous cases with the lesser known cases. They also cover recent cases as well as past cases which keeps things interesting.

Overall I give True Crime Guys 5/5 stars! Keep it up guys, your work is greatly appreciated.