3 Short and Sweet Shows to End the Summer
Last month, it was all about more, more, more. Through social media, I was watching thousands of podcasters descend upon Philadelphia at Podcast Movement, and I was feeling some serious FOMO.
This month, my motto is less is more. When you’ve already found at least a dozen podcasts you love, adding more to your rotation may be a challenge. (Your commute has to end sometime, hallelujah.) These three shows are short and sweet, either because of their limited run or because of their short runtime. As you may remember, here are our fave film podcast categories:
- Behind the Scenes: Film history and interviews
- Arts & Criticism: The craft of filmmaking and storytelling
- Just for Fun: Anything else you’ll love, maybe focused on a niche topic or full of jokes for movie buffs
Behind the Scenes: Drawn: The Story of Animation
Kerpow! Only 12 episodes? Yep, that’s all the first season of Drawn needed to make an impact when it debuted this summer.
Host Holly Frey (whom you may also know from the popular Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast) takes you behind the scenes of the animation world, interviewing artists, executives, historians, and tons of other storytellers to help us understand an art form that’s all at once a niche genre and a populist culture changer. While she spends much of the show exploring TV animation (outside of our usual scope), it’s impossible to separate the tangle of how television, shorts, and feature films have influenced each other since the early 20th century. Plus, we still get great stories about the making of classics like The Lion King, early Mickey Mouse cartoons, and the original Looney Tunes.
Episodes to Start With:
- Before There Were Icons (May 2018)
- Cartoon Consumables (May 2018)
- Music of ‘Toons (June 2018)
- The Villains (July 2018)
Listen in to all the biffs! whams! and pows! at DrawnPodcast.com.
Arts & Criticism: How Story Works
Short and sweet episodes are how Lani Diane Rich rolls when it comes to How Story Works. All of the ones listed below are 15 minutes or less each!
These very short episodes are for those who enjoyed the critical stylings of Rich’s podcast Listen Up A-Holes in our June installment or for pretty much anyone who loves stories. She starts with the basics—including terms you might be familiar with like plot, structure, character, pacing, and conflict—then defines (or redefines, for some of us) what these terms really mean in the context of building compelling narrative. Using film examples including A Few Good Men, Dodgeball, Easy A, His Girl Friday, and Tangled, she shows how all these elements work together to create stories we love, or in some cases, why they don’t work at all.
Episodes to Start With:
- #1: The Hitchhiker (March 2017)
- #6: Protagonist/Antagonist (April 2017)
- #11: How Acts Work (May 2017)
- #22: The Character Triangle (August 2017)
Find every story beat of the podcast on Chipperish Media’s website.
Just for Fun: Boozy Movies
Just seven episodes in, Boozy Movies is off to a great start—you could easily gulp up their whole show in a day! While the queue is short, I’m confident recommending the silly and relaxed conversations between Hannah and Julia because of their previous beverage-inspired podcast, Film Roast. The martini glass is a rebrand of their former coffee mug, but their movie reviews are just as hilarious and down-to-earth as ever. They pair each discussion with a signature cocktail (think a Jimmy Buffet cameo-inspired margarita for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) then take literal and figurative shots at new releases (and then some). If their goofy impressions of brontosauruses that sound like Kermit the Frog leave you wanting more, go back and imbibe the entirety of their original show.
Episodes to Start With:
- Episode 2: The Incredibles 2 (July 2018)
- Episode 4: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (August 2018)
- Episode 5: Ant-Man and the Wasp (August 2018)
Read the full menu.
Full disclosure: I’ve collaborated with Hannah on my own podcast, but I was a listener and fan beforehand. I would be recommending the show in any case!
Holly Frey’s other show, Stuff You Missed in History Class, features film-related topics from time to time, and this month they re-aired a classic episode about classic film actress Hedy Lamarr and her talent for inventing new technology. Check it out on the podcast’s textbook-sized website.
What other short (or not-so-short) and sweet shows are you obsessing over?
Taylor Blake is a contributor for ZekeFilm, including to episodes of ZekeTalk. She co-hosts her own podcast, SO IT’S A SHOW?, which focuses on Gilmore Girls pop culture references, including an episode discussing the hot mess of a movie Glitter with Hannah from Boozy Movies.