Do you ever have a craving for a piece of media you can’t find? I've had a desire for something to curl up at the base of my spine and spread through my body. I want something crisp, something sweet, something smokey, and yet this is nothing I could actually eat- only that which I can experience
While I’ve been listening to podcasts, and enjoying them, none of them felt like I was welcoming my favorite season back. None of them felt like rain after a cool day or the drain of technicolor summer into the sepia autumn.
That is, until, Death by Dying slinked into my inbox for a release day review…
I admit I decided to listen to this podcast because their press release mentioned a Critical Role cast member being a part of their casting announcement. What can I say? The hook got me good.
One important thing to mention before I get into a full review of this podcast. It is a dark comedy podcast called Death by Dying. It’s not going to be for everyone. It is not for people who are sensitive to squishing, squelching, lip-smacking, blood, and/or death. On the very bright side, Death by Dying makes its transcripts readily available on its website if you're still interested.
Before I committed to a Release Day Review for season two of this podcast, I listened to most of season one. I would have finished the entire first series in a day had it not been for real life. Season one is five episodes that sit about thirty minutes apiece. We have introduced ourselves to the basic cast of characters nestled in the perfectly normal place that is Crestfall, Idaho.
I repeat: a perfectly normal place.
The Obituary Writer, our protagonist, narrates each piece with such smooth and confident prose that you nearly miss it when the podcast turns left, right, or upside down. That is of course until the turn hits you like a cannonball shot across a farm field signaling the death of a townsperson. Through each episode you are listening to obituary of someone from this perfectly normal place. These obituaries tell stories, and hold in each of them its creeping plot.
Sprinkled in between the twists and turns that made me think faintly of Welcome to Nightvale are these moments of comedic wit that actually make me laugh out loud. The script is crafty, the plot sneaks up on you, and you’re ready for the adventure before you even realize you put your shoes on. All of this within compact episodes that don’t take days to listen to. The bonus is that we're only on season two this year, you don't have years of backlogs and inside jokes to catch up on.
For season two? The first episode carries this off colored torch - and it burns even brighter.
Honestly, in the first episode I feel like this team was able to step it up a notch from season one. I thought the quality of season one was nothing to scoff at, but there’s a crispness and a fullness in the tone of this episode that got me excited. I was pulled in, staring past my YouTube fireplace to see a chase through, and under a cemetery. Everything just felt crisper, cleaner, and tied together even more carefully than in season one. The fact that this team managed to achieve this is just a testament to honing your craft even if you already have something great.
Sitting at about forty-five minutes we start not long after where season one left off. The reality is, season two is dropping into the plot at a sprint. Don’t listen to this episode unless you’ve finished season one- you will not have any idea where you are.
We are met with familiar characters, unfamiliar characters, and of course, the “psychotic wildlife of Crestfall” for the start of what I’m sure will be an excellent ride on our friendly neighborhood phantom bicycles. Join Death by Dying for season two this autumn. It does not disappoint.
Thank you for the early listen from the Death by Dying team. Podlink for Death by Dying here.
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