S-Town, The Nerdist and Wooden Overcoats get the Podcast Review Show treatment this week.

The shining beacon in this week’s episode is obviously S-Town. A brilliant reshaping of the audio form into something more literary, its central protagonist is a loquacious, troubled and charismatic man called John B. McLemore. The journalist Brian Reed who recorded the show and who should rightly be called its author, does McLemore and us a great service by portraying him as a human first and foremost, a complicated man with a rich life, whose concerns spring from a unique and brilliant mind and whose troubles are not easily bound by standard notions of mental health.

Both Matt and Richard gave Wooden Overcoats a hard time in this episode. ‘In the worst tradition of BBC light entertainment’ said Richard. You’ll have to listen to the episode to find out of Matt really said that the entire production team responsible for Wooden Overcoats were privileged elitists and embodied the death of creativity. On a side note, Matt references Andy Hamlton’s Old Harry’s Game as an example of radio comedy done right, without realising that Mr Hamilton was a guest star in season 1 of Wooden Overcoats. More due diligence in order, perhaps.

Both presenters seem to struggle with one of podcasts emergent tropes – the 10 minute precursory ramble and sponsor name-check. The Nerdist came under fire this week, and whilst Richard and Matt wondered whether their antipathy was born of cultural programming, they weren’t too enthusiastic about Chris Hardwick’s interviewing technique, either.

And now the spiel.

Mike Pesca (The Gist) seems to have lost a bit of his oomph. Here at The International Radio Company, we had thought that it was coincidental with the new presidency, but now wonder if it’s something to do with his new-found gym-found sveltness. He changed his picture for the Gist into an actor’s head shot, and publicity snaps show him from a low angle, emphasising the fact that he has legs and wears a t-shirt well. When we weren’t sure about his lower body, and when his picture appeared to catch him impersonating Kermit the Frog, his show had a firmer foot in whimsy. Now he’s nearly all business, and while we like and still enjoy his show, he’s not quite the same goofy pal he was. Come back, Mike!

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