Tabula Rasa Season One

One of Pendant Productions’ newer podcasts, “Tabula Rasa” has all the audible stylings that make Pendant shows great. The show was written and created by Jack Calk and directed by Anna Rodriguez and they are a force to be reckoned with. The premise of the story is short, sweet, and to the point—but not overused that it’s a cliche: a woman has no memory of who she is and has the uncanny ability to predict danger. Sounds like an interesting supernatural mystery, right? For example, how can she know the things she knows just in the first two episodes alone?

Most is explained, but a few loose ends are left hanging for future seasons. Perhaps a bit too much. Jack Calk never explicitly says how she knew about some of the dangers. It’s sort of implied by the characters and the situation that, yes, there is an explanation and here it is…maybe. That’s the thing. Since there is not a definitive answer given by the characters, one can’t know for sure—at least not now. It’s the perfect blend of ambiguity and concreteness. It kept me on my toes.

Listening to the first season more than once will enhance the experience for the listener. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy it on the first try. Perhaps if I’d listened to it while it was being aired, instead of the whole season all at once, this review may have been different. It’s impossible to know. But knowing the ending of the first season and then going back and listening to it again gave me a much better understanding of what was going on—which, I admit, was a big problem for me on the first listen. The episode before the season finale made me want to go back and listen to the entire thing, once I finished the next episode. That could be a problem for some people who expect a powerful opening.

If there’s one complaint I have it’s that the final episode doesn’t feel like a season finale. It ends on such a big cliffhanger and so many problems are created, rather than resolved. In fact, most of the the revelations and closure scenes happen in the episode before. It’s an interesting choice to structure the season like that. Kind of like what “The Kingery” did when they opened up a season with a certain character’s death, rather than at the end of the previous season. I know it’s a serialized story, but the way it came to a sudden halt was a bit of a letdown. Some more closure would have been nice. That or a longer season. Ten episodes didn’t feel like a whole lot of content. Again, that’s probably due to my listening to it over the weekend rather than one episode per month.

Other than the finale, the first season “Tabula Rasa” is a wonderful addition to Pendant Audio’s collection and promises to be so much more in the coming seasons. With a company like Pendant, there’s no doubt that they’ll make good on that promise and entertain the masses with a wonderful story, acting, and sound effects as the series progresses.

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