King Falls AM (Episodes 1-5)

King Falls AM is a podcast audio drama masquerading as a radio station for a made up town where nothing is as it seems. What makes this show interesting isn’t so much the story, but its format. The first couple episodes don’t seem to link together in any meaningful way, but when episode three roles around things started getting twice as good. The witty banter between the two co-hosts and their guests is one of many examples of what makes King Falls AM a great listen.

The show is very much the audio drama equivalent of cinematic formalism where form is king and content is second. That’s not to say the story isn’t good, but it plays more of a secondary role to the production as a whole.

You don’t really get a sense of the setting and scope of the project until episode five, when a plot thread is tied up from two episodes prior. Rather than answering the question with another question, the creators use horror in a comedic way to essentially tell the audience: “yeah, we know it doesn’t make sense, but it sure as hell’s entertaining.” Some people might have issues with that, others not so much.

Needless to say I’ll be continue to listen to this series with increasing interest as each episode slowly peels back the layers of complexity that creators have set up. Whether or not there’s an endgame remains to be seen, but I’d be lying if I said this isn’t an entertaining ride.

5/5 Stars

Big Dan Frater and the Escalator of Forgetfulness

This the first of five self-contained short audio dramas about a big man named Dan Frater, his side-kick and a librarian who solve mysteries together. If this sounds like Scooby-Doo, you’re not alone. Think the classic cartoon mixed together with a bit of old time radio and you pretty much have Big Dan Frater.

This first episode is mostly a comedy with some dramatic bits thrown in to keep it from becoming pure slapstick. In this episode, the mystery is about an escalator in a mall that makes people forget what they wanted to do once they reach the top. The ending, while not paying off anything the episode deems important to tell you, is in fact satisfying. I’d go so far as to call it surprising yet inevitable and something only a comedy can do.

Expect another episode reviewed next week and the weeks following. if this sounds like your cup of tea, check out the album on iTunes. It’s $7.99 and includes a blooper reel. Unfortunately only one episode is available for individual purchase and download on the iTunes store. Its title is “Sorry, Right Number.” Expect that review two weeks from now.

4.5/5 Stars