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Enter the House Between: Reality Television and the Multiverse

“Enter the House Between,” written by John Muir is what happens if you take a reality television series, put it in a multiverse and have a space traveling future dystopia as the lowercase p plot. These three things shouldn’t go together. Strangely enough, in this instance, they do. “Enter the House Between” is an expedited review.

Mimesis, Realism and Verisimiltude

Mimesis is different from verisimilitude, which in turn is different from realism. Verisimilitude is the “formal or technical representation or imitation of the real world in art and literature,” according to the New Oxford American English US Dictionary. Mimesis on the other hand is sometimes seen as a tool that creates verisimilitude. Perhaps a similar concept is the difference between the words affect and effect. You see effect while you affect something. One can’t effect change just as someone can not have an affect on the world.

When I say this audio drama has elements of a reality TV series, I merely mean the tropes found in such television can be found in “Enter the House Between.” Elements like scandalous love, deceit and distrust feel like the bread and butter of the series. Food high in sodium and carbs and with little nutritional value.

Reality Television and Character Interaction

When someone says reality television in everyday conversation, some people will roll their eyes and imagine the worst shows in that genre. Saying something is like a reality TV show often has that same effect. There have been many successful podcasts with realistic elements—just look at the true crime genre—that aren’t your typical interview or roundtable discussions on a specific topic type of podcast.

The relationships between characters are easy to comprehend as are the individual characters themselves. Arlo is the reluctant chosen one of sorts. Bill is a scientist, Theresa a psychic with a robotic personality and Astrid being Bill’s lover. Some characters are more fleshed out than others. Astrid doesn’t really have a defining trait aside from the love interest and maybe her jealously. Regardless it’s not passing any sort of Bechdel test. At least the transitions between episodes are seamless, like a high concept music album.

Moon Knight with a Side of Truth or Dare

Episodes toward the end feel like they belong in a different story. It’s both an example of the writer’s hand being visible, but also an interesting way to get across exposition. These episodes start with one that’s ripped right from the Moon Knight Disney+ show. If you’re familiar with its hard left, House Between copies that concept, but changes the number of people if effects. You aren’t sure what’s real, but you also learn a lot about the characters. Things they wouldn’t have divulged otherwise. Things that, perhaps, recontextualize the plot points that came before.

While the sound effects and music are good, the story lacks a certain narrative thread. At times it’s all over the place with poker games, space pirates and artificial intelligent houses (AI’s are known as LARs in this world). It’s a classic example of throwing the kitchen sink along with the baby and the bathwater.

7/10 Stars