Digital Folklore review
Production company – Realm
Even the most cursory skim through the archives of this blog will show that I have a great fondness for the strange and unusual (I myself am strange and unusual, to quote Lydia Deitz). I was given the heads up on this week’s review by Brent Lee, one of the hosts of the excellent Some Dare Call It Conspiracy podcast. And as usual, as soon as the first episode was underway I was fully prepared for 8 hour binges of this show.
So read on, and I’ll try and spread my enthusiasm for this show.
So what’s it about?
Join Perry and Mason (yes really. I did think that was a joke at first. Sorry guys) as they investigate the more esoteric side of modern life. I’ll let the guys explain the show in a far better way than I could…
“It’s like kinda like Scooby Doo, if Scooby Doo was a documentary”
“It’s like Mythbusters, if Mythbusters was on the history channel”Perry Carpenter & Mason Amadeus
As you may have surmised from the title, this show focuses more on more modern folklore internet stories and memes. Obviously, things such as ghosts and demons are timeless. Rather than headless horsemen and clever farmers outwitting the devil though, here we have the demonic possessions and poltergeist activity so beloved of late night TV shows.
Is it any good?
As usual, and for the ability to get this review out quickly, I have listened to the first ten episodes. This is what I can take away from 7.5 hours of listening…
This show reminds me of a mix of Big Picture Science and Bone And Sickle. Both shows you’ll know that I have great respect for (and both winners of the first podcastgeek awards). The main chunk of the show is taken up with interviews, but they are presented in a series of fictional encounters. In fact, the whole show is set in a fictional universe, but the themes dealt with are absolutely based in the real world. A trip to the pawn shop for example leads to an interview with two people involved with computer games and AR puzzles.
It is this rather unique format that sets it apart from other similar shows. You are essentially getting two shows for the price of one. You have this weird backstory with Perry and Mason finding out about all manner of weird subjects, hoarding junk and looking after a raccoon called Digby. Basically just being two rather charming, if nerdy guys. You also get some great in depth interviews with very knowledgeable people. Modern monsters such as Momo and Slenderman are at the recent end of things, but the Mini Lights of Florida are a chilling (in more ways than one) example of how actual events turn into folklore.
This podcast is one that, once I have caught up, I will be awaiting each new episode with a totally inappropriate amount of excitement. I was immediately taken with the whole premise, and this is quickly rising to the top of my “favourite shows” list. Certainly for the last 12 months, but possibly all time.
The interesting thing about more modern folklore is that you can usually directly trace the stories back to their creation. This also allows you to see how the stories change through multiple iterations as they spread. A truly unique situation that in some ways makes for more academic study. One example of this is how Slenderman changed from his inception as a creepy photoshop challenge to his mixture with other folkloric entites. This eventually saw him sprout dark smokey tentacles (something I never remember him having originally).
I can’t really recommend this show enough. It is one of those “Mary Poppins” podcasts (practically perfect in every way). You really should subscribe immediately. I guarantee you’ll love it, and when am I ever wrong?
You can get Digital Folklore here:
If you want to discover many more great podcasts, then I recommend GreatPods