Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
admin

Episode 4.3 — Recurring Segments: Day 3

Recommended Posts

@Bucho - I probably am too sensitive to criticism, but I don't really agree with your second point. I think the main point of the show is to have high quality conversation with crazy talented people about what makes a great show. At the end of the day, the funniest submissions will advance, regardless of the challenge structure. I think the looseness of the challenges is part of the content I find most compelling. I am very tough to please, and I am thrilled with the quality of this show. It's being executed very well and, as has been well documented, has never been done before. I'm enjoying hearing everyone figure it out. And reading the reactions too :)

Share this post


Link to post

This has been a great challenge week! I was really sad to see Brett go. I do think the movie parody idea could use more of an angle to be a recurring segment, but don't necessarily agree that it should be based on topical movies specifically. All in all, Brett was up against some very tough competition. Can't wait to hear more from everyone.

I definitely see the value in having a more "set" group of judges so they are more informed about the contestants, but that doesn't seem to be realistic. I do think it is extremely valuable that Matt is both hosting AND judging each week. Matt is the only one who gets to see the progress from the contestants week to week - I hope as it goes along more of that will be brought up. I think it is still possible to have more cohesion week to week without changing up the hosting format.

I also enjoyed the reality competition/game show discussion that happened at the end of today's show. Is it just semantics, or is there more of a tangible difference between the two?

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not convinced another permanent judge would have led to different surviving podcasts. Such a judge could be more important in later rounds, but that remains to be seen.

Share this post


Link to post

@Jeff - I hope it came across that I meant it as a constructive suggestion. I come at it from the point of view that I like the show and want it to do well. And I do keep saying that I think that high quality conversation with crazy talented people absolutely should be taking place on air, I just feel the point at which it's taking place could be improved. I thought Jesse's notes on that show were so on the money and I feel that some of the things he pointed out could be applied to The Challenge. And why not, since The Challenge is itself in the learning stages of things.
.
I mean, obviously I'm hooked as it is, so I don't feel like it's broken and needs fixing per se, just that it could run even better with a slight tune up. And even though I'm not a podcaster myself I guess I put myself in the contestants' shoes and figured it'd be hard enough putting time and energy into this Challenge without feeling like the goalposts are shifting on me.
.
As for the funniest submissions advancing regardless of structure, obviously this stuff is subjective and I disagree since I found the fake movie trailer - as much as it's a well-worn sketch premise - one of the funnier entries of the round.
.
.
@Candice - I thought that was intriguing too. For me a "reality" show features people living life in some way and dealing with interpersonal relationships, even if it's a contrived situation. The Jersey Shore, bless its cotton socks, is a pure example of "reality" show. Dancing With The Stars or American Idol are "game" shows, because the competition/game is front and centre. Survivor is a combination of the two, with the entertainment fairly evenly split between relationships and games. (Although I'm talking out my ass a little, I must admit, because I've never watched any of them. No really, I swear I haven't!)
.
Relating it to podcasting, right from the very beginning in 2004/05 a huge amont of podcasts were pairs or groups people just talking about their lives, so "reality" podcasts have been around since the beginning. I don't know of many "game" show podcasts though. Atomic Trivia War 9000 springs to mind, and I've heard other shows do trivia segments, but as far as I know it's not a big genre.
.
And I don't remember ever hearing of a podcast which pitches actual podcasts against each other (rather than podcasters) in a competitive format. I think Mevio/Podshow was doing some out-of-the-box stuff back in the day but I don't know if they did anything like what The Challenge is doing, and besides - those guys are/were evil and I'm happy to ignore them and back up Earwolf's claim that The Challenge is the first of its type.

Share this post


Link to post

First off, I want to say kudos to Matt Besser for putting so much into the podcast, and hearing that he was hosting is why I chose to check it out. I think he deserves to wear a gold medal around and/or have a trophy with "Founding Member of UCB" engraved on it.

I disagree with the elimination this week, though. Not that Hamm Radio put in a good enough submission not to be eliminated, but I thought the Fort's submission made no sense and had even less laugh-potential than BH's bizarre movie trailer. Their clarification should not have been taken into account in deciding the elimination. On balance, do not see it changing the outcome of the competition as I would bet BH would not have been able to get to the end. If the Fort somehow salvages things enough to win, they will deserve it.

The whole process has been yielding some great results, and Mr. Besser obviously knows a great deal about comedy and has great taste. None of the results have been way off, especially giving room for a reasonable amount of subjectivity. I agree about the frontrunners, and the factors taken into account have been balanced. Overall, greatness - I just disagree with which one should have gotten cut of the bottom two.

Share this post


Link to post

@Matt Besser First, thanks to you, Jeff Ullrich and the other Earwolves for chiming in on this forum! Not to be an asskisser, but I especially appreciate when my comments are responded to by the people that make the shows happen. I also think it helps keep us "honest" knowing that the people we respect may be reading our comments. This show seems to invite more commentary since it's a competition, which, for good or for ill, also flows over into critiques of the show itself.
As far as suggestions for the show, I wonder if it's possible at some point for one of the challenges to be to judge an entire episode of each podcast. I know the time involved would be prohibitive, certainly for the judges, since they couldn't listen to the submissions while recording the show. But maybe as a final challenge, the last two could submit their best single episodes, and those could be made available to download on Earwolf before the final judging. It would mean some "homework" for Matt and the judges, but I think once you get down to the last two podcasts in the race, it could be a worthwhile way to determine a winner.

Share this post


Link to post

I also hope that, as the contestants are narrowed down, the judges will be able to render verdicts based on longer segments. The two-minute limit has really hamstrung a few entrants.

Share this post


Link to post

I appreciate Caroline's point about "fresh ears" first stumbling upon a podcast and seeing if it's something worth investing more time in. That makes sense, and I didn't totally factor it in. But apart from the intro and the first few minutes, that all goes out the window. If the intro is concise and has you hooked, and you like the patter and repartee of the hosts after a few minutes, the rest is down to the meat of it - content, structure, helping the audience be clear about exactly what's going on. The podcasts in this challenge that have passed the intro episode and the content episode should at least be considered to be "good enough" in terms of getting first time listeners at the very least engaged. So after that it comes down to consistency in all other areas. That's where a regular group of judges would help the most.

I also understand, as Jeff said, that logistically a regular group of judges of the caliber we've had would be virtually impossible. That makes sense. I just think that underserves the show if Besser is the only consistent voice as a host. There should be at least one other person to chime in. Right now it seems to be the producers. Maybe a co-host to offer an opinion? Regardless, judges need to be exposed to longer segments to make real judgments, in my opinions.

Share this post


Link to post

Fanta makes a lot of good points, but let's also look at it this way: You want to introduce a friend to Comedy Bang Bang. You COULD just send them the link and hope that they listen to it themselves. But sometimes I'll find myself in the position of wanting to share a specific bit with a friend. I can remember times I've been at a friends apartment and I've played them iBrain or a particularly funny Would You Rather. In that case it is up to the friend to be so intrigued by what they heard in 2-5 minutes to put the effort into listening to a whole podcast.
.
I suppose my thinking is that Frank and Peter picked out 10 podcasts that are clearly good. Each of the ten had the potential to win and be part of Earwolf or else they wouldn't have been chosen. You'd think that as part of the Earwolf workforce I'd be ultimately concerned which who is going to win, but I'm actually finding myself more compelled by the coachings and discussions than with the results. Perhaps I fear that two sedentary judges with one guest judge would provide fewer viewpoints and less discussion.
.
It is all conjecture at this point, and I hope that my posts don't come across as shutting anyone elses opinion down. I think everyone has really neat ideas and I'm glad that the discussion is happening! Maybe I'm simply enjoying the current season so much that I don't want to see changes made and that's why I'm defending the structure so much.

Share this post


Link to post

I think there are lots of ways Ham Radio could turn a movie trailer parody sketch into more of a recurring segment. All that's missing is a line of continuity. These might all be terrible ideas, but you could: Make each successive trailer a trailer for the sequel to the last trailer's movie (and get more and more schlocky and ridiculous); Or do a series of trailers that advertise the same movie completely differently (making fun of different trailer tropes or the ways things are marketed to different groups); Or make trailers for cheapie cash-in knock-offs of upcoming Hollywood movies (like the kind they used to sell in bins at Blockbuster Video). Like I said, probably all bad ideas, but it's not impossible to come up with an angle that would make a movie trailer sketch feel like part of a series.
.
I feel like there's been a lot of criticism of Matt and his shifting definitions of the challenges, but I appreciate the amount of thought he's putting into it and I think he gives a lot of applicable advice during the coaching sessions. I feel like an important aspect of this show (and all competition reality shows) is knowing good advice when you hear it, and then doing something with it. Looking forward to next week's shows!

Share this post


Link to post

Caroline raises a really valid point in her playing bits for a friend scenario. I can think of several shows off the top of my head that I love but am positive my friends would not get without me guiding them to the right bits to start out with. I also see the potential value in having a judge that listens to everything. As Jeff mentioned though the logistics of that would probably be impossible. My thought is while the celebrity guest judges clearly don't have the kind of time necessary to listen to entire podcasts every week, there must be an Earwolf listener who does have the time. What if you chose one listener whose opinion you value and who has the time to listen to all of the shows and make them the second regular judge or "Listener Judge" as I like to call it. From what I gather most people on this board listen to quite a few weekly as it is so clearly there would be someone with the available time. They would not be a full time judge through each episode though. The show would go pretty much the same as it has with the difference being the "listener judge" would only participate once it gets to the choosing of the show to be eliminated and would only participate for as long as the judges need. The listener judge could possibly clarify things for the guest judges and would really act as more of a consultant than anything else offering the viewpoint of someone with a more intimate understanding of the shows. Additionally it would add to the "reality" aspect of the challenge by including a non-celebrity. Just a thought. Although I must say that I really enjoy the show as it is and so far I feel as if the judges have made the right choices so I am not exactly sure that a solution is necessary.

Share this post


Link to post

While some challenges will probably require longer clips at some point, and as people are eliminated there's more time for them, I think it is entirely fair to judge the podcasts solely on the clips they submit not on the whole podcast and not on their past submissions either. That's what the competition is for, who holds up to a variety of challenges. That doesn't make the podcasts that get eliminated bad podcasts, as Caroline pointed out all 10 of the podcasts chosen to compete are really quite good podcasts so that's not the point, it's figuring out which one holds up to a wide variety of scrutiny thrown at them. I think if you just wanted to pick the best podcast based on the whole thing you could get together a few judges and have them listen to an episode or two of each and pick their favorite but that would not make much of a show. You'd probably end up with a different result than running them through all the challenges too. The exciting part is seeing how each podcast responds to the challenge because your favorite podcast may make a poor submission and get eliminated at any point, or your least favorite may submit something that is awesome and surprise you.
.
The other part is that I only have limited sympathy for the contestants hamstrung by the length of the clip. They had an option to make something entirely new to submit if they didn't have anything in the bag that worked. So even if it isn't something that they'd ordinarily use for their show I think making something that fits the challenge and the time constraints is better than trying to stuff what they have already into a hole it doesn't fit in. To be clear I don't think that has really even happened all that much yet, by and large the clips have been pretty good and appropriate to the challenge.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×