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  1. LHR was brilliant this week. The guest invested totally in it and it went into some bizarre comedic Twilight Zone territory. Production was rock solid. I was iffy about them up to this point, but now I want them to win. I wonder if The Orb is some kind of premise they return to every once in a while, because that would be great. You could tell Maron really liked it, too.
  2. 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.
  3. Ryan, yes. Two minutes is far, far too short. I think the show fears boring people, but most of us are not averse to two hour podcasts during our commute, jobs, doing shit around the house, whatever. I think a lot of the podcasts fear that taking the time to make the setup clear enough will give them scant time to actually provide entertaining content that seems at least mildly substantive and memorable.
  4. I agree with Mike Quimpo. The ultimate failing of this podcast isn't the enthusiasm of the concept on the part of, particularly, the guest judges (or the seriousness with which Besser takes giving notes and looking at each podcast in its unique light), but the lack of consistency when it comes to judgment. Were, for instance, Paul F. Tompkins and Jesse Thorne the judges for the ENTIRE show, they would know far more about who was involved, what they could do and not do, and how well (or not well) they responded to the advice they were given. Bringing in guest judges every week keeps listeners interested in who's coming next, but underserves the podcasts involved. Also, two minutes is clearly just too short. WTF, Nerdist, Comedy Bang Bang - they all push an hour at the minimum, and keep people's attention. Days 2 and 3 should really be combined. Listen to a three minute clip, judges and host discuss, move on to the next clip. Hear (at least clips) of the judges discussing why they think the bottom three should be the bottom three. Call the bottom three, hear their thoughts. Discuss again who should go, and then call them all back and announce the loser. This might run up to two hours, and may seem a bit unwieldy, but it could be streamlined, I think, as long as the host is keeping it chugging along. That would be difficult to do with Besser's attitude of feeling out what's going on as it happens, but that's only natural for the first season of something like this. I think the above suggestions might help for a future season. Love the show.
  5. @JW, I think you may be right about TVZ being outside the judges' expertise. Laid back, informal podcast chat about geeky shows, movies, books, etc. is probably not what they tend to listen to. So maybe they found TVZ to be interestingly niche? I don't know. It's NOT that niche, though, and Jesse called it as such. Maybe Tompkins' knowledge of geeky podcasts extends to simply Nerdist and he doesn't listen to, or hasn't listened to, the wealth of TVZ-like content out there. Which is fine, he's got better shit to do. But there is absolutely nothing special about TVZ that I've heard so far. I know they're trying hard and I don't want to be deprecating considering how politely they've taken on board every criticism offered by the judges so far. But if they've been at this level for THREE YEARS, it's far behind casts like LEOG like I mentioned or others, and I think The Guide should have stuck around longer. They had a voice, TVZ doesn't. At least not that I've heard, or not that I think is appropriate for Earwolf.
  6. This episode boggles the mind. TVZ are simply technically incompetent up to this point, and they don't offer anything unique that hasn't been done before and been done better. Jesse, despite coming off as sounding a bit dickish at times, is absolutely correct when it comes to nice sci-fi podcasts. Spill.com's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen covers sci-fi TV news, episodes, and everything else, with a complete irreverence and - gasp - technical know-how. Not only that, they provide genuinely interesting interviews with everyone from MST3K's Mary Jo Pehl to martial arts stuntmen and local Austin youth filmmakers. I don't want to toot LEOG's horn too hard but they're everything TVZ wants to be but better put together, funnier, and more interesting. TVZ should have gone this week. The Complete Guide was actually funny. They made me laugh in that two minute clip, and I've never heard anything else from them. Maybe they didn't set it up well enough, maybe their digs at each other weren't "charming" enough for PFT and Jesse. But wow, did the judges drop the ball by letting two inferior podcasts make it and The Guide get eliminated. How the hell does Besser get off giving someone a telling-to about how he "doesn't have the right" and then the judges eliminate someone else entirely. Good god.