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swirlybear

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About swirlybear

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  1. swirlybear

    Episode 5.2 — Using the Guest: Day 2

    Matt, I hope that you don't feel attacked. I wasn't trying to do that at all. I understand your method and what you're trying to do. As I said before, the main point discussions about "what makes this or that" are interesting to me. As I was writing this, my husband just suggested that you have the discussion of what would meet the criteria of a segment with the judges on the Part 1 show. THEN, you could bring in the contestants for the coaching sessions so that everyone has a clear idea up front of what loose parameters are expected. Obviously, each podcast will do things their own way, which is what makes this so fun. However, it would be great if the judges had an idea of what they were judging first. I hope that makes sense. I will listen to the podcasts again to get you specific examples and time stamps of what I am talking about. I might be reading you wrong, but sometimes it does come off that way to me as a listener. To address another point, F+ and Lou Reads read actual forums posts, stories, blogs, etc from the craziest parts of the internet. They are all real and not pre-written bits. I can see the comparison to Brett Gelman's CDR appearance, but they did not write what they are reading. I agree that TV Zombies and F+ are at a comedy disadvantage in terms of being an instantly recognizable concept. Not sure whether that would make them an overall bad fit, but I think that Earwolf has room for everybody!
  2. swirlybear

    Episode 5.2 — Using the Guest: Day 2

    @Rutabaga, I somehow missed this part of your post: Therefore the only other alternative is that the shows like Lil’ Dum Dum and Totes Laime aren’t quite at a level that Earwolf would say yes to immediately. In that case, saying you aren’t good enough to be on the network, but you are too good to be in this contest, would be super unfair. . That is a good point, and that would make a lot of sense. However, some of the other Earwolf podcasts aren't quite up to LDDC and TL's levels, so it's kind of a wash. (Unless you're comparing apples to apples and not Earwolf as a whole. In which case, I concede that point.) . @ElDoctor I agree. I really liked that clip, but I am a big fan of Dan Telfer's, so maybe his enthusiasm was infectious and not at all like a "Hey I Feel Like I Have to Be on" bit.
  3. swirlybear

    Episode 5.2 — Using the Guest: Day 2

    @Rutabaga: I wasn't trying to imply that there was inside baseball going on at all! I'm sorry if it came across that way! What I meant was that those two shows have very obvious advantages going into it, which makes the others have to work 3 times as hard. It's not really a level playing field. Like I said, it seems to be making the others work harder to improve which is actually great and satisfying when they rise to it. It stinks when LDDC and TL can just sit there and crank out a segment quickly, due to their experience and catalog, while the others have to make a new kind of segment in a short amount of time. (I'm not saying that TL or LDDC are NOT putting effort into this, but it's like lifting a finger versus climbing a mountain in some cases.) The fact that the challenges are tailored to their type of podcast doesn't help. (Again, that doesn't imply back room dealings. I just mean that the producers are having a hard time coming up with "out of the mold" challenges due to this being the first go-round.) It just strikes me as odd that they didn't give these two contracts already because they have a professional set-up, contacts and a fan base. All of this is what Earwolf needs right now as a fledgling Podcast "Corp". I get that they are trying to make this fair, but I think in that they are also making it a little unfair. I hope that clarifies my thoughts a bit. Like I said, I like them both a lot, and they have been meeting the challenges. It's just really boring to know they are going to be in the top two (or three) by the end of this. @MikeQ Like I said, I don't mind the Socratic approach when it comes to discussing segments and whatnot. It seems disingenuous when Matt has been told what is coming and then pretends not to know later. It puts the podcast AND the judges at a really unnecessary disadvantage. I think that a lot of that would be fixed by having the judges listen to 5 minutes of each podcast on their own before the taping of the segment. They might not be doing that to keep the judges "clean" but if the judges are already aware of some of the competitors' works, then that's already out the window. Once they have an idea, I think that Matt's methods will shine through for what he truly means them to be. As for them possibly not picking LDDC or TL due to Earwolf having enough of those kinds of shows, if they win the challenges, they should win the contest. That is the way the rules are set up. Now, they could be eliminated for any reason, but if it gets to the end and then they say (example) "oh, we really want a sketch show" that's terribly unfair to everyone who has participated.
  4. swirlybear

    Episode 5.2 — Using the Guest: Day 2

    I love the idea of a "Reality Podcast Challenge", and it really fits in with Earwolf's desire to infuse the medium with new and interesting things. I know that this is the first season, but some of these episodes are infuriating as a listener. Here are some thoughts that might help make it better. (Apologies if some of these have been discussed. I haven't read all the episode forums.) - The guest judges should be told AHEAD OF THE EPISODE what each podcast is about. This could be done off-air so as not to disrupt the flow of the episode but should probably be done briefly before the segment for any new Challenge listeners. Ideally, the judges should listen to at least 5 minutes of each podcast still in the running before the Challenge judging episode, as this would give them a better feel for what they are getting into. It is frustrating when I hear what I feel is a good bit, and the judges are completely confused because they weren't told what the show was about. I cheered when Howard Kremer actually stopped Matt to get an explanation before listening to one submission because that should have been a no-brainer. I understand that having permanent judges is hard due to scheduling conflicts. At this stage of the game, the contestants should not have to re-introduce what they do every time. That is not the point of the challenges, and is not fair to anyone. That is not saying that podcasts shouldn't find their voices. However, some of the sketch shows, F+ and TV Zombies need a little explaining before a listener jumps into them cold. Caroline made a good point that a listener makes a snap decision when they first listen to a podcast, but people listen to new podcasts from the beginning and not a random segment in the middle of it. The beginning usually tells you what you're getting into. These challenges are as if you've skipped ahead without hearing even the intro. - I agree with others that the challenges are trying to fit each podcast into a mold. Everyone talks about how they don't want just another talking head podcast with guests, but each challenge seems to be tailored to those types of shows. I understand that this is probably a first season hurdle, but it needs to be said again. It makes it very unfair to those podcasts that are not in that format. Why not make the talking heads write a sketch for example. However, I have been enjoying what some of the contestants have chosen to do with these challenges. It shows flexibility. Two pet peeves about this contest: - Little Dum Dum Club and Totally Laime are already pretty professional and have a large following. It is obvious that almost every judge has heard of (or been a guest on) Totally Laime, and apparently the Little Dum Dum Club is a famous radio podcast in Australia. This leads me to ask why are they competing? Since they already have a set-up and would cost Earwolf little in the long run to have them in the family, it makes sense to have given them a contract. I like them both and am glad for the contest exposing me to their shows. I just feel that it's a little unfair to the rest of the contestants. These two shows should have been brought into the fold since they obviously already fit and would probably bring in revenue to Earwolf with their respective fan bases. Now, some would say that this just drives the other podcasts to do better, but right now I feel like PFT watching American Idol, knowing that the country dude is going to win it all. It makes for very boring listening. - Matt Besser, I love you so much but please - PLEASE - stop playing dumb on certain things when discussing the segments with the judges. I'm not talking about the "What is a recurring segment" thing. The meta discussions are fine. I am talking about you knowing something and then pretending that you don't when the judges are on. This happens a lot because the judges aren't told what the podcast is about. Then, you act like you've also never heard the podcast before. I think you're trying to see if the segment is good enough for the judges to figure it out, but it's infuriating to the listener to listen to 2 minutes of stumbling every time. It can adversely affect the judging as Howard Kremer stated. It also happens when a podcast tells you what they are going to do in the coaching session and then you act like the submission took you by surprise when they do EXACTLY what they said they would do. It's baffling why you're acting like this. As a seasoned professional, you know that your role is host AND permanent judge. You should be the one facilitating things, not confusing them. Again, I love you, but this is starting to seem like a bit. I am really enjoying the judges and their input. I think that even if a contestant is eliminated, they are getting thoughtful and useful feedback from professionals not just in podcasting but in the industry. I hope that each group internalizes what they are told because it is really good advice. PFT and Jesse Thorn were great, but everyone has had useful and relevant feedback. I hope this makes each group a better podcast because it's obvious that everyone loves what they do. Don't take the criticisms to mean STOP. Take it to mean "this is a great idea that could be greater". I know that you are ahead a few episodes in taping but hopefully these suggestions could be discussed for the next season. Thanks for all the hard work, (both Earwolf and the contestants)!
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