Saturday, November 23, 2013

Loveable Freak Reviews Welcome To Night Vale

  The written word is up to interpretation. Art is subjective. Welcome to my Night Vale review...

  Hey, readers. I figured I'd review something a little different then my usual fare of TV shows the Internet has a fixation on and various movies, usually involving explosions. I decided to review a podcast that is gaining some well-deserved notability. It's titled Welcome To Night Vale, and I feel like maybe I should review it. Though, be warned, it is going to contain...

 Welcome To Night Vale is done in the format of a local radio show. The main character, Cecil, informs the listener about the goings-on in the strange desert town of Night Vale. From the dog park, where no living being is ever allowed to enter, the small subterranean kingdom found beneath lane five of the bowling alley, to the librarians (here horrible abominations) capturing children in the summer reading program. He also talks about the colorful characters who inhabit the town: a white man in a plastic feather headdress who claims to be an Apache tracker, who Cecil always reminds us is racist; Old Woman Josie, who is accompanied by angels (whom City Council insists do not exist); a man in a tan jacket and a suitcase of flies, who's face no one can remember; and of course, Carlos: the scientist newcomer to the community, whom Cecil falls for immediately.

 The podcast is quite surreal, to say the least. The humor comes from the strange eccentricness of the town, and the bizzare goings-on that to them, seem almost normal. But it is enjoyably so, and it does develop plots, both the ones in the latest installment and ongoing ones. It is so much fun to hear follow-ups to stories you may have forgotten about. It's even better as we hear it through our host, who of course delivers it in professional news radio fashion... Most of the time (for example, taking time to lament over Carlos getting a haircut, berating the local barber for betraying the community.). It is rather formulaic, given the format, but it is not a bad thing. You get used to it and enjoy when parts come up. Such as the strange words from the "sponsors", that rarely have anything to do with the company; the weather, which is just a random song by a different undiscovered artist each episode, and the proverbs after the credits.

 And now, one of the biggest elements...

 The best thing in this podcast has to be the relationship between Cecil and Carlos. As the show goes on, Cecil and Carlos get together. And they are adorable. I swear, they are the happiest, most stable couple in fiction right now, possibly ever. Cecil realizes the Carlos he's pined over isn't perfect, but he accepts that and still loves him regardless. They don't have any drama whatsoever, and that is perfectly fine. The writers let them be happy. We're so used to shows and movies adding drama for the sake of drama. Tearing couples apart or tossing in cheap "will they or won't they?" elements. It's nice to see writers allowing characters to have a little bliss for a change. I know a lot of shows that could learn from that. The best part has to be that they are a gay, presumably interracial (we're never told exactly if Cecil is white or not (a source of debate in the fandom), but we're all sure Carlos is latino), couple, and they are both adorable and more stable then most straight fictional couples. I'm just saying... The writers are doing something different from the norm, and I appreciate it. If only all writers can suck it up and "take risks".

 Overall, it is a fun podcast to listen to on a bi-monthly basis (they release new episodes on the first and fifteenth of every month). It's all free to download on iTunes, and I suggest if you like it to check out their website here, and possibly donate and support the show if you can. In fact, here's the first episode, uploaded by someone to YouTube (with fanart and pictures added). Consider it this review's "weather":

 Readers, there's not much more I can say about this podcast. It balances its elements well. The characters are memorable and likeable. The main relationship is one of the best I've ever encountered. and deserves the attention it's gotten, and if you haven't discovered this little gem, you should try it. I swear, when you listen, you, like Cecil, will fall in love instantly.

  Good night, Internet, good night.


Well, if I've been somewhat mimicking the show's style, I might as well end with today's proverb: we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Seriously, have you seen fear itself? It's terrifying and it's why I won't be able to sleep at night...

1 comment:

  1. Great minds think alike. (It's a MarissaTheWriter-themed Night Vale parody script)