Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Invisibilia PodCast Review

Following on the wild success of the other This American Life spinoffs (most notably Serial, but also Startup and Planet Money), their new Invisibilia podcast has been marketed heavily. The first two episodes were a bit uneven, feeling unfinished, but with episode 3, I realized like their other spinoffs, Invisibilia is playing the long game. Not telling individual stories but trying to build a long form multi-episode narrative (in secret). As the hosts come from Radio Lab and This American Life, it feels like a mix of both, taking This American Life's story telling with Radio Lab's experimental editing and science reporting. Which solves Radio Lab's problem for me since it mostly only reports on studies I already knew about, Invisibilia looks for the human stories behind those studies. Episode 3 (which builds nicely on Episodes 1 and 2) is the most convincing secret defense of post modernism and Foucault I have heard on radio or any media (outside of Alan Moore's comics). So worth listening to. These are exciting developments, as I have been an American Life fan since its first season in the 1990's, before I even knew what NPR was.