Terrible Reviews: Welcome to Limetown

There’s this thing I’ve been looking for for a long time.

It’s something missing in contemporary media.

We have fantastic books, mind-blowing films, life-encompassing television shows, soul-consuming video games. The literature and stories are awesome. But one medium has fallen by the wayside: media for the ear.

Storytelling has become more and more visual as cameras and the ability to broadcast have become accessible for any berk with a smartphone and internet access. And that’s a good thing, awesome even. But for years before the television came around, it was stories for the ear that captivated audiences; stories where only the actors’ voices, soundtrack, and sound effects told the story. It’s hard to believe that we could be so captivated these days. But that’s what I’ve been waiting for.

Podcasts are taking us back in that direction — just look at the success of Serial to see that. And I loved Serial. But, at its heart, Serial was a detached look into a cold case twenty years gone; an examination of facts and places and names and events, kept at a journalist’s clinical distance.

But I wanted something that went one step further. Something that would tell a story that would suck me in, a story where I could care about the characters, where there was a lingering behind-the-scenes mystery, where there’s that unease and tension that can only be crafted by a master storyteller.

Well, it’s here.

I discovered Limetown yesterday while my wife and I were looking for something to listen to on the drive out to Grandma’s house. Today, I listened to the second episode.

And I am hurting. HURTING. For the next episode.

From their website, Limetown Stories:

Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again.

In this seven-part podcast, American Public Radio host Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?”

The show begins in that clinical sense that Serial and This American Life use, but by the end of the first and carrying on over into the second episode, the show takes a hard left and the story comes to life. I won’t be sharing spoilers here, because you really owe it to yourself to go and have a listen. But this is that thing I’ve been looking for.

It’s masterfully crafted. It’s believably voiced. It’s beautifully soundtracked. It’s science fiction, thriller, suspense, human interest, all in one. And it has its hooks in me something fierce. It’s like This American Life meets Welcome to Night ValeSerial meets The X-Files. Your local nightly news broadcast meets Fringe. If you like science fiction, if you like the unexplained and the inexplicable, you’ll love this. If you enjoy the fiction I post up here, Limetown is right up your alley.

There are only two episodes out so far, with another five slated for the coming months, and they cannot get here soon enough.

If you are listening to podcasts, you need to be listening to Limetown. Seriously. Go get it.