Writing iTunes reviews is boring. I write them as farcical screenplays.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. Mostly ones that migrated from 70 Decibels (RIP) to 5by5. Back in July, The Incomparable was having a contest asking for people to submit iTunes reviews for the podcast in order to be entered in a random drawing. I didn’t have to write anything complicated at all, but I took it as a bit of a challenge, and I did.
I picked apart every in-joke, and reference, from the show and assembled it in to silly fan fiction. It was so ridiculously incomprehensible I had to submit it. As a review, it is incredibly unhelpful to people that have not listened to many, many, many episodes.
I took it up as a bit of a side project to review subsequent podcasts in a similar way, uniquely styled by the in-jokes and references, of each podcast. The Menu Bar is a podcast with it’s own premise of being in an imaginary bar, so I started there. Bionic is a podcast where they had a bit of a nutty renaissance a few months ago, and they crafted their own super villain mythos centered on technology executives.
What I did not anticipate is that both The Menu Bar, and Bionic, would try to reenact their reviews on the air within one week of each other. It was entertaining for me, to say the least.
In the episode where Myke Hurley (host of many podcasts) read the silly thing, he said that they should have screenplays submitted for a fake movie. Naturally, I couldn’t resist a challenge so I wrote 40 pages of mostly garbage just to say I’d done it. 40 pages is also not any where near the length of an actual film screenplay, but it’s 40 pages more than I probably should have written.
I did some fake ad spots for The Menu Bar again, because they were complaining about a lack of sponsors. It was just straight parody of typical spots on other networks.
I did the CMD+Space and Accidental Tech Podcast reviews next. I am not entirely satisfied with CMD+Space’s - and it seems someone at Apple isn’t either since it hasn’t posted to iTunes yet. ATP’s got a very profuse thank you from Casey Liss, the star of the fake screenplay. The premise was that he is constantly badgered about who he is, and why what he has to say matters. So I made him an action hero in a unique situation.
While at home sick yesterday, I collected all the reviews and formed a Tumblr with the entries backdated to the time of their original publication. I suppose I could have watched TV.
Last night, while I was hopped-up on generic ‘Tussin’, I wrote the review for The Prompt. Initially, it was going to be about swapping the nationalities of the hosts, since nationalism plays a major part in jokes on the podcast. Instead, I opted to go with something more like a This is Spinal Tap mockumentary, or Parks and Rec. It turned out much better than I hoped.
I eventually want to tackle Back 2 Work, but I’ll need to think on that problem for a little while. It is easy to ape Merlin’s words, but the way he thinks is almost alien (I mean that in a Nice™ way).