I’m about to say something that’s going to make a lot of people very angry.
And I’m sorry.
But also, I’m not sorry at all.
You see, I’m done with S-Town.
Monique Bowley thinks S-Town is brilliant. Mia Freedman and I are far from convinced. We passionately argued about it on this week’s episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.
S-Town has broken records. With 10 million downloads in just four days it’s the fastest downloaded podcast in history.
It’s received unanimously positive reviews, with headlines reading, “S-Town review – it’s hard to recall a more touching, devastating podcast,” “S-Town Is a Well-Crafted Monument to Empathy,” and “S-Town Transcends the True Crime of Serial.”
And you know what I think about S-Town?
Fine. Like… a movie you find on Netflix that you’ve never heard of and you can’t really remember the name of right now. Or a complimentary chicken sandwich on a plastic tray at a compulsory work event. Or your bus trip to work this morning, where the traffic was moderate and only two people smelt unusual.
Pleasant enough. Not excruciating, but also far from engrossing. I could listen to it – or I could not. I’m not fussed.
I don’t find the protagonist, John B Mclemore, interesting or moderately relateable. His conversations with narrator Brian Reed just sound like the nonsensical ramblings of an angry man.
— The Tuscaloosa News (@tuscaloosanews) 28 March 2017
I don’t care about clocks or mazes or dungeons or hidden gold. Half the time I don’t understand what Mclemore is talking about. It’s slow, like a pretentious art house film that you see at the cinema and decide halfway through you’d rather stab yourself in the eye with a fork.
So I’m indifferent to S-Town. And this shouldn’t be an issue. In an ideal world I could stop at episode four and move on with my life. Listen to other podcasts, get on with my job, maybe even marry one day and have a family. But I can’t.
The real problem is that I’m not allowed to not like S-Town. There is no discussion to be had. If you don’t think S-Town has revolutionised and reinvigorated the podcast medium, then you’re doing it wrong.