Thursday, June 02, 2016

Podcast Rec: Alohomora

Do you ever still find yourself thinking about which of the deathly hallows you would like to be the master of (the wand, OF COURSE)?  Do you ever want to talk to someone about how the portraits really work and figure out why the portrait Dumbledore couldn't just tell someone what was going on?  Have you ever found yourself muttering about how Dumbledore was just so irresponsible (who leaves a baby in a basket in a strange neighborhood in London OVERNIGHT)?  Have you ever felt the need to examine the symbolism of white peacocks on the Malfoy estate?  If you have any clue what I'm writing about, Alohomora! is the podcast for you.

This podcast began as a deep read of the Harry Potter series and recently just finished up with the last book in the series. I wasn't as crazy about the early episodes of this podcast, but they really warmed up by the third and fourth books and by the seventh book, they had the podcast structure down. The podcast is associated with the mugglenet website and the episodes start with a recap of comments from the internet on the previous episode, then a discussion based on a question of the week from the previous week and internet comments, a summary of the chapter for the current episode, and then a discussion of that chapter.

The panelists differ in the quality of their discussion, but that's actually okay. I like when someone says something obvious and everyone piles on in agreement and then the contrarian panelist disagrees with everyone else and makes them change their minds. But the comments from mugglenet are what make this show. Comments on the internet that make you think people are smart are rare gems indeed and that's exactly what you have here.

Now, I have some quibbles with the show. 1) The sound quality isn't amazing. Sometimes one panelist is super quiet and another is loud. It's hard to figure out how loud you should have your earbuds. 2) The shows vary in length a lot. Short episodes usually are associated with short chapters, but some episodes are under and hour and some go over two hours. 3) The episodes on the movies suck.

But if you're a HP fan and you want to revisit your favorite book or books, give it a shot!

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