It’s been a long time coming, but The Good, the Bad, and the Unwatchable is back. If you’re a new listener, thank you. If you are an old listener who somehow stayed in the loop enough to return, thank you, Mom.
I had big podcasting ambitions about five years ago. I was still in my mid-twenties and hadn’t yet begun to panic about the likelihood of any of my amorphous dreams coming true. Then, more than anytime since, I was afflicted with this feeling that I could somehow hope myself into success.
Nowadays, I’m firmly in the beginning of my thirties, back in college (and doing well at it), and trying to figure out a real path toward real financial security and, therefore, a chance at a decent life. But when I first bought all my podcasting hardware I was still a substitute custodian who’d come into a little money and decided to gamble some of it on himself.
I sat on that hardware for roughly a year, trying to come up with a variety of ideas for shows–NPR and Gimlet-style interview-based shows, Laser Time-style round-table shows, experimental narrative shows, and on and on. Podcasting was about to blow up, with Serial on the horizon and Alex Blumberg’s Gimlet Media being founded as he chronicled that process in real-time on StartUp, and it seemed like a person with a good idea, some recording gear, a penchant for editing and a lot of tenacity could potentially make a humble living on Patreon donations and Casper Mattress plugs.
The first show I conceived of would be called Candid and it would be about open, frank discussions between me and people I found fascinating. This is of course where the “Candid Podcast Network” moniker came from.
What is it like to be a Lutheran pastor? What is it like to be a locally-famous drag queen? What was it like to raise me as a child? What are glaring faults everyone I love can see in me that no one wants to tell me? I thought, and still think, these would have made for compelling radio programs.
At the time though, I didn’t know enough about my hardware, and I certainly didn’t have a lot of drive to move forward. I’ve always been the sort to be paralyzed by possibility, and so nothing happened until I twisted Adam’s arm into seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron with me. After that, he said, you wanted to do a podcast, right? Let’s go upstairs, turn that hardware on, and record a damn podcast.
I was incredulous. What did I know about movies? Weren’t there enough movie shows in the world? And sure, there were, but he pushed anyway, and I’ll always be grateful to him for that, even as we’ve since come to have our differences.
At its height, I think the original GBU had about 60 unique downloads per new episode, and that always seemed pretty good to me. I wished I’d known more about the people listening, but few left comments on the site, or rated and reviewed the show on Apple Podcasts. So for the most part, it was just a mystery. Inexplicably, we had downloads coming from a variety of countries, which I always thought was cool.
In the year and some months I took off of podcasting following our episode about the new adaptation of Stephen King’s It, I had a lot to process. Was it worth trying to do the show anymore if my hardware (or software?) was on the fritz? If I was no longer on speaking terms with the person who’d helped push me to do the show in the first place? I’ve gone over this stuff a few times on the blog and I won’t rehash it any further here, suffice it to say what I came to realize in the last couple months was that I, someone who’s always had depression, always needed reasons to be participant in the experience of life, need things to create. I need projects to involve myself with, or else, I tend to just atrophy and fester.
I decided I needed to do the podcast again for me, and not for listener numbers. Certainly not for the hope that I’d ever be able to supplement my income on it–I gave up on that a long time ago. I also want to thank Jon and Kayleigh for being on the show. They were a great first pair of guests.
So with all that sappy shit out of the way, here are the show notes:
In this episode, we cover all three adaptations of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas: the original Chuck Jones version from 1966, the Ron Howard live-action version starring Jim Carrey from 2000, and the new Illumination version from 2018.
We humbly appeal to your sense of Christmas spirit to rate and review the show on your podcatching service of choice.
You can also follow the podcast on Twitter @GBUpodcast.