It was so popular last year that we decided to do it again! Join us this holiday season as we introduce you to twelve of our favourite podcasts in the 12 Days of Podmas.
Most podcasts don’t make it past the first five episodes. With little money to be made for most, and time usually required to gain traction with potential listeners, most are hobbies soon dropped. Occasionally, however, a show will find its voice and format so perfectly that it falls into a groove that serves it for years on end.
Now Playing is a film retrospective podcast that passed its 1000th episode in June of 2020. Although now dedicated to running through all of the entries in a given series, or director’s canon, the show had, effectively, two beginnings. The first was in May of 2007, when Arnie Carvalho – a native of Illinois, then in his early-30s – exited a screening of Spider-Man 3 with his wife Marjorie. Disappointed with what they had just seen, they decided to make a short podcast – no editing required – to capture their initial thoughts. Until January 2009 this was the format – individual movie reviews, all relatively short in duration.
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Then, in the build-up to the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th, Arnie, Stuart (an old school friend of Arnie’s), and Brock (a colleague of Arnie’s on the latter’s Star Wars podcast) decided to do long-form reviews of every film in that series. Following this, they did similar for the Star Trek series in preparation for the JJ Abrams relaunch.
From there they have covered a range of series, from horror to fantasy, from gangster films to superhero movies. With Brock stepping back from full-time presenting (though still providing voice-over work), Now Playing picks any three from a roster of hosts from a given series, though Arnie, Stuart and Jakob is the most common combination – and the show does keep consistency across a given franchise, even when a new entry arrives years later.
With a dedicated website containing the entire backlog of shows, and a full upcoming schedule from which they have never deviated (outside of release date changes that are not in their control), the show is probably one of the most professionally produced independent shows, with editing thorough to a fault (there are now coughs, gaps, stumbles or “ums” in the final edit), and a twice-yearly donation drive that has probably gone a little far in putting shows behind a paywall. That said, it is a show that has continued to improve with the growing experience of and chemistry between its hosts of varied backgrounds and tastes.
The show is highly recommended to fans of… well, anything, as they have covered almost every conceivable genre.