Alice Isn't Dead: Part 1, Chapter 1: Omelet
March 8, 2016 1:26 PM - Subscribe

A conversation in a diner gets ugly.

Initial feedback from the internet: "Woah." " ... captures the same sense of unease and horrified fascination as some of Nightvale's earlier episodes ..." "Feels like a mashup of American Gods and some of the better dream imagery from Hannibal, or King in Yellow mythos."

Music and Production: Disparition,
Written by Joseph Fink. Narrated by Jasika Nicole.
Logo by Rob Wilson,
Part of the Night Vale Presents network.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
posted by jazon (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I like it! American Gods is a good comparison, but I initially thought of it a little more like Christopher Moore meets Mark Z. Danielewski - with the Finkian voice of course (night sky obsession, reciprocal negatives etc.)

Very interested to see where it goes.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 4:16 PM on March 8, 2016

I dunno....I like Jasika Nicole, but the dreamy weird tone of it is the sort of thing that will make my brain drift off, and doesn't have the sort of things that I like in Night Vale. I suspect this isn't going to be my sort of thing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:30 PM on March 8, 2016

I came across this earlier this evening, and I really liked it. Night Vale lost me when they drifted into conventional narrative and multiple characters—I always preferred the dreamlike vibe of a single semi-anonymous voice, sending a cryptic transmission out into the lonely desert. So I'm glad to see this return to form. It reminds me a lot of David Lynch.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:13 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've really enjoyed the episodes of Night Vale that Disparition produced, so I'm really excited that he's producing the entire run of Alice. The editing, music, and sound effects definitely add to the overall effect.

I liked that the foreboding tone extended right through the advert.

That poor chicken. Poor us.
posted by schmod at 7:53 PM on March 8, 2016

It had some good bits, but this is supposed to be a woman recording her thoughts "in the moment" -- instead it sounds like she's reading a short story. Feels really artificial.

Also, there is too much of constructions along the lines of: "It was like X. Well, not so much X as something totally different. Well, I guess it was really X. Or maybe Z." A tres Finkian thing.

Being the first episode, I trust it'll improve as they go along.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:40 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Man, Overcast really did not want to download this episode for some reason. After like five phone restarts, I finally got it and listened to it over lunch.

First off, I'm glad that the Night Vale folks are branching out. I stopped listening to WTNV on Feb 28th 2014. I know this is the date because it was when I saw their live show for The Librarian and still have the poster framed above my desk at the library. I really like what WTNV started as but dislike what it became and seeing that live show just nailed on the fact that we'd gone out separate ways. This isn't a bad thing - people change and if you are a creative you have to follow the money or be happy being a Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness that shows up, weirds up, then rolls on.

I really am enjoying the rise of podcasts-as-serialized-story - Limetown, TANIS, The Message, and The Black Tapes are all on my favorites list despite their sometimes uneveness. Hell, I've started plotting own my own ideas for something similar involving a bird sanctuary and occupiers biting off more than they expected but I'm stymied by time and talent and technology.

This podcast shows just how far I have to go. The editing here really is top notch. The music is subtle and keeps the scene moving and they completely avoid the over-use of the BWAMP that Pacific Northwest Stories podcasts fall victim to. Well, there is the radio static, but it marks a change in perspective unlike the BWAMP's "No really, this is important!" underlining.

On the other hand, Celsius1414 is right about it being very... Finkian. This is the most Finkian thing that ever Finked and other stuff had Finked pretty hard. Even though it was a different actual voice saying the words, there was no difference between the narrator's voice telling the story and Fink's voice selling the Audible ad. The "while driving" bits do not sound improvised. There isn't much road feeling to the piece which is troublesome given that it's a road piece. I wonder how close Fink has ever been to a big rig - I have cousins that drive them (one is even dual classed rigger/lawyer) and they talk a lot about the status of their rigs in a sort of patois. It's a bit of humanity that seems lacking and makes the narrator less real and relate-able as a result. Even little things like you can't jump in a rig, start it up, and drive off seem missing.

Still, you listen to a WTNV family podcast for the weird and they did not short on that. I like the Thistle Man as looming threat and couldn't help but imagine his yellow shirt as a Partick Thistle t-shirt complete with Kingsley the Angry Sun. I'm glad this will be a limited run as sustaining that tension gets hard after awhile.

Long story short, I'll keep listening even if Overcast continues to be difficult. I'm interested to see where this goes.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:42 PM on March 9, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm on the fence. The time shifts didn't work well for me and "Alice" seemed more like a word the narrator was saying than a person she was talking to.
posted by phearlez at 8:19 AM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

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