Alice Isn't Dead: Part 1, Chapter 2: Alice
March 22, 2016 6:03 AM - Subscribe

What is happening in the town of Charlatan?
posted by Etrigan (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
By the way, is anyone having a thing with these episodes that they show as like 30 minutes long, but then they're done in 15, and there's a couple of minutes of dead air, and then they stop, still 10 minutes before the theoretical end? I keep thinking there must be a "hidden track", but nope.
posted by Etrigan at 8:10 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm streaming over the internet from here, and I don't have that issue - it's about 15 minutes of content, a minute or two of credits/sponsors/why did the chicken cross the road, and then about five minutes of music that sounds like it might be by disparition - the whole thing clocking in at around 22 minutes.

Anyway, I think this one differentiated itself from Night Vale a little more, and maybe even works better as an intro - you get somewhat of a premise to the show, you get the weird horror, and you still get the Finkian repetitive sentence structures.

Best line reading: Jasika saying "My wife isn't dead. Well, that's good to know"
posted by dinty_moore at 8:24 AM on March 22, 2016

I think this episode was much better than the first. The first sounded far too much like "Dana Cardinal (of Night Vale) is now driving a truck" instead of brand new character played by the same woman. This felt much better/differently performed than the first episode.

Also Disparition's music in this show is amazing.
posted by INFJ at 9:10 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm getting that weird blank space at the end as well.

This episode was stronger than the first - and I think it would have worked better as the first to boot.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:03 PM on March 22, 2016

I honestly don't think this is gonna be for me. One person reporting drifting musings and I don't really get it? I like Jasika Nicole, but this isn't particularly something I enjoy, I'm either zoning out or going "huh?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 PM on March 22, 2016

I actually have been really digging it. I like the mix of like, personal relationship issues with this weird, whatever's going on. Also I love Jasika Nicole.
posted by KernalM at 6:33 AM on March 23, 2016

Quote from episode: "It's an inferno. But I don't feel any heat." Pretty much. It doesn't seem like the narrator is feeling anything. Going to therapy and circles, and then an immediate, "But that's what we do as a civilization, right?" No emotion, just recitation and intellect. It's "Reality Bites" meets "X Files" -- call it Gen X Files -- and I already lived through the 90s.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:47 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Also, I am guessing the final reveal will be that Alice has been trying to get away from the narrator.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:48 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I liked this episode, I like the exploration of 'empty places' that America is so full of - it's trending a bit toward cliche at times, and I don't think it's really found its way yet, but I'm enjoying it. I still feel it's aping American Gods a little bit, there's a bit of a genre pastiche going on.

It struck me that this feels like a graphic novel in my head, like Sandman, the road trip part of it. A lot of Jasika's (does that character have a name I don't remember) narration is descriptive, and having a page turn and being back in Charlatan with the same layout but differing circumstances would be a really cool way to tell the story, with minimal text for things like "looks like an inferno, but with no heat" etc.

AiD has a lot more physicality, or maybe physical presence in its characters. A lot of WTNV is more ephemeral and probably not suited to a visual medium (y'know, like radio) in the same way. The Faceless Old Woman for instance, is sensation more than reality. Skittering noises, unfelt touches, papier-mache heads screaming unseen behind cereal boxes. She is there but not felt. The Thistle man is just there.

I like the idea of "describing the shape of a monster" as a talisman - it might be where I'm feeling the American Gods thing outside of the general Americana setting - belief inspiring creation, stories and focus begetting forces that I believe the cool word for these days is a tulpa. The idea that humans make gods because we need them is nothing new under the sun, but I wonder if we're not necessarily doing a psychopomp thing but a stories made flesh thing - not the man that couldn't leave a town, but the town that couldn't leave a man. Thistle Egg Farms, watch out for cholesterol, it'll kill you.

Anyways, whatever. Up next, the sound of one hand.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:13 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also Disparition's music in this show is amazing.

I agree!

Listening to Night Vale, it's been awesome to get to see Fink, Cranor, Baldwin, and Bashwiner evolve and explore their roles.

However, for me, Disparition is the unsung hero of Night Vale's success, and his growth and evolution have impressed me the most (and, yes, I know I say this a lot. I'm a fan.) The episodes of WTNV that he's produced (Best Of and Lost in the Mail) are both spectacular. Alice continues that trend, and I hope he gets recognition for the top-notch music and production that these episodes are getting.
posted by schmod at 7:08 AM on March 29, 2016

For me, this episode had a dream-like quality that I found surprisingly difficult to focus on.

I listened to it while I was driving down a nondescript highway late at night, so.... that fits, I guess. I'll need to listen to it again.
posted by schmod at 7:09 AM on March 29, 2016

Charlatan captured something of the ugly unease of being on the road too long, not tired so much (but definitely tired in this way) in the conventional sense of muscles, or desiring sleep, but when the brain starts to wear out the way legs wear out after you've walked to long, and things stop working right and you start to hallucinate just a tiny bit because the visual cortex is half out of commission and half trying to cover up for what a poor job it's doing. And anxiety creeps in because the deep parts of you are aware that your visual cortex is doing a poor job, and starting to notice that they're doing a poor job. And in the midst of all of this, America rolls on beneath you, not identical but endlessly similar to itself across a thousand miles.
posted by wotsac at 10:32 PM on April 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

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