TANIS: Episode 201: The Wall
April 20, 2016 9:34 AM - Subscribe

Cameron Ellis opens up about what might actually be going on out there in woods of the Pacific Northwest, Nic tries to figure out what happened in the cabin, and Meerkatnip does her best to help him get his Tanis investigation back on the right foot. 
posted by Tevin (7 comments total)
"What I saw was the stuff of existential nightmares. I don't know if I'll ever share it on the podcast.
[half a beat]
Bombas socks are awesome!"

Completely took me out of the story.
posted by Tevin at 9:36 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I do not understand why this is such a hard idea for them- hell, there's no way their audio software won't do autoducking if they tell it to.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:05 AM on April 21, 2016

I had no idea whether the bit about meeting Jonathan Corman in a cafe and being his student was Nic talking about himself or him still reading from the manuscript. I'll admit I was a bit sleepy though.

It felt like they were rushing through plot this week. A little recap would have been helpful, or at least a "you remember, ________ was the person who..." since there are so many minor characters. I'm having the same problem with the web of shell companies and cults.
posted by Flower Grower at 8:23 AM on April 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I finally got a chance to listen today. It feels like they're trying to do too many things with the show at this point. We have the post-TANIS denouement, the scribblings of neo-Lovecraft, and the feet on the beach. While I understand them trying to stretch out the mystery that is the show's name, they sort of beat it already. Do a wrap up episode, say 'We're keeping the name TANIS as it's a symbol for all the mysteries that surround us' and do three or four mystery of the week eps before revealing that the cabin is gone and throwing everyone back into the TANIS mystery where it turns out the weird mystery of the weeks actually tie in.

The background sounds are getting annoying. "I drove (CAR NOISE) to the store (BELL TINKLES) to buy (CASH REGISTER) a new rake (SCRAPING NOISE) to deal with all the leaves (WIND) in my yard (DISTANT SCREAM)."

Still, I like the neo-Lovecraft thread, so I'll keep following. I might be more critical than I need to be because of the commercial inserts Tevin mentioned above and also Nic going "ha ha, so all last season's narration was fabricated so even though we all know this is fiction, we're now making it fictional fiction." Not sure why that rubs me the wrong way - maybe because we're supposed to be on Nic's side as he uncovers the truth but it turns out he's been lying to us all along?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:46 AM on April 21, 2016

I was also bugged by the "I was faking last season but it really happened for reals" thing - it made me think we can't trust the narration this season, either. Once I suspend my disbelief for a story, I'm not a big fan of the story trying to knock it back down again.

Even more though, I'm getting really annoyed with the way dialogue happens on this podcast. I think it's trying to be snappy, but it's trying TOO hard; it's using brevity and swiftness in place of actual snappiness.

And the rhythm is completely off; Nic talking with Cameron Ellis and Meerkatnip is the worst. It's like:

"I'm at the grocery store."
"You're at the grocery store?"
"Yes. That's what I said."
"OK, why?"
"I needed broccoli."
"You needed broccoli?!"
"Yes, broccoli."
"Can you elaborate?"
"For dinner, I needed some broccoli."
"But why?"
"Be careful, Nic."

My appetite for that kind of thing is very small at the outset; when it happens multiple times in multiple conversations in the course of every episode, with about that level of sense-making and information-revealing... it gets really old. And NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT!

Still listening, but less enchanted than I was last season...
posted by kythuen at 6:09 PM on April 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've been assuming for the Cameron Ellis parts, that actor is not even in the same room and just sending in recorded lines. The pauses between speakers are just a half beat too long and nobody talks over each other. Also, the actor is playing older than he is and that doesn't work well - better to do the Archive 81 approach and just recruit your dad to read some lines.

But yeah, the sound editing is the One Thing that needs to be fixed that can't be as the sound editors are the people who make the podcast.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:10 PM on April 21, 2016

Seriously? "We've just found a recording of something unspeakably horrible and astonishing and vital to the story. . . but we're not going to share it with you. Perhaps we never will. And we can't even be bothered to make up an in-story excuse for why we can't share it with you, 'cause artificial suspense is the only remaining tool in our toolbox‽"

I love the concept. I love the characters. I love audio that abuts the border between fiction and non-fiction. I care what happens. But, even I don't care nearly *enough* to continue listening. Life is too short.

This is the podcast equivalent of a self-published first novel. The ideas are pretty cool, but they desperate need an editor who isn't emotionally invested in the story and is willing to throw 50% of their material in the trash.
posted by eotvos at 2:51 PM on April 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

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