An old favorite that isn’t really an old favorite at all!
Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit (also referred to as Filmspotting: SVU) has been around for around a year. The hosts are Matt Singer and Alison Wilmore, and every other week they come out with about an hour long episode of the podcast. The premise is in the title, but basically the hosts use a variety of segments to explore the ever growing world of online, and home, streaming/on demand. Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit is an offshoot of the very popular film related podcast, Filmspotting.
Episodes Listened To
#22: December Cram Session Edition
#23: In A Mirror, Darkly Edition
#24: Inaugural SVUvie Amwards
I think most readers of my blog know my feelings about Filmspotting. In short I loathe that podcast and have never really understood why it has so many ardent fans. That’s why I was very trepidatious when I heard about Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit. When I heard that the hosts were going to be Alison Wilmore and Matt Singer my trepidation nearly faded away completely. I was a big fan of Mr. Singer and Miss Wilmore’s earlier podcast, The IFC News Podcast. For reasons beyond the control of the hosts the Independent Film Channel canceled that podcast a few years ago. Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit brings the two hosts back together again, and honestly it is as if they never spent time apart.
That’s not to say that Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit doesn’t suffer somewhat from its association with Filmspotting. Outside of my dislike of the attitude displayed by the hosts of Filmspotting the biggest problem I had with that podcast was its rigid structure and how that stifled discussion. I’m not sure if Filmspotting: Video Streaming Unit is being broadcast on radio as well, but at times it certainly feels that way. There is a rigid structure in place that does at time inhibit the depth of discussion being presented. Luckily the rigidity in Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit isn’t quite as rigid as in Filmspotting and the hosts wonderful insights make up for the somewhat strict structure of the podcast.
The content in Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit is great. Not only does the podcast cover a bevy of different films, but it offers the various ways that people can track those films down. I may not watch Klovn: The Movie right away, but it’s nice to be told about the different places I can track it down to watch it if I so choose. The hosts even have a segment where they talk about titles on different streaming/on demand outlets that are expiring soon or becoming available soon. These may seem like small features, but I find them very helpful and a sign of a podcast that cares about its listeners.
I’ve mentioned the hosts of Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit a lot in this review. The reason for that is simple, they are the oil that keeps this machine running. Mr. Singer and Miss Wilmore are witty, knowledgeable about film, and have a rapport between them that constantly leaves me smiling. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Miss Wilmore outside of listening to her on both of her podcasts. But, on those two shows she has impressed me with the way she talks about film and the way she is able to frame a discussion. Mr. Singer, on the other hand, has been a favorite critic of mine for a few years now. I love reading his reviews, and I love what he is doing over at Criticwire. On the podcast he is knowledgeable, astute, and witty. But, he is also geeky (the same can be said for Miss Wilmore, but I know less about her geekdom than that of Mr. Singer) and I love that he is not afraid to let his geek flag fly high. Both of the hosts provide valuable insight while at the same time producing a podcast that is fun to listen to. In a lot of ways Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit is like having a great conversation with your friends about film.
Obviously my vote is to subscribe to Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit. It’s easily vaulted to near the top of the film related podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis. I enjoy spending time with the hosts, I value what they have to say, and I always look forward to their sensibilities. I don’t always agree with Miss Wilmore or Mr. Singer, but I don’t need to because of the welcoming attitude the hosts bring to the podcast. I’m glad I got over my misgivings about the show’s association with Filmspotting. There’s no reason not be listening to Filmspotting: Streaming Video Unit, it really is a gem of a podcast.
The Bottom Line