Podcast Review: High And Low (Brow)

A sort of genre specific podcast that could use a jolt of energy!

High And Low (Brow)

The Gist

Around since 2009, High And Low (Brow) is a podcast out of the Minnesota area. The podcast sprang from their host website, Where The Long Tail Ends, and is dedicated to discussion of somewhat lesser known films. Every episode a theme is chosen and the hosts, Matt Gamble and James Gillham, discuss two movies that fit within that theme. They decide which movie is the better of the two, with that film being the high brow film and the lesser film being the low brow film.

Episodes Listened To

#3.1: Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold
#3.2: The Impalers
#3.3: Disasters!

My Thoughts

The content of High And Low (Brow) led to me listening to it for about a year. The randomness of the films they would watch coupled with the hosts willingness to watch anything interested me. I only wish the podcast itself could have been as interesting as the hosts intentions. I’m not trying to be harsh or rude, but I found myself bored most of the time waiting for something substantial to be said. It’s not that I found either of the hosts to be ill informed, but I did find that they were not well suited for the audio format of podcasting. Often times I could tell that Mr. Gamble or Mr. Gillham had something substantial to say but they didn’t know how to express themselves through the audio format of the podcast. This left me constantly looking for substance, and it just isn’t there to be found in High And Low (Brow).

The presentation of High And Low (Brow) is hard to get into. This goes back to the hosts not being cut out for the audio format. There are far too many gaps of silence where nothing is being said while one host is waiting for the other to speak. The hosts, Mr. Gillham moreso, both have a laid back style of drawling out their thoughts that I just could not get into. This doesn’t really say anything good or bad about the hosts, it does say that High And Low (Brow) was a podcast that I had a hard time getting connecting with.

There’s really not much more I can say about High And Low (Brow). I like the general idea behind the show, that idea is what kept me listening for as long as I did. That premise is left unfulfilled due to an abundance of unsubstantial film talk. I know an audience for High And Low (Brow) exists but I’m not sure what the audience is. I do know that I am not that audience, try as I might I couldn’t get into the film talk contained within High And Low (Brow). I suggest you unsubscribe from High And Low (Brow), it’s just not a podcast with film talk that is substantial enough to be worth a slot in your iTunes, or other media device, feed.

The Bottom Line



8 responses to “Podcast Review: High And Low (Brow)

  1. I really enjoy High and Low (Brow) and not just because it’s semi-linked to Row Three which I contribute to.

    For me I like the laid-back approach. I can see where you might find it lacking as they spend a lot of the time talking about personal affairs rather than the films themselves, but I enjoy their banter. I find Matt Gamble’s clear passion for genre films infectious too especially when he gets over-excited about something (although this happens more when he’s on the Row Three or Directors Club podcasts).

    I also like the format in general and the way they select films for the following episode.

    Each to their own I guess.

    I suggested a while ago that you give our podcast a write-up ( http://blueprintreview.co.uk/category/podcasts/blueprint-review/ ), but I increasingly get the feeling that you’ll hate it. It’s very laid back and not all that in-depth. I like to think we have an enjoyably natural feel to it though which makes up for the lack of professionalism.

    Feel free to include it in your critiques if you wish.

  2. Hey David, I haven’t forgotten about your podcast, it’s in a group I plan on starting listening to after I finish the current grouping I’m working through.

    To be fair, I didn’t hate High and Low (Brow), I found the hosts nice and amicable. They know film, but where my disinterest formed was in their inability to express their thoughts on their podcast so that the substance rolling around in their brains shone through. I ended up not liking the podcast very much, but I didn’t hate it, there have been only a few podcasts I’ve actually hated.

    I’m not against laid back, some of my favorite podcasts are very laid back. In the case of High And Low (Brow) the laid back nature wasn’t a detriment, it was, as mentioned above, the inability of the hosts to fully express themselves in the audio format. Plus it was also a case of a podcast not clicking with me and that happens with all sorts of podcasts, laid back and otherwise.

  3. Fair enough, I can see where you’re coming from.

    Looking forward to hearing what you think about ours!

  4. Thanks for the interest, and I’m looking forward to giving your podcast a listen. 🙂

  5. Wish I had seen this when it was first written up, but oh well.

    First off, thank you Bill for listening to the show. We appreciate all of our listeners, even the ones who hate our guts. 😉 Our show actually used to focus more on the reviews, but over time that simply became something that didn’t interest me as much. Sure, we could do 45 minutes on Death Game, but since that is probably more time than was invested in writing the script it gets to be a bit overzealous and for me feels like serious overkill. Though, to be fair, I think we did spend 45 minutes on Death Game as the review morphed into a discussion on how we related to the two primary main characters based on our differences in what we found sexually attractive. Let’s see Filmspotting do that!

    That all being said, I do think the show hinges pretty heavily on listeners liking James, and his particularly unique personality. Over time the show has gotten even more laid back and conversational, and for James even more introspective, and frankly, I’ve been nothing but pleased by it. I don’t want a review heavy show, I already do that for Row Three, and in my opinion, far too many film podcasts focus on the reviews. The podcasts I regularly listen too are because I find the hosts interesting, and what they talk about really doesn’t matter. That’s the kind of show I’m aiming for, and I feel pretty comfortable with how we have done so far. Of course, you are completely free to disagree.

    But once again, thank you for listening and your critique, Bill. I’m not sure if you’d like the show more or less now in the year since you last listened to us, but I do appreciate the feedback and the time you took in writing this.

  6. Thanks for the feedback, and I have no doubt that you have listeners who enjoy what you do. Podcasts are like the world of film, they are very subjective. So, what didn’t work for me undoubtedly is working for others. That means that for the people who like the show you are doing your job well and hitting all of your marks. I’m but one lone reviewer, and though I wrote a review I’d say it’s a far more telling sign that a lot of people continue to download and like the podcast episode after episode. Basically, keep up the good work and keep making a podcast that others like and you’re happy with, because that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

  7. Yeah, for me reading your review the critiques you had felt both fair and subjective, and I’m fine with that. We certainly aren’t a show for all people, or even aim to be. I would have been far more concerned if you’d have found us not entirely watching films or saying old people suck at acting because their face muscles are atrophying. Then I think we would need to rethink our approach or, even better, just get out of podcasting.

    That all being said I think if you want interesting film discussion you should try out our Cabin in the Woods Film Festival Podcast. That one is with me and my girlfriend Angela (who has here own film podcast) where I make her watch horror films. Many of the shows are me defending myself from her insults for putting her through the wringer but we do tend to delve more into analysis as I routinely have to defend films I like. Our last episode in particular, on the French New Wave horror film Inside went into a pretty great discussion on women in horror films and why horror struggles to appeal to mainstream female audiences. I think it might be a bit more up your alley than High and Low (Brow).


    Granted I know you are reviewing a ton of podcasts, so I certainly don’t expect anything, but I would be interested to hear your thoughts on that show at some point. Thanks again for the review, I do appreciate it.

    PS – You ever think about posting these reviews on iTunes?

  8. Sometime in the future I might take another listen to your podcast. I’m not trying to be vague, it’s just with my work/school/life schedule I barely have the time to do anything anymore, so we’ll see.

    I’ve thought about iTunes, but it always comes down to a lack of time with me.

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