Podcast Review: Now Playing Podcast

now playing podcast

In the spectrum of playing or not playing, I’m always playing baby!

Now Playing Podcast

The Gist

Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob are the three hosts of Now Playing Podcast. A weekly podcast, the episodes of Now Playing Podcast appear to clock in anywhere from an hour to over two hours in length. The premise of the podcast is that the hosts will review a series of films (such as the Child’s Play or Superman series of films) over a course of episodes one movie at a time. Now Playing Podcast is a member of the Venganza Media family of podcasts, and as far as I can tell Now Playing Podcast has been around for three or four years now.

Episodes Listened To

#Unknown: Return of the Living Dead – A Podcast Preview
#Unknown: Iron Man 3
#Unknown: Return of the Living Dead Part II – A Podcast Preview

My Thoughts

Maybe it’s selfish of me, but I have a problem with Now Playing Podcast’s donation model. Donations to a podcast are fine, and so are the few podcasts that are able to charge for access to their content. The reason that Now Playing Podcast’s donation model rubbed me the wrong way is because it’s disingenuous. When Arnie goes into his spiel about Now Playing Podcast being a fee podcast, I can’t help but roll my eyes. When you restrict access to a lot of your new content based on whether or not people donate that’s not free. That’s a pay to play model, no matter how Mr. Arnie tries to spin it in his spiel. Taking the pay for play approach would have been fine for the podcast. I wouldn’t have paid for their content, but it wouldn’t have bothered me that their content was pay for play. Masking pay for play as “free, except for a bunch of new episodes that are only available with a donation” really irks me and left a bad taste in my mouth.

Had the content of Now Playing Podcast been of a higher quality the bad after taste of the podcast’s donation model could have possibly been squelched. No squelching was to take place as I also had some problems with the content of Now Playing Podcast. I’m judging all three episodes I listened to, even if two of the three were previews of episodes I would have to pay to hear in full. The reason for this is because the Iron Man 3 episode and the brief snippets provided in the two preview episodes told me all I needed to know about the discussions taking place on Now Playing Podcast.

I’m not a fan of a lot of minutiae arguing. After a while that sort of arguing or discussion style becomes extremely tiresome. After about fifteen minutes of the Iron Man 3 episode I was extremely tired of the discussion taking place. All three hosts were well informed, and they were presenting well thought out arguments. However, the way they tackled every single aspect of the film was exhausting. I’m more of a theme guy, I like discussions about the greater impact of the film. I love discussions about the cinematography of a film, the set design, the themes found in the writing, directorial flourishes, and so on and so forth. Now Playing Podcast was more interested in delving deep into every single plot point found in Iron Man 3. I could also hear inklings of that in the two preview episodes. I don’t need that much plot detail, or plot breakdown, because plot isn’t of the utmost importance when it comes to the way I engage with movies.

The discussion style of Now Playing Podcast didn’t work for me. The hosts knew the areas of the films they wanted discuss, but most of the time I wasn’t interested in hearing those areas be discussed. The donation model of Now Playing Podcast did really irk me, but as I’m not paying for any episodes it’s something I’m not factoring into my verdict. When it comes to the film discussion provided by Now Playing Podcast I simply was not a fan. My vote is to unsubscribe from Now Playing Podcast, don’t let the minutiae bog you down.

The Bottom Line




4 responses to “Podcast Review: Now Playing Podcast

  1. Scott from Sydney

    Hi Bill
    I think you were so annoyed by the donation episodes that you may not have explored these pod caster’s site carefully.

    There are not that many donation podcasts compared to free ones. You just were unlucky enough to come in at the donation drive time. I think about 5 % or so are donation.

    I am also annoyed by the pay to play policy but for different reasons.

    You probably didn’t realise but if you don’t donate for this years donation drive episodes you will NEVER be able to hear them…..EVER. So the Alien movie pod casts were a couple of years ago but I can’t pay to hear them. How stupid is that??? I wonder if it is some tax thing maybe to keep a non profit status or something.

    As to the obsessive nature of the movie discussion you are so right but the problem is that these guys work best on movies at least one of them likes a lot or on movies that they dislike but are not terrible movies.

    What I mean is, if a movie leaves them flat the podcast is also flat. To start their (free) Superman retrospective they reviewed a very old “Superman and the Molemen” movie that appeared somewhere in the world in cinemas. Very low budget and just a ploy to get money from the buzz of the George Reeve TV series. Worst Podcast Ever !!! But the rest of the Superman series was entertaining to listen to for me.

    Also I like that they focus on movie series. They did the entire James Bond collection (not my favorite retrospective) and have done Star Trek and Rambo and many horror series.

    Finally as to the lack of more general discussion on themes or technical work on the movie eg cinematography that mostly comes for movies they love. Stuart I think works in the movie industry and apart from his infectious giggling he brings a lot of movie back knowledge to the discussion and will discuss political or social themes in the moves. The others sometimes find that disturbing which I in turn find amusing.

    I would no write these guys off but listeners should beware that there are a few dry retrospectives in their collection When they like a genre the podcasts are very engaging.

  2. My approach to reviewing podcasts does have its drawbacks. Only listening to three episodes of an entire podcast does leave it where I could hit a bad run of episodes, or come in at a bad time for a podcast due to any number of factors. But, I have to draw the line somewhere. There are a lot of film related podcasts out there, and as much as it would be more fair, I simply can’t listen to every episode of every podcast that I review. Maybe I did hit a bad run with the episodes I listened to for Now Playing Podcast. But, I can only work with what I was given, and I wasn’t a fan of the three episodes I was given. If you listen and enjoy the majority of what they do, then that’s great for you. Even if I don’t like a podcast that doesn’t mean I don;t want others to enjoy said podcast.

  3. I must defend Now Playing, these guys are the best and the small details are what i love most about the 4 rotating hosts. I would pay for anything they did that interests me.

  4. I’m glad the podcast works for you.

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