This is one gauntlet I never want to run again!
John Jansen is the host of The Hollywood Gauntlet. Episodes of this podcast are released sporadically, sometimes once a month or sometimes once every few months. The length of a given episode can range from two and a half hours to a shade over six hours. The podcast has been around for a couple of years now and operates under the premise of one focused conversation on a specific film/topic each episode. Due to a number of special episodes The Hollywood Gauntlet has reached the review criteria of releasing ten episodes.
Episodes Listened To
#7: Dazed by Dazed
#8: Godfather vs. Godfather
#ArenA III: Future of the Movies
I loathed this podcast, and will not shy away from the fact that I have nothing kind to say about The Hollywood Gauntlet. I sometimes say that a podcast wasn’t for me, but I can see how it is for others. That’s not the case with The Hollywood Gauntlet as I don’t see how anyone can like this podcast. It’s hour upon hour of a host, and selected guests, lecturing the viewer. There’s no conversations being had here, rather The Hollywood Gauntlet is a series of instances where the talking heads that make up the podcast talk at the listener instead of engaging the listener.
The thing is, that all the talking and lecturing doesn’t matter when essentially the podcast is afraid of going beneath the surface of a movie. John Jansen and company talk a lot about intent, but they talk very little about what’s beneath the surface of a film and why they like or dislike a film beyond what is easily seen by any viewer. I reached a point about twenty minutes into episode seven when I realized I was listening ot guys prattle on and on with very little to say.
The overproduced nature of the podcast is also very irritating. There’s always some song playing, or when one person finishes their lecture there’s always a bridge clip to what the next person has to say. Some may say this equals production value, I say it equals a podcast where not even the people on the podcast can engage in a conversation. Mr. Jansen and company aren’t truly discussing a film, they are giving their points and then ceding the floor to the next person. That approach is boring, and leads to nothing when it comes to fruitful or interesting discussion.
The length of the episodes is also a major problem with The Hollywood Gauntlet. I understand they don’t expect someone to sit through all six hours of episode eight in one setting. That being said, they still put out a six hour plus long podcast that is a supreme chore to get through, even in chunks. The Hollywood Gauntlet is a draining experience, not one that any cinephile should have to endure. Listening to a podcast shouldn’t feel like a marathon workout session, especially a marathon workout session where in the end the workout does nothing for you.
My vote is easily to unsubscribe from The Hollywood Gauntlet. It is both a bloated podcast and an empty one. There’s absolutely no reason to waste hours of one’s time with a podcast that is an empty series of lectures. Trust me folks, I’m usually not this vitriolic, but The Hollywood Gauntlet is a podcast worthy of oodles of hate. Mostly though, it is a podcast that deserves to be shunned and passed over.
The Bottom Line