Fiction · Podcast Review

Rabbits: Season 1 Episode 1

Alright! Today it is time to review Rabbits, the new podcast by Public Radio Alliance (previously Pacific Northwest Stories). Fair warning, I did not enjoy this episode at all and this was the second time I listened to it which made me even more annoyed, so this review is going to be pretty negative.

The plot of Rabbits is that Carly Parker is the latest unassuming wannabee journalist to get their own podcast at PRA due to something weird happening in their life. This time, the weird thing is that Carly’s “best friend” (the quotes will be explained in a minute) Yumiko went missing and her disappearance seems to coincide with her digging into and maybe playing a mysterious ARG known as The Game, or Rabbits, or IX.

The first thing I have to say about this episode is that it was BORING. So very, very boring. Everything that happened plot wise was either predictable, underwhelming, or delivered with such a dry, unemotional type of acting I couldn’t bring myself to care.

The podcast starts by mentioning “the game” and talking about Yumiko’s disappearance. And during this section and the rest of the podcast, Carly manages to sound completely removed from the situation. She delivers the description in a flat, empty voice and it doesn’t feel like she cares about Yumiko at all. It sounds like she’s reading a story from a book, and not telling the listener about her supposed best friend. Carly expresses more emotion talking about her Casper mattress, which is a shame because Carly’s attachment to Yumiko would be the only reason I care about what happens to her. Yumiko is such a vague character I as the listener don’t really care what happens to her because I don’t know her. If Carly seemed to show an ounce of genuine emotion for her friend I would be rooting for her as well.

As far as openings go, it’s pretty uninteresting. We already know the podcast is about a mysterious game, we already know Yumiko was Carly’s friend and goes missing, etc. The set up is necessary since the podcast is set in a world where Carly would be introducing the scenario to everyone from scratch and normally I would forgive it. Except Rabbits doesn’t get any more interesting from this point on.

We are treated to the same type of opening music Terry Miles has used in his other podcasts, including an appearance from everyone’s favorite faint radio chatter. Carly basically delivers all her lines like a female version of Nic, and we also get so many instances of the same repetitive, awkward bits of dialogue present in The Black Tapes and TANIS.

After a lecture about what ARGs actually are, the plot finally moves on to the game the podcast is named after. Sort of. This part of the podcast really annoyed me and seemed to drag for no good reason. First, we’re told the game doesn’t have a name. Pause. Then we get told it unofficially goes by IX. Pause. Then we have to go on and on about how the is a super spooky game that can kill you as if the premise of the podcast didn’t already imply that. After slogging through some game history we get back to the name of “the game” which is what people called it before it was called by numbers. After insisting that the game doesn’t have a name and just goes by numbers, we are told it does actually have a name. Pause. A name it’s gone by since I. Pause. That name is Rabbits.

Yeah, I was as scintillated by that reveal as you probably were reading that paragraph. The podcast is obviously called Rabbits for a reason. There was no reason to spend around a minute and twenty seconds, not counting the in between part including some history of the game, attempting to build up to the reveal that the game is referred to as Rabbits.

Speaking of poorly done reveals, the ending section where we learn that the woman in the photos sent to Carly is Yumiko followed the same pattern. Carly received the photos, and the minute she opened the first one and read the text that said “is she who you think” and said “it could have been Yumiko,” after looking at the picture, all the suspense was gone. It was obviously Yumiko in the pictures, and yet we still got to experience nearly two minutes worth of *description of sexy picture* “is it Yumiko? I’m not sure.” *another description of picture* “I don’t know, still not sure. Let’s look at another picture to be on the safe side” Rinse and repeat. But ah, one good thing is if you forgot to be in suspense by the time Carly finally says the woman in the picture is definitely Yumiko, there is the handy dandy creepy boom noise to remind you it’s time to be surprised.

I am not looking forward to more episodes of the recycled PRA formula, but I don’t want to only review things I like so I will probably review a few more episodes at least. Hope I don’t die of boredom!

Let me know what you think of Rabbits and this review. This is a new project for me so I’m still deciding what format I want these reviews to have and am open to ideas. Thanks!

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