I am not a podcast enthusiast. Not that I reject podcasts, in fact I used to have my own years ago where I and a cohost discussed teens and autism. It was fun, and an interesting segway from my blog, Raising Asperger’s Kids. It was exciting in many ways to think that people were out there listening to what I had to say. But as with all good things, that too came to an end.
In the meantime, I realized early on that I am more of a visual person than an auditory learner. So for me to just sit and listen to other people talk, without any point of visual reference, did not appeal. In fact, I found it rather difficult. Even if they only sat on panels and espoused their side in an argument, it kept my attention better if I had something to view.
Ok, ok, I’ll be honest, I used to sit and listen to talk radio as I ran mommy-taxi errands decades ago, but that was as defense against what I considered horrible popular music, plus the boisterous toddler obsession with a certain purple Barney the dinosaur music tape. (Seriously, who hasn’t lain awake at 2 a.m. because you couldn’t get the alphabet song out of your head? Heck, 20 years later I still remember every word to Good Night Moon, don’t you?) Now, in truth, that attempt at an adult escape was also before all of conservative talk radio went bat-crap crazy, straight jacket needing loony over the bridge kookoo.
So here I was in need of a new diversion.
On the one hand, my enjoyment always lent itself to reading.
But, on another hand, I can’t read and drive. And while some can exercise and read, I find it irritating.
As a result, and succumbing to a final realization that I needed to throw myself fully into 2017, I had begun to think about joining the modern world and listening to podcasts. Unfortunately, I simply couldn’t find one on which I wanted to spend my time. And yes, there are multitudes of political, legal and religious talk shows hosted by some of the most intelligent people on the planet. But I simply didn’t want to be yaked at, as if the Sunday talk shows were never ending.
I wanted something entertaining, not serious. I wanted something that allowed my imagination to envision people, places and activities. I was tired of the nonstop overwhelming discussion about North Korean and Iranian atom bombs, or ISIS and gun terror, all overshadowed by a political disfunction so severe that it can’t be cured by even large doses of Viagra. I needed a bit of fantasy, fun, and complete escapism.
Then along came this story idea that not only peaked my interest, but has swallowed me whole. A murder mystery, staged as if it were an old radio play. The cast of characters is right out of an Agatha Christie novel: snobs, new money, old money, social climbers, and the ones who like to be climbed upon, plus the very necessary bigot, and the mysterious person enthralled to the occult, all enmeshed with the one-percent who always seen to be victims of justified karma. The cliches are enormous. The stereotypes so politically incorrect that you just know certain elites are cringing into their IPAs. There are twists, turns, right angles, and arcs so intriguing they throw the listener way off course. You may think you understand where the story is going, but then it teases you another way.
There are two chapters out now. Can’t wait for the third.
Here is a link to the first two episodes. New ones come out every Tuesday.
In the opening chapter of Deadly Manners we are introduced to the Billings family and their esteemed guests. Everything is going swimmingly… until the power goes out.
Created by Ali Garfinkel (Writer) and Alex Aldea(Producer).
Narrator – LeVar Burton
Veronica Billings – Kristen Bell
William Billings – Denis O’Hare
Olivia Billings – Alisha Boe
Esther Feinstein – Michelle Visage
Joseph Feinstein – Jason Sklar
George the Butler – Mark Berry
Beatrice the Maid – Elizabeth McLaughlin
Roger Clark – Timothy Simons
Nancy Clark – Anna Chlumsky
Written by Ali Garfinkel
Directed by Alex Aldea
Music composition (except for Jazz Piano Parts) by Alex Aldea.
Jazz Piano Parts written and performed by Mark Rodriguez.
Foley and Sound Design: Victor Figueroa and Alex Aldea.
Editing by Victor Figueroa, James Kim, and Alex Aldea.
Here is a link to the script.