The Weekly Review: April 9 – 15

 

Musings About S-Town

 

It’s not like the first Serial podcast, which was a whodunit. It’s not like the second Serial, which was about military desertion. But it is like the first two series in that it’s an engrossing bed-time story.

 

Headlines and ads that promote S-Town as a “murder mystery” or “true crime” are full of Bull-S. It’s a human-interest podcast, the story of a closeted gay man stuck in the sticks of Alabama.

 

It does paint a stereotypical picture of Woodstock, Alabama. Very little time is spent interviewing residents who actually like the place – even though they exist. Listeners who disdain Trump voters will have their worst, Hills Have Eyes impressions of Middle America confirmed by the parade of racially insensitive, tattooed, drunken illiterates.

 

Host Brian Reed’s prissy delivery was an acquired taste for me. If the residents of Woodstock come off as stereotypical rednecks, Reed sounds to me like a stereotypical wine-sipping, Hillary-loving, Brooklyn hipster. In fairness, when you venture into the heart of the Deep South, as Reed does, you probably can’t be accused of seeking a “safe space.” 

 

There is no denying the charisma of John B. McLemore, the main character. We spend hours listening to him ramble and carp about everything from global warming to small-town gossip, but I never tired of his spiels.

 

 

*****

 

 

I recently watched a decent movie called The Witch.

There is a scene in which a boy lost in the woods stumbles upon a spooky hut – you know, like in “Hansel and Gretel” but without Gretel. And out of the doorway steps a witch, but a very beguiling witch. Who was this sexy but ominous-looking actress?

Some model from Australia named Sarah Stephens, it turns out. Her creepy witch cast a spell on me, so here she is doing her day job:

 

 

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