Women Of The Hour — Podcast Review
It was only a matter of time before Lena Dunham would take on a podcast.
The 29-year old has been on a steam roll of success since 2010’s Tiny Furniture, the indie film that launched a thousand job offers. Film, Television, and Book deals have followed since, cementing Dunham as one of the most talked about new talents of the decade. Now she moves onto podcasting, a medium that had her name written all over it.
Women Of The Hour is a perfect podcast vehicle for Dunham. A self identified feminist, the podcast is a love letter to women, and takes on a variety of subjects that will provide engaging and witty chatter amongst Dunham and her guests.
The first episode is friendship; an easy target to start with, given feminism’s greatest strength is female empowerment. Dunham tells different stories surrounding the theme of friendship, with guest contributors to add to the conversation such as Emma Stone, June Squibb, and many others.
Listening to this at work, on a Saturday none the less, I was prepared to be pretty hostile at first listen. Lena Dunham is someone who easily divides people with her persona and work. Some praise her for bringing feminism to the mainstream, and introducing a new generation to the ideology. Whilst others see her as a self obsessed narcissist, with an unhealthy obsession with her sister’s vagina.
Never the less, the podcast is a solid listen. The content is clear, crisp, and interesting to listen to. Lena Dunham is a natural narrator with an engaging and comforting tone. Her projection flows well throughout the episode, and remains consistent throughout the hour. Guests such as Emma Stone add delightful humour and humanity to the show, allowing Dunham to relax and laugh when they exchange stories. An excellent segment features two of Lena Dunham’s friends, Molly & Ashley, who deliver a comical conversation which you could mistake to be clever comedic acting from two struggling actresses looking for a big break. Funny, and very cute at the same time.
The most memorable segment is the story of Lena and the developing friendship of another Ashley, an online pen pal that Lena befriended in 2013. Ashley & Lena developed an elegant, close friendship via keyboards, to the point where trust was at such a peak, Lena left behind spare keys at her residence for Ashley to collect when they arranged to meet for the first time. Despite an anxious mother, She arrived in New York destined to stay for three days. What follows is a fun conversation, the type really close friends have. Those who understand each other: their fears; their dreams; their paths for the future. It’s a delicate listen.
Another thing that adds character is the music. It helps establish the light tone of the podcast, and blends very well with the personal but reliable theme of friendship. Its soft, delicate, and a sweet tune to the ears. Production values are also solid. Good podcasts, in my eyes, are the ones that don’t sound like they’ve been filmed in the back seat of a car, or over a dodgy skype connection that flickers out every 5–10 minutes. Here, you can tell its in a studio. That proper money is being fused into the idea, and Lena Dunham herself feels totally at ease and comfortable with what she’s making.
A solid listen, with more episodes to come. Whilst there is disappointment that this is only a limited run, its still quite joyous to see Lena Dunham is slaying another medium in the media industry; and one that might be her making.