I have been a fan of Gimlet Media since it began producing podcasts. I have enjoyed all its incarnations from a solo show with StartUp to its now multifaceted programming with 5 soon to be six programs. I generally enjoy each episode I listen to.
Surprisingly Awesome began airing in November 2015. This program features co-hosts Adam Davidson and Adam McKay. However for five straight episodes one of the two co-hosts has been missing from the program. It is not unusual from a host or co-host to miss an episode from time to time, but it does seem unusual for one of a pair to miss five consecutive episodes. It also seems unusual that this period of time with only one of the pair appearing in each episode should come so early on in the shows run. There have only been 10 episodes and half of them have had only one of the pair that is supposed to anchor the program present.
I will say however, that the fact that one of the hosts have been missing from several episodes does not mean that hose episodes have not been good. I have really enjoyed some of the episodes with only one of the regular hosts. Gimlet / Surprisingly Awesome has done a good job choosing fill in co-hosts and topics. However, the whole premise of the show is that one of the hosts pics a topic and tries to convince the other that their chosen topic is “Surprisingly Awesome”. The flow of the show as a whole is disrupted by the absences of hosts. It is hard to get a feel for what the show will develop into with this partnership of the two Adams since there hasn’t been a foundation built yet. It is unclear at this time what the show is going to be like in the future.
In episode ten I just could not get into the flow of the conversation. The episode was on the Circle of Fifths in music. I enjoy music and even played a little music through high-school so I would have thought an episode on music would be something I would enjoy, but it just did not work for me for some reason. I can’t pin it down as to exactly why I didn’t enjoy it. The discussion of the Circle of Fifths took on a scientific and psychological bent at times which is exactly the kind of thing I like. I love science and psychology. But for me the discussion never really hit home. It just didn’t flow. I couldn’t connect with what really made this topic special. It seemed to be well described but it just didn’t grab me.
So as it goes you can’t please all the people all the time. Maybe I’m just in the unable to be pleased category this time around. I think even when there is a company or a brand you like you are not necessarily going to enjoy every iteration of every product they produce. Maybe Surprisingly Awesome #10 Circle of Fifths is just one of those products that doesn’t mesh with me for whatever reason.
Let me know if you did or did not enjoy Episode 10 and explain why if you could put your finger on it better than I could.
However, since I didn’t get this post out prior to the next episode being released I wanted to add an update. Episode 11 is live. The program gets back into sync with its duality of Adams and for whatever reason it felt good to have that back. I really enjoyed episode 11 of Surprisingly Awesome where they discuss of all things, boredom. Will Adam or Adam have a panic attack when locked in a room all alone with nothing to do?