a lot of podcasts – and i'm thinking of those that exist at the shaggier/looser/less polished & edited end of the spectrum –evidently exist to be comfortable, to reassure, like the artistic equivalent of an easy chat with friends you see all of the time. So a lot of their strength derives from creating familiarity, and as they proceed through their runs they accrete habits/bits/in-jokes.


Which is particularly interesting in a medium that (without much commercial incentive or pressure) doesn't formally require much of anything. Any tv show or commercial radio programme will have both formal requirements and (almost as stringent) generic expectations to abide by, which will naturally lend it a feeling of constancy. Podcasts instead have to summon rituals (in order to be able to adhere to them, in order to feel familiar).

And these tend to grow more ornate over the life of the podcast, until every episode begins with a 5 minute bit that needs to be carefully enacted before anything else can happen.

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