So my podcast app messed up the labelling of this podcast…. and I ended up with episode 3 labelled as episode one…shit.
I pity the podcast that gets released today, surely the latest project from Serial and This American Life is one tough act to follow. S-Town is the euphamistic listing name for ShitTown, a new podcast narrated by Brian Reed in which he explores the unfolding drama in small town Alabama.
I WILL be binging this series, but I will not be posting all of my review articles today. I’m going through the episodes carefully, 1 at a time, and I WON’T be conducting external research yet, but I don’t rule that out in the future.
Spoilers to follow. You have been warned
“John B McLemore lives in Shittown Alabama”, he is a clockmaker and he is not a joyful man. He is extrodinarily clever, meticulous, intriguing and fatalistic. He has a fine sense of injustice and the world slowly turning to shit. He has a mother he cares for, friends who love him but he is deeply depressed a lonely in a way that people who feel the full weight of the problems of the world can relate to. He sometimes upsets people with his grim world view. Particularly his employee and close friend Tyler. Tyler maintains John’s house and helps out with his mum and is an unexpected saving grace for the middle aged, “celebate homosexual” as he termed himself. Tyler rides a motorbike, is covered in tattoos and has an unmistakable southern drawl. John is dependent on Tyler, John is a surrogate father figure for Tyler, Tyler has a bed and clothes at John’s place, Tyler’s wife implores him not to go running everytime John calls in a suicidal funk.
So when John drinks cyanide one evening with seemingly no preparations made to deal with his estate or look after his mother confusion and chaos ensues. Including surprise appearances from suspiciously unconcerned distant relatives.
See John didn’t trust banks, he told his lawyer that he had a plan for his assets. A plan that seems to include gold…
Right out of the gate ShitTown is riviting and bewitching. John is relatable and endearing, and the chaos he left in his wake seems to be completely in advertant at this stage.
There are also hinted at connections to deeper mysteries that John was interested in which I hope will be a thread that gets picked back up.