Is a News Cast a Doppelganger of a Radio Show?

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So here’s the story, about a story. I’m listening to The American Life radio show episode 484 about Doppelgangers. Yes that is right, listening. As in I am doing it right now. Looking at the overview I saw that there was a prologue and two acts. So I decided to reflect on each different part of the radio show. Hot off the presses, Princess’s opinions on a radio show!!

Not having watched enough Saturday Night Live or listened to enough Ira Glass, it was hard to distinguish who was talking at first, but eventually I figured it out. The prologue did it’s exact point, to introduce the audience to the topic of the show. All we knew was that it would be about Doppelgangers, so they related it to a famous Doppelganger situation, Saturday Night Live. By playing the audio of a video, it was really hard to figure out what exactly was going on. But they would commentate something such as “he is trying to bring his own guests on the show right now.” By simply explaining that to the audience, we are still engaged and trying to figure out what exactly is going on. While this part is not really  story, it’s still a great introduction to the stories that are about to happen.

After Act 1 I was completely grossed out. Never again to I want to hear about the slaughtering of a pig for starters. I am not a seafood person, I see seafood and I run in the opposite direction (something which is strange for a Princess from the Jersey Shore). But back to the great debate of Bung vs. Calamari. At first I thought that this was exactly like any other news story, just without the video aspect of it. I would easily picture a reporter interviewing someone and then reflecting on what they just learned while walking and talking to a camera. However, as the story got a lot more in depth, my opinions changed. Ben Calhoun really was telling a story. The first time I noticed this was when he started to root for the Bung, the true underdog story. Next thing you know, I too was rooting for the Bung. I’m not sure what drew me into the story, since I was certainly grossed out at points. But eventually the news story stopped being so factual and it became an adventure. It went from just being people talking to all of a sudden having background noise and testing things out in a restaurant. I could see people trying the bung and the calamari and I was dying to know what the result was. I think it started out factual, like a news report. Then took a turn to be more like a blog post, it got very casual and it was just like any person talking about something they read. I always knew what Calhoun was thinking because he was very descriptive about who he was talking to a why, which was something that really made the story so easy to follow. It was a good story because Calhoun decided to make it an underdog story and got the audience involved by having a test at the end to solve the mystery once and for all.

As for the second act of the show, wow what stories. I made this plural because it was about the similarities of growing up on the streets and being in combat. While the two are not usually associated with each other, the parallels of each person’s story were uncanny. It really makes me appreciate all that I have. I found myself completely intrigued and lost in their words, I wanted to hear more about them. The simplicity of how this story was told was what made it so effective. The switch off between each person made the reader interested because the story would change and it would be a whole new perspective. The silence in the background, while eerie, certainly did it’s job to have all focus be on what each person was saying. I liked how when Alex Kolowitz was talking there was music. It was nothing cheery, just something simple. So we knew that there was a narration going on and we were about to hear another connection between the two people. I was truly just blown away by each persons story and how they reacted to the hardships in their lives. It was a well told story, solely because of the simplicity and organization of it.

 

Thanks for reading!

Princess Karissa

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