Fangirl Fav: The Black Tapes Podcast

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tbtI know it’s been awhile since I posted, so to get my creative mojo flowing, I thought I would resurrect and slightly revise a post from one of my past (now deleted) blogs. Over the past couple of years, I have become a huge fan of podcasts. I listen to all different kinds, but it seems like I tend to favor personal growth podcasts and audio dramas. So, it’s no surprise that my very favorite podcast is The Black Tapes.  

Once I realized the power of podcasts in making my shitty work commute less shitty, I started listening to them on the daily. I wanted to add some fiction podcasts to my list, because hello – writer! That’s when I stumbled upon The Black Tapes.

Here’s the official blurb from the podcast’s website:

The Black Tapes is a bi-weekly podcast from Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale, and is hosted by Alex Reagan. The Black Tapes is a serialized docudrama about one journalist’s search for truth, her enigmatic subject’s mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.

How do you feel about paranormal activity or the Supernatural? Ghosts? Spirits? Demons?

Do you believe?

I’m a total nerd for anything paranormal, which is why The Black Tapes originally caught my eye. I wasn’t exactly swept away by the first episode, but by episode three, I was completely hooked. Two 12-episode seasons have been aired so far, and SADLY – SO SADLY – the third and final season (which I hear is only 6 episodes) will begin on August 30th.

I’ll admit that the delay in production and distribution of season three, as well as the announcement of the podcast ending (on a shorter season no less), was a HUGE disappointment. I heard murmurings (through Reddit) of some behind the scenes drama between the creators, but I’m not going to put too much stock into that. I suppose, at the end of the day, I’m just grateful that we are receiving an end to such a wonderful and addictive story.  

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t delve too deeply into plot details or my own thoughts/theories, but I’ll just post a few reasons why I love The Black Tapes:

  • Dr. Richard Strand. He is the “enigmatic subject” mentioned in the podcast blurb. First and foremost, allow me to fangirl for a moment and just swoon over the voice actor for this character. Hot dayum he has the sexiest voice I’ve ever heard. Audio objectification aside, his character really is intriguing and insanely intelligent. And a bit sassy. Have I already swooned?!
  • Blurring the lines. Again with me being a nerd, but I kind of love that the creators, actors, etc. of The Black Tapes refuse to acknowledge it as fictional. The organizations and institutes they refer to on the podcast each have a website, and many of the characters have social media accounts. It’s just an added layer of dedication and production that I–a fellow creative–appreciate.
  • Alex Reagan. She’s the main character. I love her. She’s smart, kind, intelligent, and not a pushover. She probably falls into the category of “no self-preservation whatsoever,” but that’s what makes The Black Tapes so fun. Plus, she has mad chemistry with Dr. Strand. I so ship it 😉
  • Ensemble cast. Actually, I really enjoy most of the characters on this podcast. Even the throwaways are usually well acted and unique. This really is a world in which you can get lost (because death to commuting!!!).
  • Creativity like woah. I haven’t googled or looked into any of the information broadcasted on the podcast, like the “evidence” and “research” that’s disclosed to listeners, so I’m not sure how much of it–if any–is based off of history or legit sources, but whether it is or isn’t doesn’t matter. I’m just blown away by the dedication of all parties involved in the podcast and the layers of creativity that make up this show.

Although I’m so very sad to see The Black Tapes end in the near future, I’m super excited to see how the rest of the story unfolds. I really hope the conclusion is satisfying and we get some Streagan romance thrown in for good measure.

P.S. If you like The Black Tapes, check out the two other podcasts by one of the creators of The Black Tapes: Tanis and Rabbits. Tanis sucked me in immediately, but I’ve sort of lost a bit of interest in it recently. However, relistening to The Black Tapes makes me want to get caught up. Same deal with Rabbits. I think it’s the “weakest” of the stories from the trio, but it was interesting enough for me to listen to most of season one. The Black Tapes is the best of the group, by far. Well, in my humble opinion 😉

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