Reply All

OK, it’s about time that Reply All had its own thread, gem of a podcast that it is.

In an hour there’s a live call-in thing happening, anyone checking it out?

For those who don’t know what it is, it started as a tech podcast, but has become so so much more than that.

If you’re looking for good episodes to start with, here are some I’d recommend:

Long Distance (101 & 102)
The Case Of The Missing Hit (158)
INVCEL (120)
Today’s The Day (36)
The Cathedral (50)

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Not sure which one of the hosts it is but one of them has a superb laugh.

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The Case of The Missing Hit has been hyped loads - and it is really good.

That… fucking… song…

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Anyone ever listened to the podcast they did before it, TLDR?

I haven’t yet, partly because as good as it is now, the first 10-15 episodes were just “alright”. It felt like when they started to realise they could really push the boundaries of what could be included in the podcast that it got more interesting. I will probably give it a go soon though.

The episode The Bitcoin Hunter is good fun too. A little bit drier but very interesting (especially if you have some familiarity with bitcoin).

Basically a woman buys bitcoin when it was cheap, forgets about it, then realises it could be worth hundreds of thousands… but she doesn’t remember the password.

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The first episode of Long Distance is superb. I think I listened to it twice in a row when it aired, I enjoyed it so much.

The latest 99% Invisible has a very fun nod to it.

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So I’m listening to the Bon Appetite Test Kitchen series, excited because usually when it’s a multi-parter, it’s usually for good reason…

I was assuming that this Bon App (never heard of it before) company was now defunct and that this was an investigation into its downfall. I thought it was cool that they were really doing such a deep dive working out why this company failed and the different ways in which it had made things harder for anyone who wasn’t a white male in the clique. It was relatable to so many different working experiences, and by highlighting the voices of the oppressed felt really enlightening to hear what they dealt with and the impact it had on them.

Then towards the end of episode 2 they say something that was the first realisation to me that, in fact, this company is still going. Considering the openness and complete artistic freedom they seem to have given to Reply All, I was shocked. The fact that this active company, were allowing this level of criticism and exclusive focus on certain voices hadn’t even crossed my mind as something that a company would allow. Maybe I’m cynical, but the way I see it is that companies in general, particularly when they go above a certain size, only care about one thing. Profit. It made me wonder “Is this all a PR recuperation stunt by Bon App?”. I guess I haven’t been following this story before, so maybe I’m coming at it with some massive naivety, but that fact did really make me question the assumptions I’d made from listening at the start. Am I way off with this? I don’t know.

Then of course, there’s this, which makes the whole thing feel even more uncomfortable

https://twitter.com/PJVogt/status/1362233699220258818

https://twitter.com/sruthiri/status/1362254842270519296

Interesting! There was a really good Gimlet series called Mystery Show with Starlee Kine that got 6 episodes and then disappeared. It was rumoured that there was a weird beef between Gimlet and Starlee that ended with her losing the rights to take the concept of Mystery Show elsewhere and being starved out of Gimlet. Makes sense now.

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Mystery Show was awesome, and the last episode of it was the strongest, which was so frustrating about it ending. I remember trying to find more about why it was cancelled at the time, but all I could find were vague allusions to something “not fair” happening. Does make you wonder.

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I now see that Starlee’s been quite outspoken on all this too

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this is all such a shame. i’m really disappointed in their attitude, especially the anti-union stuff. i always worry about that with The Ringer, and i reckon it’s had a lot to do with people like Jason Concepcion and Robert Mays leaving recently. I suppose podcasting is such fucking massive business these days (not to mention that both The Ringer and Gimlet are now owned by Spotify) that this sort of shit was bound to be going on behind the scenes.

fwiw, I don’t think there’s anything weird/nefarious about Bon Appetite being reported on whilst still existing - that’s just reporting? I mean it’s pretty bold of RA but I highly doubt BA are in any way involved, it’s hardly rehabilitating their image so far.

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Yeah, you’re probably right. I was 100% unaware of Bon Appetite before this series, and I think that the whole way it’s been structured is that you at least have heard of BA. I just wondered if they’ve got all new staff now, and by doubling down on the past toxicity will end the series on a description of how it’s all different now. Granted, it’s a leap, but at this point it looks like we might never know.

BA have hired new staff in an attempt to make right on what was revealed last summer

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Not listened yet, but it looks like there’s a new episode discussing the fallout from the Test Kitchen mini-series.

Where are you seeing that? Can’t find it on Spotify.

It’s not coming up on my Spotify account either, but I can see it on their website.

Found it, can’t see a Listen Now button for that episode though, maybe it’s not been released yet or something?

It’s on Pocketcast. Just listened. It’s mainly hosted by Emmanuel and goes over what happened. How he feels about it. They replayed the bit in the episode where Emmanuel is introduced as a host of Reply all. Then they bring in the host who wasn’t fired (Alex?) and they read out statements from Sruthie and PJ. Then at the end they talk a little about what’s happening to Reply All next. The next proper episode is on June 12th I think.