So I started TAZ after seeing Tumblr explode over it, but I'm 8 episodes in and while it's fun, I feel I'm missing something. I want to give it a real try for sure though. Can you talk about your experience with the podcast?
TAZ is a tricky one because, as a piece of narrative and entertainment, it started off as one thing and became something else. I got into it quite late because I had seen enough of my friends clamouring about it that I was pretty sure I’d enjoy it, and also I needed something new to listen to on the way to work.
you’re right: it starts slow. it starts shallow and messy and with inconsistent characterisation, because the mcelroys were trying to work out what they were doing. it’s a story in search of its true shape.
I was only really SOLD on it by halfway through the rockport limited arc, which is episodes 10-16. rockport limited is a murder mystery; I enjoy murder mysteries. (petals to the metal is a fantasy fast & the furious story. the basic genre of the subsequent adventures keeps shifting, which I liked a lot.)
the thing about the overarching narrative is: it builds. oh BOY does it build. by the time you get to the 20s, griffin’s got a handle on the story he wants to tell, and it gradually expands and layers itself on itself, and expects you to start putting some pieces together; by crystal kingdom, there’s a real sense of depth and breadth, and suddenly you have all of these? emotions???
so: the payoff is good, but the buildup is VERY SLOW. and if you’re not really sold on the format or the storytelling by the end of the rockport limited then this just may not be the podcast for you, and that’s fine.