One of the first podcasts I began listening to a few year ago is Simply Syndicated’s Movies You Should See. Hosted by Richard Smith, Alison Downing, Craig Bevan and Will Tristram and broadcasting from the UK, these four friends sit around and discuss one movie per week and are known for heading off in every tangential way possible.
And it’s there in the tangents that this show excels. Over time you begin to understand each of the four’s personalities, quirks and habits… Will is an aspiring actor… Craig the musician… Alison works as a drug counselor… and Richard… well, he appears to be the mastermind behind both MYSS and Simply Syndicated itself. An avid Star Trekand sci-fi geek, Richard has the driest wit… and together with his partner Alison… and dog Barkley (they got him as a puppy early in the show’s five year plus run and is now all growed up), they feel to be the backbone of the show.
All four have wicked senses of humor and riff off of one another so well it is always apparent how close they are as friends. And particular episodes highlight that better than others. For instance, many of their episodes you can now only purchase through their website, and I am not at all sure how many are currently available through iTunes, but two episodes that stand out for me are their shows on Jaws and Top Gun. Whereas one or two of them may love the movie… the others will rip into them at every chance… so it’s rarely an across the board love fest.
The two most contentious episodes were Sunshine and Into the Wild. I laugh the most when there is disagreement… and for these two films they had a field day. And over time, you begin to know which type of movie each of them will prefer, and you will look forward to hearing reactions when you know one or two of them don’t care for the subject matter at hand. Whenever Alison is out (whether it be illness or vacation) the boys review “man movies” and will have Hall of Fame episodes like Bill Paxton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sigourney Weaver. But for me, it’s Alison that brings something special that makes this show pop.
If you don’t care for British humor (or humour rather) this may not be the show for you. If you have a love of movies… whether old, new, foreign language or decidedly stupid… and can appreciate some “non-experts” chatting about movies you love… then you owe it to yourselves to check out this podcast. Visit their website for other podcasts they produce and pitch in a few quid for some of the older episodes… they’re mint!
Your local lover of movies,
Cornelius J. Blahg