Erica Flores

Unwell is a fantastic gothic horror podcast set in the …

There are a ton of podcasts out there, but finding the right one can be difficult. In our new column Hunters Pod, we cover what we’ve been hearing that we can’t stop thinking about.

HartLife’s new podcast series. Indisposed The horror story is a good example. After her mother is injured, a woman named Lillian Harper moves in with her mother in the small town of Mt. Absalom, Ohio to help her recover. When she arrives, she rediscovers the strangeness of the small towns of Central America. Lillian and her mother have been estranged for years, and when she returns to her mother’s home, a boarding house that has belonged to her family for generations, she encounters a host of strange characters, as well as deep-rooted conspiracies and ghosts.

The show fits in perfectly with other shows that have appeared in recent years, such as horror stories like the one from the BBC. The case of Charles Dexter Ward, a story adapted by HP Lovecraft, or nonfiction shows like This american life‘S S-Town, about a man named John whose story unfolds like an elaborate Southern Gothic novel.

You can hear Indisposed on its website, as well as Apple Podcasts, Libsyn, PlayerFM, Spotify, and Stitcher. (Transcripts for each episode are also available on the show’s website.)

Image: HartLife NFP

The show’s executive producers, Jeffrey Gardner, and Eleanor Hyde told The edge who conceived the story more than two years ago while working on another series, Our fair city, and they’ve spent time since then refining the concept and developing larger story arcs.

Gardner says they lived in central Ohio for several years during their undergraduate degree in college, and that the rural setting is one that is “very close” to their hearts. “But it’s also a world that really blends well with the kind of gothic horror that we often think of as grand Victorian mansions and the British countryside. That’s really impressive in the old-school way of horror, and I was interested in telling stories in that. context “.

Exploring the idea of ​​what it means to be an American.

“We started this project with a kind of seed of an idea that we wanted to tell a story in that environment,” adds Hyde, noting that there was a lot of freedom with how it would look. When they and their four-person writing team began to tackle the project, she notes that “there was a lot of interest in exploring the idea of ​​what it means to be American. We all live in Chicago, and we have this Midwestern idea of ​​it, and being able to take that DNA story about the Midwest from a small town and retell it in a way that reflects our experience as Americans and what that means. in many different types. in ways. “

A great approach, Gardner says, is looking at memory and the kinds of relationships people form with aging parents. “For many of us, we are dealing with parents who have symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s and other degenerative things like that.” Hyde points out that there isn’t much fiction that deals with this kind of generational shift, which involves these kinds of shifting relationships. “So I guess we have to write some of them ourselves if we can’t find them.”

The couple also have big plans for the series. Hyde explained that they are halfway through the writing of season 2, and are at the point where they are working to tie together some of the events with a much larger story that they have been planning for the series, from the experiences of the characters and everything that is happening in their lives, to what is happening with the city. “On a macro level, how do these things feed into each other and talk to each other on a different level,” says Hyde.

The series feels similar to shows like Sharp Objects or Twin Peaks.

Part of the series feels like it’s similar to shows like Twin peaks or Sharp objects: stories set and dealing with characters who live in island communities. It’s a type of story that has a long history in horror canon and lends itself well to supernatural shenanigans. “There is deliberately a lot of play between what is supernatural and what is strange about a small town,” says Gardner. “We are really interested in playing with some of the amazing [what] People see the first time they go through this strange little town. And then at the end of the show, you can put the things together from season one, and season four or season two, and say, “Oh, I get how this all fits together.”

Gardner says that audio is particularly suited to the type of story they tell, because they can’t rely on visual cues. They say the entire production team spent a lot of time making sure the timing of their dialogue and the sound of the world is realistic for the audience. Hyde specifically noted the work of his lead sound designer, Ryan Schile. “The underlying narrative logic that sustains [the show] has to be translated to [an] underlying auditory language that makes the world tick. “There is one point in the series where it really stands out: an argument between Lillian, someone she’s on the phone with, and her mother in Episode 4 feels extremely tense, not just because of the content, but because of how their voices overlap when the characters speak to each other, and how the producers used the sense of space within the house as a fixture. It is an effective and exciting moment that feels extremely realistic and uncomfortable to watch. listen, as if we were a fly on the wall.

One notable element in the production that jumped on me in the podcast comes at the end of each episode: the recognition of an Indian people that lists the tribes that used to live in Chicago and southern Ohio. Hyde acknowledged that she was not an expert in the field, but explained that the practice was more common in Canada, and they consulted with experts to find the right way to do it. “While there is no native character in the story at this time, understanding that it is an important part of American history and wanting to acknowledge it.” By incorporating it into his series and website, Hyde says it’s a first step. towards raising awareness about this particular movement, and towards making it a normal practice elsewhere.

Now is a great time to jump in and get caught up in the show. The series recently aired the first six episodes of its first season, and is taking a short break before airing the second half in May.