S-Town Review by Olivia Beaupre

S-Town was an interesting podcast to follow.

I say that S-Town was “interesting” because honestly I am not even sure what else to describe this podcast as except maybe Ambiguous which seems to be a running theme in the recent works I have dived into. But that aside S-Town was really kind of all over the place, not really diving to far into one story and never giving a full answer to a mystery before introducing a new one. This left me feeling unsatisfied throughout most of the Podcast and a little peeved at the end.

Starting off with the first chapter I was hooked into the story and listened to the first chapter and the second chapter non-stop because the story was that intriguing. I enjoyed the idea of this enigmatic character of John B and how he was a different kind of guy in a small town. My mom grew up in a small town in Tennessee and my dad did as well in Texas so it was interesting how I could connect their experiences to that of John B which made it even more addicting to listen to because I was like “wow that is something that would happen where my parents grew up”. Hearing about a scandal in a small town is always intriguing because they seem to be the most secretive and juiciest of scandals, which is why I was excited how this podcast started off and where it was going until the third chapter hit.

Now a BIG spoiler warning and also possible trigger warning ahead so read with caution.

When Chapter Three hit saying that John B had killed himself I did not know what to think. Part of me had seen it coming because they had hinted on how depressed he was and how someone was going to die but i never thought it would go down that fast and so suddenly. I was not really sure how to feel about it at first and was kind of upset that the podcast was diving into his death because i thought that was a little unethical and pushing some boundaries, and I guess I was not the only one considering the multiple law-suits against the podcast now. But I still was not completely offset by the podcast yet because a new story was starting to develop.

The new story seemed to be over John B’s alleged fortune and the future of his estate and affairs. This seemed to bring on a war between long lost relative Reta and Tyler who was a son-like figure to John. Both seemed to have their own stories and neither seemed to like the other or agree. But this was not something out of the ordinary for me because knowing small town life from my parents it was pretty common for people to fight over estate assets when there was no will involved. But what I did not enjoy was the fact that this entire plot just seemed to be filler on to what the podcast was really about, which was a study of John B.

I would not have minded a study of John B since he is an interesting character, but i did mind the fact that there were interesting mystery aspects and crime solving things that seemed to appear throughout the majority of the podcast only to be left unresolved and unattended to on the way to trying to describe John B which I felt was unfortunate since that is what I think made the podcast most interesting. Even at the end of the podcast I do not even feel like a good character study was done on John B.

Overall I think this podcast tried to go too many different ways and tell too many stories that it was just not cohesive and fell short because I feel like nothing was explained to an extent that they could have brought it to and that nothing felt resolved in the end.

S-Town was an interesting podcast to listen to. It was not what I was expecting in the least, and I think it fell short in the end with resolving the story. However as far as being the first podcast I listened to it was a decent one to hear and I would recommend people to listen to this podcast if they can ignore plot holes and run off stories.