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kate_nepveu


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Welcome to Night Vale (purple logo), Welcome to Night Vale
Kate kate_nepveu
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Welcome to Night Vale re-listen, episodes 1-4
I am mainlining Welcome to Night Vale in preparation for Arisia, and I was going to just keep notes for myself, but why not do this in public?

Assume spoilers for everything in comments.

Episode 1: Pilot (stream, transcript)

General Comments

Wow, this is rockier than I remembered. Much less Cecil-y in narration, e.g., the really DEEP DRAMATIC opening--which has maybe going a little too far in the opposite direction recently, but when people said that his voice put them to sleep, suddenly I see how.

(Other people have said he doesn't sound like an actual community radio host, but someone narrating a text; I don't know what an actual community radio host sounds like, but I figured it was just character development.)

If it weren't for Carlos I'd suggest people skip this. Actually I think people probably should still skip this and then if they like episode 2, come back to marvel at how that's really text and not subtext at all about Carlos (that's actually why I started listening, because I'm so used to fans viewing things through slash goggles I couldn't believe that Cecil's crush was really that definite and non-comic).

(Also, I'm trying to listen to all the weathers, but this song defeated me, it's just painful.)

Comments Related to Future Episodes

This comes up more later, and I've talked about it before, but what universe is Night Vale in, and what kind of "science" does Carlos practice? There is a super-weird quote about this in the latest one, but even here, testing the station for "materials" with "some sort of blinking box in his hand covered with wires and tubes"?

Recurring items (that I can remember)
* The Dog Park
* Old Woman Josie and the angels
* Desert Bluffs, a town rival
* a vague yet menacing [government] agency
* Night Vale Harbor and Waterfront Recreation Area
* the house that isn't there
* Indian tracker (next episode, renamed Apache tracker; love that he's called out for this from the start)
* time not working right
* city under Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex (retconned to be tiny city, because if it were tiny and close then dropping a bowling ball into it would make that really obvious)

Oddities (things that don't seem to come up again)
* World Government? I think this falls out of the show later.
* "Invaders from another world" above Arby's

Don't remember if it continues
* helicopters painted with complex murals depicting birds of prey diving, that no-one knows who operates

Carlos
* Lots

Interns
* none

The Weather
* Joseph Fink - These And More Than These. AWFUL.

Miscellaneous
* Of course our narrator doesn't get a name until episode 5-ish.
* I 100% agree with the people who believe Cecil is gay rather than bi based on this quote: "Along those lines, to get personal for a moment, I think the best way to die would be swallowed by a giant snake. Going feet-first and whole into a slimy maw would give your life perfect symmetry."
* Closing is "Good night, listeners, good night," not "Night Vale."

Episode 2: Glow Cloud (stream, transcript)

General Comments

Oh, that's much better. Cecil is still more subdued than later but is more flexible and emotional, there's something like a plot, or at least a governing subject, and the weather is iconic. I would definitely say people should start here.

Comments Related to Future Episodes

Recurring items
* John Peters, you know, the farmer?
* Glow Cloud
* Apache Tracker ("Can you believe this guy said he used Indian magics? What an asshole!")
* station cat (not named yet)
* Boy Scouts new ranks
* Hiram McDaniels
* Radon Canyon

Oddities
* "Tuesday afternoon, join the Night Vale PTA for a bake sale to support Citizens For a Blood Space War. Proceeds will go to support neutron bomb development and deployment to our outer solar system allies."

Don't remember
* Louie’s Music Shop, which burned down (same music shop that turns up later?)

Carlos
* none

Interns
* none

The Weather
* Satellite High - The Bus Is Late (Waiting For The Bus In The Rain). Waiting for the bus in the rain, in the rain, waiting for the bus in the rain . . .

Miscellaneous
* first message from a sponsor
* Cecil is much more chill about memory modification here than later ("you are left with nothing but a powerful wonder at the fleeting nature of even the most important things in life — and the faint but pretty smell of vanilla.").
* (My theory about Night Vale the podcast is that what we're listening to is the equivalent of Brust-the-translator's renditions of the Drageara books: it's not the station's tapes, because they're blank for the pre-weather bits, but "Commonplace Books"'s recording of the show that they've edited down for time, added music too, etc.)

Episode 3: Station Management (stream, transcript)

General Comments

Not bad but not as fun as the prior for me; I know the creators hate Lovecraft and disclaim conscious influence by him but regardless, this one feels rather Lovecraftian to me, which is also not my favorite either, plus the acting and the sound effects don't click for me and I HATE the Carlos stuff in this one.

Comments Related to Future Episodes

Recurring items
* Night Vale Daily Journal (and publishing editor Leanne Heart)

Oddities
* "another HR retraining session in the Dark Box" -- I think this later gets dropped for City Council-ordered retraining
* World Government, still there (sporting goods store that's a front)
* "Also, I’m battling Lyme disease."

Don't remember
* the new Night Vale Stadium, next to The Night Vale Harbor and Waterfront Recreation Area (I assume this gets forgotten with the rest of the Area)
* Station Management

Carlos
* Gets his hair cut very short. As I've said before, I've always seen this as deliberate. And I would have too and I HATE Cecil's reaction.

Interns
* Chad, investigated sporting goods store several weeks ago and not heard from since
* Unnamed intern who went to investigate Station Management's movements and hasn't returned
* (Not an intern, but: Jerry Hartman, afternoon board operator, "probably dead or at least corporeally absorbed into management permanently")

The Weather
* Chuck Brodsky - Bill & Annie. Pleasant, forgettable folk song.

Miscellaneous
* The weather as a suspense break.

Episode 4: PTA Meeting (stream, transcript)

General Comments

Also not my favorite; the PTA meeting stuff is fine, but introduces one of my least favorite characters, Michael Sandero, and some of the satire feels a smidge too on-point.

Comments Related to Future Episodes

Recurring items
* Spiders. So not the podcast for the arachnaphobic. ("Night Vale’s only flying dinosaur expert, Joel Eisenberg, still has not recovered from last year’s bout with throat spiders.")
* The Abandoned Mine Shaft outside of town
* Night Vale Daily Journal
* Radon Canyon
* Michael Sandero
* town's founders ("an old fashioned soft meats crown, as worn by the 18th century religious leaders who settled our fair burgh")

Oddities
* "We’ll update you as further details surface in our special ongoing and very special coverage of Pteranodon Attack-Gate." I don't think we get that kind of media mimicking much.

Don't remember
* None.

Carlos
* At the City Council meeting: "the minutes only report him stating, “There is no time. No more time,” into a black rectangle in his hand, and then running, winded, from the Community Hall."

Interns
* None.

The Weather
* The Tiny - Closer. The off-kilter nature of the rhythm made me stop listening.

Miscellaneous
* I liked the joke at its own tech level in the opening: "The glowing portal remained open and shrieked incessantly, an unholy sound that witnesses say resembled noisy urchin children caught in a combine harvester, and then slowed down and amped up through some kind of open source, easy-to-use audio editing software."
* Cecil lives in an apartment.
* The sound effects on the hooded figure were painful, and the weather that follows it was much too loud, a problem the show tends to have.

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