Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tea and Jeopardy

I listened to the following episodes of Tea and Jeopardy:
Episode 15 - Myke Cole
Episode 16 - Seanan McGuire
Episode 27 - Gail Carriger
Episode 29 - Drew Karpyshyn

The premise of Tea and Jeopardy is that the host, Emma Newman and her butler, Latimer are able to move about in time and place. Ms. Newman then invites a guest to take tea with her in one of those unusual places or time periods.

Ms. Newman sets the scene in the first couple of minutes of each episode (whether it is Loch Lomond or Venice, 150 years in the past or 100 years in the future). Her guest arrives and there are fairly standard interview questions. Ms. Newman wraps up the episode by describing the misadventures that befall the guest as they leave (one can not simply walk out the door, of course).

I will admit that the first episode I listened to was very confusing. I was on noisy public transportation and missed a couple key points in the description of the setting, I think. When it settled in to the interview portion, it was much easier for me to follow. Once I caught on to the premise of the podcast, I didn't have any more problems with confusion.

I rather like this podcast. Ms. Newman has a lovely voice to listen to - it did not surprise me to find out that she voices audiobooks as well. I like listening to the descriptions of the places they are at and what happens as the episode's guest leaves (to be fair, I did think Myke Cole's exit went on a bit long).

Of course what makes or breaks a podcast like this is the interview. The questions were nothing out of the ordinary, but there is such a rapport between Ms. Newman and the guests that it feels more like listening in on a conversation than listening to an interview. This is part of the description of this podcast and I felt that they fulfilled that promise admirably. Ms. Newman also does well at reigning in those that tend towards chatty as well as bringing out the natural enthusiasm of a guest that would otherwise have sunk the interview ship.

The only quibble that I had was that while there was at least one question about the books that each author was working on, the conversation was often about things other than books or science fiction. While I certainly enjoyed Seanan McGuire's snake story, I would have enjoyed listening to more about Seanan the author. To be fair, Tea and Jeopardy features "topics such as writing, geekery and guilty pleasures", which each episode that I listened to fell neatly into that description. It is certainly not the show's fault that it doesn't exactly fit my personal preferences, and it was still enjoyable to listen to.

Putting aside that small objection, I will likely continue to listen to this podcast when this is all over.

Do I think Tea and Jeopardy is award worthy?
Current rankings for Best Fancast:
1. Tea and Jeopardy

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