My review on S-Town isn’t gonna be your ‘tier-2 word’ typical rambling/work of art from the nearest pop-culture media outlet. This is the first review I’ve ever written about anything I’ve read or seen or heard. You won’t have any problem believing that. Don’t read unless you’ve finished series. Save me for later. (No spoilers, really, but I typically go in unknowing and save any review for later; best practices)
My dear friend, Christine, texted me “S-town podcast! Download immediately.”
Oh geez. I don’t have time to walk around all day with earbuds protruding, and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” is on loop in the swag wag. She gasped at me not having invested time into Serial.
My life could/should BE a podcast. But hers could too, and I trust her, so whatever. Unassumingly downloaded and started Chapter 1.
Just a mom dusting and scrubbing terlets in Illinois during nap time (or sitting on couch, rather) and listening to this series.
S-Town = non-fiction, real characters -
There were moments clutching my chest for a moment while tears streamed at the beauty of humanity expressed through these dialogues. There were moments when chills shot up my spine and goosebumps covered my arms. There were loud guffaws and “oh crap, Bubby is up from nap!” What was life before S-town podcast? Ha - just kiddin. Kinda.
John B. McLemore, the main character strangely adorned throughout the series, although I come to love him, too, isn’t my favorite.
Brian Reed is. The journalist.
His emotions and reaction to his findings ― He is so open and kind and loving and accepting and the sense of humor and the ability to see the other side of something, a breath of fresh air. He annoyed me not once. Not once were his probings inappropriate or off-kilter.
It’s his love story with his findings that grabbed my heart. It’s his fear and grief and frustration and anger and passion and laughter and patience and forgiveness and perseverance that felt stunning.
And it’s not even really his ‘findings’ or ‘stumbling upons’... Brian came to know, really took the time to get to know John McLemore, and formed a relationship with him. By doing so, they flocked to him! The findings, that is; the people, the drama, the friendships, the answers... It all came his way.
His curiosity and longing for the truth came from such a genuine place that people who didn’t even want to speak with him initially couldn’t help but divulge their full confessions to him in the name of hope and goodness. (Or in the name of anger and hatred.)
The sheer awareness and foresight/vision Reed has in John’s person; how special John is and how his unique time on earth could translate to so many truths for so many humans...
What a risk their team took with all of this time and pursuance, and look at how many people have been moved! It’s amazing and inspiring. But what stuck with me in my core was the unmistakable impact John and his life had on Brian Reed, himself. Brian gleaned all that John intended for him to carry forward, and far more. A job well done! “Download immediately.”