Podcast of the Week: SARDONICAST
SARDONICAST is the combined effort of three of YouTube’s well-established movie critics: the Brit Alex, of I Hate Everything, the Canuck Adam, of YourMovieSucks, and the Yank Ralph, from RalphtheMovieMaker. This cross-continental trio have established a well carved out niche within the YouTube community, primarily covering and focusing upon movies of . . . questionable quality. While they do watch and review the general blockbuster films such as the continual stream of Marvel films that most mainstream critics review, they are more known for their scathing and comedic reviews of low-budget and highly incompetent filmmaking. The joining of Adam, Ralph and Alex to make concrete collaborative releases rather than the occasional cameo on each other’s channels makes complete sense, but the question was if they would transition well together into a podcast format? While there was undoubtedly some awkwardness at first, such as Adam taking the spotlight and Alex falling to the wayside, that has resolved itself episodes ago and is quite balanced now. Despite the podcasts’ scant eight-episode catalogue, SARDONICAST has proven itself to be a simultaneously hilarious and informational listen.
Each episode of SARDONICAST can be cut down into a fairly cyclical three-act structure, with the beginning third focusing on the topic of the trio’s choice. They will often touch upon a mainstream release the three of them have all seen and each give their opinion and discuss their opinions on the film. Unlike how they often dispense critiques on YouTube, though, they will often take a more analytical tone supplemented by comedy rather than the other way around. What is so engaging about SARDONICAST is the trio’s honed skill at critiquing films or media. Years of creating videos has allowed them to work well with a voice-over format, which situates them perfectly for podcasting. In addition, each of the them have independently found a specific aspect of filmmaking or genre that they predominantly critique, be it Alex’s penchant for animated films, Ralph’s in-depth film school knowledge or Adam’s vast knowledge of art cinema. This allows them to take turns speaking on the strengths or weaknesses of a film, creating a fleshed-out and varied assessment. The second part of the podcast consists of an almost book-club like movie discussion each week, where Ralph, Adam, and Alex will take turns suggesting a film to view which they will examine the subsequent week. It queues listeners of the podcast in to view the film in anticipation for the upcoming episode, exposing one to a great deal of different films. It’s a great idea for audience involvement, giving them an atypical film to view, in turn letting them compare their own opinions of the film to that of the trio’s.
The end of the podcast wraps up with a Q&A, with a thread to submit questions getting posted on SARDONICAST’s subreddit weekly after each podcast release. The threads are at times filled with somewhat meme-centric content, be it the discussion of jenkem or other equally “valid” discussion points, but Ralph does a good job of cutting through the crap to pick up some widespread and interesting topics. While SARDONICAST is a very personality-driven podcast and may at first only appeal to those familiar to the creators’ youtube channels, it would be a great disservice to pass it by. The humor is dry and crass but never overly divulgent, and each of the members command their own presence, making it difficult to not listen through in one go.