Saturday, April 27, 2013

Casting An Eye At The Pods: Hardcore History

By: William G. Muir

Before I get started there is something I need to say. I have no idea what I am doing. I don't know how to do a review.  Am I suppose to sit here and give you a play by play on what it is I am reviewing. Or am I suppose to sit here and tell you if the thing I am reviewing was any good, or was it god awful? Am I  suppose to tell you if I enjoyed it or not. Or am I suppose to a combination of those things.

I just don't know!

Sure I could probably go on Google a find a checklist of things to look for when conducing a review. But let's be honest here, I could have that list and still not know what it is I am suppose to do. I tell you why that is, I don't know what is good and what isn't. I just know what it is I like. Often times it is nowhere near what other people like. But that's ok.

I just don't know how to analyze things. For example I like the band Nickelback (I have said this before) . Do I like every single one of their songs, no I don't. But then again I can say that about almost every band I like. Here is why I bring up Nickelback, almost every guy I know, almost every guy I have heard on the radio or TV, almost every guy that I have read or heard on the internet talks about how much Nickelback sucks.   

They will sit there and give all kind of reason to back up their claims, the thing is I don't see it. It's not because I don't want to see it, that I have this bias towards the band. I like the band because...well because I like the way they sound. I couldn't  tell you if what they are singing about is pure genius or just load of drivel. I have never been trained to use my brain to analysis things like songs, or movies/ tv shows or books. All I can tell you if I like something or not.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, let's get this review started.  

Today on WillseyeREview we are going to be looking at Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. But before we dive into the episode, how about I give you some back ground info.

According to Wikipedia in the late 1980s Carlin got his start in the Los Angeles television news scene. In his career he has been a news reporter, an author, a columnist and spent twelve years a talk show host on the radio.  Carlin no longer broadcast over the terrestrial airwaves. These days he produces two very popular podcast.

Common Sense (the podcast I will not be looking at today) is a political podcast, much like the talk radio show he use to produce.   

Hardcore History does what the name says it does, it takes an in depth view at world history. Hardcore History is not like other history podcast like The History of Rome or The History of Britain. Those podcast focus on telling a continuous narrative of a civilization from it's very origin until either it's ultimate collapse or reaching modern day. With every new podcast you know you are getting another little piece of the puzzle.    

Hardcore History is something different. Instead of telling the story of just one civilization, each episode focus in on a single event or person(s) in history. One week you might get a look into the life and thoughts of the great British Prime Minster Winston Churchill. In the next episode you could be learning about the bloody events that took place during the Munster Rebellion in the 1500's.

Each new episode is a surprise.

Speaking of episodes, the average release time for a new episode is about every two months. This because Hardcore History is not some half-hour or an hour podcast. Most episode run about four to five hours in length. Some topics contain so much information that they can span multiple episodes. The series that looked at Genghis Khan and his effect on the world he lived in lasted over ten hours.

Not all of the shows are so long. Every so often Carlin puts out what he call BLITZ episode. These shows are anywhere from just over an hour and half to two hours long. Just like the longer episodes it's anyone guess what the next BLITZ episode could be. These episodes are more than adequate to bridge the research time between the much larger episode.

The reason it takes two months to produce an episode of Hardcore History is because it takes Carlin that long to research each topic and to gather enough information to use in the show. It seems like Carlin puts an exhaustive amount of research into each episode. Carlin does a fantastic job of listing the source of the information he is using.

So would I recommend this podcast? Yes I would. If you are at all interested in learning about events or people you may or may not have heard of, I say you would be doing yourself a favor if you listen to this podcast.

Thumbs up! 

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