Northern Lights Music


Podcast Critique


Podcasts are the millennials upgraded version of the radio brought to light by the use of the internet. The internet allows people to listen to a podcast anytime of day on multiple platforms (smartphones, tablets, and computers). Did I mention most podcasts are also free to subscribe to? This following critique will be focusing on one of my favorite podcasts to listen to, and the name of that podcast is called Harmontown.

Harmontown is a podcast that features Dan Harmon, who is a tv/movie writer. Besides being the host of Harmontown, Harmon is the creator of the NBC tv show called Community. You might also have heard of him if you’ve ever seen the family movie Monster House, which he was a writer for. Harmontown has a niche fan-base that makes the show seem like it’s a special unknown treasure. Harmon does a good job of creating an atmosphere that the listener can very much feel apart of. Basically the show is Harmon in front of a live audience with his co-host Jeff Davis and his on stage dungeon master Spencer Crittenden (they play Dungeons and Dragons at the end of each show). Since the show is in front of a live audience they also do a live taping which you can watch online if you pay extra money for to become a member (the audio is free to listen to however). Harmon basically goes into each show and just talks about his life and what’s currently on his mind during the show. Dan is a very funny guy and thus the crowd is always waiting to hear what he has to say out of his mouth. Dan is also usually drinking during the whole show which also adds to the entertainment and outrageousness that sometimes comes out of his mouth.

The value I find behind this show is something I mentioned previously, of how Harmon does a good job of making the listener feel apart of a niche community. The show has a uniqueness to it and when you add that with Harmon’s personality, you get a product that you can’t really compare to any other podcast that’s currently available. Harmon’s ability to connect with his audio listeners of his podcast, and the actual crowd at the live taping of the show is infectious with each episode. This is why I believe other people also find value in the show, because Harmon’s ability to connect with his demographic. It doesn’t hurt that he is also active with his fans on Twitter and Instagram.

I chose this podcast, Harmontown, to critique because out of the two podcasts I listen to, this one is my favorite. I also chose Harmontown because I enjoy Dan Harmon’s sense of humor and his views on the world. It is very entertaining listening to Harmon stutter his way through jokes in his usual alcohol induced state of mind. I have nothing bad to say about Harmontown as it is an amazing listen that makes the listener wishing that Harmontown would release more than one episode each week. You know a podcast is good when the best part of your week is when you are finally able to listen to the new episode that came out. Usually I am able to find at least a few flaws with a production, but I would rate Harmontown 5/5 stars.

Below is a link to the Harmontown website where you can listen to and watch the podcast:

Grantland Review/Critique

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Grantland is a blog that covers sports and pop culture. It is the brainchild of Bill Simmons and was created in 2011. Grantland is owned and works in conjunction with the mothership (ESPN). During Bill Simmons time at Grantland he was the Editor-in-Chief and also worked doing Grantland podcasts. As of this past year, Bill Simmons, was let go by ESPN and they parted ways leaving him no longer a part of Grantland. Many speculations have been made as why he was let go, but the most popular opinion is that he wasn’t afraid of speaking his mind which “the powers at be” at ESPN didn’t necessarily condone. However, Grantland is still running through ESPN and ESPN has promised that they plan to run the blog at the same caliber it was during the Bill Simmons era.

My first time visiting the Grantland blog I was met with the Grantland logo and a header which had different topics for their audience to chose from. Right below their logo and header is a big eye-grabbing photo of one of their most popular articles. While scrolling down you then run into a bunch of different articles organized in some type of grid layout, with a few photos here and there. Myself being a graphic designer, all the text and the way it was organized seemed a bit overwhelming and I didn’t take the time to read everything (NOT EVEN THE FLIPPIN’ TITLES). The world we are currently living in is run by short attention spans dominated by visuals, not by blocks of text. People want to see a picture of something on each article, thus their attention would be grabbed and the readers can decide if they’re interested in that article in the matter of seconds without reading a single word. The blocks of text/layout choice was my only real complaint while viewing Grantland.

Grantland does a good job getting a lot of different qualified writers to contribute to the blog. The vast amount of writers they have means that there will always be many opinions and voices on different subjects. In other words, the content won’t get stale. Another thing they do well to attract readers is that they don’t just focus on sports, they include pop culture topics as well. Although sports is Grantland’s main focus, including pop culture topics is important to attract a certain demographic that they might not have gotten to view their blog otherwise. Besides producing written articles, Grantland is a popular go to when it comes to getting your podcasting fix.

All in all Grantland wouldn’t be the first sports/pop culture website I would recommend to a friend (I prefer Deadspin), but they do a good job at producing engaging content for the average sports fan. Check Grantland out for yourself at: