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Every day I’m surprised and amazed by new information that I’ve basically stumbled upon just by tapping a button on my phone.
Learning “new” things is pretty relative, though; what’s new to me might not be new to you, and vice versa. In any given podcast episode or series, the facts and ideas are only “new” to a portion of podcast listeners.
Every Little Thing, a new podcast released by Gimlet Media, attempts to discover topics that most of us have never even considered, making it “new” for the majority of us. The podcast is a spin-off/continuation of Gimlet’s recently-ended podcast called Surprisingly Awesome.
Every Little Thing is hosted by science journalist Flora Lichtman, who recently worked on Netflix’s new show Bill Nye Saves The World. In each episode, she explores the hidden world or people related to a specific topic. Sometimes, a fairly obscure topic (episode 2.)
Here’s a clip from the trailer:
What I Think Every Little Thing Does Well
I’ve listened to the trailer and the first three episodes of Every Little Thing, and I’m firmly in the “Like It” column. I like the concept and enjoy Lichman as the host. I like the presentation of the topic and the production, including interviews with topic “experts”.
So where’s my hesitation? Why aren’t I firmly in the “Love It” column? Well, much like how I felt about Surprisingly Awesome, there are just some topics that are tough to listen to for 40 or more minutes. Let me break it down for you:
Episode 1: Rapture Chasers
The first episode of Every Little Thing explains the upcoming solar eclipse that will be visible in the US state of Wyoming. Lichman takes things a step further by unearthing the massive following that this event (and apparently all solar eclipses) has developed.
I found this topic super interesting. I had no idea just how many people are obsessed with solar eclipses and how, by sheer luck, the location with the best eclipse viewing can have a serious economic surge around the event. That said, it took me about 4 days to listen to this 24-minute episode.
Episode 2: The Hide Rug of the Plant World
Without a doubt, I learned something new from this podcast episode.
The topic (not about rugs, but about office plants) was so obscure that I couldn’t help but be intrigued and I wanted to listen for more. Without a doubt, I learned something new from this podcast episode.
Episode 3: The Senate Whisperer
The topic of this episode surprised me. It has to do with American politics, which doesn’t strike me as obscure at all (especially now, when the whole world is watching and commenting on our political system). Lo and behold, the show was about certain people who work in the Senate that I never knew about (and you probably don’t either).
This was one of those episodes that I debriefed my husband on when he got home from work – it was that good. I also felt like the pace of this episode was a little faster, but maybe that was just because it seemed more interesting to me.
Where I Think There’s Room for Improvement
This is an easy one: Every Little Thing could use more robust show notes and some visual accompaniments on its webpage.
Generally, when a podcast episode is about a lesser-known topic or has a vague title, I like to read the show notes for more info. Sometimes I’m just not in the right mindset to listen to something heavy in scientific data or politically charged, so I’ll save that episode for later. Unfortunately, the show notes for Every Little Thing are super brief and as cryptic as the episode titles.
As a result of the episode topics being obscure, Lichman provides a lot of detailed descriptions, I presume to “paint a picture” for listeners. I found myself wanting to see photos of the things she described, but the show’s webpage (as with most of Gimlet’s show pages) doesn’t include any images related to the episodes. And since the show notes don’t include links to related articles or websites, I’m left to my own devices to do research, which I probably won’t do.
Related Post: Podcast Review: StartUp Season 5
Recommendable, with a caveat
In summary, I like Every Little Thing, and I’ll probably listen to more episodes in the future. The topics are really interesting and the production is of great quality. I’m not sure that I’ll listen to every episode, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying it out. You never know what you’ll learn!
Have you listened to the new Every Little Thing podcast? What do you think of my review? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.