Jonesing for Serial? Anxiously awaiting The X-Files miniseries?

Oh, God, me, too. So how about a little of both to get you through?

A Tumblr post led me to a DailyDot.com article about The Black Tapes Podcast, which I cannot get enough of.

The 12-episode (so far?) series follows a NPR-type producer who is launching her own spin-off podcast. Originally framed around "interesting people doing interesting jobs," Alex Reagan's first story follows paranormal investigators. This leads to a non-believer who investigates to debunk and his eponymous Black Tape Boxes.

Richard Strand keeps the evidence of all his debunked cases in white plastic VHS tape holders. About a dozen black tape holders catch Reagan's attention and she finally learns that they are cases Strand has not solved ... "yet," he says.

Reagan falls down the rabbit hole, and the entire podcast shifts focus from interesting jobs to these Black Tapes case.

Sarah Koenig has epic 'drop the mic' moment at #ThinkSpeak lecture

The homage to Serial is hard to miss. I keep waiting for Reagan to ask about the "Nisha call" in her Canadian/far-North-American accent. Even the music that plays over the "station breaks" sounds practically identical to the Serial music.

I only read a small bit of the Daily Dot story before immediately downloading the podcast. So until I started listening, I thought it was real. But despite being very well written and Reagan nailing that public radio cadence, other players sound very much on script. I got so accustomed to civilians speaking on Serial that I feel like I can spot a script when I hear one. The more regular characters start to sound more natural by episode 102.

The podcasters keep the illusion alive in a very Blair Witch Project sort of marketing way. There is even a subreddit devoted to it. The show has been running since June, but the two weeks leading up to Halloween seem like the perfect time to dive right in.

Happy listening.

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