So another podcast review to get the interwebs gnashing their teeth, and this time I’m setting my poison-coated daggers squarely on the cross-hairs of Blue Plz! This is a unique podcast in WoW-themed shows, as it only has a single host, in this case the vastly opinionated TotalBiscuit. This immediately eliminates the huge problem in the podcasting world of people talking over each other, which seems to happen on 90% of the shows that are out there. It creates a different type of problem in the sense that you have to listen to the one bloke rabbiting on for 90 minutes. So the focal point of the show is TotalBiscuit himself and the on-air persona that he has created for himself. The best way that I can describe this is an in-your-face, rant-ridden, mouth-frothing, shock jock, all packaged in a Pommie accent. It’s enough to make any self respecting Australian throw up in his mouth.
The huge saving grace on all of this is that this is intelligent podcasting. TotalBiscuit’s shtick par excellence is to have a nice rant at what he calls, scrubs. This is the English midlands version of Gevlon’s Morons & Slackers. TotalBiscuit’s opinions run the gauntlet of railing against the unique and beautiful snowflakes of the world and attempting to give them the proverbial kick up the backside, to taking Blizzard’s decisions apart piece by piece in a merciless and deadly accurate criticism laced with a healthy dose of unmitigated sarcasm. This may not sound very intelligent, but his arguments are for the most part quite highbrow, and you will not only find yourself nodding along to them in agreement, but actually thanking Buddha for the fact that finally someone is saying this stuff on the pod-waves.
His show opens with 5 to 10 minutes of flogging whatever video or show or in-game event that he is working on at the current time, so for the first-time listener this can be a little confusing if not off-putting. Then he immediately jumps into his mailbag, which forms the greater part of each episode. I’ve listened to 8 episodes in order to prepare this review, and it seems that either every person who writes in is a dipshit or TotalBiscuit purposely picks the most idiotic emails in order to take off on a 15 minute rant. Every so often he breaks this up with some music, which you won’t hear unless you join in to the live show itself. Apparently a lot of people do listen to the show as it’s being recorded, and here we arrive at one of my few issues with this show. Actually, it would probably be fairer to say that almost every podcast suffers from this malady – the live chat sickness.
If you listen to a live show you can participate in the live chat. Now, I’ve never done this myself, but from what I can imagine it more or less amounts to listeners writing things in the chat in an attempt to grab the hosts attention and get the host to comment on what has been written. This is the holy grail for people who participate in the live chat; their comment has been read live on the show, saved for posterity forever. And herein lies the problem: this is all well and good if you’re live at the time, but if you’ve downloaded the show after the fact it can get a tad annoying to hear the host constantly referring to the live chat. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it goes something like this:
Host: “… and if Blizzard would only give both the Alliance and the Horde the ability to kill gnomes with pink hair whenever the hell we wanted then – ahahahahahaha, yeah! Right on! Oh man, Jefko, you’re so right dude, that would be awesome, oh yeah. Oh guys, Jefko just wrote an amazing thing in chat, you really have to be there for this …”
Which we’re not. TotalBiscuit goes on a lot about his number of listeners. Apparently he has quite a few. He usually mentions this a few times every show, and it seems to jump from 70,000 to 110,000, I’m fucked if I know how many, but it’s a lot. The vast majority of those download the podcast, they don’t listen to it live. In fact, a few episodes ago he was complaining that he was maxed out on the number of people who could listen live as his server was crashing under the strain. So it’s not as if we can all go and listen live to this, (as if I could be bothered). So I really wish that podcast hosts would tone down the references to their live chat, as for someone listening after the fact it is a complete non-issue for us. Oh, they’re referring to the live chat, okay I’ll turn my listening brain off for a moment now.
One more thing; TotalBiscuit rants a great deal about scrubs and how they ruin the game and how they are the vast majority of players in the game, yet at the same time he is constantly going on about his huge listener numbers. So it doesn’t take an IQ much higher than room temperature to work out that the greater number of his listeners are most probably scrubs themselves, (although they will never admit this to themselves as they laugh at TotalBiscuit taking the piss out of all those other scrubs). Which means that either TotalBiscuit is on a great crusader drive to educate as many stupid people in the world as he is able to, or he takes great delight in the fact that so many people that he rails against listen in to the show. Maybe it’s a little of both, but only he knows. As far as I’m concerned any possible lowering of the general stupidity level is fine by me. So, long may TotalBiscuit continue to rail against the forces of the stupid.