Tea in the Sahara
Kev – Fiction Podcast Critic
Oh QCODE… I’m going, to be honest… it’s been a while since I’ve listened to one of your podcasts and felt inclined to write a review. However, ‘How to Win Friends and Disappear People’ comfortably ends my QCODE reviewing drought – and here’s why.
Set in New York, Nancy (Soni Bringas), lives an unassuming life alone with her cat, unnoticed by an extroverted modern-day society – happy with her lot. That is until Nancy encounters her enigmatic nocturnal neighbor El (Leslie Grace), who oozes sex appeal, yet has an acute penchant for blood.
Thrust together in a less-than-conventional vacuum our joint lead characters begin to form something that resembles a friendship. If a relationship involves unconventionally dispatching & disappearing people that is. Nancy becomes El’s ‘familiar’ and offers her nerdy abilities to profile and single out victims from life’s gutter for El to feast upon. Who doesn’t relish off-the-wall fiction that follows an introverted computer scientist and a beautiful boss-bitch vampire? No… me neither!
For me, the skillful part of this podcast is within its two centralized characters’ bond development, collation, and relationship-forming. Initially, the roles between both ladies start with each other playing out life’s cards in the way they were dealt. Now to the clever part – it is when both characters’ profiles slowly switch to mirror each other as the podcast progresses that adds the most interesting slant to this story.
Sidenote – never one to stereotype, but if you’re a fiction fan you might also relate to some of Nancy’s personality traits – btw, that’s not being an accomplice to vampire murder! Nancy is focused on her inner world until she meets El – a classic example of an introverted soul.
If this was intentional writing it could only have been written by someone who has witnessed these social wrongs in their own life. I could be way off the mark, but that’s the theory I’m running with.
The starting cadence for this ten-part show sets off impressively up until about the midway point. IMO, It’s from this juncture that the plotline feels as if it’s trying too hard to fill in a contextual backstory. El’s husband’s backstory was a pleasant segway into her past but strangely felt like it was included as a time filler exercise.
So is it worth sinking your teeth into – How to Win Friends and Disappear People?
This podcast is strange… but in a very good way. It has a weird dark sense of humor that fits perfectly within its supernatural thriller landscape. Both actors equally deliver awesome performances. Additional kudos to Soni Bringas performance as Nancy for bringing her to life with all her weird nuances and insecurities. Nancy’s awkward inner monologues and conversational cul-de-sacs truly made this podcast for me.
Let’s bookend my review like this – I’m sure there are tons of other reviews of ‘How to Win Friends and Disappear People’ out there for you to consume. The choice is optional, and I’m pleased you took the option of reading this review. If you’ve enjoyed my tone of writing get in touch for your own bespoke podcast review – email@example.com
This week’s scores – 4.5/5
How to Win Friends and Disappear People – written & directed by Sophia Lopez can be downloaded on Spotify or any other podcast player.
Cast & Crew
Produced by QCODE with Executive Producers Leslie Grace and Sophia Lopez. Written and directed by Sophia Lopez. Starring Leslie Grace, Soni Bringas, James Paxton, Rico Rodriguez, Katrina Bowden, and Carlos Alazraqui.