Pop Culture Advent Calendar, Day 14: Kaleidotrope
Inspired by NPR, every day (gulp) from December 1st to 24th, I will be highlighting
a pop culture moment from this year that I loved. Today I talk about a swoony podcast.
In the renaissance of the romcoms, podcasts are an unexplored medium.
Can we listen to two people fall in love? Yes. Yes we can.
Kaleidotrope, a queer romantic comedy podcast, is one of the most romantic things I have ever listened to. As much as I love romance, there are very few things that make me truly, truly swoon, and there are moments in Kaleidotrope episodes that had me levitating off my chair. I was like a cartoon with heart eyes, it's so lovely.
Told over 9 episodes, Kaleidotrope focuses on Drew and Harrison, two university students who run a radio advice show that becomes more and more popular as the show goes on. That university is Sidlesmith, a fictional university steeped in romantic folklore.
Drew is curmudgeon, a little grumpy, and very logical. Harrison is a wonderful beam of sunlight, relentlessly positive, and a big believer in tropes - meet cutes, fake relationships, friends to lovers, haters to lovers, and is only to happy to project them onto the shows callers.
On the surface it's a pretty standard story - opposites attract, after all. But in the hands of the Kaleidotrope writers, they really delve into their personalities to tease out their chemistry and build their connection. And it brings into focus flaws in what they believe and the how the ways that they see the world can keep them apart, and just generally keep them from happiness. Drew wants Harrison to choose him, free of projection of tropes. Harrison doesn't want his whole view of love to be rubbished. It's not just about romantic love, but how they can really be seen by each other, let themselves be vulnerable and seen, and confront some of the reasons for their loneliness. It's real testament to the writing that I have such a great grasp on who Harrison and Drew are, but don't actually know their backstories, which makes me excited for season 2!
But seriously, someone on Tumblr said Drew has Mr Darcy level bars. His general feelings vomit is so genuine. It's Romantic and romantic. I love it! Listen to it!