|Release Frequency:||Completed series.|
|Average Episode Length:||Half-hour|
|Backlog Size:||Five episodes + promo uploads|
Triple Six is exactly the thing I was most hoping for when I first posted the Podcast Pinpoints commission form. Audio fiction is a big place and I’m always excited to find a show or production company who’re entirely detached from the intertwined ball of yarn that is Queer Audio Drama Twitter. It’s an absolute treat to venture outside the nebula of loosely-connected productions and crew I normally hang out in. With that in mind, here’s the Pinpoint.
Triple Six is a thriller audio fiction told over five episodes, jammed full of 50+ voice actors. Riley Banks’ (Joe Stevens) marriage is on the rocks. Possibly in permanent residence on the rocks, given Riley’s big plan to rekindle his failing marriage is a trip to Las Vegas. As one might expect, he’s immediately distracted by gambling and ends up falling in with a charismatic dude. For anyone who’s seen Squid Games, this is the first red flag.
Much like Squid Games (which came out over a year after Triple Six), the conceit of the show is Riley’s wife is kidnapped and he’s forced to undergo a life-threatening simple task while a group of hyper-rich villains place bets. The first three episodes are a bit slow to start, feeling like they’re gearing up the premise for a series thrice as long, but do eventually pick up speed.
Production company Audible Parade Productions is composed of people who’ve worked in the entertainment industry for years, with a mix of music, TV, and film experience spread across the crew. They’ve entered into audio fiction with intent of “making movies for your mind.” The verbiage of the press kit has your classic “remember radio drama? We’re doing it but modern” vibe you get from most film-based companies breaking into podcasts, but I let that slide more often than not these days. It’s clearly a tactic that works one the people who invest in such ventures, even if it grates to those who’re out on the digital streets busting ass crowdfunding productions. A great side effect of industry connections and being located in Central Texas is the pool of character actors they can build a cast from. Joe Stevens alone stands out in a crowd of VAs with a Texas drawl to beat the band. The man sounds like if Matthew McConaughey hadn’t shaved the rough edges off his accent in the 90s for Hollywood.
The rub of Triple Six comes in its lack audio drama terroir. I’ve listened to an obscene amount of (and made a little of my own) audio drama, and it’s clear when someone behind the scenes has cut their teeth on a few shows. If it were a movie, Triple Six would have “I finally got funding to make my student film a Real Movie” energy. Several excellent ideas peppered with little issues that someone who’s shot five or six similar projects would’ve noticed beforehand.
Little issues like the soundscape remaining identical across cuts regardless of distance. A large set piece early on is Riley being forced to cross a 100 foot gap between rooftops on a six inch wide beam. On the page it’s clear the microphone recording the scene is meant to cut between Riley fifty feet away to the bad guys placing bets. Instead the soundscape remains largely the same, giving the impression Riley’s only made it five feet or so over the course of the scene.
There’s also an unfortunate use of the Howie scream when someone else falls off the rooftop. Given the context of the scene, it very much feels like that person’s death was meant to be a gut-punch indicating the real stakes of the scene, and that the editor was fully unaware of the second most-used scream in pop culture’s meme status. Every vaguely nerdy mainstream movie must have a Wilhelm, every self-aware low budget movie or YouTube video will slap a Howie in during a cheesy death.
These issues are, of course, not deal-breakers. More of something potential listeners need to keep in mind if they’ve been around the audio drama block a few times. That said, there is one big accessibility issue worth noting.
Triple Six doesn’t offer transcripts. The crew does not refuse to offer them, it should be noted. This could very much be like when Brimstone Valley Mall uploaded theirs within hours of my review going live. For all I know the producers either intended to do so, or had no idea there has been a large push to normalize scripted audio making themselves accessible over the past few years. I lean towards the latter and will gladly update this review if they’re ever made available.
With this in mind, here comes a blanket statement to reaffirm why I bring up transcripts every review (and am not just picking on Audible Parade): art is not made to be appealing for everyone. Arguably a big problem with the contemporary canon is corporate entities churning out homogeneous content attempting to be art that appeals to every demographic at once. Every effort should be made to ensure art is accessible to those who wish to experience it. Deaf and HoH podcast audiences exist. People with issues processing audio exist. They also like podcasts.
Triple Six was group of creative people who got together to tell a story in a genre not commonly done in audio drama, and they clearly liked it enough to continue on to secure one of Steven King’s dollar babies. I look forward to seeing where they go in future.
As mentioned in the Where the Stars Fall Pinpoint, this section wasn’t explicitly designed with serialized fiction in mind. That said, with 2-ish episodes of Triple Six under my belt I’d say it really kicks up in the second episode. Part one spends the majority of its time languishing in how screwed Riley’s marriage is and how charming his gambling buddy can be as preamble. More of a prologue than a first part.
In the interest of honesty I reveal any prior association with the creator(s) of this podcast that could have influenced opinions.
I’ve never heard of Audible Parade Productions or any of its members prior to this review’s commission.
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