PODCASTS WILD THING, I THINK I LOVE YA
Laura Krantz paints a sincere portrait of passionate people, hooked on a mystery
Wild Thing Episode1:Grover
Given the month we’re in, with the days getting colder and Halloween crawling towards us, iTunes is pulsing with horror podcasts. This week, in the spirit of seasonally terrifying myself, I listened to bi-aural stories about dying and a hard-hitting documentary about Isis radicalisation – but the podcast I’d sincerely recommend this week is less scary. It is, however, about a monster. A big one.
Laura Krantz presents us with a documentary series about the year she spent immersed in the community of scientists and conspiracy theorists, out in the woods and in a laboratory, seeking the truth about Bigfoot. What initially sounds like it might be a tongue-in-cheek mockery of the offbeat fringe of enthusiasts is actually incredibly sincere.
This first episode reveals why exactly Krantz was brought to the pursuit of the Sasquatch, a truly lovely tale which focuses on the life of a man who was an expert in the field, and what made him so dedicated to his quest. The narrative structure feels like an excellent essay – Krantz is a master storyteller who brings us into a quite surreal landscape by way of cynicism, but never cruelty. It’s not a freakshow but a kind exploration of a culture around the uncovering of a mystery.
Krantz gets out into the wilderness to look at places the creature allegedly lives, and her interview subjects are fascinating individuals – passionate people, hooked on a mystery.
The bigger question at the heart of the series is why do people want to believe? What makes these dreamers so passionate? What is it to live in a natural world that still has unknown creatures?
Incredibly good natured without being shallow or uncritical, this is an exploration of the psychology of belief, as well as a look at those who search for the creature. Perfect autumnal listening.
Wild Thing writer and presenter, journalist Laura Krantz.