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I first heard about Welcome to Night Vale through a few 30ish year old friends on Facebook. I listened to one episode and kind of let it go, not quite sure I got it. And then when I told my boyfriend about the podcast, we decided to listen to it together during our trip to Florida. We were hooked.
Welcome To Night Vale is a podcast set up like a radio show discussing the news in a small made up desert down. It’s hard to describe and better for you to just go ahead and listen. There are a few recurring characters and a lot of odd comments, nonchalant mentions of government surveillance, and real lol of science. Each episode is around 20 minutes and easy to digest.
When I saw that a Welcome to Night Vale was coming to Boston, we got tickets immediately. We had no idea what to expect, but what does that matter, anyway?
If you’re looking to figure out what a live show is about, just know that it’s a longer variation of the podcast, and you get to see everyone stand on stage while they speak.
It was lots of fun, and very funny. What we didn’t expect was this: lots of fan girls, overhearing people talking about cosplaying Night Vale characters and us feeling so old. There was a lot of giddy excitement, cooing and awwing and shipping of characters. The girls in front of me in line we about thirteen, dragging a parent along for the show. The jokes during the introduction picked on the 40 year olds in the audience, which was oddly hilarious and also surreal as I realized I’m way closer to forty than I am to most of the teenagers in the audience.
So, I totally get the Fangirl thing, ususally. I understand infatuation, Tumblr, geeking out and writing fan fiction. Neither my boyfriend nor I could figure out what about Night Vale there is to Fangirl over. There characters aren’t fleshed out, and there’s a lack of arching plot to the series (all of this is exactly perfect for the podcast), and we just can’t figure out the appeal.
I love Night Vale. I’m looking forward to listening more, reading the book and getting my Night Vale geek on. I mentioned the general ages of my friends who introduced me to Night Vale to give you an idea of the audience I expected. My thirty something writer friends who appreciate art, oddness and a dark sense of humor. Maybe this is why I was so baffled as to the overall audience and their reactions to the live show.