Long live the limited podcast series

My recent experience with the Band of Brothers podcast made me realized I’m very much a fan of the modern trend of “official” companion podcasts released alongside limited series by the show’s creators—Watchmen and Station Eleven being two recent examples I enjoyed and appreciated.

These are slightly different beasts from the popular post hoc recap podcasts of long-running sitcoms like Office Ladies and Parks and Recollection (two other favorites). Such pods return to their shows years after they ended and usually require a much bigger time investment, given the protracted length of traditional TV shows.

A notable and early hybrid of these approaches: the Official LOST Podcast, hosted by LOST showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. It ran concurrently with the show from 2005-2010 and was probably the first podcast I and many others ever followed. Listening to it meant subscribing via iTunes and then syncing new episodes to my good ol’ click-wheel iPod.

Regardless of the structure, all of these podcasts have the benefit of access to cast, crew, and behind-the-scenes insights you can’t get elsewhere. But you really have to love the original show and the podcast hosts to make them worth your while.

(In that way they’re like modern iterations of DVD commentaries. Which, though eclipsed by the rise of streaming and decline of physical media, are still alive. And long may they live.)