Mystery Show is the incredible brand new podcast from Gimlet Media featuring Starlee Kine, whose name and voice you might recognize from This American Life. Each week, Starlee tackles a mystery that cannot be solved simply through the internet. For example, in the pilot episode a woman remembers joining a video rental store, checking out a tape, and coming back the next day only to find the store had gone out of business overnight. The mystery: what happened to the store?
The crazy thing about Mystery Show is that you’re probably thinking: who cares about some random lady and some random store from back when we used VHS tapes? But I can almost promise you that if you listen, you will care. Other things you will come to care about:
- Whether or not Britney Spears likes a book by an obscure author.
- An ornate personalized belt buckle.
- A vanity license plate.
- Jake Gyllenhaal’s height.
This post isn’t about how a specific episode ties in with an upcoming lectionary passage. Instead, this is meant to highlight an example of exceptional communication and storytelling. Some of it derives from Starlee’s unique voice and personality, but she is putting on a master class in how to get her audience to take interest in even the smallest of things. This is a tool every preacher/teacher should have in their bag.
I am sure that in a post down the road, we can break down what she specifically does, but for now, just go listen. As of this week there have been only 5 episodes, and they are taking a break until July, so now is the time to binge listen and get caught up! I would recommend starting with case 3 about the belt buckle.
Header image is the original show art from Gimlet Media.