I’m sure everyone that would be interested in a blog such as this has become familiar with the incredible world of Night Vale Presents and all the audio magic they do. Before I was as die hard about podcasts as I am now a friend of mine told me about Welcome to Night Vale because she was sure that I would be obsessed instantly…
This is, unfortunately, the part where I have to admit that I was not instantly obsessed with Welcome to Night Vale. It was delightfully strange, and absurdly weird but it didn’t quite hit the spot I needed out of a podcast at that moment. Shortly after, though, the same friend introduced me to another of Night Vale Presents audio dramas: Alice isn’t Dead.
Now, to say that I was instantly obsessed with Alice Isn’t Dead would be an understatement.
I remember sitting in the passenger seat of her car, listening to the narrators incredible voice, delighted to hear that it was about a lesbian couple, and sufficiently creeped out by the arrival of one of the series several big bads. It was the horror that I was looking for. It gave me a pit in my stomach when I listened to it at night, and I had to be careful of how much I listened to when I was driving.
The basic premise of the show is that the narrator (who remains nameless for nearly all of season one) has completely abandoned her life to become a truck driver and search the country for her wife, Alice, who she had thought was dead. While the narrator is on the road, she encounters a man that isn’t quite a man who she refers to as “The Thistle Man”. As she makes her away through the United States the narrator begins to encounter unexplainable, and seemingly supernatural, events that become increasingly more life threatening as the show progresses.
With it being a three season series, that’s about all I can explain without giving any spoilers.
But one of the things I can definitely talk about is the incredible lesbian representation within this show. The narrator, played by the incredibly talented Jasika Nicole, is a lesbian truck driver with an anxiety disorder and possibly one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard. It’s a unique show in that Jasika Nicole is the only voice actor throughout the entirety of the first season. The whole thing is delivered through the CB radio in her truck, and all of the conversations are retold by the narrator rather than acted out by multiple voice actors.
I’m accustomed to podcasts like The NoSleep Podcast or The Black Tapes where each part is acted out by a different voice actor, so when I fist started Alice I was surprised to hear only Jasika Nicole’s voice throughout the entire episode. However, as you fall more and more in love with the narrator as a character it because easier to image yourself sitting in the passenger seat of her cab and listening to her retell her stories in real time.
Alice isn’t Dead mixes the delightful absurdity of Welcome to Night Vale with the genuinely terrifying that is more expected from a network such as Shudder. If you’re looking for a whimsical horror story, Alice isn’t Dead is the perfect podcast for you.
But be forewarned, you will absolutely want to binge the entire three seasons in a row.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
*And a quick side note*
The creator of Alice isn’t Dead has also written a novel of the same name that is a stand alone adaptation of the podcast. I have not had the opportunity to read the novel yet, but it is slowly creeping closer to the top of my reading list. Once I have finally sat down and read the entire thing I will update on how the novel compares to the podcast.