The newest production from the teams behind Tanis and The Black Tapes finished their first season last week with a shocking twist. This show, titled Rabbits, is by far the best produced and written podcasts from the Public Radio Alliance and its sister network, Pacific Northwest Stories. Rabbits is, at the heart of it, about one person’s attempt to find their missing friend.
Carly Parker, the host of the show, usually opens each episode by telling us why she started the podcast. Her friend, Yumiko, went missing while playing a mysterious and rather ancient game, often referred to in hushed tones as ‘Rabbits’. It’s during Parker’s search for her friend that she discovers just how complex and potentially life changing that the game just might be. And it’s during her search that she learns just how potentially fatal the game could be as well.
As a podcast, Rabbits is incredibly well produced and an even better story. It’s an intricate tale, with details and mysteries continuously and seamlessly woven into the narrative. But more than anything, it’s a complicated tale told in such a way that’s engaging and easy to follow, even if you listened to it as it came out (with two week periods between each episode). The sounds and music of the show also help to enhance the listening experience.
This show takes the idea of an alternate reality game to the next level. There are hidden images in old video games, repeating numbers in different forms that can’t just be a coincidence, and a mysterious item found in the Alaskan woods. It’s a show that you can easily get caught up in, leaving you with an intense desire that a similar but significantly less dangerous game actually existed in real life. Or at least, that’s how I felt listening to the show.
At the moment, I’m unsure if there will be a second season of this podcast but because of how the first season finished, I hope there isn’t. This show is an amazing story as it stands now and I wonder how a second season might build off of the first. I keep thinking of what Emily Yahr wrote for the Chicago Tribune on the idea of even more new episodes of Gilmore Girls: “the best way to kill the magic of [a] show is to overexpose it”. I loved the first season of Rabbits, which is why I’m excited to see what comes next from Carly Parker and the teams of the Public Radio Alliance and Pacific Northwest Stories. I just hope that the magic of this show isn’t dwindled.