I, like millions of other people, love the astounding podcast, Limetown. I listened to every episode twice, once by myself and once with the husband so I could watch him experience it. Does anyone else do that? Watch or listen to something you’ve already experienced with someone else just so you can watch them? Is that just me? Oh well.
Anyway, as we’ve been waiting for season three to come out, we were treated with the news that it’s now following the path of other great podcasts like Lore, and becoming a tv show. Damn, do I like Lore, by the way. But that’s another story for another day. (Can I write off my Amazon Prime membership fees on my taxes if I watch Lore for book inspiration? Tax lawyers, let me know.)
As the news came in about the Limetown show, I grew more and more split on my feelings about it. Yes, they got Stanley Tutchi to play Emil Haddock. That’s great, he’s great. But then it was going to be on Facebook Watch which makes me nervous. Anywhere I can’t see how a company is making money from me, I assume I’m the thing they’re making the money from. Which is, you know, not great. But then it’s been so fun watching all of these new fans learning about Limetown and making predictions on social media about what happened to the missing people. Look, I’ve listened to every episode, and read the prequel book. I know what happened, and I’m not telling anybody. But some of these predictions were exactly word for word my predictions. So that was a great moment. There are so many more people in the fan club now. We have pins!
I couldn’t help but get super excited. I couldn’t wait to see Lia dig into the mysteries of Limetown. I couldn’t wait to watch as she talks to Max and The Preacher. I was stoked!
I watched the first two episodes on Wednesday when they came out. And, since I’m sure you’re here for an actual review, not to hear me fangirl, let’s get to that.
I still don’t know what I think.
There was obvious influence from the novel
Just in case you’re not aware, the prequel novel, titled Limetown, was written by Cote Smith. The original podcast authors, Zack Akers and Skip Bronkle. And it’s an essential read if you want to understand Lia and Emil. It was different. Lia’s a teenager, obviously not the strong fearless woman she eventually turns into. She’s kind of a pain in the ass, totally incapable of having any sort of feelings for literally anyone. Emil, on the other hand, was a great guy trapped in a lot of terrible situations. He was a great uncle. Overall, Emil is someone desperately looking for someone, anyone, to love.
All of this had an obvious influence on the show. It feels like the novel was woven through the series flawlessly, as though it was always part of the story. And I love that.
Lia’s character is a pain in the ass
I mean, for the most part, including parts of the prequel novel was a great idea and I loved it. Except for one thing.
In the podcast, Lia’s a bad-ass reporter. She’s fearless, no-nonsense. She cares about nothing more than finding the story. Now, she’s not perfect. She is all absorbed by the story, and more than willing to put herself in danger and ignore the rules put in place for her safety. All that matters to her, literally the only thing, is finding out what happened in Limetown.
In the show, Lia sounds more like the teenage version of herself. She’s taking advantage of the girl she’s seeing, seeking physical intimacy because she doesn’t have any room in her for actual love. She misses her uncle to the point of obsession, which is weird because in the podcast she was pretty clear that she barely knew her uncle. The fact that Emil was in Limetown was less than an afterthought to her. And she didn’t harbor all of this pain and resentment towards her mom. Not that there wasn’t a reason for her to be angry at her mom. She did abandon her family. But that was something that Lia had put behind her. There was none of this foolish ignoring her mother’s calls or leaving sad voice mails for her dad.
I loved Lia in the podcast. The show Lia needs some Zoloft and a puppy.
Two great moments were scary as hell, and exactly what I wanted them to be
Fortunately selfishly moody Lia wasn’t enough to ruin the show for me. There were two moments, moments that made me jump out of my chair when I was originally listening to the podcast, that was just so spot on that I couldn’t believe how well they’d been done.
The first was that 911 call, oh that call. The one from the first episode, of a woman calling for help at Limetown. It was that call that got me, and so many others hooked to the story, right from the word go. Or, more appropriately, right from the words, “Hello, can you hear me?” This was played in the show perfectly, and gave me the same chills as the first time I heard it.
The second scene, the real stand out one that I think most people remember better, is the man banging his head on Lia’s hotel room door. Screaming her name. Screaming, “This is your warning.” That was amazing. We still don’t know what that was about. And that was done to perfection in the show. I jumped, even though I damn well knew it was coming.
Limetown looked just spot on perfect
Too often when I’m watching something based on a source material I’m familiar with (read: obsessed with) I tend to get a bit picky. You don’t want to watch the Harry Potter movies with me, for instance. The problem is, the deck is stacked against the creators of visual mediums. While it might seem that they have all of the advantages, they don’t. Because no matter how fantastic a scene looks, no matter how much we try to get it to match the picture we have in our heads, everyone has a different head. And everyone perceives things differently, pictures things. And so when I complain that I saw the Room of Requirements differently then it was ever depicted in the movies, that’s not a fair argument. Because maybe a lot of people did see it that way.
Case in point, Limetown was almost exactly what I pictured when I was listening to the podcast. Almost like Eureka, but darker. A place of light, and creativity, and beauty, but with a sickness hiding. A layer of rot under the skin of a perfect looking apple. And that was just spot on.
Winona was damn well perfect
Then there was Winona. Poor, broken Winona. She was probably the darkest story. And Kelly Jenrette, who plays Winona, did such a fantastic job. It’s not like it’s an easy thing to play a crazy person. And that’s exactly what she did. Her cadence and verbal idioms were right on point. I am obsessed with this woman. The character is eerie, the way she seems to have had a blank spot in her mind where her daughter should have been, got under my skin. And I can’t imagine I’m going to be able to exorcise that anytime soon.
Some interesting additions that need some more fleshing out before an opinion can be formed
One final thought I had about the show was the introduction of Lia’s assistant, Mark Green, who I’d consider her Jimmy Olson. Or, more specifically, her unwanted partner. Much like the ridiculous number of buddy cop movies where the grizzled old detective works alone. It’s a strange option, to give her a, what? An assistant? A partner? He was introduced, it seemed, just to be barked at and ignored for much of the first two episodes. At this time the character seems like a worthless addition. But we’ll have to wait to see. We just haven’t seen enough of him yet.
I’ll be watching the other episodes, of course, and give a final thought when the season is over. I do suggest checking it out on Facebook Watch. Generally, I hope that Lia’s character improves. And that now that this is off the ground, the creators can settle in and get season three of the podcast already.