Young Chicagoan Colleen gets fired from her job and then reluctantly takes a job as a dog walker. She isn’t even sure she loves dogs that much in the beginning, but figures this will fit into her lifestyle and maybe she’ll meet some interesting people along the way. From Dog. a podcast’s website, the show is described as: “… an eight episode semi-fictional series of stories about people, places and ideas touched by dogs. In season one we follow a dog walker, as she stumbles through life trying to figure out who she is and what she wants. Along the way she finds comfort, inspiration, and laughter from the dogs and people she meets.” The show launched in January 2016 and its first season will conclude shortly after eight episodes.
Colleen brings us along for the ride as she becomes a pretty mediocre dog walker, admitting up front she steals from clients. She quickly realizes there is fame and potentially money to be had by creating an Instagram dog sensation with thousands (or hopefully, millions) of followers. She em-barks (pun intended) on this new quest by adopting a dog named Henry and interviews other Instagram star dog owners, trying to determine whether this could be her route to success.
This is not a show about dogs, though dogs play a supporting, important role. Along the way we meet her boss, Wayne, a sort of twerpy kid who doesn’t seem to care if she really works or not (I have to suspend reality hearing that), a Louis C. K. look-alike dating interest who asks Colleen to go to a funeral with him on the first date, Judy, her landlord (also not believable in her cameos) and several consultants Colleen sets up conference calls with to chart a path to fame.
Colleen Pellissier is the host and producer of this self-described mockumentary, which is intended to channel a bit of Christopher Guest’s “Best in Show.” She graciously gave me some insight into her show, helping me fill in a few of the blanks I had after listening about halfway through the season. It wasn’t clear to me that this was semi-fictional, except that the phone calls and voice mails she exchanges with Wayne and Judy seem totally staged and for me and break the flow unnecessarily. Pellissier wants the show to zero in more on where the Colleen character is going with her life and what will make her happy – she just happens to be a dog walker and that’s the backdrop for the show.
This is a fun podcast with short episodes that are definitely easy to listen to, but I think Pellissier is trying to do too much, there are too many different directions. I’m excited to see what she has planned for season 2 because the effort and production value is definitely there, I’m just confused about the main story and need to hear more about the Colleen character and where she’s going in life. What’s her motivation? Perhaps the protagonist doesn’t know her direction, and that’s what the show is about. I just need a little more meat to sink my teeth into and I hope to hear it in season 2.
What do you think of this podcast? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!
Audible Feast Ratings
Educational Value (0 / 5)
Pop Culture Value (2 / 5)
Host Listen-ability (3 / 5)
Colleen as a character is not necessarily likable, but she is easy to listen to; the other characters need a bit of work.
Flow & Production Value (3 / 5)
Mixed bag here. I think because there is a lot going on and a lot of different directions in Colleen’s life, the flow sometimes gets interrupted. However, the production value is good and I like the music and general sound editing.
Humor (3 / 5)
I’d describe Dog. a podcast’s humor as quirky. It’s not going to resonate with everyone. It helps if you know that the show is semi-fictional, then you can kind of go along for the ride with Colleen. When she said she steals from her clients, at first I thought the show was a personal journal and I didn’t understand why she would discuss that; but knowing that it’s a mockumentary I am sure this comment was meant to be humorous. See-gotta be along for the ride and know it’s not autobiographical per se.
Investigation (1 / 5)
Colleen does actually research how to make a dog an internet star, so there is some investigation going on and I learned a couple of interesting things about photographing dogs and about the success rate of social media fame campaigns.
Storytelling (4 / 5)
Makes Me a Better Person (0 / 5)
Overall Audible Feast Rating: (3 / 5)
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