Mystery Show ★★

Mystery Show ★★
Courtesy of Gimlet Media

Mystery Show host Starlee Kine has been a writer for many years, and has been a contributor and producer for the very popular This American Life radio show. On Mystery Show, Kine investigates mysteries that can’t be solved by using Google. To date there have been 6 episodes and the most talked about episode is one in which Kine finds out just how tall Jake Gyllenhaal is (“Source Code,” episode #5).

The “mysteries” on Mystery Show are all light in nature, nothing sinister or criminal here, and perhaps the best episodes are the simplest ones. I love being taken away by a story like episode 3, “Belt Buckle,” where Kine tracks down the original owner of a belt buckle found in a gutter decades ago. Recorded interviews with parties involved in each mystery are the highlights for me. What takes away from the flow, the storytelling, the enchantment, for me – is the host.

After about 3 episodes, I thought about removing Mystery Show from my podcast subscriptions, because I just couldn’t stand Kine’s voice. It sounds so affected to me. Her speech – dialect, vocal fry, lisp, speech impediment, inappropriately placed and lengthy pauses, all of the above – is inconsistent. There are other hosts that I don’t particularly care for or whose voices are fairly annoying, but IMHO all the stars aligned and gave Kine all of these imperfections that seem to arise at strange times. It’s distracting and takes away from the listening experience for me. On radio/a podcast you have the content, the flow, and the sound, and you must have all three. Mystery Show is missing at least the critical piece of “the sound.”

The other thing that is highly annoying in this podcast is the ads. They are mostly read by Kine, so it’s really unclear when an ad is coming on, and they’re really long. No quick “sign up for SquareSpace for all your website needs” 10 second ad here.

So in short, I like the concept of Mystery Show very much, but would love it if there were a new host and better flow.

Audible Feast Ratings

Educational Value ★☆☆☆☆

Pop Culture Value ★★☆☆☆

Host Listen-ability ☆☆☆☆☆

See main review … Kine has got to go.

Flow (both planned podcast flow and advertisement-impacted) ★☆☆☆☆

Humor ★★★☆☆

Props to the show here … it’s definitely cute and funny, Kine just needs to work on her timing.

Investigation ★★★★★

Storytelling ★★★☆☆

The stories themselves are pretty great, and Kine does do a good job of writing how the story is going to play out, including some excellent sidelines which almost always add entertainment value for me.

Makes Me a Better Person ☆☆☆☆☆

Bonus stars

Overall Audible Feast Rating: ★★☆☆☆

You May Also Like … 

Reveal, StoryCorps, Criminal, This American Life, Detective


Mystery Show (Gimlet Media)

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1 Comment on “Mystery Show ★★

  1. I couldn’t agree more about Starlee Kline’s voice and delivery. She just sounds affected, arrogant, and ditzy. It just doesn’t work for this show.
    Like a Valley Girl trying to read the news. I went ahead and deleted the show.

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