Nightvale (Go Listen to It)

So, this blog hasn’t really officially started yet (three more days!), but I wanted to talk briefly about a show that I highly recommend to just about everyone, especially if you like radio shows.

That show is Nightvale.

You can find it here: http://commonplacebooks.com/

The show is free, and you can get it a number of ways (I use podbay).

Nightvale, a radio broadcast from the weird and twisted town of, you know, Nightvale, is Twilight Zone-y and Lovecraftian but also hilarious, and brilliant at diversity. Looking for queer representation? Nightvale. POC representation? Nightvale. Awesome female characters? Nightvale. The soothing tones of Cecil Baldwin? Nightvale. Mara Wilson’s remaining acting career? Nightvale, go listen to Nightvale, she has a recurring role and it is amazing.

Sorry, I had a moment.

I really love Mara Wilson.

The first few episodes are good, if a little dry–the character of Cecil, voice of Nightvale, wasn’t really developed yet. But it quickly became amazing.

One of the reasons Nightvale makes me so happy is that it’s a podcast. I love audio plays, radio shows–I went through a phase where like 50% of my media consumption was BBC radio online. Nightvale is perfectly creepy and funny and beautiful. They also have weird music.

They’ve been going for two years now, with two episodes every month, so there’s a fair few episodes. However, catching up will be worth it, because a few days ago I listened to the second anniversary episode and…

Well.

I laughed, I cried, it was generally great. But there was one scene which really stuck out to me.

In this scene, and if you listened to it you will know which scene I am talking about, they tackled ableism. Specifically the idea that disabled people need to be ‘fixed’.

I do not think I have ever seen or heard that issue tackled so well in a show I watched or listened to (or a video game, or a book, or a movie, for that matter). I was very near to tears by the end of the scene because it feels so good to have not only non-ableist media, but anti-ableist media. I had no words. Half an hour or so later, when I went to my friend and my parents, I had a lot of words, most of them “it was so beautiful”.

This is (one of the reasons) why representation, good representation is important. Hearing that scene was like…a glass of ice water on a humid summer day, the kind we have sometimes in New York, where your throat gets so dry it sticks together. It felt amazing, and it kind of hurt to realize how amazing it felt. Because it shouldn’t be that rare. It shouldn’t be that amazing. You should never have to get that thirsty in the first place.

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