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Does the ‘S-Town’ podcast go too far?

'S-Town' tells a beautifully intimate tale

It violates its characters' deep trust

 Getty: Justin Sullivan / Staff

The podcast "S-Town’s" unique narrative slowly bridges the gap between the listener and its unique country-dwelling subjects, writes Spencer Kornhaber of the Atlantic. He infers that "S-Town" makes rural Americans and their habits and lifestyles more approachable to urbanites while telling a fascinating tale. The podcast encourages empathy for all, telling the stories of people who at first might seem off-putting, humanizing them, feels Kornhaber. In his perspective, "S-Town" discourages judgement, seeking to create a bond between the listener and his interviewees, as well as their world that urbanites too often judge by its cover.

Keep on reading at The Atlantic

Condescending and outright voyeuristic, the podcast "S-Town" projects individuals’ most bare emotions to a huge audience, never stopping to ask whether it goes too far, argues Gay Alcorn. She claims that the podcast’s pursuit of a grander and compelling narrative violates the intimacy in which the subjects open up to the interviewer. It is dismissive of their heartfelt stories, which are laid out for the listener to enjoy and absorb. Whether it be repressed sexuality, a traumatic memory or deep suffering, "S-Town" doesn’t hesitate to showcase every last hidden secret it can dig up, which Alcorn deems morally indefensible.

Keep on reading at the Guardian
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