It's the newest series from This American Life and the creators of the popular murder-mystery podcast Serial. As written on the S-Town website: "John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it". He calls it S**t Town.
"We can take our time, and wander for a while", host Brian Reed told Wired.
S-Town is the work of podcast royalty: The first podcast to launch under Serial's spinoff production company Serial Productions, it is executive-produced by Serial co-creator Julie Snyder, and its editorial team includes longtime This American Life host Ira Glass, Serial host Sarah Koenig, and Starlee Kine, creator of the cult podcast hit Mystery Show.
All seven episodes of S-Town are available to stream online and it's already receiving rave reviews from critics and social-media users. "You definitely haven't heard a story like this before", Twitter user Alex Shenoy posted after polishing off the entire series (episodes are around 40 minutes to one hour long).
It really feels like an expansion of what Serial was doing, and it's "Shit Town" title was a gift from John as, ultimately, it is about the town itself and about the downtrodden mindset that led to its nickname. S-Town turns out to be a meditative and ornate family drama, one that eschews the propulsive momentum of a potboiler plot engine in favor of the softer, darker currency of gothic Americana. "When a novel starts talking about a character, you just trust that you're reading a novel, and that's what they do-we thought, maybe we can make a podcast that way". Instead, it's an engrossing narrative about the complexities of human behavior.
"I think it's wonderful and hopefully more people will come here, and it'll bring more revenue to the city", said Barry Dabbs, who lives in Woodstock.