I picked up Episode #1 of this podcast for one single reason: a missing person cold case. What could be better? Well, this “Up and Vanished Podcast” review will sort out whether or not Season #1 lived up to its eerie premise.
In order to get quickly up to speed, Season #1 of the “Up and Vanished” podcast came out in 2016 and in a two-part, twenty-four episode format it covers the real life missing person case of Tara Grinstead. Hosted by Payne Lindsey and based out of Atlanta, the show has already been optioned as a television series by the Oxygen network.
I’m the target market. I am a sucker for missing person cold cases. Ever since I was a youngster watching Unsolved Mysteries, my spine tingles and my hair raises at a story that starts with a person that has mysteriously vanished into thin air. And Ms. Grinstead vanished.
The production on “Up and Vanished” is quite clean. From the early podcast episodes it feels streamlined and well put together.
The Grinstead case is a creeper, too. All of the missing persons tropes are at play and work their magic on the podcast.
What Doesn’t Work?
First off, Lindsey jumps into the Grinstead case right away. From Episode #1/Season #1, he’s talking to witnesses and sorting evidence.
The right into it approach works… I guess.
I barely knew anything about who Tara Grinstead was as a person before people were hanging up on the host. There was little to no sense of anticipation built into the podcast’s first few episodes. Sure, I knew she was a teacher involved with beauty pageants but I need a little more backstory to get my curiosity up.
As I stated previously, I simply love missing person cold case stories. The phenomenon is a staple of my Strange Air supernatural mystery series. But “Up and Vanished” seems to play fast and loose with the necessary component of mysterious circumstances.
Another issue I’ve had with the show is that it’s not a clean publication. My iTunes library is littered with so much bonus and extra content it’s really difficult to feel what is necessary and what is extraneous.
What Does It All Mean?
Early on, Payne Lindsey tells his listeners how we all got to Ocilla, Georgia. He was in love with the Serial podcast and out of that love, he started looking for a subject for an investigative podcast.
And here we are.
Everything about the “Up and Vanished” podcast feels constructed to me. There isn’t the organic sense of discovery from something like S-Town. There isn’t the spellbinding storytelling of Serial either.
How to summarize “Up And Vanished” podcast review? It definitely fills a void if you’re looking for a missing person cold case podcast to hammer on. But it’s first season isn’t going to keep you from searching and listening to your friends for more recommendations.
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