A Listener Reviews: Windfall
Episodes: 10 Episodes in their incredible first season!
Length: Generally around 20-30 minutes with a slightly longer season finale episode
I’ve listened to… All 10.
The Premise: Years ago, Wanda showed up in her castle in the sky and built a fantastic floating city. The rich live in the city, while Grounders try to eke out a living below. The story follows a family and the interconnected web of characters as Contact Day, the day of celebration commemorating Wanda’s first appearance, approaches and something sinister grows.
My Review: Wow. So, this is a new podcast for this year, and I caught it after the season had ended. I’m glad I did, because I would have been miserable waiting week after week for a new release. Not sure what I’m going to do when season 2 starts. I’m not ashamed to admit this is a story that had me peeking at upcoming episode descriptions to try and figure out what was coming next. But they are pretty good about their descriptions and did not give away much. So I just had to cross my fingers and listen.
In ten episodes, this audiodrama manages to bring to life a whole host of various characters. And they are deep and complex and relatable in their humanity. Characters I would have classified as secondary or background characters manage to have a major impact. It is remarkable how nuanced just about everyone seems to be. The situations they are placed in are often challenging and morally ambiguous. How do you balance life, safety, freedom, respect, loyalty, family, healing, and anger in a way that is fair to everything? You can’t. And it is in those choices that the depth of the characters and strength of the writing really shines.
I said in the description that it follows a family, and that’s kind of true. But I think the family encompasses more than those related by blood, but extends to those who stand side-by-side. The characters are from above and below, demonstrating no one is as simple as they appear. Each is unique in background and motivation, each piecing life together as they can. But as the status quo in the world begins to shift, those things that worked before no longer suffice. And the choices made in those moments have far reaching consequences.
Listening to the finale episode knocked me back. It was intensely emotional in good and bad ways. I’ll say the “twist” did not really catch me by surprise, but I’m hesitant to even call it a twist. I’m not sure it was anything meant to be carefully concealed. Still, taking that in stride, it had plenty of surprising and emotional moments that left me reeling. And inspired. I think Windfall does an excellent job of showing a truth about humanity. Place people in impossible situations and their true selves will show.
With an excellent cast, intricate story, and compelling world, Windfall is an easy recommendation. It’s got some sci-fi notes, a little dystopia, some crime, some drama, and a little romance for good measure. Characters are dynamic, but woefully imperfect in the way that makes their stories exciting. The build up in tension from season 1 is handled expertly, culminating with an absolutely explosive season finale. Expect to be blown away when you give it a listen.
You can find them here: Windfall