The Two Princes is a few songs short of a masterpiece
The Two Princes, Gimlet Media’s latest fiction podcast, follows the story of (you guessed it), two princes as they venture into the deadly nearby forest in order to fulfill a prophecy and save their land. The problem is, Rupert, the prince of the west, has no idea what the prophecy is – he just knows the other kingdom hates his.
The listeners quickly meet Rupert’s mother, who clearly doesn’t understand Rupert at all. Rupert, feeling pressured to marry a woman from his kingdom, ends up running into the forest, hoping he can fix everything with an adventure. (Because there are few things a good adventure can’t fix.)
As the premise for the story explains, The Two Princes is a coming-of-age love story between two rival gangs from the East and west – er, Kingdoms. Apologies for the bad joke here, but it brings up an important point: The show is very generic, and the premise has been done a hundred times.
The show focuses a bit too much on being a podcast about two young men falling in love, instead of including that aspect when telling a great story. It feels much like a Disney movie, which isn’t very deep, but does tell a cute little story.
We also agreed that the podcast would have been elevated to an entirely new level if it had songs and some musical elements. Without another aspect of the show, it falls a bit flat. More on that in our PlotCast podcast episode:
It’s not bad by any means, and it’s family-friendly, which is great. But aside from the Gimlet tag, it doesn’t stand out much.
For me, the sound effects in this podcast were a standout highlight, though. While there isn’t much atmosphere or environment sound effects, the quality and smoothness of the sword fighting in this podcast were phenomenal. Despite having no visual reference, you can clearly experience the back and forth of sword fighting, especially when someone’s sword is knocked out of his hand.
The show has great production value, as you would expect from a Gimlet production. The acting is great, and Rupert’s character is likeable and easy to identify with as a protagonist.
The supporting characters of the podcast similarly suffer from the lack of depth, although Rupert’s mother has some great one-liners.
Overall, The Two Princes is a nice, simple, slice of life story that could fit into any Disney movie formula. Unfortunately, for those seeking an engaging story, it may not satisfy the pallet. If Gimlet is looking to go back and edit the episodes with some musical numbers and solos, though, I wouldn’t be opposed.
Listen to The Two Princes here.
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Vince, also known as Grumpy Gus, is a writer, director and lover of audio dramas. Though he may appear grumpy, working in audio drama production is his favorite passion. During the infrequent times when he’s not working, he’s probably watching The Office for the 6th time through.