Romancing the Podcast: In an age where you’re more likely to text than actually call someone on the phone, Jules and James is a delightful way to eavesdrop on an accidental, then ongoing, conversation.
I’ve been waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for a serial fiction podcast that wasn’t supernatural or sci-fi type fare, and finally, Jules and James is here. A wrong number* turns into an ongoing conversation between a filmmaker in London and an American trying to make his way as a painter in Paris. After one episode, I thought, mmm, I would have begged off and hung up on this guy, but I kept listening. Hours later, I’d ripped through 10 episodes, it’s a great binge listen.
Jules and James hits its stride in episode 3. Reminiscent of Before Sunrise and Nick Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine books, Jules and James have weekly phone calls rather than a series of letters. In an age where you’re more likely to text than actually call someone on the phone, eavesdropping on their chats is delightful, and seems strangely novel.
It took me back to the pre-cell phone days where you’d talk to your friends late into the night about nothing and everything, stretching phone cords down the hall, or switching from handset to speaker when the battery ran out on your cordless phone. Jules and James manage to keep their calls to 30 minutes, but you just wish it would keep going.
Episode 6 captures the heart of the entire thing (so far) for me: they tease each other, bait each other, and the conversation runs from mundane to sweet to hilarious to revealing. And James leaves Jules with her curiosity piqued in the most frustrating “Until next time…” ending ever.
They’ve struck up an unusual friendship, and they dance around the idea of ever meeting in person. The question is, if they do meet in person, will there still be that same mystery or magic? Will they be more than friends? We need to talk about it. We really do.
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*I know, the country code for England is +44, France is +33, how did she misdial? I don’t know. Don’t overthink it. Just go with it.