Today, there are fewer rules that govern what entertainment looks like. Amazon and Netflix can unload an entire series in one enormous dump. Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell are permitted to go full Lifetime in A Deadly Adoption. Pixar is free to animate a children’s movie without a princess, a prince or even a villain in Inside Out. Just like the Little Caesar’s commercial says, “there is one rule!” The one rule for entertainment: Tell a good story.
Enter Starlee Kine and her new podcast, Mystery Show. Each week Starlee solves an unsolvable mystery (meaning, it can’t be Googled.) For example, one episode tackles the elusive height of Jake Gyllenhaal. A friend of the host, watched Source Code, and noticed that Jake looked “kindof short” and sometimes he looked “really tall.” During the podcast, Starlee hunts down the clues until the mystery is solved.
I can hear you thinking, “Well that doesn’t seem interesting at all.”
It doesn’t sound interesting, but the story Starlee tells actually is interesting. Throughout the thirty-eight minute episode, she and her friends track down Gyllenhaal. Eventually, she talks to Jake in what turns out to be the one of my favorite celebrity interviews ever. In case you hadn’t picked up on it, Jake Gyllenhaal is adorable and you’d be surprised about how much you care about Mr. Gyllenhaal’s height.
I think this would be a good point to address Starlee’s name. It’s unusual isn’t it? As a rule, if a parent names their child a cutesy name, inevitably the child will turn out to be a hellion. Starlee is the exception that proves the rule. She is as a sweet as the day is long and her show reflects her bright outlook. Usually, when people are free to create what they want, the story gets darker, the violence gets murderier and viewers spend more time watching footage of eerie infrastructure. (I’m talking to you True Detective Season Two.) This is not the case with Mystery Show; each episode incorporates wonderful little moments when Ms. Kine is genuine and lovely.
The sweetest moment is during the Britney Spears episode. During her search, Starlee has to talk to a customer service representative. I don’t want to tell you too much about the conversation, because I want it to brighten your day as much as it did mine. (I rewrote that multiple times to be less cheesy. It couldn’t be helped.)
Aside from being truly genuine, Mystery Show at its core deals with “the unknowability of certain things in this age of information.” I am very interested in this “unknowability.” I tend to get extremely frustrated when I can’t solve a mystery with a few Google searches. For example, while watching the Daredevil series on Netflix, I noticed something was amiss. During one of the scenes in the Nelson & Murdock office, there is a coffee pot with creamer and sugar AND BREADCRUMBS (!?) I don’t remember what was going on in this scene mainly because I was furiously searching “why are there breadcrumbs in Daredevil?”
It is quite possible that I will never know the answer to this question. In this age of information, there are just some things that we were never meant to know. Starlee Kine’s Mystery Show plans to make sure that happens less often.
What is your unsolvable mystery?