Podcasts

Nice Try!

A podcast about utterly predictable failures to remake society

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Nice Try! is a great name for a podcast, and it perfectly captures the tone of this series about utopias—from the Oneida Community to Biosphere 2 to the suburban developments of Levittown. The host, Avery Trufelman, manages to strike a balance between genuine admiration for the gumption of her subjects and cheerful resignation about their utterly predictable failure to remake society.

Many of the episodes have an understated rubber-meets-the-road moment when the utopias start to falter: In "Herland," it's when the older revolutionary female separatists realize that younger women no longer want to join them. In "Oneida," it's right about the time the eugenics kick in.

Trufelman, whose voice you might recognize from the popular podcast 99 Percent Invisible, brings a straightforward sensibility to her storytelling, employing the explainery tone you'd expect from this collaboration between Curbed and Vox.