I came into this podcast having never listened to any type of podcast that did not revolve around comedy. But as I had heard friends rave about the quality and overall enjoyment they had gotten from the podcasts like “True Crime,” it made me excited to listen to “The Apology Line” by Wondery, and it did not disappoint. This is a six-part podcast series that depicts the story of a phone line that ran in central Manhattan in the 1980s that allowed people to call in and apologize for the wrongdoings they had committed in their lives without fear of the ramifications.
This premise as a whole is incredibly interesting, but the results that the man responsible for creating the line, Alan Bridge, gets is incredible. Bridge assumed the persona of Mr. Apology as a way to keep his identity a secret as well as for the callers to have someone to connect with. One of the things early on that caught my attention was how well the podcast was able to pace itself. There were never any issues of me losing track of what the podcast was talking about and every episode did a good job of telling its own minor story within the larger overarching narrative of the apology line.
Now, I normally am not a huge fan of creepiness and scariness for the point of being creepy and scary but the ideology and psychology behind the apology line I found extremely interesting. The plot of the podcast is spoken by Marissa Bridge, the wife of Alan, and she is incredibly good about setting the story and providing details in a way that keeps the audience interested. Never before have I listened to a podcast that has held my full attention quite like “The Apology Line” does. The podcast is not only about the line but is also about Alan and the way it affects him mentally and those around him. As the line grows within the story, so does Alan’s curiosity and fascination within the psyche of those calling the line.
I do not want to spoil any of the major points of the podcast because I think everyone should listen to this. But the one major complaint that I have with it is that the podcast has an issue of too many cooks in the kitchen. At many times the podcast will introduce a character and spend a decent amount of time explaining the relationship between Alan and a person just for them to be mentioned never again. It makes it hard to keep track of the story at times but the overall plot does a great job supplementing this error.
Overall, as a podcast, “The Apology Line” is a really interesting and gripping story. From episode one to six, each episode brings you more into the mind of Alan, or as he’s better known, Mr. Apology.