As a book reviewer, I don’t usually do this but I decided that I wanted to spread the word about a podcast that I have been really enjoying over the past 6 months. This will probably be a once-off and I will never do it again but I feel the hosts at Swish and Flick Podcast deserve a shout out!
Six months ago, I moved to Sweden and found myself very much in my head a lot. I couldn’t seem to escape my thoughts or find any solace in anything I did unless I was with people or my partner. It was all due to culture shock and feeling very homesick so I decided to have a look for some podcasts so that it felt like some people were talking to me as I walked around town or did stuff around the house, alone. That’s when I stumbled across Swish and Flick. I’m a huge Potter fan so I thought, why not?
It has quickly fueled an addiction.
The podcast has four hosts; Tiffany, Megan, Sarah, and Katie. They are all from the US and have a deep love for anything Potter. All four of them represent different Hogwarts houses – this was not planned, it was actually by chance! All four are linked in some way – Katie and Megan are married (cuties!), and Sarah and Tiffany are related by marriage (I think!) – they then all became friends and made this beloved podcast. You can find out more of their story by listening to the podcast! Anyway… On their podcast, they are re-reading all of the Harry Potter books. Each episode focuses on a chapter and they go deeper into the lore behind it, the characters, and possible links that we have seen in previous or future books. This is pretty cool, considering we have learnt a lot more about Potter since the years have past. It’s a nice, refreshing podcast and is definitely an easy listen!
The podcast is incredibly light-hearted and will make you smile as you walk down the road, listening to it. It is always very sad when you realise you have caught up with all of the episodes and have to wait a full week for the next one! Fortunately, I try to stock mine up so that I never run out. I am currently on episode 30 and they are on episode 33. Noooo.
Episodes are usually an hour to two hours long but they bloody fly by. One minute you’re listening to the backstory of Gilderoy Lockhart and the next, Megan is rounding us up with the social media links! So do not be put off by the length of the episodes, they never feel as long as they truly are.
The podcast usually has me chuckling to myself as I run to the tube and I have received a few funny looks from passersby as I cannot contain my laughs. The girls are very funny and their dynamic is infectious – you just want to be a part of it, and in a way, we are, just in a very silent type of way. Each of the hosts have a different outlook on characters, the plot, J.K. Rowling, the Potter universe in general, and other things relating to it, and this just makes for great listening. The hosts occasionally argue or disagree but this just makes for great listening. We’re not always going to have the same views so why not listen to a fan’s structured argument and see what you think yourself?
One huge positive that has come out of this podcast has been the Facebook group that was made so that all of us ‘Swishers’ (the fans) can join together and discuss the recent episodes or anything Potter-related. The hosts even pop in and we can chat to them whenever we want. Over the past few months, the group has turned into a support group as well. Some of the members are going through tough times and have felt comfortable enough to turn to each other for support. I have also used this facility. Everyone in the group is a ray of sunshine and the podcast has brought all of these Potter fans together. It is incredible. This fandom truly have the most caring and supportive people of any fandom.
On the podcast, the hosts can get a little off topic and rambly. This happens quite often on some episodes and not at all on others. These off topic conversations can go on for just a few minutes to a small chunk of the podcast. I know some people can get quite irritated by this and I have seen one or two comments on Twitter about it. To be honest, it doesn’t bother me. I actually find these are the funniest moments. They truly show the hosts’ dynamics anyway.
One thing I do get a little annoyed at but this is me being very nitpicky because I despise incorrect pronunciation is if one of the hosts incorrectly pronounce something that is stereotypically English or Irish. I’m English and lived in Ireland for 9 years so it’s just me being annoying (I also have two degrees in English lit haha) but sometimes I’m screaming at the podcast. Sometimes if they talk about England too and something is wrong, I’m also screaming but I am incredibly proud and defensive over my homeland so this is just a personal problem of mine. Oops. (EDIT: After a comment from a lovely Swisher, the cast do not claim to know the correct pronunciation and do try to correct themselves. I am quite sensitive to this – it makes me laugh a lot but also has me screaming but just so you know, the cast are aware)
Finally, the podcast do have a Patreon set up, which helps them make the podcast bigger and better, which is great but I know a few others and I feel left out as we do not have the money to join the Patreon and so do not get to have Google hangouts with the hosts, we do not receive the special content called the Felix Files, and other such things. It’s quite disappointing as I feel that it is quite a privilege. If it makes the podcast bigger and better then great, I support it. It’s just a bit of a shame really that that’s the way. (EDIT: I have always been a little butthurt by this but so be, I just want to let newcomers know that this is available – I feel that the hosts deserve everything they get – they work extremely hard for their fans and for each other and deserve the money that comes in – I just personally feel a little left out sometimes which has always been a hard thing for me (personal issues). I just want to let my readers know that this is something there so they are not surprised. If I had the money, I would join the Patreon group).
Last of all – turn your headphones down, I’ve been deafened a few times by Tiffany’s laugh, hahaha. It’s great and infectious but if you’re on the tube, you do not want a fright and burst ear drums :p
All in all, the podcast is great. It’s a wonderful community and is great for a laugh and some home comforts. I always find Harry Potter is my safe place and after finding the podcast, I did my own re-read and since then, I have been a lot better than I was previously. Swish and Flick is fun, factual, and fascinating. I highly recommend you tune in for all of the laughs and love. Have your wands at the ready!