The narration and dramatization together, killed it within the first 10 minutes. There really needs to be the actual players in the story, actors. Also, the narrator cannot carry the story on her own. it sounds like bland reading. I do not recommend.
This story is wild but somehow the narration and voice acting are so bad it makes the story boring. The narrator is supposedly an actress so I don’t know how it turned out so monotone. The voice actors are just plain bad. I regret listening to this and will be cancelling my free trial immediately.
Paid for a subscription to listen and the last two episodes won’t play. Keeps reading “error”. Just on this podcasts, all the others play with no issue. If you make people pay to listen, make sure you can deliver.
How do you make such interesting case so incredibly boring?! This podcast repeatedly focus so much on all the details of torture, violence and abuses over and over again,the story was badly written and the narrator’s voice is unbearably boring and motionless, maybe was AI generated? As a long time Wondery fan, I have to say this one is huge disappointment.
I normally like most podcasts produced by wondery but this is just not up to par. Poor job of explaining how/why these people were manipulated, so you can't really empathize with the rest of their story. If you don't already understand how cults and manipulation can happen, these people just seem very ignorant. I normally can get past bad voice actors, but the narration is just as bad. I'm normally easy to please but this may be the worst podcast I've listened to in awhile.
I wanted to give this a listen because I am familiar with this story - but the narrator is uninteresting and you can practically see her reading the script in front of her. Thumbs down on the actors too. Don’t waste your time giving this a listen.
The use of the transcripts (and voiced by actors) felt salacious. This show doesn’t feel like it’s offering commentary on any relevant social issues or allowing the victims to have a voice. Rather, using pain for profit.
The story is twisted and interesting, but the voice actors aren’t great…the natural pauses they try to mimic from the real people are so incredible awkward that it’s painful to listen to. The male voice actors are fine, but the female actors need some work.
I’m interested in this story, but couldn’t even finish the first episode. The voice actors sound rehearsed and unnatural. Perhaps that’s because the script is written by someone who seems to be trying too hard to sound intelligent. It’s off putting. Skip this one.
The story is intriguing, and I really like the voices of the victims. The narrator seems robotic, and it’s clear she’s reading from a script. Doesn’t sound natural like a good storyteller should. Only on episode 3 - maybe she improves.
1. Just because this college has famous alumni doesn’t mean they should narrate the story! Monotone. It’s a verbal sleeping pill.
She managed to be boring and exploitive at the same time.
2. I agree with the guy who wrote “paying for Wondery is like paying a cover charge at the dollar store”.
3. Seriously Wondery why are you bringing Trump into this? Are you still wearing a mask?
I almost threw my phone in the train tracks when she said Santos Rosario was from El Salvador on the first episode… how hard is it to get someone’s ethnicity and identity right?! His family is from the Dominican Republic and put some respect on that! NOT ALL HISPANICS ARE THE SAME WTFFFF I don’t know if I can keep listening due to this VERY obvious inconsistencies. Makes me really angry this is how white erasure works. Cannot stand it.
Narrator has little control over her voice and isn’t able to add nuance to her sentences. She also sounds smug or as if she doesn’t actually understand the complexity of what has happened here. Very off-putting. None of the actors seem to be able to imagine themselves as real people. Poorly cast, poorly directed.
Wondery is my least favorite producer. Paying for Wondery content is the equivalent of paying a cover charge to walk into the Dollar Tree. The story itself isn’t interesting enough to pay for twice- I subscribe to Hulu.
This is a fascinating and, ultimately, horrifying story of yet another mediocre, insufferable blowhard drawing under his spell impressionable people who are searching for meaning. The narrator wasn’t my favorite, but pretty good. The sixth episode won’t play, though, and that’s infuriating because I want to hear the conclusion.
Ya know, I rarely leave ratings and reviews on podcasts, but I had to speak up on this. Just because audio of these people enduring literal torture is available doesn’t mean it should be slapped up on the internet in a pay walled podcast. Though I can’t confirm, it seems like the victims were not involved in the making of this podcast. All information appears to come from other reports, court findings and books. I am a wondery subscriber and this one missed the mark in a BIG way. Listening to this felt like I was exploiting and revictimizing the survivors.
Like so many others, I watched the Hulu documentary and was riveted. I was prepared to pay whatever nominal cost Wondery was throwing at me given it’s reputation for quality. I’m not sure what’s happened to that quality, or if it never existed to begin with, but I’ll hang on to my money, thanks. I’ll ask Siri to read any of the dozens of excellently researched and produced pieces on the topic from reputable institutions - all of which managed to somehow correctly identify the Rosario family as being from Dominican Republic - instead. This fact is a critical part of the narrative, and the first episode’s inability to get that and other important aspects correct - not to mention the trite, overly produced background music and poorly executed voice-acting - showed me a deep lack of respect for the sorry and it’s victims, but also a lack of attention to detail.
In a world where fact can be a matter of opinion, a podcast about one man’s ability to distort reality for a group of people by manipulating what they believed to be facts can’t be this sloppy. Be premium, and add value. Or be free and lower expectations. But whatever you do, do better, Wondery.
Very intense subject, and episodes. Some of the real audio is really hard to listen to. Definitely be careful if you have been in a abusive relationship of any kind.
But, very informative and clear. Even tho it’s hard to hear sometimes.
The line between sharing to much and not enough can be a fine one- it’s well balanced in this podcast.
One pointer would be, use different voice actors for different victims. It could make it a little easier to follow.
I do understand the side of using the same for all. Nothing that ruins the experience- just needs a little more attentive listening from my side.
Sad sad sad that it happened. Needless to say.
It is well told here tho.
I like listened to the first episode for free and have been waiting to listen to episode and it still requires a subscription.
Why would I pay to listen to this when there is now a Hulu series about this same topic?
I am a huge fan of podcasts and listen to a variety but will continue to listen for free as there are enough in my rotation to keep listening. Just something to keep in mind.