I listened to the first episode alone in my apartment at night and was too creeped out to continue. It was a similar experience watching X-Files in my room at 1am: not exactly a gentle prelude to sleep. For me, X-Files requires either daylight or company, and so does Night Vale (ironically, I guess).
Fast forward to Monday, I decided to give WTNV another chance, this time at work. It is much more palatable there. I listened to the pilot again, and now I'm seven episodes in and ready to talk about it.
- Most unusual objects that appear (and frequently disappear, leaving no trace, or so we are instructed to believe) in Night Vale are accompanied by a sound (described, not demonstrated). I like that there's a lot of low, sotto voce humming going on.
- There is also a lot of glowing. One episode I've listened to is devoted to the presence of a glowing object. Occasionally, we listeners are counseled (by the Council) that the glowing of everyday objects is normal.
- On more than one occasion, "a word from our sponsor" is literally one word ("carp," for example). Once, it was a sound.
- I am worried about Carlos. Night Vale is a rather dangerous place to live, all the more for those who would dare to examine it.
- As if the show weren't already immersed in beautiful, haunting non-sequiturs, each one begins with a demented aphorism before Cecil announces, "Welcome to Night Vale." There is also a closing proverb, read by one of the producers after the credits. One such proverb: "Men are from Mars; women are from Venus; Earth is a hallucination; podcasts are dreams."
- Although the podcast features a lot of background music (and some foreground music), it and Cecil's voice are the only things you ever hear (with only one exception, so far). As I mentioned in point #1, sounds are described, but you never hear them.
- I felt the need to address the corrupt, totalitarian regime, but I suddenly and mysteriously no longer do.
That's enough for now, lest I spoil anything. Most of the universe can listen on iTunes. As an Android user, I've been listening via Podbay (which you can do from your mobile thing or computer).