The best podcast episode I listened to today was the unexpected return of an old favorite: Tim Goodman’s TV Talk Machine. The show ended in 2020. I never unsubscribed, and was surprised this week to find new episodes waiting for me. I would not have noticed them if there hadn’t been a redesign of Overcast, my podcast player, for me to look at this week.

It’s been 612 pandemic-fueled days. But we’ve taken the tarp off the TV Talk Machine, replaced a few parts, and are ready to kick it into gear.

Tim spent the last two years writing TV scripts! He’s going to keep doing that, and write a book, and also has launched a newsletter on Substack so he can write about television again. And… did we mention the TV Talk Machine is back, too? It’s true!

In this episode Tim explains where he’s been, where he’s going, and the origin of his new project, which launches today! Also Jason raves about “Station Eleven” and believe it or not, there’s a letter from a listener!

Tim Goodman was a TV critic who had clearly burned out by early 2020. He and co-host Jason Snell ended the podcast shortly after Goodman quit his TV critic job and started a secret (at the time) TV development deal. What I learned from this podcast back then is that it must be exhausting to be a TV critic, because it is impossible to keep up with all the TV shows and TV episodes coming out all the time, and because you have to watch shows you don’t even like sometimes in order to write about them or to be culturally current. In general, I figured that he had watched too much TV and got sick of it. This episode confirmed that I was right.

In the past I learned about a bunch of great TV shows from this podcast. That isn’t why it was fun to listen to, though. The subject matter is usually very light, and Goodman and Snell chat like old friends.