In the audio drama podcast The Diarist, Andrea Davies is just like any other girl; hard working and poised, she isn’t ashamed to admit her intentions are to secure a job until she can find herself a husband. And, honestly, she couldn’t have picked a better place to scout out recruits. After graduating from Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School, Andrea earns a position at one of New York’s biggest advertising firms where the executives are not-so-subtly compared to sharks hunting for their next meal. It’s intimidating but surely one of them could make an honest, well-to-do, country club socialite out of her.
But a surprise promotion brings her closer with her boss, Richard Hayes, in a way that could only be described as scandalous. Andrea happily takes on a new role as Richard’s personal secretary, wife and mother to his young daughter. All while Richard is still married to his psychotic wife. It’s a neo-noir thriller about temptation, love and where things are not always as they seem.
Now I’m not going to lie, the build up in The Diarist was a bit slow for my usual taste. My original impression was that Andrea falls for some guy that’s obviously off limits and it just so happens he’s into some real shady stuff. Which isn’t entirely far off. Yet that’s not quite right either…But now that I’m all caught up I get that it simply could not have been done any other way; it’s clear what creator Donna Barrow-Green was going for and I love it so very much. The best, and probably only, way I can describe this podcast is if Alfred Hitchcock decided to write a love story.
These days noir fiction is slowly but surely becoming something of a dying art. So it was fun to rediscover my love for all things noir through this story (I may or may not have bought a bunch of Alfred Hitchcock movies). But what I love even more than that has to be the voice actors. With a fantastic production team and music backing them up, the cast gives a flawless performance that really sucks you into another world. I just really love this podcast. I love the music, how it feels like more of an audio book than a podcast, how they show how mental illness was actually dealt with in the 1950’s and Margaret Hayes; my favorite character. If I had to give any legitimate criticism it would be the lack of merch. Other than that? It’s spectacular.
At 16 episodes currently, each ranging from 20-40 minutes, The Diarist is available wherever you get your podcasts and guaranteed to become your new favorite guilty pleasure.