Eight years ago, friends Craig McFarland and Jeremy Goeckner began gathering around a microphone regularly to drink beer and talk movies. Their first ever podcast was discussing Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Podcasts about other TV shows and movies followed. Their audiences grew. Their state public radio station, NPR Illinois, picked up on their insights and good humor, and made them an affiliate. What began as a hobby, exploded.
“I never thought in a million years, we’d get to be interviewing cast members from our favorite TV shows. It’s been one of my proudest accomplishments to build this network,” says McFarland.
The Front Row Network is for people who love movies, television, video games and all manner of pop culture. The network hosts over a dozen different podcasts, covering a wide range of TV, film, and videos, often with directors and actors as guests.
Their secret sauce, the magic that keeps people coming back for more, is the laid-back conversation between McFarland, Goeckner and their guests – genial, positive and exactly what they claim their podcasts to be – two enthusiasts gathered around a microphone and a beer, shooting the breeze and talking movies and tv as if they’re standing in a bar right next to you.
In many ways, they are the antidote to the critics who can sometimes be harsh. “We just talk about we enjoy and try not to be critical. We might acknowledge that certain films had problems, but we say what we enjoyed about them regardless, because maybe others will too,” says Goeckner.
“And we have an infectious love for what we do. We relish it. We tell people how much their art means to us,” adds McFarland, who like Goeckner is also a Dad. “In that sense, maybe we were always destined to do a Ted Lasso podcast.”
Peanut Butter and Biscuits, a Ted Lasso Fancast, is one of their most popular podcasts, the name riffing on Ted Lasso’s culinary favorites. It ranks highly alongside Beyond the Mouse, a discussion about all things Disney.
“I am not sure that I know of another show that gets the same amount of numbers and continued engagement as Ted Lasso,” says Goeckner. “We were just joking that Apple recently put out one picture of Season Three of Ted Lasso and everybody just about lost their mind about it.
“Maybe the original Game of Thrones had the same kind of pull when it started, everybody talking about it each week. But that’s insane when you think about it. A quirky comedy on Apple taking on one of the biggest, budgeted tv shows of all time.”
Other shows and films that have recently come up for discussion on the Front Row Network include You, featuring an interview with writer and producer, Sera Gamble; Shrinking with an interview with Luke Tennie; and Isle of Hope with an interview with Diane Lad.
For details: The Front Row Network.
For Peanut Butter and Biscuits – A Ted Lasso Fancast, go to wherever you get your podcasts. And a link to their most recent episode: Linktr.ee/PBBFRN