The tradeoffs of parallel broadcasts


New Member
I'm a latecomer (just got to episode 100), so I am worried this was already discussed (couldn't find any trace of it in a quick search of the forums). I tweeted a condensed version of this to @tolkienprof but I have no idea if he reads his mentions.

I get sad when Corey reflects on how old he and his kids will be before he finishes. Also, life could interfere somehow and the project may be at risk. I don't want to sound histrionic, but nevertheless it occurred to me, despite being absolutely none of my business, that the approach of ExLOTR can be parallelized. The strategy of the discussion appears to be to confine the bulk of the analysis to only what we know at a given point in the story, but liberally mode-switch to converse about what happens later, and in other works, because it informs the reading as well. And furthermore we assume every audience member has already read the whole work. This allows the novels to be unbundled from each other if desired. Even down to the half-novel (book) level, and frankly the chapter level.

So for example, what if there were two additional _parallel_ broadcasts, ExTTT and ExROTK every week?

- way, way more work in the short term -- 20 years of work condensed into < 10 (not the real numbers -- I have no idea what they'd be)
- not enough hours in the day, see previous con
- all those field trips...
- it would attenuate the attendance by the awesome gang that are so integral to the discussion. Possible deal killer here.
- it's super lame not to follow the linear order of the story all the way through

- cover all the material before turning, say, 55, and publish the whole thing! (I'm the same age as Corey, I sympathize here)
- no loss in the analysis -- the same methodology applies across the whole story
- episodes could cross-reference and call out to each other the way ExLOTR already calls out to various Mythgard and other Signum courses, so it would form _almost_ the same interlocked global discussion. There would be times that some thread was touched first in ExROTK and then in ExFOTR, which is anachronistic compared to the timeline we're on, but the point is to look from all sides and that would end up happening.
- the prologue and appendices would be in scope too!

I wanted to post on the outside chance it was interesting. I'll finish catching up in a couple months and maybe have more to say about LOTR itself.

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
I'm 30 years older than Corey; I'm aiming to last til Rohan, but Lothlorien might be more realistic. :) However, doing two classes a week in this kind of detail would make me dizzy. And preparing it would probably age Corey faster than he's ageing now. There is the whole class schedule plus all the administrative stuff he does. Let him spend more time with those growing-up sons.

I'm enjoying this class so much (and much more so since it went live on YouTube) I can imagine myself years from now, forgetting almost everything else, barely able to see, but still spending my Tuesday nights here.