Review: The Unwritable Rant: Bourbon Fueled Debauchery of The Best Kind
Join author and occasional misanthrope Juliette Miranda for bourbon-soaked personal stories and celebrity interviews. From misadventures working in the music industry, dating disasters and an incautious life with “her guy,” Juliette knocks back 30 minutes of relatable, revealing, and comically real stories. She occasionally invites top comedians, actors, and musicians to join her and share their own stories about life and more. Every episode is paired with a short bourbon review, because all good stories should come with a side of booze.
- Excellent audio quality
- Highly engaging stories
- Great storytelling style
- Variety of tone
- Funny but also can be very emotional
- You really get to know the recurring “characters”
- Bourbon reviews feel disjointed from main content*
- Celebrity interviews don’t fit with regular episode style*
- Vulgarity/ Debauchery
- Some stories can get quite graphic
*Segments are no longer part of current episode format.
What is The Unwritable Rant?
The “Unwritable Rant” is a monologue style, semi-autobiographical, storytelling show, hosted by author, Juliette Miranda. Every Sunday, Juliette cracks open a bottle of her favorite liquor and shares the many many many… tales of often alcohol infused crazy that just seem to encompass her entire existence. Whether it’s the trail of questionable musicians she’s dated, her mom the witch and dad the physicist (explain that one to me,) or her zany cast of friends, Juliette’s pool of WTF stories runeth over.
Earlier episodes also began with a sampling and review of different whiskies. Although I am not much of a drinker, I will say her descriptions of the flavor notes of bourbons made me really consider trying them. If only to understand what the hell she was talking about.
The Good: Amazing, Emotional, Hilarious, “True” Stories
I’ll just get this part out of the way now, the show sounds great. Audio quality is top notch. Of course, that’s what you get when the host’s husband/ producer is a musician and knows his way around audio equipment. Not to mention that, and I mean this completely out of love, Juliette has a smoothness and seductiveness in her voice, even when being utterly ridiculous, that could likely land her a small fortune as a phone-sex operator.
Everything else you can say about this show can really be summed up by saying that Juliette is a great storyteller. She has described the stories as “mostly true,” which to me sounds more like “personal details have been changed to protect the guilty.” Normally you would say protect the innocent, but if you’ve ever listened to “The Unwritable Rant” you know that very rarely are anybody in her stories innocent.
If you haven’t figured out by now, the majority of her stories involve either musicians, or alcohol, or a combination of the two in varying proportions. Occasionally she’ll throw in a story about her family, but even those stories descend into chaos faster than you can turn a tree stump into a crater. And if you want to know how fast that is, well you just need to listen to the show.
But what kind of stories can she possibly tell without an equally crazy cast of “characters.” It seems that every person in Juliette’s life from “her guy,” to her parents, to her friends like “Texas” and “Crazytown,” and even her exes like “Jackass” and the “Pinball Wizard,” all have one thing in common. They’re all batshit crazy on some level. And all that crazy is only matched by the flame-haired queen of crazy herself, Juliette. It’s just such a fun variety of personalities and neuroses that you never know what could happen with anyone. And even though I don’t know exactly how real all of the people in her stories are, I do know that any time you hear her mention her friend “Crazytown,” shit’s about to get turned up to 11 and they’re breaking off the knob.
That’s not to say that everything is all drunken debauchery. I mean, yes, a lot of her stories are either straight up drunken debauchery or debauchery adjacent. But there are also some more emotional stories that creep in every now and then. Being kind of a sentimental type, (ok fine I’m a big emotional bitch,) I really enjoy those sort of palette cleanser stories. Although I will admit that on more than one occasion I have actually either teared up or straight up cried by the end. Episode 100, which reveals the end of her relationship with “Crazytown,” and episode 212, which celebrates the meeting of her recently departed cat “Bugaboo” both hit me like a bourbon barrel to the stomach and left me fighting back tears while listening at work. Did I mention that I’m a big emotional bitch? I’m pretty sure I mentioned that I’m a big emotional bitch.
The Bad: It was kind of disjointed, and gets pretty raunchy- if you can’t handle that sort of thing.
So here’s the thing. Just about every issue I’ve had with this podcast in the past has actually been removed from it. But, for the sake of the back catalogue, I’ll point them out.
I’ve gone on and on about all of Juliette’s personal stories that make up the bulk of the content. That is, in all honesty, the only reason I listen. But there are a handful of episodes that stray from that format. On occasion Juliette will dip into her background as a rock writer and have interviews with various musicians, comedians, and other celebrities. Two things get me about the interview episodes. First, it’s a hard switch from the bourbon soaked stories that you’ve come to expect after listening for any amount of time, and second, the audio quality for the interviews takes a dive like it’s aiming for gold at the summer Olympics. In all fairness, this is something I’ve discussed with “David the Producer” in the past. His answer was basically that celebrities really don’t seem to care about good audio. They generally can’t be bothered, even those who have podcasts, to do much more than a regular phone or skype call. As a podcast editor, I feel his pain.
I will admit that the interviews themselves are great. The guests are amazing and they tell some great stories from their varied backgrounds. But the interviews really should be their own podcast, or perhaps a youtube channel. *wink*
The other complaint I had was that, before episode 220, every episode opened with a bourbon/whiskey review. Although I liked hearing how Juliette would intricately describe the various flavor notes of different whiskeys, and it made me curious about trying the different beverages she reviewed, I really didn’t care. I don’t drink. And although talking about alcohol fit in with the theme of “bourbon soaked stories” it didn’t really fit with the overall content.
The thing is, both of these issues have actually been handled. Juliette has moved her whiskey reviews to her youtube channel. She has also started doing weekly livestreams which have also included some celebrity guests from past episodes. For the most part, the podcast is now just the stories, and the interviews and whiskey reviews are for the youtube side. Personally, I think this is a good move as it keeps the sort of disparate parts of the show in their own spaces. I realize that I am nobody to complain about disparate segments, but I’m a complicated person. Sue me. (Please don’t sue me, I really have nothing worth taking.)
The only other negative that I could say, and this one is more for general audiences and not me personally, is actually just the maturity of the content. There’s a reason I keep referring to it as “bourbon fueled debauchery.” And I’m fairly certain that Juliette would agree with that description. Her stories are frequently about getting drunk and partying with rock stars, or about her favorite bars in different places, or about some of the more intimate details of some of her past. And let’s just say, she doesn’t hold back her language. Whether it’s talking about a guy who had to use a cock-ring, or seeing exactly 13 tits on a nude beach, (which I had to ask her about there being an odd number) Juliette doesn’t mince words. If she’s talking about fucking a guitarist she’s gonna say she’s fucking a guitarist, not making love with a musician. Blunt, straightforward, point, blank, period. Personally, I don’t mind it, but there is definitely a group of “pearl clutchers” who would slut shame her over damn near every episode. So I offer you that note. If you can’t handle that type of content, move along.
TLDR; It’s just good dirty drunken fun
Look, if you can’t handle dirty words or mature content, this podcast is not for you. And obviously it is NOT family friendly. But if you don’t mind some foul-mouthed tales of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, I guarantee you will enjoy this show. Between the crazy characters, the ridiculous situations, the emotional swings, and the overall good vibes in the stories, there’s no reason not to listen to this show, unless of course you’re a prude. As much as I like the whiskey reviews and interview content as content, I just don’t feel like they necessarily belonged in this podcast with it’s regular stories. Either way, it’s a must listen from me every week. Four stars.