If there's one thing true crime fans know, it's every family has its secrets. From murders to medical scandals, there's always so much more to the story than just the crime itself, and that's what the characters of Gillian Jacobs and Josh Gad's podcast Blood Ties discover along with listeners. The new podcast miniseries may be fictional, but the story definitely rings true.
Blood Ties tells the story of siblings Eleonore (Gillian) and Michael (Gad), who lose their parents unexpectedly in a plane crash. Soon, dark secrets emerge about their father, a world-renowned surgeon, and they must decide how they want to honor his legacy while coming to terms with his past. Further complicating things, when Eleonore decides to dig deeper into her father's life and career, she gets involved with a journalist (Amy Landecker), who makes her realize some unspeakable truths.
"Over the course of this podcast, Eleonore's learning that there’s a lot of things she doesn’t know about him and she's going to be really surprised," Jacobs tells Elite Daily. "She’s sort of the audience surrogate in learning what has actually been going on."
Audio drama provides a uniquely personal platform for this story. Throughout the six episodes of the miniseries, listeners learn about Eleonore's father through recordings and interviews with people who knew him. Eleonore uncovers these same details alongside the listeners, and her reactions to them make the revelations all the more heartbreaking. It's like listening to a true crime story while sitting next to the family members of the criminals.
Blood Ties might feel like a true crime story because it's part of the popular podcast network Wondery, which has released several podcasts in that genre.
"There are other Wondery shows like Bad Batch and Dr. Death that have also touched on some of the other issues that they’re exploring in this show," Jacobs explains. "I think they did a beautiful job of touching a lot of the themes that they’ve explored in their nonfiction shows and making a really compelling fictional story for this one."
Jacobs is known for her on-screen roles in TV shows and movies including Community, Love, and Don't Think Twice. But recording a podcast posed a new challenge for her.
"The biggest challenge is that I don’t like the sound of my own voice," Jacobs says with a laugh. "So that’s not really an issue when you are recording it. But listening back, you can’t really escape the sound of your own voice when you’re doing an audio drama. I had to just make peace with that, that that’s the way my voice sounds and I don’t really love it, but it is what it is."
Luckily, that struggle was offset by Jacobs' experience recording with her co-stars.
"I’m so excited that we were able to record together in person," she says. "I think that helped so much with doing all the scenes. A lot of times when I’ve done voices on animated shows, you’re most of the time by yourself in isolation. So this was wonderful in that they really got all of us together in the same studio."
Jacobs is excited for listeners to go on a journey alongside her character. "There’s a lot of twists and turns and surprises and I think it’s really compelling, so I hope people go along for the ride," she says.
Jacobs’ hopes have certainly come true. Since Blood Ties premiered on Dec. 17, 2019, fans have flocked to the series, and it has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Apple Podcasts. On Jan. 21, Jacobs and Gad released an interview to give listeners the behind-the-scenes details about Blood Ties, which served as the seventh and final episode of Season 1.
In a podcast full of unanswered questions, the biggest mystery is whether Blood Ties will get a Season 2. Jacobs addressed this question in an interview with Fortune. “I think it would be great to do another season,” she said. “There’s still so much there, the mystery of the season, the characters themselves. Wondery’s created this world I just want to know more about.” However, as of June 2020, neither the podcast network, nor the Blood Ties stars, have made any official announcements.
Blood Ties is available on all major podcast players now.
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