From Gimlet, the same network behind Conviction and Homecoming, comes The Horror of Dolores Roach, staring Daphne Rubin-Vega and Bobby Cannavale. Written by playwright Aaron Mark, The Horror of Dolores Roach is inspired by Mark’s Off-Broadway play, Empanada Loca. After spending sixteen years in prison, New York native Dolores Roach returns to find her old neighborhood completely different, her boyfriend long gone and she must face the fact she had nowhere to go. Her luck turns around when she runs into old friend, Luis, who not only gives her a place to stay but gives her a seemingly endless supply of weed. Dolores is eager to get her life back on track but things quickly go downhill in a spiral of love, lies, murder, and occasional cannibalism. It’s a bit like Sweeney Todd set in Brooklyn.
This isn’t the first Gimlet series I’ve listened to so I knew I was in for a treat and they certainly did not disappoint. I’d go as far as to say this is Gimlet’s best work to date. First of all, Daphne Rubin-Vega deserves all the kudos in the world. Her performance as “Magic Hands Daphne” is equal parts remarkable, likable, and sinister. Rubin-Vega is a fantastic storyteller that will grab your attention instantly; and it isn’t just because of her lovely accent. Between the storytelling itself, the fitting background noise, and the editing, it feels like you’re listening to an actual movie. Which it has the potential to be.
This story has a little something for all those with an appreciation for the strange and unusual. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll horrify you, it’ll keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to visit your local empanada shop. Overall, The Horror of Dolores Roach scores high points in every department that matters in a podcast. It’s unpredictability will keep you charmed and hooked from the get go. It’s guaranteed to become your new favorite podcast, if you can stomach it.
Wicked Rating: 9/10