Audible Review - Dykes to Watch Our For

From 1983 to 2008, Alison Bechdel's suburban sapphists gave us the foundations of much of our queer representation. Will & Grace, The L Word and Queer as Folk can all attribute their foundations to Bechdel's comic strip. In 2020, The Essential Dykes to Watch Our For was released, and became my own personal obsession.

Since then rumors swirled about a Netflix show, but as of 2023, nothing. 

Thankfully, this June (for Pride month) Audible released Dykes to Watch Our For, reenvisioned into 20 minute sitcom-like episodes. The translation feels impossible. How does a comic, an almost strictly visual medium, translate to an audio only sans any visuals? The answer: effortlessly.

Through both sharp written scripts and outstanding voice acting, Dykes to Watch Out For comes alive. Each character you know and love, whether it's Mo, Lois, Clarice, or the many others, sound exactly as you would imagine. Performances feel emphatic and funny. Meanwhile, the narrator is none other than Jane Lynch, who adds a whole new dimension. Opening and closing every episode, while offering insight and interlude, Lynch is in her element. Saucy, sometimes sexy, it's my favorite of any performance. Additionally, every scene is an audio feast. A restaurant will bring you background chatter and clinging silverware, a march in D.C. brings Pride music, vocal chants and speakers in the background. The world becomes fully realized.

If you're familiar with the series, you know much of the content within these 10 episodes. Mo's starting to engage in a relationship while getting a job at Madwimmin Books, Clarice and Toni are facing marital woes, and Lois' promiscuity doesn't seem to be paying off. There's no "new" content here, but hearing these moments played out feels fresher than ever. In the comics, much of these moments played out over the course of dozens of strips with numerous interludes in-between; now, everything is contained and easy to follow. 

This is going to sound blasphemous: in some ways, this is the best Dykes has ever been. It feels modern, but the story is very much Regan era 80s. The humor still hits, the characters are still endearing, and the political prowess feels more important than ever. If there's a complaint, it's that it's only 10 episodes. I hope Audible continues to give Dykes to Watch Out For all the attention it deserves. It's an unbelievable achievement. Funny. Clever. And Important. The best listen of the year. I want more, now.

Dykes to Watch Out For (Only from Audible)
Release Date: June 1st, 2023
MSRP: Free with Audible subscription

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