Nice Try!

by Curbed
Arts #31Design #3

Avery Trufelman explores stories of people who tried to design a better world — and what happens when those designs don’t go according to plan. Season one, Utopian, is about the perpetual search for the perfect place. From Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

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Recent Reviews
  • PianoMan16
    LOVE this podcast. Really interesting stuff here and the host is fantastic.
  • De Austin 13
    Good Concept, But Not Much Nuance
    Love the idea for this, the format, etc. but found the reporting fairly uninformative.
  • paperblots
    Will there be a season 2?
    I love this podcast so much guys.
  • Onairtalent
    I love this show
    My favorite podcast. Please make a season 2!
  • revolucion0
    What a refreshing pod—easy to listen to otherwise dense historical events. Narration connects the dots to themes today and it’s just great. Don’t miss!
  • KagsAM
    Nicely done
    Very original podcast idea and very informative. Like the thread that runs through. Or perhaps many threads: utopia, privilege, cult like ideas.
  • Pellakin
    Great premise, poor execution
    I love the concept, the drive to try our hand at creating an ideal society and the human flaws that inevitably bring it crashing down. There’s a lot of under explored territory here, it could have been great. Unfortunately the research and delivery leave much to be desired. I understand that your ultimate goal is entertainment and that sometimes that involves omitting known facts or investigating commonly dismissed theories. This sort of pulp history can be fun, and I’d happily play along. What I can’t get behind is presenting this heavily edited or manipulated history as fact. I know that some people come to you to learn about history, you do them a disservice if you’re not honest with them. What’s worse is that after listening a while I got the impression that you really wanted this to be truth, that it just fits the narrative for you. I wanted to like this program, and I really tried, but there’s just too much opinion presented as objective fact.
  • Karlaatx
    Eye rolling pretentious podcast
    Ughhh so so bad. The hosts think they are the most brilliant people in the world, so cringe worthy. So self important and unlistenable.
  • ArtTeacher009
    So interesting
    I love the topic and the way it's presented is very compelling.
  • jackson without an x
    New season soon please
  • Cece.Rider
    ...and like....
    Great except for the constant use of "like" among bright, supposedly educated and articulate, young women. Seriously? It dumbs down, like, everything.
  • cabrizzlelizzle
    Avery Trufelman is a goddamn legend
  • #%=€€??
    Love this concept.
    Great, thought provoking series. Suggestion for next season: Fountaingrove, CA. Good job. Utopia does exist... in our minds. Jeff
  • jaypcue
    Pure Bunk
    This podcast conflicts with well-researched and authoritative academic works on the early settlers, such as Harvard prof Bernard Bailyn's "The Barbarous Years...British North America...1600-1675". It is an amateurish attempt to promote a false narrative(s), pure and simple. Pass. Recommended by Reason your homework, Gillespie.
  • LadyAntoinette
    I love this podcast! It’s a great journey to take and there is so much to be learned from the past - thank you!
  • CaitScarpetta
    This podcast is AWESOME, super entertaining & informative.
  • kctww
    Good for all interests
    If you like history, design, religion, science, politics or great storytelling this is the podcast for you. Every episode unearths an event you probably never heard of but is very revealing, very educational and probably weird. Tightly produced with good interviews, narration and framing. Wonderful series beginning to end!
  • ChAnGeOfLuCk
    Binge Worthy!
    I couldn’t stop listening to the amazing pod cast. It amazed me episode after episode to see how greed of took over most of the utopias. I can’t wait until next season!!!
  • acavaminombre
    Why is this not 5 🙃
    Never review podcasts but I’m giving this a 5 cause I can’t believe it has anything but 5!
  • Jersey777
    So much for received racism
    The extrapolation of racism in every decision white people have ever made is nauseating. I can’t listen to this anymore. It’s a shame - girls got talent but is much to willing to promote false narratives
  • jazz and books
    Fascinating and informative
    I’ll never look at architecture or silverware the same. Thanks for making the miles fly by on my last road trip!
  • alnative
    America’s first Utopia!!!
    Love the podcast 100% amazing! Wondering why you have not covered the story of America’s first Utopia? Fairhope was America’s first single tax Colony, and so named because it had a Fair Hope to succeed.... just wondering if maybe it’s a future episode!? Thanks again for the awesome content
  • Buck2323
    Very well done. And once you start, very hard to stop. Well worth a listen!
  • ncbernie64
    Right wing snowflakes at it again
    This is a great podcast and if you read any of the low reviews it becomes clear the problem is snowflakes not getting FacTS aNd lOgiC!
  • netherland again
    Live in utopia
    It is so fulfilling, living in these perfect societies until you hear a faint knocking sound and then sadly, all the wheels fall off! How come it doesn’t work? there is a leader who’s gone off the deep end or if the utopia has rigid rules that are followed or imposed too strictly. Once the rules are relaxed, leadership fails, utopia can be lived individually bounded by the borders the 13.7 billion light years across universe, or in your town or city or just in your own mind, or inside this podcast
  • Buddy14309888
    Republican snow flakes...
    Based on some of these reviews, it seems cry baby republicans don’t like this healthy dose of reality and truth. White privilege deniers and MAGA hats, you’ve been warned... Love the podcast! Keep crushin’ it!
  • FSHS.A
    Where are the facts
    The first and last episode I listen to “Biosphere 2”. Early in the episode Ms. Trufelman states that if you do a Google search on “Biosphere 2” one can find little information on this subject. I immediately did a Internet search and found this was not true. Where are the source of facts for this podcast? True, the story Ms. Trufelman tells may not be found, but information on Biosphere 2 is readily available to the general public. As I continued to listen to the podcast I enjoyed learning the history behind the beginnings of Biosphere 2. Then out of the blue came a comment from Trufelman that the eight biospherians were all white. How does this fact play into the science behind the story? Further, how is it relevant? If Trufelman insists on commenting in the race of the biospherians, did she do research into whether people of other races were purposely excluded? Why not include that as part of the podcast? Where are the facts? I must say I enjoyed the podcast to the end, UNTIL Trufelman makes personal comments not related at all to Biosphere 2. She goes in about racism and inequality of women and how she wishes these mistreated (my rephrasing) people need to build there own Utopia. These comments totally turned me off. In regard to the existence of a Utopia, does Ms. Trufelman think a Utopia exists or can exist? Since we can probably agree there is no Utopia on earth (as of today), why does Ms. Trufelman think this is the case? What would it take for a Utopia to exist? Was there ever a Utopia on earth? These questions would make for a worthwhile podcast, but a podcast where irrelevant facts or narrator opinions are thrown in aren’t worth my time.
  • nlerb21
    Fascinating and well-crafted story telling
    The stories offer an extremely critical and interesting look at the failures in history as well as draw parallels in the present time, making strong arguments why we should still care about these same lessons. Captivating story telling done artfully by Avery Trufelman as always!
  • Mzmoxee
    Fascinating and well done
    Well researched and fun
  • George Ladner
    Well Researched
    The moderator presents the topic well and the pod cast team does excellent research. Great story telling.
    Interesting and well crafted!
    Great podcast presenting alternate and little known histories. The episodes are fascinating and well structured. Love it!
  • FlorianGray
    Fascinating subjects, presenter keen to moralize
    Why, yes, Nazis did horrible things and the patriarchy hardly suits everyone. Racism is nasty. It seems as though the presenter both assumes we know these things and that we need to know she believes them. This would be fine in a YouTube or social media rant. However, this listener didn’t sign up for vague moralizing and boilerplate analyses that do great disservice to just how complex a concept like racism can be. If you’re not going to give a subject proper treatment, it may be best to leave it out. Especially if you don’t understand it. Or at least put the buzzword moralizing on a private Facebook post. Spare us, please.
  • CsMrozak
    Lack of nuance and critical thinking
    For me, the lack of nuance and critical analysis makes it difficult to listen to any more of these episodes. Some extremely ideologically driven points are expressed as facts by those interviewed and then the narrator just embraces the point and tries to make some sort of sweeping yet illogical philosophical statement afterward. I only listened to Herland, and I am not sure I will take the time (or can bring myself) to listen to the others. I was really repulsed by the museum curator’s perspective on what the founding principles (and those who wrote it) of this country “really intended” and that her success is their failure. Really unfortunate that that comment was just embraced and pushed forward at the end of the episode. It was as if that perspective was just presumed accurate/wise/accepted. The final statements by the narrator about the ultimate hope and good intent that striving for a utopia ultimately brings us is interesting to me. I wonder if the same was said at the end of the fascist utopia episode. The core principle issue with why Utopia’s don’t work clearly has not been discovered by this episode and judging by the final statements, I don’t imagine it will be :/ Ps her narration style and voice are lovely and not an issue for me at
  • s000phie
    Really enjoying this podcast, especially the biosphere episode. There is nothing wrong with the host's voice! She actually has quite a nice radio voice. Looking forward to more episodes.
  • D. J. Keller Williams
    Love it!
    The stories are fascinating. I am listening to each a second time. And Avery’s voice is captivating and rapturous.
  • winningmillenial
    Amazing podcast, but seems to trigger maga snowflakes 🤷🏼‍♂️
    This is a well-researched, incredibly entertaining podcast with some ocasional hard truths that are too much for right-wing maga snowflakes ❄️🤱🏼 they need to act like adults, quit their whining, and go back to their safe spaces like Fox News. Avery, keep your fantastic podcasts coming!
  • Singh awk jam
    WONDERFUL! Ignore the negative reviews. I love this show, and the way you tell these stories.
  • ScoSut
    Sad, so much potential!
    The stories are interesting but ruined with the hosts voice inflections and personal agendas come screaming through. I’d listen more if this series was done by a historian with no agenda. The white man is not the root of all evil. If zero stars were an option......Good bye!
  • jdawslloyd
    Great new series
    Will be following closely to see where this new series goes in their future seasons.
  • waggles7litters
    More nuance please.
    It would not be hard to have a more nuanced understanding of the motivations of whites in episode three. The podcast gets far as “racism” and can’t get any further. If the people in that time believed that having a mixed neighborhood would result in devaluing their investment, then you should ask why they think that. Knowing the answer would add poignancy to the success of Concord rather than just saying racism. You can’t blame people for wanting to protect their investment, and the choice of wealthier blacks to live in Concord points to elements of classism, rather than just plain racism. This makes sense if more blacks at that time were poorer. Furthermore, the painful moralizing on black home ownership at the end of the podcast ignores the multitude of reasons of why black home ownership is low, such as very low marriage rate, high out of wedlock birthrate and low high school graduation rate. Those point to personal problems that exclude racism as a single cause. Still, I enjoy the show even with the large dose of bias and weak inquiry.
  • kocb
    Stunning reality
    As a librarian I know Dystopian lit is a very popular genre with my patrons. I find this podcast so well done and insightful! The magic and pursuit of Utopias all gone wrong. Great production amazing derp dives in obscure historical facts about well known and lesser known “perfect societies”! Ism always blown away! Thank you so much!
  • Karinaner
    Well done! Really interesting subject matter. I have read the negative reviews, and it would appear that they are written by white men who can’t handle their privilege
  • Infidelle
    Interesting and Fun
  • Dkakalaozhdmr
    Fantastic Series
    Fantastic series. The host does a great job. All very interesting and relevant information. All of the one star reviews sound like angry white 70 year olds who’ve never strayed from Fox News. Don’t listen to them. 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • Cardinal 55
    So good.
    The episodes are all engaging and even entertaining, but the Germania episode (especially, its concluding thoughts) is absolutely profound. History taught well!
  • Burnsga
    Excellent series
    This was a very intelligent, informative, enjoyable podcast. I learned much!!!
  • LCuser
    Any podcast that has Caity Weaver as a guest host is a 5 star podcast in my book! Interesting looks into various attempts at perfection, and the myriad of reasons why humans fail every time.
  • Quarline
    This is so soo good! This first season was phenomenal. I was never bored with the history stuff and I love the host! I need a new season soooonnnn
  • MT Quiver
    Leftist Propaganda imo
    Wow, these leftist hosts can't discuss 400 year old history with making anti-American remarks. I tried to be entertained, instead I was saddened by the hosts shameful political propaganda.
  • stelesandwands 1782383839293&3
    big stories for small places
    Love the immersive, self-reflective style. Takes me into communities and situations completely alien to me, presents them in a critical and empathetic light, and makes them feel familiar and logical in their context.
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