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New Discovery

New Discovery: Things Fell Apart

A new weekly column hits the ground running by taking a look at Jon Ronson's masterpiece

11:00 AM GMT on January 25, 2024

Welcome to New Discovery, a new weekly column where we take a deeper dive into a significant recent release. Today, Anya G. Spence kicks things off having binged the new series of Things Fell Apart.

Jon Ronson is back with another season of his hit BBC series of Things Fell Apart, and it is better than ever. The story pulls together like a fiction – which unsurprisingly (spoiler alert) – is also the whole point, and it is almost too easy to listen to the whole podcast in a single sitting.

Sticking with the theme of Culture Wars that pull apart the social fabric of the world as we know it, this season focuses on the parallels of how the pandemic, lockdowns, protests and right-wing media have come together over the past few years to divide the US – and the rest of the world. 

Masterfully, Ronson is able to connect red thread from stories that seem disconnected across different episodes. Without giving too much away, we’ll just say: it is easy to dismiss that a restaurant focusing on insect-based protein could form part of a massive conspiracy involving the World Economic Forum… but there is a red thread there, too. 

The stories are so engaging and the connections that Ronson draws on are so unexpected that the entertainment value of the show is almost equal to its value. But, in no uncertain terms – this is also a must-listen to understanding the context of the polarising opinions we are all faced with daily, if not in real life – then definitely on the internet. 

Things Fell Apart S2 exceeds expectations of what a narrative docuseries could do in just 8 episodes, and it is a lesson in storytelling, in audio and otherwise.

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