If you have Amazon Prime, and what kind of anarchist doesn’t have Amazon Prime? — you’re likely to have seen the trailer for the new series, Modern Love. In it, Anne Hathaway, looking very Gidgetesque (and yes, there’s a mention of Rita Hayworth because their elbow will be in your ribs throughout, but that’s not actually my problem with the Series,) riding her bike, helmet-less, down a picturesque Brooklyn block, flashing that 94 million dollar smile ($94million to her male costar’s billion.) Like Anne Hathaway herself, it’s an irresistible proposition — smart, dramatic episodes based on the column of the same name which appears in the New York Times Sunday Styles section. The column, curated by Daniel Jones, is a finely designed production. It’s genius is not in the specific content, (which is often wonderful and valuable but not always,) it’s in the sustainability of the design. From the number of newspaper inches to the pace of how the hero’s journey unfolds, the column lends itself to any well written essay about any relationship between any combination of people, animals, historical events, building, food, music and movies. Modern Love. Tell us your story. Brilliant concept, brilliant design. Brilliant marriage of form and content. So, of course, the New York Times had to go and fuck it up by joining forces with WBUR in Boston and creating a podcast. The podcast commits the cardinal sin of audio-making — it doesn’t seem to know or care that it is, in fact, AUDIO. It clumsily allows for a conversation about the newspaper column by first having a famous person read you that essay. THAT’S NOT WHAT PODCASTS ARE FOR. Just as good essays are for reading, good podcasts are for storytelling and for conversation. It’s a mismatch of mediums. It’s a bad marriage of form and content. But wait, there’s more. Why not, after having shoved the written content through the audio rubric, force it into episodic TV? I’ll tell you why, because when it gets there, it will be the worst parts of the podcast — a famous actor reading to you, or, voice-over — combined with pretty people wearing pretty clothes in pretty parts of NYC. YAWN. No One needs to see that. Not all content needs to breathe life in every possible medium. Modern Love is a consistently satisfying reading experience because its design is in sync with its medium, which is what I listen for in a podcast. And where I start with clients.