One Plus One was not the great story and lesson I expected


The power of collaboration greatly outweighs that of individual work.

As a person who generally works alone, I never truly realized that. I always thought that it wasn’t worth the bickering to work with another person.

When I was younger, things had to be done my way otherwise they were wrong. I grew out of that mindset as I entered high school. I work better with others now, but those feelings occasionally emerge from their dark corner.

In order to change that, I recently listened to a new podcast produced by Wondery called One Plus One. It is about how two incredible minds collaborate and create something they could not have done on their own. The hosts, Rico Gagliano and Faith Salie, discuss what we can learn from them and how to incorporate it into our own lives.

Each upcoming series will tell the story of a famous dynamic duo that made their place in the world. The first series that was just released is about the extraordinary John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

There are seven episodes in this series that are each around thirty minutes. The episodes are not in time order but are categorized by events and emotions. For example, the fourth episode is titled “Fussing and Fighting,” which is, not surprisingly, about some of the fights and difficult times the two band members went through.

Six out of seven of the episodes are about the history of Lennon and McCartney. At first, it was highly intriguing, but the stories just kept going. After listening to the whole series, I probably knew more about The Beatles than I did my own best friend. It felt like I watched a documentary about their life from start to finish that did not miss a single detail.

Gagliano seemed a little too excited to talk facts rather than what the podcast is actually supposed to be about.

Although, I can understand that having multiple episodes about the importance of collaborations would be boring. Wondery should have just shortened the entire series because there are many parts of Lennon and McCartney’s past that did not appear to be relevant. They were not partners from the time of birth, so some of the earlier aspects should not have been included.

One thing that was included that actually added to my enjoyment of One Plus One was the Lennon and McCartney interviews. A few times, it was them speaking, but most of them were quotes they once said. It increased the authenticity of the podcast greatly.

The details of each story were insane. Gagliano mentioned things from the color and material of what the band members were wearing to what the scenery was at the time. It felt like I was with the band every step of the way.

Music is a big part of this podcast. To enhance the emotion of the historical events, music is periodically played in the background. The type of music played depends on the intensity of the story. For example, when McCartney’s mom died, a sorrowful song was quietly playing. This truly made my heart hurt.

When The Beatles were creating or recording a song, that song was then sampled on One Plus One. Songs were also sampled when it was significant to the historical story.

It is good that a great deal of music was included on the podcast, especially considering that Lennon and McCartney were in a band.

The last episode was the only episode that really got into the meaning behind partnerships. They had Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of Powers of Two: How Relationships Drive Creativity, on the show.

He explained the science behind collaborations and why the human race tends to reject them. He also talked about the multiple types of partnerships. I learned a lot from this. However, it was still relatively uninteresting.

The idea behind One Plus One is an excellent one, but the overall execution is dragged out and dull. Unfortunately, by the end of the podcast, I ended up with a dreadful cloud of boredom floating over my head but was not extremely dissatisfied.