Night Vale is not just the best podcast around. It's probably one of the finest works of modern media around right now.
Welcome to Night Vale’s appeal is based on its combination of non-visual media and reliance on fan involvement. Mystery is a lost art in storytelling. We live in the Spoiler Age, where we peak into the presents to see the surprise. Night Vale does not even give us presents. It tells us a story, and leaves the main details out, making us draw our own conclusions of what is happening or how it will end. The spirit of this narrative is the intentional omission of detail. The writers compose a story for a non-visual medium and do not even tell their vision for the story or its inhabitants and the audience must work with what they are given.
The story is to be followed like a jigsaw puzzle. Several pieces are given, but the big picture is intentionally obscured and kept secret. Every detail in this podcast down to the words or the musical Weather becomes important at some point in the narrative. When the puzzle is finished, gaze upon it, and you will be in awe at how such a mastrpiece could unfold from mere fragments.
We are being narrated the story, rather than reading it ourselves. Thus, we must insert ourselves into the story and gather our own conclusions from what we hear. The podcast rewards repeated listens based on the way we hear things. We will miss things when being relayed information, so we need to have things run by us again. The podcast is always right there. The more we hear a part, the more it sticks and we are transported into the world of Night Vale. However long we stay depends on our level of enjoyment for the series.