Last year, I wrote about My Favourite Podcast. I had intended to write about a variety of podcasts I was listening to, but I was brand new to podcasting and really didn't have enough to say about most of them. Now I feel like I have a bit more ground to stand on when it comes to talking about podcasts. I opt to switch on a podcast while I need some background noise instead of turning on Netflix to watch Friends or How I Met Your Mother (yes, it's still on Netflix UK) for the umpteenth time. Instead of listening to music while I'm walking to the train station, I listen to a podcast. And Luke and I even listen to podcasts in the car more often than music. I resisted for so long (Lord knows why), but I officially have the podcast bug.
Since my last post was basically an ode to the NPR Politics Podcast, I'll skip it for now. Just know that it's still my absolute favourite and one that Luke and I try to listen to together each week.
I've recently started listening to Pod Save America. It's from Crooked Media, a news organisation founded by three former Obama staffers, Jon Favreau (not the actor), Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor. Pod Save America appears to be their lead-off podcast, but Crooked Media now hosts eight podcasts with other hosts and a large support team. The three of them offer really interesting insight into the current political climate, having just worked for the previous administration and been in the White House doing some of the jobs they're talking about. Their website calls it a "no bullshit conversation about politics" and boy is that true. They tell it like it is and I love it because I agree with them about 95% of the time.
I really which I remembered how I found out about The Bradshaw Boys, but for the life of me, I just can’t! (I think someone shared it in their Instagram Stories, but that was about a year ago and I guess I’ll never know. The concept is simple: three guys living in NYC are watching Sex & the City and discussing. They have great insight into NYC, they talk about how the show has aged, they’re funny AF, and sometimes they have on some pretty great guests. (I gotta be honest, I think my favourite episodes are the ones that are just the three of them.) They even gave me a shout out in one of the episodes. And don’t worry, if you’re not watching the show episode-by-episode along with them, there’s a recap between the intro and the discussion.
My younger sister suggested I start listening to My Favorite Murder earlier this year. I was surprised the suggestion came from her, but I was definitely intrigued as I've always been fascinated with true crime. Sam said I needed to start at the beginning, which is a daunting task considering how many podcasts they've put out in over two years, but it's what I did and I've listened to about two dozen so far. Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff host the podcast and remind you almost every time not to come for the facts. They're hilarious and they really remind me of me and my friend Tia. They're just sitting on the couch chatting as friends. It just happens to be about murder! Each episode, they each focus on a specific murder that they're going to talk about, sometimes following a theme like "80's murders" or "cannibals", but it seems they prefer not to do that. Adding the comedic element makes them a lot easier to digest, but I have to admit there have been a few that really shook me. I usually read a bit more about the murders after I finish the episode and the details can get to me, so it's not the easiest podcast to binge, but the comedy definitely helps.
FOR GUILTY PLEASURE
If you're a member of Bachelor Nation and you don't listen to The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast, what are you doing?! Even though I haven't watched a season since Nick's turn as The Bachelor, I listen to their podcast every week. Sometimes they have people on from the most recent seasons of The Bachelorette or The Bachelor (or Bachelor in Paradise or Winter Games), but most of the time I at least know of the people through social media. Besides, they were recapping Arie's episodes each week, so I know who Krystal is and I know all about the Becca and Lauren switcheroo. It's definitely a guilty pleasure podcast, but I think what I like about it is that they go beyond just Bachelor Nation and talk about other things. Ashley has another podcast that I've listened to called I Don't Get It, which I don't like as much, and I'm realising it's because Ben definitely helps ground things a bit.
ALSO IN MY LIBRARY
Making Obama | It’s a great anthology that does a deep dive into Obama before the White House. The first season is about Oprah, but I haven’t listened.
Reality Steve Podcast | This one is hit or miss for me. Reality Steve can be really abrasive, dismissive, and condescending at times, but it seems like he's reeling it in a bit. I sometimes skip episodes and really only listen to the episodes with people I actually know from the Bachelor franchise, so I don't bother unless I recognise the name and I almost always skip non-Bachelor episodes. Beware: He spoils The Bachelor, but he gives ample spoiler warnings.
Binge Mode | I’ve just started the first season, which covers every episode of Game of Thrones. They recap the episodes a bit, but they also do a deep dive into symbolism, character development, and the overarching story. They pull from Westerosi history, the books, and future episodes, so beware of spoilers.
Pop Culture Happy Hour | This NPR podcast was practically made for me! I love pop culture and it’s so easy to listen to because most episodes are under a half hour. They usually cover one specific pop culture moment in the last week. Every once in a while I skip an episode because I have no idea what the subject is.
Slow Burn | Another anthology podcast, brought to you by Slate. The first season covers the Watergate Scandal while the second season covers the scandals that embroiled the Clinton Presidency. It was so fascinating to listen to, especially while another Special Counsel Investigation is going on. It gives some perspective to current times just by going over history. I found it particularly interesting because neither Nixon’s nor Clinton’s presidencies were really covered in any history class I’ve taken.
Origins | I heard about this podcast from The Bradshaw Boys and it sounded awesome. Each season takes a look at the origin of something the host is interested in: Sex & the City, SNL, Alabama football. It really is a passion project and since I’m particularly interested in those things, I’m really excited to keep listening.
The Goal Digger Podcast | It used to be a go-to, but now I’m months behind. Jenna is a really good resource for so many things, but sometimes it feels like a repeat of previous topics. It’s great for free content and she has on some pretty amazing guests. But these days I cherry pick which episodes I want to listen to.
Carruth | I was drawn to this podcast from The Charlotte Observer because of its true crime elements, but also because Rae Carruth played football for the University of Colorado. It’s definitely not your average true crime podcast. The host has been covering the story since it happened and covering Carruth’s NFL career before that. He has a relationship with the victims and gives them a platform to tell their own story.
The Wilderness | Another Crooked Media podcast with Jon Favereau at the helm. It’s an in-depth look into the Democratic Party and its history. Jon interviews voters and non-voters from the 2016 election and some major names in American politics today.
Wild Hearts with Gennean | I know her! I know her! Gennean is an Instagram friend turned real-life friend and every episode she’ll change YOUR life. She speaks truth and does so with such an open and vulnerable heart.
Depolarize! | Sadly, I’m way behind on this podcast, but it’s great. The host, Dan Koch looks at the intersectionality of religion and politics in America today. In the second season, he interviews a few different groups of voters from the 2016 election. If you’re interested in how religion informs political beliefs. Check it out. If you ever feel like, as a Democrat and a Christian, you’re alone. Check it out.
Dirty John | Why did I wait so long to listen to this podcast?! Once I started, I couldn’t stop. It’s another true crime story, but with a twist you probably won’t see coming. I recommend listening to it before you watch the Netflix series with Connie Britton and Eric Bana. And then watch the documentary they made later. The story just keeps unfolding!
Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard | Last summer, I couldn’t stop listening to this show. I’ll admit I would skip episodes if I didn’t know the guest or if I didn’t particularly care about the guest, but it is really good. The best episode (that I’ve heard) is far and away his interview with Kristen Bell, his wife. My least favourite episode was Ellen because she kind of came across as a jerk, TBH. I’m way behind now, but I’ll catch up someday!
What podcasts do you listen to each week? Tell me in the comments.
Updated March 2019