Podcasts are more popular than ever. With the success of the true crime investigation podcast, Serial, in 2014, it seems everyone has jumped on the podcast bandwagon and is coming up with their own unique content. The problem is not everything that’s out there is good. And with hundreds, if not thousands, of different podcasts out each week, it can be pretty tough to find ones worth listening to.
Here The Week lists a few of our favorite podcasts that are enjoyable, informative, and really addictive.
To some, fashion might just seem like wearing trendy clothes and looking pretty but hosts April Calahan and Cassidy Zachary are here to prove those with that mindset wrong. They dig into the past to find out the most interesting, meaningful and entertaining stories from fashion history and tell us the how, when, and why of what we wear. Both Calahan and Zachary are fashion historians. Dressed is also a part of the Stuff Media podcasting network that produces other podcasts like How Stuff Works, Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe, and Nerdification so you can be sure that this podcast is very informational. Almost every episode of the podcast also features an in-depth interview with another fashion insider who is an expert in the field of that issue’s theme or topic too.
Let’s Talk About Myths Baby
If you are interested to learn about the ancient Greek and Roman mythology but feel like history books (on this topic) will bore you to death then this podcast is what you are looking for. Although each episode of the podcast is very detailed and thorough, the sassy commentary the host Liv Albert provides makes it very entertaining to listen to. Till date, the podcast has 61 episodes and the length of these episode vary from being 40 minutes long to being as short as five minutes – depending on the content covered and things Albert considers interesting or important to discuss about on the episode. There are a lot of history – especially Greek and Roman history – podcasts on the internet, what makes Let’s Talk About Myths Baby stand out from the crowd is Albert’s style of retelling these myths, her comedic quips that slips out every other sentence and her complete inability to look past the very misogynistic nature of these myths.
The podcasts’ host Julia Schifini and Amanda McLoughlin call Spirits “A boozy dive into mythology, folklore, and legends” and that is a perfect description of this nonfiction conversational podcasts. It’s a weekly podcast where the two hosts discuss a brand new mythical (or religious) figure, creature, or story every episode over a glass of alcohol and they do so in a very open, intersectional, and queer perspective without belittling or taking away from the original story itself. Usually, McLoughlin is the one who acts like greenhorn and Schifini the doyeon who explains everything in great delineation. Every now and then, the hosts also cover this on-going series that is a listener favorite called ‘Your Urban Legends’ where they read out and analyze stories and happenings sent in by their listeners. Schifini and McLoughlin have great chemistry as friends and co-hosts for the podcast and that makes Spirits so much more fun to listen to.
The Harry Potter series has been a very big part of a lot of our childhood. And as much as we love analyzing every word JK Rowling wrote, sometimes we can’t help but wonder what it would be like reading the whole series for the first time as an adult. Mike Schubert, the host of this podcast, gives an insight to it. Schubert picked up the series about two years ago – when he was 24 – and has been analyzing and critiquing it as a first time reader ever since. Potterless is updated every two weeks and there are a total of 59 episode of this podcast till date. Every episode features a Potterhead guest who discusses just the allocated chapters (from one of the books for that episode) with Schubert. It’s really amusing to hear Schubert come up with the most ridiculous theories regarding the happenings in the books and the guests (all of whom have read all of the seven books thoroughly) try to control themselves from not spoiling the entire series every time Schubert makes a wrong guess or prediction.
The Bright Sessions
Unlike the other podcasts in this list – which were either informative or conversational – The Bright Sessions is an audio drama. The plot of this audio drama deals with magical realism and science fiction where Dr Bright, a therapist, is conversing with her patients all of whom have super powers. This podcast wonderfully illustrates how humans treat other humans or creatures they deem “strange” or unlike themselves. It has a great plot line, great delivery, emotional accuracy, and a narrative that is very much character-driven and is actually considered to be the keystone of audio dramas. This podcast is so good and popular that it has been sighed for two series of audio dramas, three sequential novels and a TV show after the completion of the podcast series.