It had been some time since I was legit hooked on a podcast. In fact, it had been since the first season of "Serial" ended. I ended up not making a Thanksgiving trip that year and instead had to look for excuses to carve out time to listen to "Serial."
I've dilly-dallied here and there with some of Jen's suggestions, both old and new (and even newer), and the second season of "Serial" didn't quite hook me like the Bmore story did. I hadn't been truly hooked until early March, when I found "Call Your Girlfriend."
And I binge-listened the SHIT out of it. And when I was caught up and had to wait another week for an episode, I was sad. So sad. The way you're sad when you're finished all the really good french fries but know it's not socially acceptable (or particularly healthy) to order more.
I've got some weekend trips ahead of me this summer before Jen and I go to Canadee, so beginning with "CYG," here's what I'll be listening to and think you should too.
CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF:
Jen's written about "CYG" before, but to recap, it's basically two long-distance besties (not unlike your Jetlag Hags) catching up every other week. Ann Friedman is a writer I've long admired, and Aminatou Sow is a badass tech lady. On in-between weeks, they interview other boss ladies, because #shinetheory. They're unbelievably smart and funny as hell, and the best part about the show in my opinion is how well they mix high and low. They manage to have really smart political chat (without being preachy but with loads of feminist talk, which you know I love) but also talk about pop culture crap. In fact, I give zero fucks about the Kardashians. Honestly, I've never watched a minute of any of their shows. But my favorite "CYG" episode is "Twitter Ninja" in which Amina recaps the Kardashian-fueled Twitter feud and subsequent shots heard 'round the world when Amber Rose responded to Kanye with #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch. I was lol'ing til the end of time. Another favorite episode -- "My Neck, My Back, My Netflix, and My Snacks" -- I mean...
Jen turned me onto "Switched on Pop" in her second post on podcasts we should all be listening to. If you care about music (which I do...), and you want to dig a little deeper into how it gets made and WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, then this is a hella entertaining place to start. One host is a musicologist and one host is a song writer, and they're super funny music nerds who break down pop music. My two favorite episodes are "Hotline Hello: Drake and Adele" and "Justin Bieber's Existential Suite" (especially considering I had my own existential crisis when I liked the Bieb's new music). Trust me on this. (Bonus! "Switched on Pop" is how I found "Call Your Girlfriend.")
Another one I found through Jen who found it through Mike, which is just great on many a level. "2 Dope Queens" is like the full-blown comedy show version of "Call Your Girlfriend." Jessica Williams (of "The Daily Show" fame) and comedy writer Phoebe Robinson host the standup comedy podcast weekly. Each episode features standup from three different comedians, but IMHO, Jessica and Phoebe's banter in between is easily the best part of the show. I'd give you a favorite episode, but all 10 so far have been hilarious. When I'm a shit mood, these ladies give me life. Plus, Phoebe favorited one of my angry tweets last week and I died happy.
To be honest, I can't remember how I found "The Moth," but I'm mid-binge right now, and it's great because the episodes are 16 minutes tops, which means I can listen to a LOT all at once. If you haven't heard of the "The Moth," it's a regular live event in which people attend to tell their personal life stories in accordance with whatever the theme of the evening is. Some are touching, some are funny, some are sad, and somehow damn near all of them are just really, really good. You probably won't be surprised to hear that my three favorites are all funny ones. They are "Empathetic Subway Screaming," "Cat-Cow-Meow," and "California Gothic." I have actually listened to "California Gothic" three times now because it makes me laugh so hard.
I believe I came upon "The Broad Experience" through "CYG," and it's a more serious in-depth look at the issues facing women in the workplace. It's really smart and interesting, and the episodes are all around 20 minutes long, so it's not a huge commitment to get into one. Plus, the host, Ashley Milne-Tyte, has the best British accent ever, which you know I'm all ::heart eyes emoji:: over. It's like getting my "Downton" fix now that it's over but with less dramz and more educational value. BRB, power posing.
Right, so we all know by how that TED Talks are kind of the best. Even if they're on a topic you seem to care nothing about, they somehow end up being interesting AF, and you learn a lot without, like, trying. However, there's a ton of them, and they're pretty hard to wade through. Which is where the podcast comes in handy. Host Guy Raz (speaking of heart eyes emoji, can you say journo crush?) has a theme for each episode and distills clips from TED talks and interviews with TED speakers to go with the theme. So good.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (JUST GETTING INTO):
- WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Another NPR jam, this one is in the style of a weekly current events quiz but with a comedy spin. I've literally LOL'd listening to this one, plus I love Ophira Eisenberg.
- RISK In the same vein as "The Moth," the "Risk" podcast is people telling stories they never thought they'd tell anyone. A couple friends of mine highly recommended this, but I've only listened to one so far. I know they're not going to all be upsetting, but the one I listened to was about PTSD and it kind of gave me PTSD, so I needed a break. Not a glowing review I realize, but the story was gripping, so I'll return to "Risk" at some point.
- INVISIBILIA Since this NPR podcast was advertised highly during the first season of "Serial," I listened to the first after "Serial" was over and really enjoyed learning about the "invisible forces that control human behavior." Duh, considering I kinda can't stand people. Second season just started.
- LORE These are the stories behind scary stories...how vampires and werewolves came to be. And I love scary stories, so I've enjoyed this podcast too.
- MODERN LOVE I've been reading the "Modern Love" column in the New York Times ever since I was forced into an "NYT" subscriptions as a journalism student in college. Ordinary people send in their stories about love and what it's like today, and they're all so wide-ranging and different. I don't know how it took this long to become a podcast, but now they have famous people reading some of the best "Modern Love" essays.
- STARTALK Another great rec from Jen. Even though "Cosmos" with Neil deGrasse Tyson made me feel infinitely stupid and also existential because the sun is going to eat the earth one day and so WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT, occasionally I need a nerd fix and love checking out NDT's podcast.
TO LISTEN (IN MY QUEUE):
- UNSCREWED A "CYG" rec about how screwed our sexual culture is. You KNOW that's gotta be good.
- HIDDEN BRAIN Along the lines of "Invisibilia," another NPR podcast about how our minds work.
- TRAVEL WITH RICK STEVES Rick Steves was an integral part of my study abroad experience, so I just feel like I need to give this one a shot.
- GUYS WE FUCKED Billed as the "anti slut-shaming" podcast. Need I say more?
- 10% HAPPIER WITH DAN HARRIS Loved reading the book, so am stoked to give this podcast a listen. I don't recommend starting with the first one though; it's the Dalai Lama and he's basically impossible to understand.
- THE NEW YORKER RADIO HOUR Because the "New Yorker," duh.
- GRAMMAR GIRL QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS FOR BETTER WRITING If only I had been born first, I could be Grammar Girl now and Grammar Girl would just be...someone else.
- MYSTERY SHOW Carly recommended this one to me; the host, Starlee Kine, solves mysteries. But not like murder mysteries. Just random, banal shit you might wonder about but can't solve with a quick Google search.
So...what did I miss?
P.S. We should do a podcast, amirite?