Dear 100 Hour Board,
I know similar questions have been asked in the past, but its been awhile and there are many new writers. What are some of your favorite podcasts and why? I'm into "LDS Perspectives" and "Better Than Happy" because they are awesome and interesting and I tend to prefer podcasts that stay under an hour. :D
-Podtastic (or Podophile, but it's a little weird and too close for comfort)
Dear Tide Pod,
I listen to a lot of podcasts. I listen almost exclusively to informative, non-fiction, storytelling podcasts. A lot of them are true crime podcasts, but even my favorite true crime podcasts are the ones that really delve into the story and context behind it, not just a short fact-based blip... so I tend to really enjoy the investigative podcasts and the ones that are more involved.
True Crime Podcasts, ranked:
1) Crime Junkie - this one does a good job of being no-nonsense, just good storytelling in a way that focuses on humanizing the victim and aiming for justice. They often use their community/platform to try to help people whose cases are unsolved.
2) Cold - This one is about Susan Powell's murder (call it like it is) and it is a doozy. KSL did a spectacular job with it. They are respectful to the police, the family, etc. and I just think it's one of the most well done podcasts out there. That said, I could only listen to it a bit at a time because it is HEAVY.
3) To Live and Die in LA - it deserves all of the credit it's gotten. This is one of the better investigative podcasts out there. I was thoroughly impressed by the pacing of it and the content. It's incredibly interesting to listen to.
4) Up and Vanished - an old classic. I still hold that Season 1 is the best, and it's the podcast that got me into the genre. Payne Lindsey is a master of podcasting. Do not sleep on this one.
5) Monster (There are 3 seasons: Atlanta Child Killer, The Zodiac Killer, and the currently being released DC Sniper. I don't know if I have a favorite. They're all very good.) - not much to say other than this show does a good job of talking about not only the events themselves, but the cultural impact of each set of tragedies and how they were handled. These are honest and thorough looks into incredibly significant serial killings in the United States. They largely focus on the people impacted as well, which is important. Payne Lindsey and Tenderfoot TV at it again.
6) Confronting OJ Simpson - This one is much less professional, but I was still really impressed by Kim Goldman's vulnerability, her dedication to the truth, and her kindness. I also thought I knew this case, but this podcast will help you understand it as a cultural phenomenon and understand why things turned out the way they did. I really started to understand the role between media and justice from this podcast.
7) Crime Beat - Nancy Hixt is a queen. All of these are Canadian stories. They're very sensitive, and beautifully told in a respectful way that teaches lessons of caution and safety while highlighting injustices.
8) Serial - an all-time favorite from so many people. It's been a while since I listened to it, but I still highly recommend it. It's a staple in the true-crime circles.
9) The Murder Squad with Paul Holes and Billy Jensen - like many people, I would have to admit I'm a little bit #hotforholes. This podcast's entire purpose is to solve unsolved cases by allowing the community to participate in connecting dots. They have gotten many tips and potentially solved a couple of loose ends already. They work with law enforcement and the families, creating a sort of additional resource that brings in tips that perhaps otherwise would not have come in. They also help to vet some of those tips to aid law enforcement. Paul is a really good person.
10) My Favorite Murder - is not at the top of my list, but I still love listening to it and feeling a part of the community. Sometimes it feels a little too lighthearted, but Karen and Georgia still do a really good job at it and I think they have worked hard to be where they're at. They teach people important lessons as well, and give people a place where they can make a difference.
11) Broken Harts - this is a shorter series, but I think it hits some really important topics that they did a good job addressing. It's incredibly tragic, but taught me a bit to open my eyes more and participate in my community to try to help keep people safe.
Other ones I've listened to and absolutely recommend but am too lazy to rank:
Redball, CounterClock, pretty much every episode of Dateline, Over My Dead Body (the second season was freaking wack), Mile Marker 181, Murder In Oregon, Bardstown, Culpable, Happy Face, Urge to Kill, 88 Days: The Jayme Closs Story, The Clearing
Podcasts that aren't technically true crime but are also sort of still in that category so I don't know where to put them:
1) The Dream - This one is sooooo good. It's about MLM schemes. the laws behind it, the ins and outs, the history... and just, the truth. I believe the second season is more focused on phony holistic stuff, but I haven't gotten to that season yet. I'm still really enjoying the first one, and highly recommend it especially if you live in Utah because you start to see what's going on with many of your friends, family, and relief society sisters.
2) The Drop Out - Wow. I had NO IDEA about this one, but it is a crazy story that you should totally listen to because... just... it's incredible the ins and outs of the story. It's a pretty short series (6 episodes?) but will really surprise you.
3) Detective Trapp - I just love this one because it gives special attention to someone in true crime who really is a superhero. Julissa Trapp is impressive, unique, and it was a joy to get to learn about her and one of her most successful cases. Again, this one is very sensitive to injustices toward people who often go ignored by society. Detective Trapp didn't forget about them.
4) Room 20 - This one is kind of sad, kind of spectacular. It isn't really a crime story, but it does take an investigation. The resolution is nice... but it still just has you thinking about what needs to be done in situations like that, and why immigration can be such a horror story.
5) The Shrink Next Door - will have you raising an eyebrow the whole time. Is this even possible? How could this happen? All the characters involved are a bit quirky, and the whole situation feels a bit surreal. That being said, it's incredibly interesting and important and absolutely worth listening to.
6) Radio Rental - I've brought this one up before I think. Rainn Wilson plays the narrator character, and it's part fictional, part real. All of the stories told are true and told by the people who really experienced them. But every story is a bit unsettling and unreal. It's interesting, funny, strange, and just generally really good.
7) S Town - is pretty sad, but is very well done because well... NPR, you know? In any case, definitely give it a listen and just enjoy the messages it gives and the twists and turns the story takes. This podcast basically just had me in my feels.
Other podcasts, semi-ranked:
2) Revisionist History
3) Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
4) This American Life (AHHH So good! It's sometimes just a little bit too long for me is all.)
5) 99% Invisible
6) Hidden Brain
7) Stuff You Should Know
8) Dear Hank and John
9) The Science of Happiness
10) The Minimalists Podcast
As you can see, I listen to a lot of hours of other people talking. Maybe I would get more done if I did something productive with all the time I listen to podcasts... but also, I learn a lot this way so maybe the guy that passed me on my way home from school that one time can lay off the judgment about millennials always having their headphones in. Sheesh.
The podcasts that I like can really be broken down into three categories - comedy podcasts about many things, comedy podcasts about one specific thing, and the one or two other podcasts I listen to. If a podcast doesn't make me laugh, I don't really keep listening to it. I'm not into scary or (most) narrative podcasts. I like the ones that feel like a couple of friends chatting, you know? In the podcasts below, I only put the names of people that I think are recognizable to some people, so please don't be offended if you really like one of the hosts whose name I didn't write. I'm sorry, I also like them.
Comedies about Many Things:
Baby Geniuses - Two cool ladies talk about their lives and one Wikipedia article a week. Also they talk about Martha Stewart's pony almost every episode.
Dear Hank and John - Brothers Hank and John Green give listeners who write in advice about their lives and are very funny. Sometimes the advice is actually useful, too.
Distractions - Three cool ladies talk about their lives and the things they're using to distract themselves. Mallory Everton is actually in this one with two of her best friends!
My Brother, My Brother and Me - Three brothers (Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy) give absolutely absurd advice to their listeners. This advice is almost never actually useful, but is hilarious.
Wonderful - Griffin McElroy and his wife Rachel talk about things they're enthusiastic about. It's adorable and very funny.
Comedies about One Specific Thing:
Can I Pet Your Dog? - Two cool ladies talk about dogs and how much they love them.
Delete This - Hank Green and his wife Katherine go through Hank's tweets and critique whether they're good, bad, or needed to be tweeted at all.
Punch Up The Jam - Friends dissect a song and then make it "better", either through editing or parody. This one originally had Demi Adejuyigbe (who is one of my favorite lesser-known writers/comedians) as well as his best friend Miel Bredouw, but then she moved to NYC and now it's just her and a guest. It's still good and funny, but different.
The Adventure Zone - The McElroy Brothers and their dad play role-playing games and usually make a mess of things.
The Empty Bowl - Justin McElroy and Dan Goubert of the blog Cerealously talk quietly about cereal news and reviews while ocean sounds play in the background.
The McElroy Brothers Will Be in Trolls: World Tour - About two years ago, these three decided that they wanted to be in the second Trolls movie, so they started a podcast with that intention. The crazy thing is that it actually worked.
The Polygon Show - Awesome ladies that work at the video games news website Polygon talk about their lives and video games. It's amazing.
Song Exploder - This is really the only podcast that I listen to that isn't funny. It doesn't matter because of how darn good it is. They go through a song with the people who wrote it, getting in deep about different lyrics, melodies, bass lines and then actually play those parts isolated so that you can hear what they've done. At the end you get to hear the whole song together and it's so cool to be able to hear how they all go together.
Fair warning, some of these contain a good bit of swearing, so listen at your own risk, but these are my favorites!
Dear lynn rosetto casper,
I enjoy NPR's The Splendid Table, "the podcast for curious cooks and eaters." An episode may revolve around a theme—helping guests with dietary restrictions feel welcome, perhaps, or how to bake the perfect loaf of sourdough— a focus on a specific cook or chef's work, or, most pleasantly, stories of the people who make, cook, seek and eat food.
One episode I enjoy a lot is "Episode 670: René Redzepi – Fermentation, Inspiration and the Balance of Life" which delves into the life and work of the acclaimed Nordic restaurant Noma and the variety of traditional techniques, fungi and microbes—such as those that make miso and soy sauce, or perhaps add a greater depth of flavor to blueberries—in innovative ways to create new and unique flavors.
The host, Francis Lam, is delightful and approachable, taking calls at the end of the episode to answer caller's questions. He'll even respond as he has time on social media, which is cool, and made my day once.
P.S. Honorable mention goes out to Hunt Gather Talk by Hank Shaw, an incredible hunter, forager and cook
There was actually a question similar to this just a month ago you might be interested in reading: Board Question #92808. However, that question was for specific types of podcasts, so I'll give you a more complete list of my favorites here.
- Myths and Legends: I seriously love this podcast. I have a penchant for stories, especially old stories with an element of fantastical and whimsical, so this podcast is absolutely perfect for me. Plus the podcaster (Jason Weiser) adds hilarious commentary to the stories.
- Fictional: Done by the same guy as Myths and Legends and covers classical literature so of course I'm a fan.
- Lore: Aaron Mahnke, the podcast host, goes into creepy stories, some passed down through folklore, others more recent with eyewitness accounts.
- Cabinet of Curiosities: Want ten minutes of fascinating, whimsical trivia twice a week? This podcast is perfect for you, and it's also done by Aaron Mahnke
- Unobscured: Another Aaron Mahnke podcast. Each season explores a specific historical movement. The first season is on the Salem Witch Trials, and the second is on the Spiritualist movement.
- Noble Blood: Covers tragic stories behind different members of aristocracy.
- My Favorite Murder: Comedy+murder+amazing fan community. What more could you want? It does have considerable profanity though, so if that's something that bothers you, I would not recommend listening.
- Invisibilia: I have to admit that I disagree with how this podcast covers AI (it's shown up a couple of times in different episodes) because it shows a lack of understanding for what AI actually is, the real dangers associated with it as opposed to modern sci-fi concerns, but overall it's a good podcast.
- Welcome to Nightvale: A dark alternate reality newscast.
- Stuff You Missed in History Class: I've only listened to a couple of episodes, but they're just fascinating!
- Tides of History: I found this podcast while searching for educational history podcasts, and that is exactly what it is. My personal favorite episodes were the ones covering the War of the Roses.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: my top three podcasts are This American Life, Modern Love, and Code Switch, with an honorable mention to RadioLab. They have served me well over the years.