5 Podcasts You’re Missing Out On
Podcasts have over time become one of the most intimate forms of media around. It seems that everyone from celebrities, your neighbor next door to your coworker has a podcast. The truth is, podcasts give people opportunities to tell stories that may not otherwise be heard, and gives listeners the chance to hear stories from other walks of life. That said, some podcasts simply rise above others and hold a place in pop culture and others do not. Here are a few podcasts that you may want to consider listening to that I hope will guide you on your podcast journey!
Radiolab is everything a podcast should be. Thought provoking and well crafted, Producers Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwitch touch on a variety of topics from science and technology to politics and philosophy. Presenting the facts behind true stories, they walk the boundaries of science, philosophy, and the human experience, blurring lines while discussing both sides. The intricacy of how each episode is edited and composed immerses the listener and paints a vivid picture of life outside of the box, leaving you pondering about the subject for hours and ultimately wanting to for more.
Favorite episode: “Update: CRISPR” – Be prepared to be taken away by the past, present, and future of medical technology.
From Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad comes one of my personal favorite podcasts, More Perfect. A mini-series, More Perfect presents controversial cases that have been ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. Diving into how each case was decided upon and ultimately how each case has impacted America and our society. This podcast is about how the Supreme Court has the ability to shape not only public policies but our lifestyles. Thought provoking, rarely biased, and extremely informative, More Perfect forces the listener to analyze the fabric of what our nation is built on, and acknowledge and appreciate its changes. Giving detailed explanations of each case and its ruling, as well as real human experiences behind the cases, this podcast is perfect for listening with a friend and having a debate. Remember, keep it civil!
Favorite Episode: “The Imperfect Plaintiffs” – Shockingly relevant to our current political climate, this episode pushes the envelope and makes you want to think deeply about the supreme court and their impact on social norms.
If you’re a history junkie like myself then Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast is for you. Following the lives of Frida Kahlo, Joan of Arc, Frederick Douglass and various events you may not have otherwise studied, Stuff You Missed in History Class will give you plenty of novel tidbits to keep any conversation going. Part of the Howstuffworks family, hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey take the listener through any given event in a logical and understandable order without causing you to feel like you’ve been in your AM lecture for the past hour. Average episode length is under forty-five minutes and is sure to leave you informed and ready to guide conversation at dinner parties everywhere.
Favorite Episode: “The Fantastic Fitzgeralds” – Taking you through the life of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, this episode is a must listen for anyone interested in the lives of literary and social giants.
Do you ever wonder what goes through the mind of a Serial Killer? Their motivations? Their habits? Why they tick? If you answered “Yes” to any of these, this is absolutely the podcast for you. My Favorite Murder is the result of a “killer” combination of the minds of comedian Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. This creative duo explicitly takes the listener through the details of each serial killer and their story. From beginning to end, if you are not captivated by what may be a tragic story of a lost soul, you will be caught by the story telling ability of these hosts and their stops for appropriate and perfectly timed comedic relief. MFM does an amazing job of taking topics that may be too dark or heavy to cover and turning them in to listenable, interesting stories. Remember, stay sexy and don’t get murdered.
Favorite episode: All of them – Seriously. Find an episode and start. What are you waiting for?
It is impossible to talk about story telling podcasts without having This American Life in the conversation. As one of the most recognizable voices in public radio, Ira Glass and his team are sure to impress any listener week in and week out with their stories of various walks of life in America. The flagship program of the podcast family “The Public Radio Exchange”, This American Life has set the standard and raised the bar for radio programming. This American Life has won multiple Pulitzer prizes and continues to weave itself into pop culture. Getting his start as an NPR Reporter at the age of 19, and working on shows like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Talk of the Nation, Glass cut his teeth among radio giants and shakes the mannerisms of a “typical” beat reporter to give the listener the feeling that you are sitting in the same room, listening to friends tell stories. This American Life producers have gone on to produce other notable podcasts, the most popular being Serial and the latest spin off, S-Town. Warning, the stories you hear on this podcast will become all you talk about the following week.
Favorite Episode: “The Problem We All Live With” (Caution: This is a two parter) – One of the most hotly debated subjects in the American political arena is education. This two part series showcases aspects of our education system that we may otherwise not think of. Enjoy!