We have to admit, at //OUT incorporated, we could be considered ‘late-comers’ to the podcast pleasure train.
Being honest, the concept sounded a little dull. Like an audio book without the potential to review prior to. So how to know if it was worth your time, and ears?
Then there was a dramatic shift. A friend’s recommendation to tune into “Serial”, the hugely popular “This American Life” spinoff podcast. An amazing listen for any of us with the delusions of one day being discovered as a true detective. Released in weekly episodes, it garnered a huge following in its re-examination of the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a Maryland teenager that resulted in the conviction of Adnan Syed, her former boyfriend.
During the series, reporter Sarah Koenig anthologized the case, pulling apart old evidence, uncovering new facts and alibis, and raising questions about whether a young man belongs in prison for the rest of his life.
The only problem for us …. (and the rest of Serial’s die-hard fans) what to do in the wake of its ending? The good news is that there are other terrific podcasts to listen to.
Some are carefully produced narratives like “Serial,” while others are really conversations that can literally run for hours. (But meaty, meaningful ones). Here are a handful of other podcasts the //OUT incorporated team can vouch are worth your audio attention:
"The Memory Place." From public radio producer, Nate DiMeo, The Memory Palace involves a series of short stories of the past. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, but consistently super story telling. A great reco for history buffs and fans of “This American Life”.
"Gastopod." In each episode, Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley look at issues related to the future of eating. It has a focus on reporting and sharp writing; so given society’s fascination with food, is quickly becoming a hit.
"Strange Fruit." Pretty much summed-up as review of “politics, pop culture and black gay life,” However it is more interestingly nuanced with weekly dialogue about the ‘goings on’ on social media.
"Death, Sex and Money." Anna Sale’s show for WNYC (a key public radio channel in New York) is about exactly what it sounds like. A podcast that unwraps the sweetest taboos. The episode with a funeral parlor worker was a highlight, demonstrating how an interview can be shaped into a great conversation.
"The Bugle." Before he was on the “Daily Show”, John Oliver co-hosted this podcast with his comedy partner Andy Zaltzman. It’s still going, and parades more British humour and fun puns than his weekly show. Definitely one to embrace if you are a sceptic of good comedy on podcasts.
"Criminal." It’s not the same sort of crime show as “Serial,” but “Criminal” explores the issues of crime and punishment we don’t always think about.
Hopefully this little list piques your interest in podcasts. Although not long-time fans, we definitely love how accessible they are. They make every subject, however broad or daunting, available in an easy-to-consume way. So, on your next commute to work or, to keep you entertained and motivated on a run, try a podcast. You might just surprise yourself with how entertaining and ‘all-consuming’ they can be.
xx //OUT Incorporated
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