The majority of my readers right now are family and friends, or those referred from my family and friends. So, until I become the next Perez Hilton & have unlimited readers –I understand it will take time— I want to start including posts that can refer people I care about to try or watch something new. Enter podcasts!
What is a podcast? I won’t bore you with the digital details of what a podcast is (probably because I don’t fully understand it myself; click the link if you need that definition) so I’ll give you my definition. Podcasts are Netflix for your phone. They are audio episodes on an unlimited amount of topics you download to your phone as you would music (EXCEPT IT’S FREE!) and then can listen wherever you go: on your drive, working out, walking around the park, doing laundry, etc!
How do I get a podcast? Again, for my techie friends, click the link. However, if you have a iPhone or Android, you should have a podcast app on your phone, which will then link you to an available site, like iTunes, where you can search and download podcasts.
Why should I care about or try podcasts? There are a few reasons I love listening to podcasts. First, I live in a rural area and have to drive about 20 minutes to work or the grocery store. If you listen to any radio station, it seems like the same song is played every half hour. Podcasts have made my drives so much more bearable and enjoyable. This also goes for when I’m walking my dog around the neighborhood. I can forget any worries of my day and just listen in on the story, which is the next reason I love podcasts so much: storytelling. I’m a HUGE reader, love escaping into a book, and there are some amazing stories to escape into (both true life & scripted) in the podcast world. Scroll down to examine a few. Finally, I get my news from my podcast app, including political and entertainment. It’s a quick and easy way to stay in the know.
Need news fast? Start right here!
Upfirst – This podcast is from NPR and the hosts bring you the most up to date news stories each morning. What I love most is each episode isn’t longer than 15 minutes, so while you’re getting dressed and combing your hair, you get the top news stories of the day!
The Morning Breath – Claudia & Jackie Oshry give you the “top five stories you need to know before you wake up and brush your teeth.” Technically it’s not world news, it’s celeb news so after I listen to Upfirst, I put on these girls to get my celeb dish. for the day Follow them on social media at @girlwithnojob and @JackieOProblems.
Good stories like the following can’t possibly be true, but they are.
S-Town – From the people of This American Life and Serial (see below for both), comes a story revolving around a man named John B. McLemore and will grab your attention right away. While there is no HUGE shock or twist at the very end (although there is at the end of episode two), if you keep in mind as you listen that this is storytelling at it’s finest, I have little doubt you’ll dislike this podcast.
Heavyweight – Jonathan Goldstein brings you stories about people from all walks of life. Episodes two and six are my favorite. Each story centers around a person and a story they need to tell. It’s truly great.
This American Life – As I write this, This American Life has released their 619th episode, so it’s safe to say this show is the podfather. Each episode revolves around a theme with multiple “acts.” Ira Glass hosts and I honestly don’t think I can say enough good things about how wonderful this show is. While each theme or story may not be for you, you’ll enjoy more of them than you hate.
30 For 30 – If you’re familiar with the 30 for 30 documentaries brought to you by ESPN, then here is a podcast under the same pretense. Check them out if you enjoy sports stories!
Ear Hustle – This podcast is made INSIDE a prison and tells different stories about inmates and what life is like “on the inside.” I started listening to it because I felt it was an interesting concept and each episode has proved me right!
If you love the ID Channel as much as me, these are some great podcasts to listen to!
Serial – Serial is the show that started my podcast obsession. Sarah Koenig, the host, has an amazing radio voice, SNL spoofed it, and with two very different seasons, it’s bound to spark your interest. I’m very certain you’ve heard of this podcast and if not, but you’re interested in trying one, here is where I would start.
Sworn – Sworn investigates the gruesome murders of Russell and Shirley Dermond. Who are they? The Dermonds were an elderly couple and while they aren’t well known for anything, the fact that Mr. Dermond was found decapitated in his home (but pronounced dead BEFORE the decapitation) and the crime scene was extremely clean, this makes for an interesting case.
Crimetown – This podcast takes place in Providence, Rhode Island and basically tells the story of the mafia in the city. It involves the former mayor of the city, Buddy Cianci, and the political corruption he was involved in. However, there are additional stories involving other “wise guys” that will completely hold your interest as well!
For all things movies, music, celebs, & famous personalities …
Pop Culture Happy Hour – From NPR, a panel of pop culture experts discuss the latest in movies, music, & television. Make sure to listen to the entire episode though because the end segment, “What’s Making Us Happy?” is the best!
Straight Up with Stassi – From Vanderpump Rules, Stassi Schroeder opens up more than she ever does on the show (impossible I know!). You’ll laugh out loud as she has interviews and converses about celebrity gossip, pop culture, relationships, and more!
Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss – These two comedians interview a different guest each episode and the guest scores Theo & Matt on who asks the better questions. Because of this, Theo and Matt do NOT hold back! Check out their list of episodes (they just celebrated 100!) and download those with celebs you know or like, then you’ll grow to love this show (even if you don’t like the guest).
(Sidenote: almost ANY famous television show you’re into probably has a podcast to go with it. Some examples include The Bachelorette, Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl; the list honestly goes on and on!)
Katy’s Top Picks:
I can’t get ENOUGH of the following podcasts!
Homecoming – I just finished the entire first season of this podcast yesterday and where do I even begin? First thing to understand is this podcast is scripted, not true life, and it’s told through interview and phone conversations mainly. There is no narrator. Plus the conversations jump from past to present in a flash (there is a literally a flashing-whooshy sound when it jumps), so you have to pay attention. However, the episodes don’t last much longer than 20 minutes so it’s quick to get through.
I’ve never heard anything quite like this. I’ve heard phone conversations on podcasts before, but they have never been scripted. I just keep thinking what it would have been like for the cast to record. Speaking of the cast, some members of the cast include Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, and David Schwimmer. I don’t feel like I can say much about the storyline or plot because I’ll give too much away, but trust …. listen to this!!
Broses Before Roses – I can’t recall how I even came across this podcast, but out of this entire list it’s probably my number 1 and what makes that annoying is you have to be a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan in order to listen. If this applies to you, go download this podcast right now!
The podcast features five grown men simply discussing the latest episode of whatever Bach program is currently airing. I feel like each person I tell about this podcast laughs a bit and will say, “That’s a funny premise,” and then blow it off, but don’t blow it off! I LITERALLY laugh out loud every. single. time. I listen to an episode. I appreciate how the guys will take the episode seriously, but how they are also cynical (because they’re men commenting on The Bachelor!) because I’m usually super cynical about the show too.
Criminal – Phoebe Judge hosts a show in which yes, each episode does center around something to do with breaking a law. However, each episode is not about murder or violence, but rather every topic under the sun. Did I mention Phoebe Judge, the host? Here is the thing I have come to love about podcasts and it’s that some hosts (Jonathan Goldstein, Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, & especially Phoebe Judge) almost become like family each episode you listen to. Their voices soothe you and you look forward to hearing from them. While each story in Criminal is worthy, Phoebe makes the show.
So, have I convinced you on trying a podcast? Go download one; what do you have to lose? (And, follow me on Twitter @myhollywoodh to discuss these & other podcasts I love!)