One of the main ways I pass the nearly two hours I spend in the car every week day is with podcasts. Over the years, I’ve subscribed and unsubscribed to a lot of these programs and now I want to share some of my favorites with you.
If this one isn’t already on your radar, you were probably living under a rock in late 2014. It’s what made podcasts super mainstream. It follows Sarah Koenig as she looks for answers about the death of Hae Min Lee and the incarceration of Adnan Syed. If you haven’t listened to season 1 of Serial, go now. I listened to and liked season 2 well enough, but nothing will compare to the mystery of that first season.
Welcome to Nightvale
One of my best friends recommended this one to me and I quickly fell in love because it felt like something that came out of my little brother’s mind. It’s formatted like a public radio show for a small desert town where strange things happen. And indeed it’s very strange. This one you should just go ahead and start from the beginning.
While described as a program about architecture and design, I find it to be so much more than that. The dreamy voice of Roman Mars has taught me so much about things I never knew I wanted to know. It’s definitely the one I anticipate the most right now. Plat of Zion, a recent episode about the streets of SLC, is one of my favorite episodes. I also recommend the one about the carpet at PDX.
I was coming up blank when trying to describe the stories shared on Radiolab, but their About page calls it a show about curiosity. Pretty accurate. You could pop in and listen to pretty much any episode, but I recommend Alpha Gal, One Vote or The Girl Who Doesn’t Exist to start.
If you loved Serial (and who didn’t?), then this one is for you. I came across it in the aftermath of Serial; it kept being recommended as a similar, true crime type of podcast. While not quite the same thing, it is comprised of individual stories related to a crime in some way or another. And the best part is most of these stories have resolutions! Warning, some of it can be a little graphic and/or violent due to the nature of the content. I really loved recent episode #59 In Plain Sight about William and Ellen Craft’s escape from slavery.
The Message & LifeAfter
This one is kind of a two for one as it’s two storylines that came under the same subscription for me. They were created in a partnership of GE (of all people) and Slate’s Panoply. I really loved these on-the-edge-of-reality sci-fi stories and it excited me to know they were inspired by some real life technology.
To be honest, I knew next to nothing about The Message (aka season 1) before listening; I didn’t know it was fiction at first so the twist in the storyline completely caught me off guard. I don’t want to say much more about it, just go listen to this eight part story for yourself.
LifeAfter is the follow up series that won’t disappoint. Also fiction, it tells the tale of a grieving widower using social media to ease the pain of his loss. It quickly gets creepy and mysterious as it dives into the realm of AI. I devoured all 10 episodes in a matter of days because I needed to know what was going to happen.
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment and let me know your favorite podcasts. I’m always looking for another good one!