Listen Up! Podcasts that should be on your radar


Mid-week got you down? We've rounded up six of the best podcasts to get you through to the weekend. You'll be hooked.


S Town


Want to jump on the podcast bandwagon? S-Town is a pretty good place to start. It’s the latest, and currently most talked about, investigative journalism podcast from the acclaimed producers of Serial and This American Life (if they weren’t already, add them to your playlist too). Set in a small Alabama town, S-Town delves into a real-life mystery involving a wealthy man, a clockmaker, and allegations of a murder cover-up. With over 10 million downloads - in just the first four days - this podcast has listeners hooked. Luckily all seven hour-long chapters are available to binge, so you’ll be able to move onto one of the following podcasts next.

Where to start: At the beginning. This is a serialized narrative, so chronology matters.


The Bernie Sanders Show


Everyone’s favourite science guy and the second best thing to come out of Vermont (Sorry, but Ben & Jerry’s will always be #1) have joined forces for the greater good. Well, for 30 minutes at least. That’s right, Vermont senator, democratic runner-up, and hipster icon, Bernie Sanders, has embraced the podcast. The Bernie Sanders Show aims to keep us informed on the “political revolution” and “the fight for a progressive agenda”. Speaking with guests such as Bill Nye, episodes cover issues such as climate change, civil rights and, of course, Trump. 

Where to start: Episode 2. Bill Nye. Two beloved old men discussing the future of our nation, with a focus on climate change naturally.


Anna Faris is Unqualified! 


Are you an ordinary person who has always dreamed of receiving sage advice from celebrities? If you answered ‘yes’ Anna Faris Is Unqualified is the podcast for you. The actress, best known for her raunchy and ‘scary’ comedies, has dusted off her little black book of celebrity contacts to talk relationships, work, and Hollywood. Listeners even have the chance to discuss their own relationship woes with the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Chelsea Handler, and Stan Lee(!). Think of it as ‘Agony Aunt’ but with more star power. Unqualified is a welcome antidote to today’s calculated celebrity interviews. Plus, Faris is hilarious so you’re guaranteed some laughs.

Where to start: Episode 17. This two-part episode feature Chris Evans and Jenny Slate (with an appearance from Chris Pratt). The two actors began dating shortly after, which will come as no surprise – their chemistry here is palpable. Although no longer together, this episode goes to show that sometimes what looks odd feels oh-so right.


2 Dope Queens


Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson are a match made in heaven. These two very cool women, one a former Daily Show correspondent and the other a New York Times best-selling author, met by chance through The Daily Show. The BFFs have now teamed up for 2 Dope Queens, their live comedy podcast. Here you’ll find their celebrity friends and guests sharing stories of sex, romance in the Tinder-age, race, and what it’s like to live in New York. Oh, “plus a whole bunch of other sh**t.”

Hosted by two black women whose own, hilariously insightful, voice has been sidelined for far too long, these short episodes have been credited with championing diversity in comedy (read: less white-guy). Williams has said that the show tries “to make a concerted effort to make sure that people of color are represented and people from different orientations are represented.” 2 Dope Queens - a podcast that will provide you with your daily dose of laughter and more.

Where to start: Episode 27. The dynamic between Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein and the two “Queens” is beyond great. Serious fangirling occurs which results in two new terms to add to your vocabulary: “Shero” and “Struggle comment”. From first dates (and how Brownstein’s turned her gay) to music and Madewell, this episode is pure gold.  


Modern Love


Thursdays just got a whole lot more romantic thanks to The New York Times new podcast, Modern Love. Bringing their Modern Love essays to life, these weekly episodes explore the many facets of love. Each episode features a familiar voice – Seinfeld’s George Constanza (Jason Alexander) or the 80s teen queen (Molly Ringwald), for instance – followed by a conversation about what’s happened since and how the writer feels about the story now.

Be warned: This podcast is a roller coaster of emotion, one that is equal parts funny, sad, and joyous. From dating and marriage, to family heartbreak, you will feel all the feelings. (We can’t imagine what the podcast version of “You’ll Want to Marry my Husband” will do to us when it’s made). 

Where to start: Just One Last Swirl Around the Bowl. Read by Jason Alexander, this essay by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author Dave Barry reflects on what it means to care for those you love.


Pod Save America


What do you do when you lose your job and your boss is replaced by your worst nightmare? Start a podcast, of course. In the wake of the recent Presidential election, four former aides to President Obama - Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor - have done just that with Pod Save America. Skilled speech writers and spokesmen, these four guys provide unfiltered, witty, and thoughtful insights on the current climate of American affairs, covering everything from the Women’s March to Sean Spicer (a never ending source of entertainment for comedians and commentators alike). This self-described “no-bullshit conversation about politics” is the perfect antidote if you’re suffering from post-election blues.

Where to start: The Mall Sank into the Earth The hosts are joined by Seth Meyers, equally acerbic in his commentary, to dissect Trump’s inaugural address.


Words: Emily Freedman