Five Great New Podcasts
Welcome to the 141st edition of Find That Pod.
Just when we thought we were winding down with this whole pandemic business, it looks like we’re all in for another rough ride, thanks to a little thing called Omicron.
As always, stay safe, stay strong and do all those things you can to protect yourself and those around you.
A BIG thank you to everyone who heeded my call to help spread the word last week and for all the feedback. I’ve got big things planned for the newsletter in the new year so 2022 will see some exciting things happening in this little community of ours.
Also, a shout out to everyone who joined the Twitter spaces this week, where and my fellow podcasting newsletter writers talked about ways podcast producers can pitch people like me about their shows. My understanding there will be another one sometime in January.
Now to the good stuff…. here are this week’s recommendations:
This is the sort of film podcast whose premise could have so easily gone off the rails. The primary point of failure for a lot of podcasts where a few guys get together to discuss movies is that they simply wind up sounding bitter and whiny about somebody else’s work of art. Thankfully this astonishingly good show manages to avoid all of those traps.
The show has obviously found some success, and each episode does a deep dive on a single cinematic sequel and looks to prescribe all the ways in which it could have been so much better than it was. Thankfully the three hosts take a nuanced and empathetic approach to analyzing each movie, leaving just enough room for blunt and often funny criticism. So if you have a love of the art of cinema, and you want to commiserate about all the things that could have been better about your least favourite sequels, this is the show for you.
College Football Survivor Show
Whoooo boy…. This was always going to be a tough one for me to review, because frankly, despite playing football in high school (weird I know – it’s only cause I could run fast and catch a ball), I’m pretty far removed from the world of American Football.
That said, I know a lot of you that subscribe to this newsletter are actual stark, raving mad fans of the NFL, and College Football – I heard from all of you after this show’s leaderboard ad ran a few weeks ago. That said, because I can’t claim any domain expertise in this realm, I’ll let you be the judge of whether this podcast is worth your time. I listened to five episodes, and well, here’s what I can say. It’s well-produced, chock-full of College Football talk and the people that host it sure seem confident about the things they’re saying. If you’re a college football fan, go check it out and tell me whether you liked it or not, I won’t judge, I promise.
It’s pretty hard to come across a Wondery podcast that doesn’t reel you in from nearly the first few minutes of listening. Suspect, a true-crime show about a Halloween Party gone wrong is no exception.
An apartment complex hosts a big Halloween party with themed rooms and costumed partygoers. By the end of the night, one of the party’s hosts is murdered. And the partygoers are the main suspects in the eyes of the police: was it the guy in the devil mask, the guy dressed as Jesus, the bank robber, the construction worker?
It’s riveting, thrilling and at times downright maddening. It’s a 10-episode limited series with plenty of drama, intrigue and true crime goodness.
People I (Mostly) Admire
The title of this podcast is an interesting hedge. It’s also a clever marketing tactic. But the contents are entirely excellent. Steven D. Levitt of Freakonomics fame is expanding his podcasting empire with a relatively new show designed to interview all the high-achievers he can get his hands on.
It’s a wide-ranging interview show with some well-known and lesser-known people of intrigue. Ken Jennings, Mayim Bialik, Steven Pinker, Susan Wojcicki, Sam Harris, Daniel Kahneman, Max Tegmark are just a sampling of the type of interviews you can expect from this podcast.
A Slight Change of Plans
I was initially quite reluctant to even give this show a listen as its coming off being awarded as Apple’s Best Show of the Year, an accolade as I have found some of their picks in previous years to be, well, frankly, too obvious. But after having listened to it, I have to concur that it’s definitely in the running for one of the better shows I’ve heard this year.
Fundamentally it’s a show about change, and how people deal with that change. But at its root is something deeper, it’s an intimate glimpse into the lives of people and their ability to cope with extraordinary circumstances. It’s also an exploration of human behaviour and how sometimes we have so little power over the things our minds decide to do.
Frank, honest, smart and funny, it’s one of the better shows you’ll listen to as the year winds down.