Friday, February 24, 2017

Podcasts I've Enjoyed Recently

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I've only recently gotten into Podcasts. I used to like Audiobooks, but I find it hard to listen to fictional books on audio (I tend to drift off) and I've had enough of celebrity autobiographies for now.

I heard about the infamous "Serial" Podcast last year, and wanted to see what the fuss was about - I find Podcasts so unbelievably handy, I can listen to them on a walk, or when I'm cleaning, or in the background when I'm blogging or editing photos.

First things first, how to listen to a Podcast. There are a number of apps, the ones I use are Castbox (free) and Spotify (partially free). Most can also be listened to on a laptop, tablet or PC. They can be streamed live or downloaded for offline use. Soundcloud, Spotify, Google Play, iTunes all have most of the ones I've listed here.

True Crime

Serial: Season One

Season One. This is a true crime story. In Baltimore in 1999, a high school senior named Hae Min Lee disappeared. Her body was found in a park a month later, she had been strangled. Hae's 17 year old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. The main evidence against him was that of his friend Jay, who said he helped Adnan dispose of Hae's body. Adnan swears he had nothing to do with it.

This is a 12 episode series about the case, each episode is around the hour long mark. Host Sarah Koenig has access to a huge amount of information and is determined to get some very odd questions answered.

In the Dark: Season One
This is a 9 part series about a true crime that took 27 years to solve - the abduction of 11 year old Jacob Wetterling in 1989 in Minnesota. Originally intended as a series to examine why the case hadn't been solved, it came full circle late last year.

This is uncomfortable to listen to at times (as any true crime case involving minors would be) - but it's a scary look into how cases can be botched and how evidence can be misconstrued.

The Criminal Podcast is short and sweet - it's a collection of episodes about various crimes, all presented in short bursts of anything from 10 to 30 minutes. There are over 60 episodes so far, some are more enjoyable than others, but the beauty of keeping them short is that you don't feel like too much time has been wasted if an episode is boring. The first minute or so of the earlier ones is usually an advertisement, so just skip that. Host Phoebe Judge is very easy to listen to, and episodes are short enough to listen to in a waiting room or on a commute.

My favourite episodes include -

  • Episode 18: 695 BGK (a Policeman runs the wrong licence plate number and as a result shoots the wrong man)
  • Episode 20: Gil From London (a woman arranges to meet a man she has been talking to online but her son starts digging to find out if the man is being truthful)
  • Episode 37: Hastings (a school goes into lockdown when a 14 year old brings a gun to school)
  • Episode 48: Eight Years (a woman who runs a Harry Potter fan site receives  death threats and abusive messages from a stalker...for eight years)

If you have an interest in high profile or strange crime cases, this is a great podcast. A recent episode centres around Kerry Max Cook, a man who was wrongfully jailed for murder. I've actually read his book (I mentioned it here at the time) and his case is fascinating. They've also got episodes about things like Cropsey and Mothman, conspiracy theories about cases like Titanic and the suicide of Kurt Cobain, plus famous unsolved cases like the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. It's a clever, witty Podcast that's well produced and easy to follow. 

Film/TV Related

A podcast hosted by Matt Gourley, featuring interviews with people who had non-leading roles in popular movies. Really, really interesting and funny, with some fantastic episodes. I'd really recommend the Collected Stories: Vol 2 episode for snippets from people involved with Alien, Carrie, Aladdin, Pulp Fiction - it's a great podcast.

Hosts Jenny and Kristin are rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the very beginning and making a podcast for every episode. Join them on their journey as they try to only mention Smashing the Patriarchy once per episode and sing along with a new specially-written jingle at the end of every recording! One of my favourites, it only took me until the "Witch" episode recap to realise that I had found more of my people - I mean who DIDN'T try the odd spell or two then almost shit yourself in case it worked? I was also going to use this as another opportunity to put a screenshot of the time GILES TWEETED ME BACK or the time I WHITTLED AN ACTUAL STAKE but I mean, come on, the 20th Anniversary is coming, I have to leave something for that... 


Homecoming is a short 6-part fictional series set around a woman who once worked at a top secret base designed to rehabilitate soldiers using a highy experimental treatment. Roll on 5 years, and the woman is working as a waitress with no recollection of the project.....

This stars David Schwimmer, Catherine Keener, and Oscar Isaac. Every episode is around a half an hour, so this is something I devoured over an evening - I really enjoyed the style and the voice acting was spot on. Very engaging.

A fictional 7 part documentary about a woman named Lia Haddock who is investigating the strange disappearance of an entire town. As Lia starts to dig around to find out exactly how 300 people could vanish without a single trace, someone wants to make sure she doesn't let the town's secrets escape.

The voice acting is brilliant, it's convincing (convincing enough to make me Google "is Limetown real" like an eejit), it's set up in the same way as Serial, presenting facts and results of investigations. Really good, really addictive.

Episode One
MDWAP is a comedy podcast that's part fiction, part reaction. On the back of the success of E.L. James, Jamie Morton's Dad decided to have a go at his own version of "Fifty Colours of Grey". The result is a hilariously inappropriate romp called "Belinda Blinked", a story about a woman who goes for an interview for her dream job as manager of an international pots and pans company (including an £85k a year salary and company car). Jamie reads it out along with friends Alice Levine and James Cooper. You can't listen to this around children, and definitely not at work, but it's hilarious provided you're not offended by descriptions like "her vaginal lids popped open". What makes it great are the reactions of the three readers, it's proper laugh-out-loud stuff if you're into that kind of humour. And yes, you can buy the Kindle book.

Please, PLEASE leave suggestions below if you've come across anything else that you deem worthy of a listen!


  1. Nice to see what podcasts you've been enjoying recently.

  2. Great blog post Sharon, I'm always looking for suggestions for good podcasts. I've just finished listening to 'Made in Sweden'. Its well worth a listen! Mary O'S

  3. I like They Walk Among Us, Missing, Court Junkie, Up and Vanished, Someone knows something, Accused, Missing& Murdered: Who killed Alberta Williams, Hollywood & Crime and my latest fav Missing Richard Simmons

  4. Thanks for this, right up my street. I usually use Audible but I only get one book a month on my plan. I'm going to download Cast box . I already subscribe to Spotify and hadn't a clue they had podcasts. Keeps me sane stuck in the house with 3 kids.

  5. Great to see some ideas I've just recently gotten into podcasts myself. Serial started me off!! Also enjoyed undisclosed, stranglers, someone knows something.


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