My Favorite Podcasts
I had intended on writing a stellar introduction to this piece, talking about how important podcasts have been to my life and how much I have learned and blah, blah, blah. But if I am being honest, now is not the time for philosophical musings on why podcasts are freaking great. Instead, I just want to talk about my favorite podcasts, the podcasts that I can listen to no matter what. And don't underestimate me when I say no matter what. I am talking about podcasts that I never grow sick of. Sure there are times when I love a podcast, but then there are equal the amount of times when I return to the podcast and grow bored or just don't enjoy it like I did at one time. The podcasts I am talking about are the ones that I have stuck with through thick and thin and never can't enjoy. They are just too good to pass up. I know, it is a high bar I am setting. But I stand by these top 5 picks and I hold them in high regard. So without further ado, my top 5 podcasts that I never, ever get sick of...ever.
Up Yours, Downstairs
Now this list is in no particular order, but if it was then this podcast would be at the top of the tier. I never knew a love as deep as the one I have for this podcast. It specializes in recapping the PBS/ITV period soap opera, Downton Abbey. I tell people to watch Downton Abbey just to listen to this show...because if I am being honest, Downton isn't all that good. It is this podcast that makes watching all six seasons and a tacked on movie worth while. Hosts Kelly and Amy are hilarious and super smart, creating an atmosphere that is relaxing and educational. There are a handful of podcasts that have made me laugh out loud at work, but none have been able to do so with such consistency. And this is one of the few shows that I relisten to since new episodes are not currently being put out any longer (sad face). Choosing to listen to this podcast will be the best decision of your life, even more important than deciding what college to attend or what to name your first born child. Okay...that may be slightly sarcastic but you get the idea.
In the Books (Game of Thrones Book Club)
Like the previous podcast, this show is no longer producing episodes which is a real shame because my gosh I crave new episodes. But listening to the episodes we were given is always super enjoyable. Hosts James, “Graessle”, Chelsea, and Joel recap and analyze chapters from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Although never officiated via the podcasts gods on iTunes or other audio platforms, this show was primarily hosted via YouTube. The Practical Folks, the channel that produced this program, are a comedy YouTube channel known primarily for their Drunk Disney show. The channel also used to post a lot of Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire content. Throughout its run the show was known as the Game of Thrones book club, with a name change coming shortly before the decision to bring the show to an audio platform vs. live streams and video. Sadly, shortly after the name change came the news that the team just did not have time to dedicate to have these book clubs. While I understand the reasoning, it is a real shame as this is by far the best A Song of Ice and Fire book club on the interwebs and I could have used their insight on the later books. Regardless, it is a great show and has a lot of re-listening value.
Harry Potter is the reason I became a podcast fanatic. In college all I wanted to do was study the Harry Potter books. Being that there were no classes on the series at my school, I turned to the internet where I found a plethora of podcasts to fill my Potter cravings. At this point I've listened to almost all of the podcasts about these books that are out there and it is safe to say that I have grown a bit bored. Listening to the recaps saying very similar things over and over again becomes dull and if I am being honest, Potter has lost its luster for me over the years due to Rowling's inability to leave the series behind and my own growth as a person. The series still holds a candle but it isn't as strong and I am okay with that. For a while I was beginning to think that all Potter podcasts were the same old rodeo...but Witch, Please is a breath of fresh air. Finally, a podcast that offers something new to the Potter community. What has become increasingly obvious over the years since Potter's publication is that the books, nor Rowling, are not as woke as we once believed. This podcast dives into these ideas, challenging the books while also celebrating them for the wonders that they are. I seriously love these ladies and love this podcast. Definitely take a listen.
Self described on iTunes as, "[a podcast that] interprets current events through the lens of literature…" If ever there was a podcast for me, it would be this one. For the longest time, since high school, I have firmly believed that literature offers a window into our lives that helps us not only understand ourselves but the world around us. Good literature has long felt like a requirement for my life. After all, how can I live without these amazing books that seem to be written directly to my own soul and speak to my very experiences while at the same time speaking to others with completely different ones? During this time of political unrest, literature feels more important than ever to understanding ourselves, our neighbors, and political climates. If literature has taught me anything, it is the need to practice empathy and to have a better understanding of those whose experiences are different than mine. I grew up with a very sheltered, conservative worldview. Reading literature has expanded my mind and forced me to wrestle with ideas and I feel better for it. I never want to become content with the way things are but always question and try to understand. This podcast is the perfect outlet for these feelings. The hosts and guests talk about current events and relate them to works of literature. This podcast seems to feed my very soul and I can't get enough of it. I am still catching up on episodes and I imagine I will be a bit sad when I am all caught up, but I am excited for the future of the show and new episodes!
Team West Covina
The CW musical drama Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a show I have a mixed relationship with...on the one hand I absolutely love it. It radically defies television and musical tropes while also being crazy funny and a strangely accurate depiction of relationships and mental health. On the other hand, the show can sometimes drag and the plot can feel forced. But at the end of the day, it is a show I find highly enjoyable and always recommend. As with most things in life, once I began watching this show I immediately started looking for podcasts to listen to. I found one that I stuck with for awhile but never loved. Then this one was suggested to me via a YouTuber and I figured, it is worth giving a shot...and I am so glad I did. The podcast analyses each episode in depth, paying particular attention to the characters and the themes being presented and talking about this on a larger scale by referencing past and future episodes. Clearly "Paisley" knows her stuff, and I could not imagine it being in more capable hands. Her analysis is on point and really makes you appreciate the show so much more than the casual watch.
I listen to a lot of podcasts...A LOT! My podcast library is current made up of...well I would tell you but iTunes is failing to load. What else is new. (Yes, I am bitter that iTunes can't load properly in 2019. And yes, I still use iTunes and an iPod in 2019). Again I must emphasize a lot. Sometimes I download podcasts and collect their episodes for listening far off in the future. Other times I download one episode and wonder months later why a certain podcast is in my library.
These podcasts are without a doubt the ones I always find myself listening to and returning to. They bring so much joy to my life, and I always look forward to them.