I’m allowed to wear earbuds at work, which has managed to turn me into a real podcast fiend in a relatively short length of time. Of course, there are probably thousands of podcasts, not all of which I have sampled. However, I feel that I have at least some knowledge of what’s out there. So here’s a list of some of my favourite podcasts. PS- this list isn’t in any particular order. I don’t tend to listen to lots of podcasts from one genre, so I didn’t feel it was fair to compare them so directly.
For true crime lovers- Criminal and Casefile
From what I’ve seen, true crime podcasts are some of the most popular and numerous podcasts around. I’m not a huge fan of true crime, but these two podcasts really stand out. Criminal is probably my favourite podcast. I’m always eager to listen when a new episode comes out. I like it because the cases studied aren’t usually just about murder and rape; they cover diverse and interesting topics. Some examples include episodes about the numbers (a sort of underground lottery in black communities), a body farm, shark attacks, and a woman whose identity was stolen by her own mother.
Casefile tends to lean towards the murder-y side of crime. I like it because the narrator explains the crime in a very straightforward manner without much added personality-wise. I personally prefer crime podcasts to be serious rather than comedic. The narrator of this podcast is Australian, and covers many infamous crimes from Australia, which I think is interesting and unique. I recommend episode 118, which covers the Tylenol murders, and the series of episodes about Belango, which starts at episode 109.
For D&D fans- The Adventure Zone
The Adventure Zone is hardly an underground podcast. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the most popular D&D podcasts out there, but that won’t stop me from recommending it. It’s hosted by the McElroy brothers and their father, and it’s absolutely hilarious. They’ve done several campaigns, or storylines. My favourite so far has been Amnesty, which tells the story of several adventurers in a mountain town full of strange occurrences. It has strong Gravity Falls vibes. Their current campaign is Graduation, which tells the story of a school for villains, heroes, and sidekicks a la Harry Potter.
For science nerds- Ologies and 99% Invisible
There’s a science-y podcast out there for just about every niche interest that exists, but these two are a bit more general. Ologies, hosted by Alie Ward, brings in a different “ologist”, or expert in their field, each week. Even when the subject is super complicated, they do a great job of breaking it down in a way the average person can understand. Some of my favourite episodes include Chiropterology (the study of bats) and cucurbitology (the study of pumpkins).
99% Invisible is a bit less general than Ologies. It tends to examine elements of design that we don’t normally think about, a topic which a lot of things can fall under. One of my favourite episodes is episode 387, which is about the infamous ET game that failed so horribly that Atari buried all remaining copies in a mass grave under a dump.