Each week this December, we’re coming to our subscribers with our top media picks of 2022 (with personal notes from our staffers), and today, it’s podcasts. If you like this podcast list, join our supporters and become a Friend of BSR today. We’ll have a year-end virtual event on December 29 for staff, writers, and Friends, where we’ll trade more of our top picks!
You may also enjoy listening to our staffers chat on a recent BSR podcast episode. Kyle, Alaina, and Neil talked about Japanese television shows and eye-opening non-fiction books, among many, many other topics.
On to the recommendations!
Writer C.M. Crockford suggests "Blank Check, as well as Weird Studies, We Hate Movies, and the Always Sunny podcast. All as nerdy, culture obsessed and idiosyncratic in their way as me, I guess."
Editor-in-chief Alaina Johns recommends Unsolicited: Fatties Talk Back. This podcast centers fat, disabled, trans, POC voices in the format of an advice show, in which the five "fatties" respond to an advice-column question on hot-button topics of diet culture, disability, and desirability politics, with an anti-ableist, anti-racist, fat liberation lens. Alaina also has been listening to Now & Then, hosted by Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman. Richardson, a professor, author, and political historian whose platform exploded via social media a few years ago, brings her trademark skill for contextualizing US current events and political stories to this hugely informative podcast. Freeman and Richardson have a great rapport as they dig into the little-known cultural and political history that undergirds the news cycle, helping us understand the roots of what's happening, and whether or not it echoes the past.
BSR writer Jill Ivey "randomly came across Cupid (a star-studded musical podcast about Greek gods in the modern world), and American Hostage (an audiodrama featuring Jon Hamm based on a true story) and was impressed by the performances and production on both."
One of my dedicated listens this year was to the official Good Ol' Grateful Deadcast. I've written before for BSR about the Grateful Dead. The podcast has been a series that's only deepened my decades-long understanding of the iconic band, the community surrounding them, and the influence they've had on contemporary culture and technology. The hosts combine archival bits and new findings. A deep dive for the committed Deadhead, for sure, but also a great introduction for the curious individual.
Andee Hochman, a writer, told me "I love The Trojan Horse Affair, a Serial podcast that grew more confounding with each episode; I especially appreciated the hosts' complete transparency about their own qualms and frustrations in reporting the story." What an intriguing review!
Melissa Strong brings us three titles. "I consistently learn useful things about love, sex, and relationships from both Multiamory and the Savage Lovecast. I also recommend the Adult Child podcast, an informative and supportive resource for adult children of dysfunctional families."
Our social media manager Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer describes Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness as follows: "JVN shares his warm personality and genuine curiosity with a range of (mostly) academic guests who share in very down-to-earth conversation."
That's it for our list of podcasts! Don't forget to check the BSR site for other streaming media reviews and of course subscribe to our own podcast, hosted by Darnelle Radford. Next week, we'll send to your inbox another list. What do you think it'll be?