In March, podcasts nationwide participated in the inaugural #TryPod initiative, highlighting other podcasts listeners should try.

One in five Americans listens to a podcast each month and, if you look at the iTunes store, the amount of content is growing at a rapid rate. From Atlanta to Los Angeles, the increase in rush hour traffic times means podcasts could be just beginning to rise as one of the most-listened-to forms of entertainment.

No matter your interests, there's probably a podcast suited specifically for it. And, generally, the ones getting the most buzz are definitely worth it. The release of S-Town in the past couple of weeks has led to astronomically download numbers. If you haven't downloaded it yet, what are you waiting for?

Stuck in traffic? Looking for something other than TV to bide your time?
Here are some of my favorite podcasts that you should definitely add to your subscription library:

Hosted By: Katey Rich, Richard Lawson, Mike Hogan, Joanna Robinson
Presented by Vanity Fair, Little Gold Men gives an inside look at the Oscar season, from a year-round perspective. For movie fans, there's plenty of talk about the industry and the movies that are trending high and low throughout the year. For award season fans, the entire show is built around the momentum for movies and stars. For industry fans, some episodes feature interviews with behind-the-scenes figures from the year's best movies and the year's biggest events. For history fans, there's plenty of talk of the years of yore. The hosts are entertaining and present a well-rounded look at the films that make up the year in movies. It's a movie fan's must-listen-to podcast. If you like this, also check out Awards Chatter and Hollywood Breakdown.

Hosted By: Karina Longworth
Presented in a storytelling format that only adds to the glamour, You Must Remember This is the ultimate guide to the forgotten history of Hollywood. Each season gives an in-depth look at a particular theme or subject. Previous seasons have investigated the nooks and crannies of Joan Crawford's life and career and peered through the historical showmanship that makes up Alfred Hitchcock's legacy. The most recent season, which recently wrapped, spent weeks showcasing the surprising, shocking, and almost-unbelievable stories behind Hollywood's Dead Blondes (frosted-haired actresses who passed away in their prime). From Peg Entwistle's Holylwood Sign suicide to Marilyn Monroe's mystique, it's a series of stories you don't want to miss. Longsworth's attention to detail and sultry delivery give each episode a level of panache. If you like this, also check out: The Director's Cut - A DGA Podcast.

Hosted By: Sarah Koenig
Presented by the people behind This American Life (also a fantastic podcast), Serial was perhaps one of the first must-hear podcasts to reach pop culture royalty. The entire first season follows the true story of Adnan Sayed, a high schooler found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in Maryland. The podcast picks up years later as Koenig begins investigating literally every detail surrounding the case, opening up questions as to the validity of Sayed's sentence. The podcast's first season was not only a critical and commercial hit, it opened the door for Sayed's case to be revisited by authorities. The second season dipped into a more recent true story: Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who was believed to be a prisoner of war, but many pointed to him as an actual deserter. The second season didn't quite resonate the way season one did, but it's still a compelling look at the nitty gritty details of a true story. This same approach by the Serial and This American Life teams is applied to S-Town, the newest podcast phenomenon. If you like this, also check out: S-Town and This American Life.

Hosted by: Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams
Perhaps one of the funniest and most refreshing podcasts available right now, 2 Dope Queens features Robinson's and Williams' own personal comedy styles, plus their favorite comedians, shared in front of a live audience. Both hosts aren't afraid to delve into their personal lives, divulging hilarious anecdotes about sex, race, guilty pleasures, pop culture, and everything in between. In its third season, 2 Dope Queens find the fine line between genuine storytelling and almost-embarrassing honesty. The lineup of guest comedians is pretty stellar, too, showcasing established funny men and women and newcomers that will lead you down your own YouTube rabbit trail after each episode. If you like this, also check out: Anna Faris is Unqualified.

Hosted by: Josh Duboff, Julie Miller
The sister podcast to Little Gold Men, In the Limelight is another Vanity Fair product that reaches far beyond your typical pop culture coverage. Hosts Duboff and Miller are like living and breathing tabloids (in the best sense of the word), actively living the life we all dream we had (in the most recent episode, Miller shares a story about a phone call interview with Laura Dern about Big Little Lies in which Reese Witherspoon makes a cameo) and gushing about the pop culture we all care about and need. This is the podcast for you if you, too, fawn over every thing Meghan Markle does as she ventures through her romance with a royal. There's also plenty of talk of Hollywood's biggest parties, as Duboff and Miller have a front row seat. This is the ultimate water cooler of the podcast world. If you like this, also check out: Who? Weekly and Pop Culture Happy Hour.

Hosted by: Cameron Strang, Jesse Carey, Eddie Kaufholz, Chandler Strang
Presented by the team behind RELEVANT Magazine, the RELEVANT Podcast gives a weekly look at current events, faith, culture, and the things that intersect all three. Host and magazine founder, Cameron Strang, leads the group through segments that stretch between hilarious hijinks and high-brow discussions about sustainable culture and the role of faith in today's society. Weekly guests range from musicians, entertainers, faith leaders, and activists. The podcast provides a unique voice on the things that shape our culture, being willing to step out and talk honestly (and, most of the time, with a clever and hilarious wit) where other faith entities may shy away. It's refreshing. If you like this, also check out: The BadChristian Podcast and Ask Science Mike.

Hosted by: Tyler Oakley, Korey Kuhl
YouTube King, Tyler Oakley, spends each week talking about literally anything and everything with his best friend, Korey Kuhl. The topics range from everything between celeb gossip and life in LA to things you don't want to listen to with your parents. Oakley's unabashed self-deprecating humor is the perfect antidote to a mundane drive, offering laugh-out-loud worthy moments mixed with light-hearted storytelling. It's that sense of self discovery and self awareness that helped propel Oakley to the tops of the YouTuber kingdom. The babble between the two hosts can get a little spastic at times, which only carries the show along even greater. When you need a break from something that seems more academic, this is about as far from that as you can get. Which is a good thing. If you like this, also check out: Anna Faris is Unqualified and Broken Podcast.

Starring: Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris, David Cross
A scripted series from Gimlet Media, Homecoming is a psychological thriller with a starry cast that is equal parts horror and intrigue. Built like the radio shows of yesteryear, but set in a present day middle America, Homecoming follows Heidi (Keener), a therapist working at a top secret government facility. The series skips around in time, first meeting Heidi years after she left her practice and finding her as a waitress in a roadside diner. Throughout the run of the show, we get firsthand listens to different sessions with certain soldiers, painting a picture of a secret government program that may not be handling things the way they should. It's an interesting glimpse of policy and leadership that feels even more harrowing considering the state of our country at present. The cast is delectable, with Keener especially shining. Fingers crossed we get a second season. If you like this, also check out: Limetown and Welcome to Night Vale.

No comments: