My Favorite Podcasts

PodcastNow that I am a bonafide podcaster with THOR: The Lightning and the Storm (two more episodes to record, sob!), I have been listening to a lot of podcasts–and I love it!

I was never really much of a podcast listener before (except for my very favorite, Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men), but I started to explore different shows to get a good idea of what I did and didn’t like–and what I thought worked well for the listener and didn’t.

What surprised me was the difference in approaches and, frankly, quality. Nothing is more disappointing than finding a podcast whose topic seems tailor-made for me, and whose hosts seem really enthusiastic, only to find that the execution totally turns me off. It’s rare that I’m willing to wade through 20 minutes of aimless chit chat before they get to the meat of the topic–unless I really love the hosts–and a lack of knowledge that is easily Google-able irks me. Also, there are a lot of podcasts that are an hour (or longer!) that would be better shorter.

But! I’m not here to bitch about podcasts I don’t like, I’m here to talk about the ones I love! So without further ado, in no particular order . . .

Gilmore Guys: This was one of the first non-X-Plain podcasts I started listening to, around the time the Gilmore Girls revival aired. Now remember when I said there are a lot of hour-plus podcasts that could easily be half an hour? Many of Gilmore Guys‘ episodes hover around three hours. Their discussion of “Fall” is five hours and forty minutes. But I love it! Hosts Kevin T. Porter (a longtime Gilmore Girls fan) and Demi Adejuyigbe (a newbie who watched as they recorded) have put together an enormously entertaining show with great guests and fantastic features (for example, playing the original WB promos for each episode and checking Television Without Pity‘s forums to see what viewers thought when it originally aired), and it’s just fabulous. This is definitely for hardcore Gilmore Girls fans–it’s simply too much of a time commitment otherwise. They’re now covering Bunheads, another Sherman-Palladino show I never even watched, but I’ll probably listen to all of them.

Titan Up the Defense: Yes I have guested on this show, but I already loved it. Hosts Hub and Cory alternate covering issues of New Teen Titans and Defenders, and it is hilarious and delightful. I enjoy their format: first Hub does a brief recap to begin the episode, and then he and Cory discuss. They end with “Minutiae” (complete with a peppy song) where they select the “best” insult, fashion, characters, etc. It helps to have some knowledge of the Titans and Marvel, but you don’t need to read along to enjoy this podcast (I don’t). Episodes are about an hour long.

Dirtcast: I have a confession to make: I love celebrity gossip. I used to love Perez Hilton, and I read Crazy Days and Nights every day. Dirtcast is hosted by Jezebel‘s Madeleine Davies, and what I love most about that show is that it’s an hour-long mix of current and “vintage” gossip. I mean, celebrity gossip was so much better before social media happened and every minor celebrity could posts tons of garbage photos on Instagram, amirite? Recent episodes explored Twin Peaks set gossip from the ’90s, the cult of Gwyneth Paltrow, and how most celebrity couples are actually PR contracts. Fascinating.

The Four Top: I originally learned about host Katherine Cole when I was researching Portland wine tastemakers for a client I was working with. Cole not only wrote the Oregonian‘s wine column for 13 years, but she’s published the books Rosé All DayHow to Fake Your Way Through a Wine List, and more. Now she’s the host of OPB’s The Four Top, which is a bi-weekly round table discussion during which culinary media insiders tackle all kinds of savory topics in food and beverage culture. It’s divided into “courses,” ending with “dessert”–whatever each guest is currently enjoying. Recent episodes have covered the evolution of grocery stores (which is my jam), whether cannabis will destroy the restaurant industry, and undocumented labor in kitchens. I love this podcast because not only do I enjoy eating and preparing food, but food is so important that its issues affect all aspects of our lives–financially, politically, and ethically. Episodes are typically under an hour, which makes them perfect to listen to while cooking dinner.

Four podcasts seems like a pretty short list, but that’s really all I have time to listen to! What do you like (or dislike) in a podcast, and what are your favorites? Post below!

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