It wasn’t long ago that I discovered podcasts. I know that’s ridiculous. Podcasts have been around since, like, the 90s or something. Or at least since last year. I have an iPhone and a Mac; I can fix basically any computer problem that arises; I’m a social media wizard; I get paid for technical online stuff. Technical online stuff, guys. Yet up until a few months ago, I wondered, What is this “podcast”?
My introduction to podcasts was with Stuff You Should Know’s haunted attractions episode. I liked it, but I slowly backed away from what I assumed was boring talk radio. My true love affair with podcasts began with Serial, which had me hooked from the first two drops of that creepy intro song. I couldn’t listen to the show while I worked, because I’d either ignore it or write down what Sarah Koenig’s interviewees were saying. I would listen to Serial while my boyfriend watched that stupid AMC zombie show (I can’t even say the name, it’s so stupid) or I’d pop on my headphones and listen while I washed dishes or dusted. After a week, my apartment was very clean.
Then it happened: the first season of Serial ended. I shed a tear. Or did I? We’ll never know. (Sound familiar?) With Serial over and obnoxiously unsolved, what would I do? How would I clean? I tried a few other podcasts, realizing that I was the Goldilocks of the Internet radio world. These episodes are too short. Those episodes are too boring. That crew is too self-involved. Is that guy wheezing? Is he wheezing into the microphone? I can’t.
As obsessed as I am with my job, I have trouble listening to work-related podcasts during my non-work time. If I write one more checklist about how to brand myself, my head might spin off. (Maybe that could be my brand?) A girl needs a break once in a while. “What do I like?” I asked myself. Umm… coffee. I like coffee. And travel, but that would just make me feel guilty for not traveling more. I like movies. And pop culture. I like movies & pop culture! I had found an interest. Now if I could just find a podcast…
There are a gazillion pop culture ‘casts. I hate them all, except for
one two (we’ll get to the second one later on). I almost hated the complete gazillion, except I gave The Popcast a second chance. The first chance didn’t go so well: Does she have an accent? Ugh, she definitely has an accent. She is not a New Yorker. Is she on every week? Maybe she’s just a guest. Nope, it’s her show. Great. Oh no – does he have an accent, too? I hear a twang. Maybe it’s just her accent that’s still in my ears. God, Jamie, shut up. Knox doesn’t even seem to like you. Do they keep misusing words? Do they not know what the words they’re saying actually mean? Is this a real podcast? Maybe I downloaded a trial podcast or something…
Whichever Popcast episode I clicked on to pop my cherry, it was one where neither Knox nor Jamie were on their best game. They both mispronounced and misused a few words, which was such a turnoff. Like, I’m a writer – I never make a misatke. Knox and Jamie tripping over their tongues was the downloadable version of them slapping my fresh cup of blueberry coffee to the ground. Stop making me hate you, I thought.
The next day, my dining room needed a good dusting and so I reluctantly cued up another Popcast episode. Celebrity scandals? Yes please. Yes to all the scandals. “I hate them, but I like this topic,” I told myself. It didn’t take long for Knox and Jamie to win me over. They’re saying all the words right! That accent is so precious! It’s especially precious when she says the word “precious,” which is just, like, double the precious! He sounds handsome! Is he handsome? I bet he’s handsome. To be honest, I may have been a tad bitchy the day before. I was, after all, cleaning my bedroom, my least favorite of all the household tasks, even more hated than Bathroom Cleaning Day.
Today, I love The Popcast so much that I have cleared my podcast feed of (almost) all the other ‘casts. To Hell with ya. I love The Popcast so much that I regularly Tweet my pals Knox and Jaimes (can I call you Jaimes?) about shows from months ago. I love The Popcast so much that I’m considering creating a branded hashtag so that I can Tweet about past shows and maybe, just maybe, they’ll reminisce with me.
Listen to them right this moment. You’re totally welcome. (Insider Tip: Use Overcast, it’s so much better than the native podcast app on your phone.) Oh, and also, here are more of the best podcasts in the whole wide world, according to me:
- CinemaJaw: For movie lovers and self-professed comic book nerds. Stick around to the end of each episode to compete (against yourself) in movie trivia.
- The Cubicle Crashing Podcast: This is a new one for me & while Lydia is a little breathless & hyper, she’s growing on me. It’s good for anyone who’s dreaming of or in the middle of crafting their own career & lifestyle.
- Lore: Aaron Mahnke has possibly the most soothing voice in all of podcasting. So soothing that you almost forget the true stories he’s telling are totes horrific.
- The Popcast with Knox and Jamie: Like, read the whole blog post I just wrote. C’mon.
- Serial: For lovers of true crime and investigative journalism. There are two seasons so far – both completed, so you can listen to them in full – and just be prepared to not get anything else done until they’re over.
- Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know: If you’re like me & like the darker sides of life, you’ll happily fall into this rabbit hole of “nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.”
- Stuff You Should Know: Why are people staring at you? What’s with Grimm and his creepy fairy tales? Mmm, PEZ – tell me more. I don’t get how hot air balloons stay up in the air and don’t kill you… Find information about all this & everything else & then even some more.