This Week in Podcasts: 4/15/18 – 4/21/18

This Week in Podcasts is a weekly roundup of mini-reviews of all of the podcasts I’ve listened to in a week. If you see any podcasts that you feel are missing from my list, there’s a good chance I haven’t listened to the show yet! You can see my current list of podcast subscriptions here. Feel free to give me recommendations–as well as any feedback or discussion!–in the comments below or on twitter. 

This week, I wrote a personal blog post about why podcasts mean so much to me. I wrote a review for a lovely podcast on podcasting, BitRate. I was also interviewed for an article on Forbes.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Podcast Problems newsletter for weekly recommendations, news, musings, and more!


Highlights

Caliphate
“Episode One: The Reporter”

A new podcast by The New York TimesCaliphate follows foreign corresponded Rukmini Callimachi trying to gain a deeper insight into the Islamic State. Caliphate is, so far, a refreshing and appropriate blend of personal narrative and investigative journalism. This is something other podcasts struggle with often: it’s something we’ve seen in Serial and this week’s The Habitat, something parodied in pieces like A Very Fatal Murder (etc. etc. etc.). Here, though, the symbiosis between journalism and narrative seems necessary; Callimachi has been targeted by the Islamic State because of her work as a journlist. Hearing Callimachi laugh about members of ISIS call her fat (“There’s something ironic about being fat-shamed by ISIS,” she chuckles uncomfortably) is as necessary to the podcast as the harrowing sounds of bombs exploding around the reporters. Caliphate treads ground that isn’t necessarily new in podcasting or in journalism, but its elegance and authenticity already make it feel like it could be a new breakout in the industry.


Pitfalls

Gimlet’s Sandra and The Habitat

I’ll be discussing these two podcasts at a later date, as well as the third podcast released in full by Gimlet this week, We Came to WinThe Habitat is a nonfiction podcast that follows a group of people living in a space station simulation over the course of a year. Sandra, meanwhile, is an audio drama about, basically, the people who control a fictionalized Siri. The Habitat is worlds more successful in execution than the confused and over-produced Sandra, but steps into some very uncomfortable voyeuristic journalism tendencies while also leaving the listener with a shrug by the end. These two shows have a commercial sheen that feels a little like very, very expensive white chocolate: you know it’s been made with some high-quality ingredients, but it’s still white chocolate at the end of the day.


This Week’s Ratings

Sunday, 4/15/18

  • We Fix Space Junk, “S01E05 – The Third Repairman”: B
  • The Sporkful, “Prison Ramen Saved My Life”: B
  • Hello from the Magic Tavern, “Season 2, Ep 55 – Road Trip”: B-
  • Conversations with People Who Hate Me, “Burned at the Stake”: C+
  • The Infinite Now, “NANOTECH LIMERICKS”: B+
  • Girl in Space, “What Is This You Feel”: B
  • The Strange Case of Starship Iris, “6. Parallel”: C+
  • Nancy, “A Gaggle for Me”: B
  • Athena, “1.01 / / TEEN ANGST”: B-

Monday, 4/16/18

  • Fall of the House of Sunshine, “c:\>y-puter_poems>>2._caps_lock_error”: C
  • ArtCurious, “Episode #32: Rivals- Judith Leyster vs. Frans Hals”: B
  • Han and Matt Know It All, “#66: Han and Matt Watch Relaxation Videos”: C+
  • Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, “108. Road Dogs”: C

Tuesday, 4/17/18

  • Sandra, released in full: D+
  • The Habitat, released in full: C
  • Violet Beach, “Honeymoon Phase”: B-
  • Aftershocks, “Ghost Stories”: B-
  • My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 402: Face 2 Face: That Good Hot Dog Syrup”: C+
  • 99% Invisible, “303- The Hair Chart”: B
  • Love and Luck, “Episode 33 – Jason’s 30th Birthday”: B
  • The End of Time and Other Bothers, “End Notes, Episode 1”: C+

Wednesday, 4/18/18

  • Han and Matt Know It All, “How to Manage an Always Worried Roommate | Opinion Overflow #36”: C+
  • Spirits, “Episode 73: Orishas”: B
  • The Bright Sessions, “Caleb”: B
  • Caliphate, “Chapter One: The Reporter”: B+
  • Fall of the House of Sunshine, “Season 2, Episode 3: Live and Let Darknet”: B

Thursday, 4/19/17

  • Wonderful!, “Ep. 30: Droney”: B-

Friday, 4/20/17

  • Boom, “Truth”: B-
  • Radiolab, “Border Trilogy Part 3: What Remains”: B
  • Bitrate, “Let’s Gather Round the Wireless”: B-
  • The Adventure Zone, “Amnesty – Episode 7”: C+

Saturday, 4/21/17

  • 2298, “ENTRY SEVENTEEN / PROCESSING”: B
  • The Allusionist, “77. Survival Part 1: Home”: B
  • Ostium, “People in Glass Houses”: B-

These weekly roundups are some of my favorite to write, but they’re also some of the most exhausting posts to write. Keeping up with all these podcasts is time consuming! These posts are brought to you with deep thanks to my Patreon supporters. Becoming a supporter will get you access to my planning blog, customized podcast playlists, and the ability to request reviews for podcasts you love. Find out more here!

  1. White chocolate can just fuck off.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. Agreed, Helen. Agreed.

      Like

      Reply

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