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. You can see a list of every episode that has scored within the A range here.
“330- Raccoon Resistance”
There’s something particularly special about episodes of 99% Invisible in which you can tell host Roman Mars is just delighted by the topic. In this episode, the 99% Invisible team discusses Toronto’s raccoon problem (if it can be called a problem, given its residents’ love of the animals) and how a compost bin was designed specifically to keep raccoons out . . . until they don’t. Hearing the story behind the raccoon problem, the compost bin, how it was supposed to keep the raccoons out, and, ultimately, the great reveal of how they got in is 99% Invisible meets mystery meets absolute hijinks, all while keeping a sharp eye on the design aspect of the story. This isn’t the most serious episode of the podcast, but its story is treated with as much respect as any other topic, showing 99% Invisible‘s range without sacrificing its quality.
Spirits takes a look into myths, legends, and folklore from around the world, but it excels most in the moments when it contextualizes those stories in a modern setting. This week’s episode on Rangda goes into the demon queen’s mythos, discussing the stories around her–and then discussing how we ascribe evilness to women in the stories we tell. What starts off a discussion of an evil witch becomes a discussion on the agency of women, the women who live outside of traditional femininity, and how the stories we tell about women shape our sociological idea of women. The conversation always feels genuine and insightful, never didactic.
In this season finale of slow-burn psychological horror Station Blue, the narrative is interlaced with flashbacks to help contextualize the events of season one while also giving even more emotional weight to such an emotional first season. To explain more about this finale would be to give anything away, but its plot is, as always, accompanied by Chad Ellis’s intimate and moving writing and performance.
Buick City 1AM
“Buck City, 1:00 AM — Episode 4”
Buick City 1AM has been a wonderfully strange, dark new audio fiction, blending mystery, time travel, sociological critique, and opera in way that are absolutely innovative. The initially novel storytelling makes its cliched conclusion massively disappointing. The clash between being so form-breaking in structure and being so typical to form renders Buick City 1AM a strange, frustrating listen as one whole piece versus four episodes.
This Week’s Ratings
- Conversations with People Who Hate Me, “Listener Call: Jamie”: C
- The Hilarious World of Depression, “Aparna Nancherla is Having a Harder Time Doing Something She’s Great At”: B-
- Arden, “The Friends We Made Along the Way Did It”: B+
- The Dream, “Episode 10: The American Way”: B
- I Never Saw That, “45 Strange Brew”: C+
- HORSE, “Ep. 11: My Favorite Player is Cash Considerations”: B
- The Far Meridian, “2.7 Festival”: B
- Twenty Thousand Hertz, “Being George Clooney”: B
- Limetown, “Halifax”: B-
- Song Salad, “Ep. 137 – Cameroonian Lights”: B
- My Brother, My Brother and Me, “MBMBaM 435: The Pasta Poem”: C+
- Song Exploder, “Breakmaster Cylinder – Reply All”: B
- Within the Wires, “Season 3, Reel 7: March 29, 1954”: B
- Everything Is Alive, “Sean, Subway Seat”: B
- Buick City 1AM, “Buck City, 1:00 AM — Episode 4”: C-
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking, “58: Happy(ish) Holidays III”: B
- Greater Boston, “Episode 31: Election Day – Part 1” & “Episode 31: Election Day – Part 2”: B+
- Love and Luck, “Episode 59 – Stars in Her Hair”: B
- Join the Party, “38. Labor Party VIII”: B
- Serendipity City, “A Very Specific Danger Response”: B-
- Palimpsest, “episode eight: Hag”: B
- 99% Invisible, “330- Raccoon Resistance”: A-
- No Bad Ideas, “Episode 5: We Know How Cults Work”: B
- ZigZag, “The Women Who Make CRIMINAL“: B
- This is Love, “Episode 9: One in a Million”: B
- Join the Party, “Afterparty: Labor Party VIII”: B
- Han and Matt Know It All, “#96: Han and Matt Buy Blackout Curtains”: C+
- Spirits, “105: Rangda”: A-
- Shedunnit, “3. Queer Clues”: B
- Station Blue, “Slip”: A-
- Wonderful!, “Ep. 61: Our Favorite Austin Stuff, Live!”: B
- Pop Culture Happy Hour, “Ralph Breaks the Internet and What’s Making Us Happy”: C+
- Alba Salix, Royal Physician, “Alba Salix Episode 205: A Blueprint for Success”: B
- The Allusionist, “90. Dear Santa”: B-
- Oh No Ross and Carrie, “Ross and Carrie Take a Sound Bath: Crystal Singing Bowl Editon”: C
- Darknet Diaries, “Chartbreakers”: B+
- We Fix Space Junk, “S02E07 – A Diamorphically Lackadaisica”: 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 and people who have supported me via Ko-Fi. 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!