We have a simple question for this week’s Roundtable: Do you enjoy listening to any podcasts? If so, what are your favorites and what do you recommend?
We did a Roundtable about podcasts back in 2015, but it’s been a few years and our listening rotations may have changed since then as old shows ended (or we just lost interest in them) and we discovered new shows to replace them.
As both a train/bus commuter and a very slow distance runner, I happen to spend a lot of time each week listening to podcasts of all sorts. To no one’s surprise, most of the podcasts I listen to are either movie or pop-culture centric. For the history of Hollywood, you cannot get better than You Must Remember This. Host Karina Longworth researches every single detail about the early days of cinema and the scandals that shaped it. She has an entire season on the collision of movies and Charles Manson that would make an excellent pairing with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
For fun coverage of new releases, I like Spoilerpiece Theater. Granted, it’s co-hosted by three friends of mine in Boston, but these guys are all professional film critics and they all know their stuff when it comes to movies. If you can’t tell from the name of the podcast, they have little concern about spoiling plots, and are really just focused on actually talking about the movies. Add in some punny nerdery and random musical outbursts, and it’s a fun way to get the rundown of what’s in theaters.
The last I’ll mention (but by no means the end of my current podcast queue) is Faculty of Horror. The genre-specific, academic breakdown of horror theory and cinema studies scratches an itch in my ex-academia brain that needs occasional exercising.
While I tend to listen to a lot of different sports or sports-related podcasts, I continue to enjoy Star Trek: The Next Conversation. The show has two hosts, one a huge TNG fan and one basically new to the series, and they’ve been watching Star Trek episode by episode. Both hosts are writers for the TV show The Goldbergs, so they bring a nice working perspective as well.
I’m with them in Season Four after having not watched the series for about ten years. They work in audio clips from the actual show (including a trailer for the next episode which can be very funny false marketing). That’s great if I’m familiar enough with a (bad) episode and don’t want to watch it. It’s also great because the remastered HD version of the show is on Netflix, so I can easily watch an episode and listen to the podcast after. There’s a nice mix of humor, trivia tidbits, and nerdy discourse.
For something much shorter but also very fun, I like the Villains/With a Pencil podcast. The first season, Villains, is about eight specific movie villains, while the second season, With a Pencil, is all about the three John Wick movies.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
Despite being married to a podcast obsessive, I have to admit to never having really gotten into them. About a decade ago, I’d seek out any podcast with Edgar Wright as a guest, especially his appearances on Doug Loves Movies. I made it a point to download all of They Might Be Giants’ podcasts, although I’m not sure how many I actually listened to. The only show I tuned into regularly was Grandma’s Virginity, and I never would’ve guessed that much of the talent behind that podcast – Justin Roiland, Ryan Ridley, and frequent guest Dan Harmon – would wind up launching one of the most popular series on television.
At the moment, the only podcast I’m listening to is Kotaku Splitscreen, and even then, I’m a couple of months behind. I spend more time than I’d like to admit reading video game blogs, news sites, and message boards, so I figure in scenarios where I can’t game or actively read about gaming, I can at least settle for just listening to people talking about it.
Longtime readers of this blog may remember former Bonus View contributor Dick Ward, who wrote video game and Netflix coverage for us, among other things, from 2010 to 2012. Since leaving High-Def Digest, Dick has launched a podcast called Celmates, in which he and partner Kate Phillips discuss animated movies by comparing two or more thematically or stylistically related titles each week. In their words, the movies are: “Mostly Disney (but not always). Mostly musicals (but not always). And mostly good (but not always).”
The two hosts are very personable and always have great conversations, and Dick has a mellifluous voice that was made for radio. It’s a fun show, and Dick didn’t even ask me to plug it for him.
A couple dozen episodes are available currently. My favorite so far is the one that compares The Land Before Time, Dinosaur, and The Good Dinosaur. I was pretty excited because I’d actually seen all three of those movies. Then they also threw in We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, which I have not seen and had actually forgotten existed. From their description, that’s probably for the best.
Even if they’re not movie or home theater related, give us your podcast recommendations in the Comments below.