Monday, 17 May 2021

Another COVID-19 Podcast Listening Post

As you know, I am a bit of a podcast addict. I do love listening to audiobooks and listening to the radio, but there’s something about podcasts I have a soft spot for. While I liked podcasts before the COVID-19 lockdown, the lockdown rammed up my love for the podcasts. Whenever I feel a little low and need something quick and fun to listen to, I go to my podcast app more than my audiobook apps (most of my audiobooks are over 10 hours with several near/over 24 hours. I still have to finish
 A Promised Land by Barack Obama [I will finish this! But it’s a tad dense for me ATM] and I want to do the second audiobook in Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens, which looks into Anne Boleyn). 

I know I chatted about some of the podcasts I listened to during lockdown last year (I talked about My Dad Wrote A Porno, ARDEN, Shedunnit and F***bois of Literature and touched on some others). But I wanted to talk about a few other things other than books for the first few weeks back from my blog holiday but I feel very “meh” lately energy-wise, and I want to shake myself up a little and write new things.

And where best to start is to talk podcasts and TV shows I listened/watched during the crazy times known as COVID-19 lockdowns. So, let me chat podcasts and hopefully, will write COVID TV Binging (writing that up as we speak!). You might sense a theme with some of my choices and recommendations. 

The first podcast I discovered in the past few months that, at time of writing, am listening to right now, is Tenfold More Wicked. A true-crime podcasts where each season focuses on one historical case, blending investigative journalism and narrative nonfiction storytelling. I discovered this podcast when it started its second season, The Body Snatcher, which looked into Burke and Hare and am currently listening to season three, Murder In the Court, looking into the Texan murders of Supreme Court Justice William Pierson and his wife, Lena, in spring 1935 (not listened to the first season, All That Is Wicked, just yet). There’s something compelling and fascinating about the history and the information that the host, journalist Kate Winkler Dawson, discovers and brings forward. 

Sticking with crime, Criminalia focuses on a person in history – usually a woman – per episode, and the crimes they commit and wonder why through a modern lens and raise questions about decisions made by the law (for example, in one episode [can’t remember which, sorry] a murderess was given a harsh sentence compared to other women murderers because she wasn’t pretty enough). This comes from the audio department of Shondaland, the production company behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and Bridgerton. The first season focuses on poisoners, the second season is about stalking and the current third season is imposters, and each episode has something interesting to say in a cliffnotes style.
I know this is crime-heavy, but let me talk quickly about two fictional podcasts that I want to reference quickly here. Blood Brothers Podcast is a crime reading/writing podcasts, hosted by three crime writers (Chris McDonald, Rob Parker and Sean Coleman) chat to a crime/thriller writer guest about their books, writing, and fictional crime in general. I dip in and out of this due to who the interviewee is but is always a nice fun break. Another crime fiction podcast I dip in and out of is All About Agatha. Here, two US Agatha Christie fans decide to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels and short stories in order of publication (though I don’t believe they plan to read Mary Westmacott [a penname Agatha Christie used], novelization of her plays by Charles Osborne, or New Poirot adventures written by Sophie Hannah). I dip in and out of this as I’m only dipping my toe into the works of Golden Age Crime (Christie is my Go-To) but discovering this podcast a few years back has made me try more Christie over the past few years (some hits, others not). 

Let’s end things with a dash of comedy. Meddling Adults is a comedy podcast where two guests go head-to-head to win a small amount of money for charity. Their challenge? To solve children’s mysteries from classics such as Scooby DooEncyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew and other children crime. And some of the answers to the crimes are insane compare to the guesses the contenders make up (sometime, we need a dose of silly. 

And yes, I do relisten to old episodes of some of my fave podcasts (sometimes, you need a pick-me-up or you just want to refresh your memory). But I am always on the hunt for new podcasts. So, if you guys have a recommendation, leave a comment or send me a tweet as I want to widen my podcast listening. 

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