It’s fall, which means two things: (1) harvest time and (2) baseball playoffs. In podcast terms, there are some great new podcasts ready to be plucked up and consumed, and if you need any inspiration to get excited about baseball this October, you might find it from an unlikely source.
Only Human: WNYC launched a new podcast last week that promises to look at how health shapes our lives. The first episode of Only Human featured the story of its host, Mary Harris, who related her own life-changing health story. Harris was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago and shortly thereafter discovered she was pregnant with her second child. Harris, who is a TV and radio producer, recorded audio during her pregnancy, talking with her husband, older child and medical advisors while she went through cancer treatment and carried her second child. It was a personal, stunning start to a podcast.
The Message: If you’re looking to add a little drama to your podcast queue, look no further. Panoply launched a new podcast last Sunday called The Message, sponsored by GE. In a call back to old-time radio and television, the show tracks a fictional host, Nicky Tomalin, who is documenting an attempt to decode a 70-year old recording believed to have originated from extraterrestrials. The first episode sets up the premise and even leaves you with a little mystery that instantly makes you want more. You won’t have to wait long, as new episodes will be released weekly, but the show will only run for a total of 8 episodes. According to Reuters, the podcast will integrate a GE product into the plot, so we’ll have to wait and see how that goes, but for now it certainly sounds promising.
Vox’s The Weeds: Panoply has been busy lately. In addition to launching The Message last week with GE, two weeks ago they launched a podcast together with Vox called The Weeds that looked to fulfill every policy wonk’s dreams. Hosted by Vox editors Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff and Matthew Yglesias, the podcast started with the promise of going deep into the weeds on policy issues that aren’t necessarily getting coverage in the media during this election season. That said, the topics of the first episode actually tended to be a bit more trendy and election-focused than initially promised, as the hosts admitted. In the second episode released last week, though, Klein, Kliff and Yglesias got on track with their goal in a big way, discussing the viability of single-payer health care and gun control in the U.S. As you might expect, there was no resolution to either issue, but the discussion alone was enjoyable and challenging, especially for those of us who don’t spend hours with our co-workers talking theoretical policy outcomes.
The Moth Podcast: Sure, with playoff baseball starting last week you might be tempted to dial up your favorite sports talking podcast and dive into the matchups: will one of the best pitchers of the current generation finally be able to win in the playoffs, can the Cubs overcome their fiercest rival and a century old curse, do the homerun happy teams in the AL have the pitching to contend? You could spend your time considering these things, or you could simply sit back and revel in the glory of baseball as it enters its finest season–the post-season that is. Last week’s Moth podcast featured two baseball themed stories from fans of the New York teams. You don’t have to be a Yankees or Mets fan to enjoy them, though, and it’s a nice way to get your baseball passion burning as we head toward the Fall Classic.
Call Chelsea Peretti: Maybe it wasn’t eight years, but comedian and actor Chelsea Peretti took several months off between podcast episodes, and for fans of her show, that probably felt plenty long. Peretti returned with her usual call-in show, complete with sound effects and abrupt hangups. Peretti is a truly unique voice in a sea of comedy podcasts–her show both absurd and thoughtful. It’s good to have her (and her callers) back.