This week, rogue’s Cassie Delaney and Aisling Keenan give their recommendations for the best in-depth, long form, story-driven podcasts they’ve listened to lately…
I’m going to lose the run of myself here but these are some unmissable podcasts I’ve encountered over the past few years. I hold a special place in my heart for a Gimlet fiction so I’ll fire through the first three quickly…[restrict]
This was my gateway fiction podcast. The story follows tech employee Helen who finds her new job in A.I isn’t quite the escape she had hoped for. It’s a perfectly formed podcast, with short succinct episodes around 20 minutes each. It’s entertaining and captivating in equal measures, a brilliant companion for a day of house sprucing or an Autumnal drive home.
Homecoming is Gimlet’s breakout fiction podcast. The first of its kind for the media house, this show revolves around a caseworker at an undefined facility offering experimental therapies to soldiers. The podcast stars Catherine Keener in the lead and David Schwimmer as her troublesome superior. The story is so compelling that Prime picked it up and produced the hit TV series starring Julia Roberts.
Another hit from Gimlet is Two Princes, a refreshing fairy tale that sees two sons from warring families work together to overthrow a cursed forest. It’s the gay Disney we’ve all been waiting for.
The Apology Line
The Apology Line is true-crime adjacent and tells the story of a social experiment that consumed the mind of the creator. The experiment is a confessional phone-line where callers can offload the worst of themselves without fear of retribution. What begins as seemingly innocuous apologies soon escalates to full blown criminal disclosures. The podcast is created and narrated by the wife of Mr. Apology (the phone-line operator) and is a story about obsession, morality and art.
Land of Giants
Land of Giants is the melding of storytelling and business journalism. In each season, Vox journalists delve into the inner workings of tech giants of today. Season 5 has just kicked off with an exploration into Apple, the company that changes computers, phones and ultimately how we live.
It’s not a series but I like to include the following episodes whenever I espouse podcast recommendations. The first is a 20 minute programme created by Biannca Giaever for RadioLab. The episode, Dear Hector, is a lesson in forgiveness. My other die hard listen is On the Inside, a four part miniseries within Reply All. It starts at episode #64. Enjoy.
I’m your typical true crime, single-episode-story kind of podcast consumer, so things like Crime Junkie and Criminal poke my Hontas normally, but these story-driven ones gripped me and didn’t let go, and still live in my head (mercifully, I’ve actually started charging them rent because god knows people who make podcasts are loaded. Right? RIGHT???)
Bad Bad Thing
This is a captivating story of infidelity, mental health crisis and the very modern affliction of self-documentation. Jennair Gerardot suspects her husband, Mark, is having an affair with his much younger female boss. She starts secretly them, tailing them to their meet-ups and attaches GPS devices to their cars. ALL THE WHILE, she’s recording video of herself at her lowest, and then writes an extensive suicide letter… I won’t give it away, but trust me it’s dramatic. It’s hosted and reported by Barbara Schroeder, writer/director of Netflix’s Evil Genius.
Wind of Change
Recommended to me by a fellow conspiracy theory lover, this podcast delves deeply – VERY deeply – into the bizarre and utterly random theory that the song Wind of Change by German rock band Scorpion, was actually written by the CIA as propaganda to incite and encourage change in the Soviet Union. A truly bonkers concept but a totally enveloping listen.
Dissect Season 6
Fans of music will LOVE this podcast, fans of Beyoncé will LOVE season 6 specifically. Dissect by Cole Cuchna analyses one album per season, one song per episode. Season 6 covers Beyoncé’s groundbreaking visual album, Lemonade. It goes into the minutiae of lyrics, tempo, background, inspiration, reception and so much more. Cuchna started the podcast because, after graduating from California State University with a degree in music composition, he felt that contemporary music (specifically hip hop) wasn’t getting the academic analysis it deserved.