Watched everything we recommended on Netflix and looking for other ways to procrastinate instead of doing your Christmas shopping? Give your eyes a rest and feast your ears on these entertaining podcasts instead.
Welcome to LA
Written and produced by KCRW reporter David Weinberg, Welcome to LA is a collection of completely unique stories all bound together by the common thread that is Los Angeles. Weinberg is a totally captivating storyteller, and he’s somehow able to spin what might otherwise seem like a standard encounter between two people into a Pulitzer winning piece of journalism. Every episode is worth hearing, but standouts are The Grifter, Grace of the Sea, and Pan’s Plans.
You’re Wrong About
Well, probably a lot of things—but that’s a conversation best left between you and the person who has to send an apology to the group text every time you pick up your phone.
What journalists Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall stand to correct us all on is our questionable opinions of people and events that have been clouded by media muck. It’s kind of like Revisionist History, going back to re-examine a popular version of an event (e.g. Yoko breaking up the Beatles) and taking a more informed look at what really happened. The truth might really surprise you.
This podcast is as good as its premise suggests. Almost 20 years ago, an actor by the name of Connor Ratliff scored a minor role in the HBO series, Band of Brothers. But before shooting even began, he was asked to re-audition for his part in front of none other than Tom Hanks. What happened after has left an impression so deep that two decades later, Ratliff has dedicated an entire podcast to unpacking what it meant. After re-auditioning, Ratliff lost the part because Hanks thought he had “dead eyes.” What a set-up.
Reply All is an OG in the podcast world, boasting a now cult-like following since it began in 2014. The secret to its long-running success is the chemistry between hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, both of whom I desperately long to be friends with. Originally pitched as a pod ‘about the internet’, Reply All is kind of boundaryless when it comes to subject matter. Essentially, it’s just a really great collection of stories—but none greater than “The Case of the Missing Hit”, which may go down as one of the most tantalising podcast episodes of all time.
Australian True Crime
Can you believe it took this long to get to murder? If you’re a Murderino (what devoted fans of the US-based crime pod ‘Your Favorite Murder’ call themselves), then you’re probably already up to date with Crime Junkie, too. But what about the grizzly business that goes on in your own backyard? Led by true crime enthusiasts Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb, this podcast deep dives into some of Australia’s creepiest criminal cases. Think of the darkest Australian film you’ve ever seen (Snowtown, anyone?) and imagine that in podcast form. Exactly. Sleep with one eye open.
Thin Black Line
You might recognise journalist Allan Clarke from his last award-winning true crime podcast, ABC’s ‘Blood on the Tracks’. Now he’s back with the story of another Aboriginal man killed under mysterious circumstances—Daniel Yock, who died in police custody back in 1993. Over six episodes, Clarke investigates what happened before, during, and after Yock’s death, while also speaking to the case’s sole eyewitness, Joseph Blair.