The best thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them while you’re doing other things: Washing dishes, going for a run, coloring, and especially, driving. But there are so many podcasts these days that it’s simply impossible to keep up. There are new ones debuting all the time, and it’s hard to know whether they deserve a spot in your feed.
Every week, we highlight new and returning podcasts we couldn’t put down. Whether you’re looking for the latest and greatest or you’re just dipping your toe into the vast ocean of podcasts, we’ll find you something worth listening to. This week, we’ve got podcasts about Frasier, farmers, a cryptocurrency mystery, and scammers.
I once wrote an article about the greatest TV insults, just so I could include my favorite: “Oh, spare me, you ludicrous popinjay.” Only Niles Crane could deliver a withering retort with so many syllables.
Needless to say, I love Frasier almost as much as Anita Flores. She hosts I’m Listening: A Frasier Podcast and brings on writers, comedians, and other Crane-iacs to talk about the high-falutin ‘90s show. Instead of doing an episode-by-episode rewatch, each show has a theme, like whether the Niles-and-Daphne relationship is cute or creepy. In season three’s debut episode, Rachel Bloom and Flores pair Frasier characters with their Crazy Ex-Girlfriend counterparts. Also, Bloom has some intriguing ideas for the sitcom’s rumored reboot. And while I don’t want him to leave The Magicians, I do want Trevor Einhorn, who played Frasier’s son, Frederick, to take part.
Sure, you could read an imagined conversation with a fictional man from a flyover state, or you could listen to interviews with real people who live and grew up in Kansas, Georgia, and Arizona.
Sarah Smarsh, author of Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, wanted to talk to Homecomers, people moving back to the rural and farming communities they’re originally from. In the first episode, she speaks with Dr. Veronica Womack, who’s researching ways to bring new technologies to the U.S.’s Black Belt. Journalist Debbie Weingarten has written about the need for mental health services for farmers. West Virginia documentarian Elaine McMillion discusses the opioid crisis, which has hit Appalachia hard. The stories are as different as the landscapes of Tucson and Charleston, WV, but there’s a common thread of wanting to be heard, even when not everyone is willing to listen.
True crime podcast
Much has been made of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ Steve Jobsian wardrobe, the black turtleneck and pants. Dr. Ruja Ignatova’s ensembles couldn’t have been more different: She would show up to events in ballgowns and diamonds.
Ignatova founded OneCoin, a cryptocurrency hyped as the next Bitcoin. During webinars, she would tell viewers it wasn’t too late to cash in and become rich. OneCoin was the future; it would transform the lives of the unbanked, as well as those who got in early. Then Ignatova disappeared, and the U.S. Department of Justice accused OneCoin of being a pyramid scheme. (The company, which is still in operation, denies this.) Host Jamie Bartlett investigates Ignatova and interviews some of the people who invested nearly five billion dollars in OneCoin.
True crime podcast
It feels like a lifetime ago, but 2018 was the Summer of Scam. Hornswogglers were peddling their flimflam all about the grifterverse. No one was safe.
It’s only right, then, that Laci Mosley begins her new Scam Goddess podcast with the con that kicked off last year’s scam season: Anna Delvey/Sorokin. Mosley and guest Paul F. Tompkins recount the tale of the faux heiress who pressed $100 bills into busboys as tips, while allegedly plotting to get millions in bank loans with falsified documents. Basically, it’s a true crime podcast that isn’t about murder, which is a welcome change for people who like to listen to podcasts at night without being terrified. Also, if you join Mosley’s pod-squad, you will henceforth be known as part of the con-gregation, a name bestowed about you by Tompkins.
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