The best new podcasts for the week of June 29, 2019: The Thread and more

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 two into the vast ocean of podcasts, we’ll find you something worth listening to. This week, we’ve got podcasts about two princes, learning to be an adult, a chilling serial killer, and the fight for LGBTQ rights. 

Culture podcast

The Thread

The Thread Podcast

Why should I listen? It will introduce you to some remarkable women.            

How many episodes are there and how long are they? It’s a six-episode season, each around 27 minutes.       

Describe it in one word: Triumphant. 

The 2019 Women’s World Cup is still underway, but the U.S. team is having an impressive year. With a number of shutouts and Alex Morgan making an impressive five goals in one game, it’s been an exciting run so far. It’s hard to believe 20 years ago no one was even sure anyone would show up to watch the U.S. women’s soccer team play. 

It turns out, they did. Fans packed stadiums as Brandi Chastain, Mia Hamm, and the rest of the team beat Germany, then Brazil, then faced China in the final. If it all seems inevitable now, season 5 of The Thread would like to remind you it was not. Host Sean Braswell starts with the 1999 team, then each episode goes back a little further in time to show how, without Title IX, none of what followed would have been possible.  

Culture podcast

This Is Uncomfortable 

This Is Uncomfortable Podcast

Why should I listen? To get some tips for coping with awkward situations.            

How many episodes are there and how long are they? There are three episodes so far, each between 20 and 31 minutes.       

Describe it in one word: Uneasy.  

Remember the mid-00s when “awkward turtle” was a thing? You could just say it — you didn’t even need to do the gesture — and everyone would just acknowledge the cringiness and move on. 

That’s sort of the idea behind This Is Uncomfortable. In the podcast, Reema Khrais discusses things that make many of us want to bury our faces in our hands, then she tries to find ways of making things less awkward. In the first episode, Khrais talks to a couple trying to pay off student loans. As business students, they figured out a way to talk about their money issues in less personal terms, by using percentages. If they’re trying to figure out what to eat for dinner and one of them is only feeling 30% on pizza, they look for another option. In the second episode, we learn Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal has cried at work. 

Science podcast

An Arm and a Leg

An Arm and a Leg Podcast

Why should I listen?  This issue was a big part of the recent Democratic debates, but it can’t be adequately addressed in two-minute answers.           

How many episodes are there and how long are they?  They’re under 20 minutes, and there are three thus far.      

Describe it in one word: Unsalutary. 

NPR’s “Bill of the Month” series offers a sobering look at the cost of the U.S.’s healthcare system. (Or “sickness care system,” if you Will-iamson.) For example, when a 9-year-old snakebite victim was airlifted for treatment, the antivenin cost more than the helicopter ride.   

Now in its second season, An Arm and a Leg also looks at the ways money and healthcare are all tied up in this country. It’s also very personal. Host Dan Weissmann experienced the confusion and apprehension that can come with filling a prescription when his pharmacy recently informed him his medicine would cost over $700. Shockingly high, yes, but the weird thing was, he used a drug-price-comparison app to find out just how variable the cost of the same meds was at nearby stores. At one, he could’ve picked up his prescription for $25. 

History podcast 


Sidedoor Podcast

Why should I listen? You’ve always wondered what museums keep behind closed doors.            

How many episodes are there and how long are they? Season 4’s two episodes (so far) are both under half an hour.       

Describe it in one word: Revelatory. 

I spent a summer working in a science museum, and I got to see the storeroom, which houses a mastodon tooth so big you have to hold in both hands. Museums simply don’t have enough room to put every item on display at once, so they all hold some literal hidden treasures. 

That’s also true of the Smithsonian menagerie of museums. Returning for its fourth season, Sidedoor opens the institute’s vaults. Because they have objects for everything from the African American Museum to the Postal Museum to the Air and Space Museum, there’s a lot of ground to cover. In this season’s first episode, new host Lizzie Peabody explores paleontology’s biggest rivalry, the Bone Wars. For a much more recent addition to the Smithsonian, Peabody interviews the creator of what’s been called the worst video game of all time

Movies & TV

Terminator: Dark Fate’s new assassin is front and center in latest movie poster

The latest posters for Terminator: Dark Fate put the spotlight on the film's updated android assassin and returning franchise star Linda Hamilton, and offer a peek at the showdown to come between these two characters.
Movies & TV

The best new stories of the week for July 6, 2019: 1865, Freaknik, and more

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include Lincoln's assassination, beauty by women of color, and Atlanta's legendary…
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek forms, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Movies & TV

This week's best new podcasts include American Hysteria, The Big One, and more

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include urban legends, earthquakes, Andy Richter's questions, and tech history.
Home Theater

Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you?

It's hard to dispute Netflix's leadership in on-demand streaming video, it's not alone. Two great alternatives are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Which one is better? We pick the winner.
Movies & TV

Terminator: Dark Fate: Everything we know about the new movie so far

The most recent Terminator films didn't do so well, but now James Cameron has returned to reinvigorate the franchise. Here's everything we know about the cast, crew, and story of the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate movie.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Apple TV+: A very early comparison of the streaming rivals

Apple is lining up to compete with Netflix in the streaming video environment, so how does Apple TV+ compare to Netflix? Here's how they stack up, from price and content to the devices they're available on.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.

Game of Thrones and HBO lead in nominations for the 2019 Emmy Awards

Game of Thrones and HBO led the pack in the nominations of the 2019 Emmy awards, which were announced on Tuesday. Critical darlings like Chernobyl and Veep also received numerous nominations. Here's the complete list of nominees.
Home Theater

Five questions we need answered after watching Stranger Things season 3

Stranger Things expanded its world quite a bit in season 3, but the hit Netflix series still left audiences with plenty of questions about what the future holds for the show and some of the core elements of its mythology.
Movies & TV

Director Taika Waititi is back for Thor 4, and that’s all we needed to know

Director Taika Waititi and actor Chris Hemsworth, the team that brought you Thor: Ragnarok, will reunite once again for Thor 4. That's good news for MCU fans. For Waititi's live-action Akira? Not so much.
Movies & TV

The new 007 is a woman. What does this mean for James Bond’s future?

According to the latest rumors, the new 007 will be played by Lashana Lynch, a black woman, in Bond 25, but don't worry. Ian Fleming's macho, womanizing superspy isn't going anywhere.
Movies & TV

Jon Favreau already working on The Mandalorian's second season for Disney+

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney+ compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Movies & TV

Disney+: Everything coming to the streaming service so far

Disney's direct-to-consumer streaming video service Disney+ will launch with an impressive catalog of classic content, new projects, and original shows and movies. Here is everything confirmed and rumored to be coming to the platform.