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My Top Five Podcasts

September 16, 2015
AUTHOR: Emilie
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Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’ve been following Brittany’s blog for a a while now. I love her balance between femininity and professionalism, something I think society is still struggling to accept. From fashion choices (but seriously- go join in on #MyOfficeChic on Instagram) to boozy recipes to book reviews, The Lady Lawyer has got it all going on.

When I decided I wanted to write about podcasts and I wanted to find a blogger to team up with, I knew Brittany was the way to go. She’s blogged about podcasts before here and here, but now we’ve teamed together to come up with our top five podcasts.

Mine are below. You can find Brittany’s here.

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Let me not understate how difficult it was to narrow down my list to just my top five. There were cross outs and replacements and additions, but I think I’ve come up with five that you will really like too.

  1. Serial – Listening to Serial last year was what really solidified my love of podcasting. I had been listening to podcasts for a long time before, but I never really made a point of doing it. It was not the first podcast I listened to but it is first on my list of favorite. Host Sarah Koenig told one story over twelve episodes. You can think of it like a TV show over a season, but instead of watching it, you listen to it. The first season told the story of Adnan Syed, the son of Pakistani immigrants who has been in jail for 15 years for the murder of his on-and-off high school girlfriend Haye Min Lee. The series explored questions of Adnan’s innocence and guilt. It also spoke to the integrity of the American justice system. I like Serial so much that I listened to two podcasts that were analyses of each episode. Now, I also listen to Undisclosed which is focused on Adnan’s case and trial. In addition to going into more details of what happened at the time, the Undisclosed podcast also explains what is going on now, with the motions currently in court. Adnan’s story was absolutely captivating, but the real talent lies with Sarah Koenig, one of the best audio-repoters/podcasters I’ve heard.
    Rating: Five Stars.
    Start with: Episode 1. Order matters.
  2. This American Life– Many people won’t agree with me, but I would consider This American Life to be the original podcast. Long before it was a podcast, it was a radio show (dating back to 1997), but it has picked up a whole new type of tractions since podcasting came to be. Every week covers a different theme with two or three stories that are related to that theme. The stories are extremely well-crafted, and no topic seems to be off limits.
    Serial is a spin-off of This American Life. Every once in a while you can find Sarah Koenig featured in This American Life. Pretty much every time that happens, I scream at my phone about how Sarah Koenig should be working on the second season of Serial because I want it already (okay, maybe I need to work on my patience #adultskills).
    Rating: Five Stars.
    Start with #550 Three Miles
  3. Death, Sex, and Money– At just over a year old, Death, Sex, and Money is a pretty young podcast. It’s episodes seem to be modeled after This American Life, likely because it’s the best way to do it. Their topics seem to be a little bit less “safe” and a lot more badass. Their episodes are always a great conversation starter.
    Rating: Four Stars.
    Start with: Siblinghood
  4. Start-up– Brace yourself, because things are going to get a little meta here. Start-up, the podcast, follows the creation of Gimlet Media, the parent company of Start-up, before it even was a company that was making podcasts. Actually. In Season one, we hear Founder Alex Blumberg pitch the company to Chris Sacca before he even had a coherent pitch. We hear him try to bring on Matt Lieber as a co-founder and we hear them talk about equity and money. We hear the company start and get off the ground, their process for deciding on the name Gimlet Media, and we hear about their employees reaching burnout- a harsh reality of the start-up world. Their total transparentness is season one set the podcast apart from every other podcasts about start-ups, which almost always talks about success in hindsight. Season two chronicled a new company, Dating Ring, a dating service founded by women. Season three promises a new company.
    Rating: Four Stars.
    Start with: #15 Origin Story (Season 2, Episode 1)
  5. Reply All– Another Gimlet Media Show, Reply All is about the internet. Each episode if focused around a story or experience related to the internet and technology. The varying lengths can be off-putting for some, but I feel like they always share enough information without going down rabbit wholes. The hosts are absolutely phenomenal and hilarious. The show takes a really unique take on podcast advertising and I really enjoy it all.
    Rating: Four stars
    Start with: #23 Exit & Return, Part I and #24 Exit & Return, Part II

Honorable Mention:

Invisibilia – Another NPR Podcast (when you’re good, you’re good.), Invisibilia is about the invisible forces that control our lives. That’s their tag-line anyway. They’ve only really had a short preview season, but I’m really looking forward for when they come back with a whole season. It will be good.
Rating: Four Stars.
Start with: How to Become Batman

I’m going to be partnering up with Britney again next Wednesday to talk some more about podcasts. Stay tuned because we’ll have an awesome Giveaway for you then too!


Your turn: Do you listen to podcasts? Which are you favorite?



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