This Week In Podcasts is a new round-up feature in which the Inverse staff picks their favorite podcast of the week. Scope these choices below, y’all.
Sean Hutchinson: I’ve been listening to critic and writer Karina Longworth’s excellent Hollywood history-focused podcast called “You Must Remember This” since it launched about a year ago. She breaks down stories of the golden age of movie stars and the atmosphere surrounding them into multiple episodes-long series, and her most recent one is probably the best one yet. Titled “Charles Manson’s Hollywood,” it tracks the late ‘60s scene in southern California that led to the infamous Manson Family murders, and pulls together everybody from Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson to wholesome movie star legend Doris Day to tell a compelling story about how the era and country became defined by one man’s twisted manipulations.
Corban Goble: I’m basic as shit when it comes to podcasts — I’m one of those people that is still clinging to the antiquated concept of “recorded music” — so I mostly stick to sports radio broadcasts that are haphazardly formatted into podcast form. So, a lot of Bomani Jones, a lot of 810 Sports Radio so I can delight in all the minutiae of what the Royals should do with Danny Duffy, a lot of the Lowe Post now that Bill Simmons’ “B.S. Report” is off the air.
In general, I’m a big fan of how Grantland posts their podcasts — there’s usually a couple options that don’t involve signing in and signing out and junk like that. The Talkhouse podcasts are good like that too. So on that note, today I’m recommending Amos’ talk with Adam Scott and Zach’s discussion with Chad Ford about the chaotic NBA Draft. Like I said, I’m basic as shit.
Hannah Margaret Allen: I’m not a science person. I do, however, have a bevy of science writers at my fingertips to patiently explain topics of a scientific nature. One of our writers, Ben Guarino, attempted a simplified explanation of CRISPR-Cas9, and I was still so lost. Radiolab came to the rescue in their June 6th episode, “Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR.” Zips, honks, and beeps work as audible aids in breaking down the complexity of genetic manipulation. Jad and Robert also explore the implications for the future and what concerns there are with tweaking genes. Who knew you could learn about DNA via sounds? (Disclaimer: Ben did a great job of explaining. I just didn’t get it.)
Eric Francisco: Being part of the Nerdist brand, The Indoor Kids probably doesn’t need much more plugging but it’s still probably the best “geek” podcast that doesn’t feel so niche. At first focused on video games, it’s become a “lifestyle” show, like a cooler Attack of the Show! without the pandering. It helps that its hosts are the married Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and Emily V Gordon, whose chemistry together blends well with their guests. A great episode that barely talks about games is with writer and comic book nerd Blair Butler from last March. Michael Crichton, parenting, and shitty broadcast dramas are covered before you hear a breath of video games.
Ben Guarino: Because time is a flat circle I download podcasts haphazardly — the episode I listened to yesterday was “How Did This Get Made? #23 The Room Director’s Edition.” It’s a charming dive down the rabbit hole of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, with funny people Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas leading the charge. And there are guests! The AV Club’s Steve Heisler and actor Oh hi Mark Greg Sestero serve up a little inside baseball on this icon of crapsterpiece theater. If you’re an aficionado of The Room in 2015, you might not learn anything revelatory from a 2011 podcast about one of the most-dissected bits of 2003 cinema. But if there’s one thing that will stand the test of time, it’s The Room’s weird infectious lulz.
Longform Podcast Episode #146: Any aspiring journalist or writer, should be listening to the Longform podcast. The show interviews writers and provides an outlet to tell their origin story and remember some of the pieces that made them household names—at least among New York media writer apartments. Last week’s show brought Grantland’s Rembert Browne to discuss his journey to Grantland and thinking on his feet when speaking to President Obama. Often the advice given to young writers is “Find another career”, but Rembert’s show was a good reminder of what can happen when one is given an opportunity and grabs it without looking back.
Acts of the Blood God: Episode 16: I don’t play video games too often these days, but I listen to podcasts on the topic probably more than I should. One of my favorite ones at this point is Acts of the Blood God, which is hosted by US Gamer’s Kat Bailey and focuses specifically on role-playing games (RPGs). This week she was joined by Jeremy Parish to discuss the PS4 remake the classic Final Fantasy VII. Though both are causally optimistic about the upcoming game, the conversation really sparks as an investigation into the cultural value of the game in 2015. Often the cultural relevance of video games can quickly burn out, so them piecing together the game’s cultural relevance two decades later made for an exciting chat.