I’m doing my Best Of lists a bit late. Because I didn’t have a commitment to write every day, I didn’t consume as much content. The films and television were down (well, current shows, I caught up on a lot of things I’d been planning to watch for ages), and my reading was absolutely woeful until I had a period of two weeks where I did nothing but read. What I have consumed a lot of in 2016 is podcasts. I like being able to do things while I listen to podcasts, so it’s how I get most of my chores done. This list is in no particular order, and I’m at various stages of listening, so I don’t know some as well as others.
Pop Culture Podcasts
A Storm of Spoilers: This show started out as a Game of Thrones spoiler podcast, and I became enamoured with it when the Citadel of Crazytown became a thing. I love a good crackpot theory. Joanna, Da7e and Neil are absolutey delightful, and I’m really happy that it’s now a year round podcast exploring various pop culture worlds. I’m not a fan of every topic they discuss – I’ve never even seen a full episode of South Park – but the conversation is always intelligent, and the enthusiasm of the hosts is infectious.
Talking TV With Ryan and Ryan: This show continues to be excellent, even though Mo and Ryan aren’t podcasting as much as they used to. The discussions are thoughtful, and they’re not afraid to call a show out when it makes a mistake. Some of their best discussions of the year were on that thing that happened on The 100, the series finale of The Good Wife and the post election television.
Mystery Twins Detective Agency: It’s my duty as the MTDA Official Listener to promote this show (they never actually told me what my duties are as Official Listener), but I’d do it anyway, because I get to hang out with Regan Lloyd and Liam S. Smith for an hour every week. After spending 50 episodes learning how to make a podcast, Regan and Liam decided to have a podcast focused on buddy cop shows. They recap the episode, and then at the end open their ‘Mystery Envelopes’ to see whether they correctly figured out whodunit. If you’re intrigued, I hear from one of my sources that Mystery Envelope Mondays are about to become a thing, so you’ll be able to watch the show in advance and participate in the Mystery Envelope segment on Twitter.
Teaves: This was Liam and Regan’s first podcast, which I stumbled onto one day. I started talking to them about television, we became friends and they had me on the podcast! I somehow managed to disguise how terrified I was to podcast with people I barely knew, but they’re good people. After 50 episodes they wrapped it up and started Mystery Twins.
Rose Buddies: I had no idea who the McElroys were before 2016, but now I have over 300 back episodes of MBMBaM waiting for my ears. Griffin and Rachel’s enthusiasm for the show acknowledges its problems, and they’re great hosts. Their love for each other also comes through, which makes the podcast even more endearing. I started watching Bachelor/ette Australia last year largely because of this show, and I’m excited to watch the new season of The Bachelor along with them. I’m currently coming last in my fantasy league, but I’m not quite sure how it works. The facebook page is lots of fun, with drop-ins from the Bachelorette Canada cast, Sax Boy memes and live reaction threads. The podcast also introduced me to the delightful Japanese reality show Terrace House, and there will be more on that soon.
Gen Pop: Joanna Robinson and David Chen of A Cast of Kings, The Ones Who Knock and Decoding Westworld decided that they didn’t want to talk about pop culture during Game of Thrones season, so they’ve created this podcast, which is a thoughtful discussion of news in pop culture and how it relates to certain properties. They have a discussion by themselves, and then introduce a special guest. The podcast is free up until the end of January, but they’re running a Patreon to fund the show, which you should definitely check out.
Fighting in the War Room: I originally subscribed to this show on Stitcher because I wanted to listen to Storm of Spoilers ALL THE TIME, and it was before they had a different feed on the app. I listen to podcasts on three different devices – there’s a logic to it, I promise. At some point I started listening to the regular episodes of this show, and it’s great. The special Quarter Quell episodes are a treat and there’s one coming up soon, so get on it! (My iTunes currently has a strange relationship with the feed, but I’m fairly sure that’s not the fault of the podcast itself.)
The /Filmcast: This show is great, but I don’t get out to see films as often as I’d like, so I tend to fall behind.
The Station Agents: This is more of a dishonourable mention because the show petered out this year. I understand that the hosts have things happening in their lives and Joanna is on nearly every other podcast, but I miss this show.
Programming note: I’m trying to get back onto a regular blogging schedule this year, probably 3 posts a week. I haven’t quite decided what the shape of it will look like just yet, but there’s definitely an upcoming post on Sherlock.