Each month, Podcast Review’s staff offers recommendations on the best new podcasts to listen to. Here are our favorites for August:
What pop culture talk show would be complete without at least one episode dedicated to (who else) Beyoncé? In its debut episode, Vulture’s new podcast Into It discusses how the music legend brought the industry to its knees and launched herself to astronomical levels of fame. Hosted by Sam Sanders, a longtime radio personality and former host of NPR’s It’s Been a Minute, the show crackles with energy. Its playful scoring, speedy game show segments, and steadier culture deep-dives make for a fun, dynamic, and fully engrossing podcast.
Radiotopia’s latest is a short form effort from author Jason Reynolds. The podcast takes Reynolds’s mother, Isabell, as its subject, and flows freely from that starting point. While the goal is for Reynolds to re-examine the basic principles of his daily life, the first episode is light and playful, following a casual Sunday morning of conversation between Jason and Isabell. My Mother Made Me is structured and heavily-narrated despite its focus on the mother-son dialogue.
As Quentin Tarantino gleefully explains in the show’s first episode, the goal of Video Archives is to recreate the experience of walking into a Manhattan Beach movie rental place in the 80s and listening to employees Tarantino and Roger Avary obsess over the catalogue. Each episode, the two Pulp Fiction co-writers revisit tapes once displayed at Video Archives and now owned by Tarantino. The pair’s love of minutiae is comical (including debates about which genre each tape had originally been placed). The show is a gift to lovers of 70s cult favorites.
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