Monday morning is my favourite journey to work. Shocking, I know, but this is because all my favourite podcasts have newly downloadable episodes, ready to be listened to. My love for podcasts began long ago, when my dad introduced me to the Ricky Gervais Show. The episodes were utterly hilarious, and him and Stephan merchant make the perfect podcast team (controversially I never was really fond of Karl Pilkington). My fave anecdote of the Gervais podcasts was actually one of Stephen Merchant’s, where he was approached on the street by a charity worker.. he put on a fake french accent to get out of the conversation “eh.. I do not, erm, understand, eh saaury”; to which the charity worker realised who he was and stated ‘Hay! you’re Stephen Merchant!’ to which Merchant walked away briskly muttering “No… no… sauryy.. who is thees.. Stephen..?” Oh dear, busted.
Following from Ricky Gervais, I then tried to get into the Frank Skinner podcasts, but frankly (hah) I just didn’t find him that funny, and his co-host Emily was painful to listen to (she is also some deputy editor for InStyle magazine..so you can tell what kind of woman she is). So for a couple of years I’ve been podcastless, then something amazing happened. SERIAL! If you haven’t heard of the Serial podcasts, you don’t deserve internet access. I won’t go into what Serial is about, but if you haven’t listened to them, check them out. This sparked a new interest for me. True crime drama. After hearing about the murder investigation re:Serial, I was hooked. Some may think its quite a morbid thing to be interested in – death.. but its the thought behind the murder cases that interest me, the background and mind of the killer.
At uni, we once had a lecture by a crime scene investigator (randomly – as we were all art students), who’s presentation was super interesting, yet painfully gruesome. Images flashed up of weird death scenes; one woman dead in bed, she seemed to be a hoarder as the room she was in was a state.. she was face down and half her body had been burnt to ash and she had a biro sticking out of the back of her neck, which was, erm, really jammed in there. Another showed a body on a lone mattress in the woods, surrounded by sealed condom wrappers. Ay? I wouldn’t know where to start when explaining how these people died..?! The mystery of murder really calls to me, and that’s what makes the first on my list of podcasts, so attractive in my eyes…
Sword and Scale// I discovered Sword and Scale through the comments section of a website that was discussing Serial, and thought I would check it out as the person had recommended the S&S series for people who enjoyed Serial and wanted more. I downloaded the whole years’ worth of episodes and started to work my way through the ‘True Crime’ podcasts. S&S basically discusses one or more true murder crimes per episode, ranging from old cases, to fresh ones still awaiting trial. Each episode is so interesting, with the presenter Mike Boudet reeling off each story in such detail; using music to create atmosphere, holding interviews with those involved, and real sound recordings – it’s hard not to feel like you’re right in the centre of the crime itself. A warning though, these episode’s are NOT for the faint hearted… they are gruesome, graphic and all round horrifying. One episode disturbed me so much, I turned off after 15 minutes and never went back. The tag line of Sword and Scale states that ‘the worst monsters are real’, and after listening it will really make you doubt the goodness of human kind, and basically believe that everyone is evil. It really is depressing and dark..but then I just throw on some Taylor Swift and my faith in humanity is restored!
Upvoted// I’ve been a firm visitor of Imgur for a long time, if you don’t know what Imgur is.. it is basically an image platform for pictures primarily posted on Reddit, where a community of people are up and down voting pictures and commenting on them – these images can be rated and they are the majority of where ‘viral’ images are conceived (then weeks later appear on BuzzFeed and the Mail Online – ugh). I never really made time to get into Reddit, as it is so text heavy, but when I heard that they had started up their own podcast, I was curious. Only three have been created so far, and each focuses on a different Reddit user, and tells their story. There are different ‘sub-Reddits’ on the site that cover a range of topics for people to discuss, acting like forums, and the podcasts talk to these individual users about how posting in these has changed or influenced their lives. One user /u/youngluck posted on the ‘ask me anything’ sub-reddit that he had 48 hours before serving a long sentence in prison for drug dealing. More and more people got in contact with him, and through the online community of this thread, he managed to get a new lawyer to represent him, majorly cutting down his sentence and he even ended up getting his dream job at Reddit on his release! The stories of these ordinary people are really interesting, and just show the true power the internet can play in someone’s life.
This American Life// There’s a different theme to each episode of This American Life, and usually two or three stories surrounding that theme. The stories are usually ones of everyday people, though not always. I first heard of This American Life (be it late) when the Serial podcasts first came out, as Serial was actually a spin off from TAL by the producer Sarah Koenig. What I like about TAL is hearing from all different people their first hand experiences and stories. This show is perfect for my nosy nature, and the stories always make great anecdotes to pass on! The only thing I struggle with is the presenters voice (sorry!)