Entertainment is sort of hard to come by in 2020. There are no new movies, you’ve seen everything on Netflix and it’s not like you can go to a concert. But we’ll never run out of podcasts. A binge-worthy podcast is something you can really sink your teeth into – a show that you can put on and listen to for hours, just getting lost in its world. I think that’s what we all need right now. Here are some of my go-to binge-worthy podcasts.
“Radio Rental” is a podcast about real-life horror stories, told by those who lived them, produced by Atlanta Monster’s Payne Lindsey. Although the stories are real, the podcast is hosted by a video store clerk named Terry Carnation, played by Rainn Wilson. This framing device provides some much-needed levity when the stories get a little too close to home. “Radio Rental” is all about close calls, mysterious strangers, weird memories and last-minute twists. I inhaled the entire show in about two days, since I just couldn’t stop listening.
What if the most widely-accepted version of the story, the story you’ve been hearing your whole life, just isn’t true? “You’re Wrong About” is a podcast about common misconceptions, the way stories get warped in the public eye. Hosts Michael Hobbs and Sarah Marshall take turns telling each other about things like the satanic panic, Anastasia Romanov, Koko the gorilla, Y2K, ebonics and so much more. They’ve currently also started doing multi-episode deep dives on books covering infamous celebrities and events. The podcast never stops surprising you.
“Rabbit Hole” is a podcast from the New York Times chronicling how the internet can change people’s minds and lives. From algorithms that point people toward more and more polarizing content to forums that stoke conspiracy theories, “Rabbit Hole” is true to its name. The podcast asks, “What is the internet doing to us?” Columnist Kevin Reese tries to find out. Whether you’re an internet expert or a newbie, “Rabbit Hole” will shock you.
On “Oh No, Ross and Carrie!,” Ross Blocher and Carrie Poppy investigate the fringes of belief – then take part in it themselves. The two embed themselves in self-help workshops, sample snake-oil, attempt paranormal experiences and sit-in on spiritual ceremonies. Listening to the two skeptics sharing their bizarre adventures is one of the most binge-worthy podcast experiences out there.
“Mystery Show” ended a long time ago, but it left a small treasure-trove of episodes behind. Host Starlee Kine investigates the personal mysteries that people have – questions they’ve always had, but were never answered. Where did my local video store go? Where did that belt buckle come from? How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal, really? Who designed the lunchbox I keep thinking about? The podcast isn’t really about the mysteries in question, though. It’s about Kine’s way of disarming everyone she talks to, how she takes genuine interest in their lives and isn’t afraid of going off on tangents. It’s about the small moments of beauty found in the details of everyday life.
“Running from COPS” is the third season of “Headlong,” an investigative podcast hosted by Dan Taberski. In the first season he explored the life of Richard Simmons, and in the second season he investigated the hysteria of Y2K. In this season, Taberski looks at one of the oldest reality shows on television: “COPS.” “COPS” is like a microcosm of problems that we all struggle with in modern life – from reality-bending reality TV to increased awareness of police brutality. How does the presence of a camera crew change how police act? What happens to the people who appear on the show, and why did many of them give permission for “COPS” to show their faces? And what about the cities that “COPS” embeds in? Does it change them? This is an especially binge-worthy podcast, but even moreso considering “COPS” was just canceled after a run of over 30 seasons.
“You Must Remember This” by Karina Longworth is a beloved podcast all about Hollywood’s first century. This podcast boasts an incredible library of episodes all about the silver screen. Longworth’s meticulous research and soothing voice make “You Must Remember This” one of the most binge-worthy podcasts out there.
What are your favorite binge-worthy podcasts to listen to? Let us know in the comments below!