I never thought I'd be able to listen to podcasts because I get distracted so easily, but it turns out if I'm coloring, or playing mindless match three games, or 2048, it keeps me busy enough that I don't mentally wander off. I'll have to try this trick with audiobooks. People keep saying how good The Martian
Anyway, I caught up on all the My Favorite Murders
in existence, but when I went looking for more true crime podcasts, I discovered my interest in true crime isn't as strong as my love for Karen and Georgia. So none of the other true crime podcasts I tried were at all satisfying because no Karen and Georgia. Turns out comedy and murder isn't an easy combination to pull off. (I know! What a surprise!)
I found The Dollop
because Dave Anthony was on a live episode of MFM, so I gave him and Gareth Reynolds a shot. Gareth Reynolds does this voice that sounds exactly like The Monarch from The Venture Bros.
and I was instantly hooked because The Monarch is my favorite, but also because those guys are funny and only occasionally make me cringe. They do American history, and I like the podcast a lot, but—and I can't believe I'm going to say this—not enough murder.The Last Podcast on the Left
is full of murder, but it's also full of dudes, like so many dudes I'm not even sure how many are in the room, and let's just say I did not like their style. Thinking Sideways
does mysteries, some of which are murder mysteries, but it was kind of boring and the production value made them sound like maybe they were recording in a pillow fort? The sound was really flat. There's a woman on that one, but, like I said—boring. Not enough jokes about murder.
Q: What is Wrong With Me?
A: No One Knows.
Having tested the limits of the comedy/murder podcast genre, I swung around to more serious things and tried Serial
, which is one story told over a course of twelve episodes, hosted by Sarah Koenig, who has a voice made for NPR. I liked her right away. She uses a script, but sounds casual and human. The first season is about Adnan Syed, convicted of killing his high school ex-girlfriend and sentenced to life in prison, but his friends say no way he could have done it. It's amateur sleuth time, and entertaining in its way, but it leaves crucial information out, and I didn't feel drawn into the story. I listened to the entire season, but gave a pass on the second.
Similarly, I listened to not even three episodes of Someone Knows Something
(also produced by public radio: the CBC), but instead of sounding human, David Ridgen sounds like he's writing bad poetry. His dramatic, pretentious, and overly flowery language is a total turn off. There were a lot of interviews in that one and he asks a lot of stupid fucking questions like, "How did it feel when your little brother went missing?" Thanks for asking, David, it felt great. No. I couldn't take any more, though listening to the Canadian accents was soothing.
So I went back to The Dollop because they've got more than two hundred episodes and I've only listened to a fraction. You can't always tell what the episodes are about from the summaries, but I was just trying ones I'd already downloaded and found this: Mashers and Hatpins
. It's about turn-of-the-century women stabbing street harassers with hat pins, and, for the most part, getting away with it, and I found it immensely satisfying. I mean, no one should stab anyone with a hat pin, but also men should mind their own fucking business.
This has been your podcast update.