The Oppressive Limitations of Time; Let’s Talk About Podcasts

So, I don’t have nearly the amount of free time in my life that I used to, mainly because I have the time management skills of a very tired old tortoise who has never seen a clock, and doesn’t know that the passage of time exists.
…University is hard when it takes you fifteen minutes of deep thought to write a single sentence, js. (#overthinkers #stress #help ??)

I’m behind on every single one of my favourite tv shows, and my to-read pile is less of a pile and more of an entire shelf, but that’s where podcasts come in! They’re so terribly convenient. I listen to podcasts when I’m cleaning, when I’m travelling, and when I’m trying to unwind before bed (I know that a book will just keep me awake until the final pages are turned). They’re a very student-friendly form of media.

That being said I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you in no particular order:

Welcome To Night Vale

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A serial fiction podcast told in the format of a radio show. It takes place in a small desert town and is loosely inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. If you’re into podcasts and you haven’t heard of Welcome to Night Vale, where have you been? It’s often described as a horror podcast but is really not frightening at all, I promise. (I’m a complete chicken, so you can trust me on that.) More accurately it’s a surrealist dystopian comedy, but that’s not exactly a genre category one finds on podcast apps.

Full of beautiful prose, incredibly heartwarming moments, amazing voice-acting, and original story-arcs, it was my first podcast and it’s still my favourite. The creators now have their own production company “Night Vale Presents”, and they’ve also released three Welcome to Night Vale novels. If you love creative storytelling then you should be listening already tbh.

 

Dear Hank and John

 

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Hank and John Green, mainly known as the Vlogbrothers, or sometimes “that guy who wrote The Fault in Our Stars and his brother”, are Youtubers / Entrepreneurs / Brothers / Internet Content Geniuses / My Favourite People, and they have a podcast now. They dispense “dubious advice”, read poems, talk about Mars (the planet), Football (the British sort), and bicker. Oh, and John always reminds the listeners that death is looming just around the corner. This is a podcast that shouldn’t be as entertaining as it is, but it’s really, really entertaining. I’m a longtime fan of the duo, and this is my favourite content that they’re currently producing. If you need a dose of something happy in your week, this comedy podcast is the one I’d recommend.

Alice Isn’t Dead
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This is the second podcast from the “Night Vale Presents” folks on this list. What can I say? I honestly think they’ve managed to really grab a hold of this whole podcast thing and figure out all the ways it works as a storytelling platform. Now, in my opinion this horror podcast is more accurately labelled, so maybe don’t listen to it in bed at night like I did… *ahem*. It follows the story of a truck driver travelling all over America in search of her dead wife. Who, uh, maybe isn’t as dead as previously thought? It’s a delightfully creepy love letter to the strangeness that lurks in the liminal spaces one encounters on road trips, and to America itself, in a way. Also, there are conspiracies and murder, so.

 

The Bright Sessions 

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This one is another fiction podcast, and I can’t quite put into words how much I love it. Think… the mutants from the X-men go to therapy to learn how to deal with being mutants. Initially this podcast is told as audio clips from the therapy sessions of Dr. Bright who only deals with what she calls “Atypicals”, but it has evolved into something a bit different to tell a broader story.

This podcast wins because of it’s characters. Each of them is as complex and interesting as the others, and it balances a huge cast of characters well  -something a lot of podcasts really, really fail at. I love the way it delves into the ethics of science and behavioural therapy, and each new episode is really such a joy to listen to.

 

Love Me 

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This is a weird one to try to explain. It’s a series produced by CBC Radio about “the messiness of human connection”. The idea is that every episode is a mix of true stories and fiction and my only criticism is that the flow between the different segments can be jarring. However, it’s  a beautiful podcast. The true stories are where it shines, and it will make you laugh and cry. More than often I find myself uncomfortable with the rawness or oddity of what I’m hearing, but that’s why it’s so appealing.

 

Honorable mentions:
-Note To Self (About living life in a tech/social media world.)
-Myth & Legends (Self-explanatory.)
-The Allusionist (A podcast about Linguistics!!)
-Thrilling Adventure Hour (Multiple serialized stories told in the style of old-time radio. It’s chuck full of celebrity cameos so that’s fun!)
-Pop Culture Happy Hour (Only listened to a few episodes but so far, so good.)
-Imaginary Worlds (Another pop culture podcast; I’ve only listened to one episode but it was GOOD.)

…And honestly so many more. Please listen to podcasts: There’s a lot quality out there, -for FREE- and they vary so widely in content that you’re guaranteed to find your thing.

Also, I need more people to talk with me about how exciting the evolution of the podcast format has become.

*All of the podcasts mentioned are available for free on the Apple Podcast app & most can be found on other podcast streaming apps as well.

~Britney Robin

 

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One thought on “The Oppressive Limitations of Time; Let’s Talk About Podcasts

  1. SO MUCH NERD LOVE. I just came across Welcome to Night Vale in book form — they seem to read a lot like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… but maybe that’s a Lovecraft thing? In any case, it definitely piqued my interest. I haven’t ventured to the others yet but definitely will.

    Mine are more nerdy:
    – Elise Gets Crafty, about creative small business
    – Creating Your Own Path, super inspirational one about people who quit their jobs to do cool creative things with their lives
    – Planet Money, The Economist Radio, and CBC’s Quirks and Quarks so that I can learn more about things I know nothing about
    – C4 Church: my church features all of their sermons online, and our pastor Jon Thompson is a *phenomenal* speaker so I tune in when I’m not able to make it there.

    *exhaaaaale*

    Liked by 2 people

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