Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ranking! (I know you missed it)

It is unlikely that a ChrisMix will be released this year. Partially that's due to a hectic year limiting listening in general. This was confounded with a moderate NPR kick for a good portion of the year and listening to my new record collection, consisting of old music. The final nail was my "discovery" of podcasts. The quotation marks because the concept isn't at all new, but I finally dove in and started following them.

I was hesitant because I'm a completionist. I like to see every episode of a television show, get every item in a game, and if I had a stamp collection I imagine it would be quite large. So it does bother me that by following several podcasts, I'm just not able to keep up to date on any of them. I want to hear each one, and if not that I want to hear the best ones, and there's no way for me to know which one those are. So I'm a little bothered by the whole thing, but I'm getting over it.

The following are podcasts I enjoy. Because of their nature they can be inconsistent. Some episodes aren't great, so you need to give each a couple episodes to prove themselves. To anyone familiar with the world of podcasts, there's not much to my recommendations. They are some of the most popular ones around so you would likely come across them without my recommendations. In any case:

The time of the year when I rank my top ten podcasts:

10. This American Life/Wait Wait Don't Tell Me - Basically Saturday on NPR/PRI. I prefer podcasting them so I don't miss bits and pieces, particularly of TAL, during the times I leave my car while on errands.

9. Doug Loves Movies - Many of the podcasts on this list are comedians appearing on each other's shows, talking about a certain topic. This one is comedians talking about movies. Which is near perfection for me.

8. Freakonomics - I like the books, I like the audio version. The topics they delve into aren't always things I care about, but at least 50% are very interesting.

7. Good Job Brain! - I haven't found a trivia podcast I love. But I like this one quite a lot. The presenters are very nerdy and not professional comedians, but they do tend to talk about trivia I find very interesting.

6. WTF - This one is pretty sweary, as the name suggests. It's comedians talking about comedy, but on a more personal level (motivations, trials, childhood issues etc) that the more jokey podcasts. If you're into comedy, it's really engrossing.

5. The Nerdist - Comedians talking to each other, again. But this one is a little more about them talking shop.

4. Pop Culture Happy Hour - An NPR production. It might be on the radio sometime, I'm not sure. It's intelligent conversation about pop culture, both trashy and artsy, but leaning much more on artsy.
3. Professor Blastoff - This show has guests most weeks, but its strength is the regular hosts who banter continuously. More so than the other podcasts, this one seems like just hanging out with awesome people. They pick a broad topic each show to discuss and center the conversation around that.

2. Who Charted? - I love music but have found few music podcasts I like. This one ostensibly talks about the top rated music and movies in various categories (ranging from that week's box office results to best fat-suit movies) and discusses them. But mostly they fool around. I find Howard hilarious. I'd love to have a show with him and Karl Pilkington.

1. Comedy Bang Bang - It's yet again comedians talking about comedy. But after a little bit of catching up, game playing etc the guest usually assumes a new personality and does an extended comedy bit with the host. It's basically radio improv, which might sound horrible to you, but I think makes for quality entertainment.

Honorable mentions:
11. The Pod F Tompkast/Smartest Man in the World - To be honest, I don't love these shows. But I give them this high ranking because Paul F Tompkins and Greg Proops make awesome guests when they appear on many of the other comedy podcasts in the top 10. And their own shows are good as well.

12. All Songs Considered - The only podcast where I get new music.

13. How Did This Get Made? - Basically MST3000 on the radio, with stinkers both new and old.

14. The Moth - Usually great stories about wide variety of subjects.

15. TED talks - Probably would be in top 10, but many of the talks require visuals, so the translation to podcast isn't seamless.

16. Mike and Tom Eat Snacks - Michael Ian Black talking about different snackfoods each week. Sounds ridiculous, and in fact is ridiculous. But usually funny, and if you're buying snackfood, informative.

17. Skeptoid/Things You Missed in History Class - I find the concept of these podcasts, debunking myths and historical trivia very interesting. The presentation isn't super.

18. Wits - Relatively new sketch show. Fun guests, but we'll see if it holds up.

19. The Bugle - Kind of like John Oliver doing the Daily Show on his own, on the radio, with more British news. I have only listened a couple times, but seems good.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Pop Culture Happy Hour is one of my favorites! I have a friend who swears by Radiolab. So give that one a try too.