Halloween Unmasked explores the psychology of Michael Myers and real-life serial killers

This BBC food journalism podcast travels to China as part of a broader series exploring eating disorders outside the context of a Western woman’s disease. Although there’s not an official record, it’s known that areas of China see the same prevalence of eating disorders as the U.S. and Europe. At the country’s sole…

The Podmass October horrors continue with tales of Bigfoot, The Exorcist, and group fitness classes

At first blush, this new narrative offering from Wondery looks like another in-depth tale of true crime. And while that’s sort of true, it also isn’t. Scandals need not be criminal to inflame society. Yes, the BALCO steroid mess of the early ’00s—painstakingly recounted in the show’s inaugural episode—eventually got…

#CriticsSoWhite: NPR’s Code Switch unpacks the enduring lack of diversity in film criticism

Articles Of Interest, 99% Invisible’s six-part series looking at clothing from now until October 12, takes the best of its parent podcast and applies it to the world of what we wear. Digging deep into design, the first episode dissects the most often over-designed department-store staple: the clothing found in the…

16 Shots unspools the tragedy of Laquan McDonald and the police shooting that rocked Chicago

“In October of 2014, a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager on the streets of Chicago,” states the first line of 16 Shots’ description before expounding. Now almost 15 episodes in, the podcast (a collaboration between WBEZ Chicago and the Chicago Tribune) continues in that pattern, letting statements hit…

YouTube's Topless Baker dishes on all things GBBO in Bake Off, Undressed

PG-rated internet thirst trap Matt Adlard has been baking up sugary designer confections on his YouTube channel as the Topless Baker for about two years now. In a Sisyphean twist of fate, the British social media star’s success as an amateur pâtissier disqualifies him from consideration as a contestant on The Great…

Jameela Jamil’s feminist critiques extend beyond Kardashians on Ways To Change The World

Bitch Media editors Dahlia Balcazar and Amy Lam have an easy and playful chemistry. They kick off each episode of Backtalk arguing about things like the worst Mark Wahlberg film, yet they’re still able to tackle serious and complicated issues like the #MeToo movement when necessary. This episode finds them discussing…

Lauren Lapkus, Paul F. Tompkins, and a crew of improv heavyweights play to their strengths on Bad Reception

There is no shortage of podcasts relying on improv. Among those series that create off-the-cuff scenes and narratives, the fun is often less about the story and more about seeing what can be constructed in the moment, catching bursts of laughter when the players are entertaining themselves just as much as the…

20 years of maligning Monica Lewinsky: Slate’s Slow Burn looks back on the Clinton scandal

Twice a month, Mary Kay McBrayer and Maegan Stone Brooks analyze horror movies “because no one wants to be scared alone. But no one wants to stop watching scary movies, either.” A literature professor and a behavioral therapist, respectively, McBrayer and Brooks apply serious lenses to the films they watch to…

Podmass snubs the patriarchy this week with dispatches from women in comedy, craft brewing, and music

FriendsLikeUs has long been a gem of podcasting, providing women (and particularly women of color) a place to sit down and unapologetically discuss their lives in the world of comedy. These conversations are often quite frank, touching as much on the issues of the day as the minutiae of the stand-up scene and all with…

The magician hosts of Shezam! tackle the question: “What’s it like to be a woman in magic?”

Few foods straddle the middle of the Venn diagram between “wholesome, pastoral staple of the American diet” and “hotly contested ethical minefield” quite like a glass of milk. According to culinary historian and journalist Mark Kurlansky, many of the nutritional and moral questions surrounding human consumption of…

Mandy Moore breaks down teen superstardom on We Need To Talk About Britney 

“Iconic” is a word people often use to describe the music of James Bond. Like the clothes, cars, and gadgets of the early films, John Barry’s original 1960s arrangements feel like immutable elements of the franchise’s titular character. It just isn’t Bond if you don’t hear that certain chord progression. In the second…

Head Over Heels talks GLOW’s “Welfare Queen,” racism in wrestling

A Woman’s Smile could spawn a Literally Unbelievable Tumblr just as easily as The Onion did. It’s billed as a podcast where co-hosts Patti Harrison and Lorelei Ramirez “talk about, well, everything! But especially the gentle and kind nature of a woman’s smile,” a summary that exemplifies the tone—but it could be taken…

Chris Rock as a white man, freaky Fridays: The Swapcast celebrates the body-swap tropes we know and love

Oh, bless this podcast. Cher And Retweet springs from a delightful corner of the podcast world, where two or more people come up with some super-specific thing to discuss—in this case, Cher’s Twitter feed—as an excuse to get together and crack each other the hell up. It’s the podcast equivalent of a hangout film,…

Inside The Disney Vault tackles the entire twee canon, from the classics to the bombs

Anyone who assumes that “a podcast about dictionaries by people who write dictionaries” might have limited appeal hasn’t heard lifelong lexicographer Kory Stamper rattle off the word “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” with aplomb and glee. She and fellow dictionary editor Steve Kleinedler approach Fiat Lex…

The best podcasts of 2018 so far

With one study recently estimating that as many as 180 million Americans are listening to online audio each month, podcasting as a form is indisputably on the rise in every way—a fact demonstrated by its inclusion, for the first time, in The A.V. Club’s “best of the year so far” coverage. As the sheer number of…

This week in Podmass: “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!”

Bubble, the first scripted comedy series from Maximum Fun, begins as a cutting and comic look at millennial misadventures. Set in Fairhaven—“a literal bubble of corporate utopia”—the opening scene depicts a bunch of young people as they all “brunch and vape and watch shelter dogs and have too-loud conversations” about…

Love + Radio returns for a 7th season, as shimmering and uncategorizable as ever

Last month saw the start of Love + Radio’s seventh season. Nick van der Kolk’s podcast is known for its in-depth and expertly produced interviews that cover “an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime.” Even before it found a permanent home at Radiotopia in 2014, Love + Radio was an award-winning…

30 For 30 Podcasts throws a spotlight on yoga's #MeToo moment—and hands its survivors a loudspeaker

ESPN’s 30 For 30, the documentary hub known for producing stories “too dramatic not to be real,” just delivered a one-two punch to the world of podcasting. First, a quick jab with “Bikram,” its first serialized season in its three-season run, and second (and most importantly), a power punch in the form of Julia Lowrie…

A NASA scientist weighs in on the warmth of tauntaun corpses thanks to the new podcast Bad Science 

In the episodes leading up to January 1983, co-host Scott Weinberg lamented that he was dreading 1983, calling it one of the worst cinematic years he experienced in his lifetime. June certainly is a mixed bag of films for the summer season, featuring teen sex comedies, Gérard Depardieu, and a 4-hour-long Ingmar…

Can robots compose entire albums? Switched On Pop examines the evidence

Okay, so this NASA-produced podcast is never going to win any production awards or spawn legions of imitators, but if you’re looking for cutting-edge insights on nutrition, this episode must be in the running for the most scientifically sound diet advice on the internet. Nutritional biochemistry is a big deal at…