In Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at email@example.com.
You’re Wrong About
Ed and Lorraine Warren with Jamie Loftus
Two episodes on from the departure of former You’re Wrong About co-host Michael Hobbes, it’s clear that remaining host Sarah Marshall is still ready to tackle papered-over histories with empathy, wry humor, and research. Marshall is now being joined week to week by a series of rotating guest hosts, and comedian/writer/podcaster Jamie Loftus joins to discuss Ed and Lorraine Warren, the real-life ghost-hunting couple made famous by their high-profile haunting cases and, later, the Conjuring film franchise. Portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga on screen, the Warrens are seen as a warm, loving pair of Christian high school sweethearts who assist in everything from exorcisms to locating deadly crime scenes using Lorraine’s psychic prowess and Ed’s background in demonology. Loftus tells Marshall, however, that the real-life Warrens’ true power appears to have been selling a whole lot of books about their dubious supernatural encounters. With a big price tag on their life rights, hefty film consulting fees, and a son-in-law who continues to keep their legend airtight, the Warrens will forever be remembered for something they likely weren’t—making them the perfect topic for an equally memorable You’re Wrong About episode. [Marnie Shure]
Close To Death
Hosted by actor/musician Utkarsh Ambudkar, Close To Death is a podcast that looks at a few of the unavoidable facets of the human experience: work and death. More specifically, each episode of Close To Death profiles an individual working in a field closely related to death. The stories of these various morticians and obituary writers are shared by comedians and journalists who are able to contextualize fields of employment that many people might find disturbing—which is exactly the point. By listening to the experience of people who are intimately familiar with death, working in close proximity to it on the daily, listeners are able to see beyond the instinctual fear and discomfort humans react to when confronted with death. In this episode, Ambudkar is joined by comedian Mary Beth Barone who profiles taxidermist Divya Anantharaman. Anantharaman has a bright and bubbly personality and Barone’s interviews with her shines a light on the art of preserving dead animals and offers some insight to what it means to deal with loss. Listening to Anantharaman discuss her process of taxidermizing family pets, there is an understanding that as much as death is a part of life, so is the desire to memorialize those we’ve lost. [Jose Nateras]
Scorpio Season is still spooky season. Those are just the rules and Treat is going to keep the haunted-fall-vibes going. The first podcast from C13Features in an Orwellian-Goosebumps-Brat Pack moment: The feature-length podcast, billed as a podcast movie, takes us to the seemingly perfect hometown of Allie (voiced by executive producer Kiernan Shipka), who discovers that this idyllic lifestyle comes at a horrific price. Treat feels like a modern reconceptualizing of The Pied Piper Of Hamelin, but with a spooky, cobweb-covered Halloween bus roaming around town. It’s scary in that Are You Afraid Of The Dark way—it’s not going to invade your dreams and the scares get wrapped up with a bow, so you don’t have to live with a cliffhanger ending. Shipka is supreme; her presence in this haunted-ass town feels like an extension of Sabrina Spellman’s life in Greendale, as she fights a possessed mom with a drinking problem and a dead-beat dad, still finding time to enjoy a boxcar children picnic with her troubled brother and hot boyfriend. [Morgan McNaught]