Each week, guest writer Joe Ducarreaux picks out his recent podcast highlights in an effort to provide yet more wonderful content for your ears. Joe is an avid podcast listener who has been known to listen to over 40 episodes in just one week. To be honest we’re surprised he found time to write this column…
THIS WEEKS MUST LISTEN:
Investigative journalism is one of the most popular genres in the podcast world. Like great detective TV shows, the episodic nature allows for a gradual build-up of the case, the story of the investigation and (hopefully) ending with a satisfying resolution. If you are thirsting for more of the podcast stylings found in Serial and S-Town, you absolutely HAVE to listen to Finding Drago.
In a podcast reviewing 80’s favourite Rocky IV, comedians Alexei Toliopoulos and Cameron James discover a rare and unauthorised spin-off novel from the film. Drago: On Mountains We Stand is listed as one of the last great masterpieces of author Todd Noy and follows on from Drago’s defeat at the gloves of Rocky Balboa. In digging a little deeper, the pair discover that Noy seemingly has a huge cult following; readers often tell of how his books seek them out rather than they to them, despite his sudden disappearance in 1992. Alexei and Cam’s aim with this podcast? Find Todd Noy, or failing that, what happened to him.
Told over 7 episodes, each totalling less than one hour, this series is easily binged in one sitting and makes for compelling listening. The investigation never goes in a predictable direction and weaves a tale of mystery and intrigue, all while maintaining a light-hearted feel. This is where Finding Drago stands apart from Serial and S-Town, the latter shows explore dark topics including conspiracy, murder and suicide- where here, the investigation leads Alexei and Cam to interviewing documentary filmmakers, experts in fanfiction and die-hard fans of Noy’s writings. This podcast will make you laugh, but this in no way means that the exploration into the mythology and disappearance of the author’s work is any less gripping.
The show’s ending is hugely satisfying, tying up all loose ends in one of the most original and unpredictable denouements ever experienced in storytelling, let alone podcasting!
EPISODES WORTH A DOWNLOAD:
DAVID TENNANT DOES A PODCAST WITH… JON HAMM
Jon Hamm has one of the sexiest voices in the world. Throw in the fact that his host and counter-part in this conversation is David Tennant, owner of another sexy voice, and you’ve got yourself a podcast. In this actor-on-actor discussion, Hamm talks us through his early life, experiences of parental divorce, growing up in rural environments, his first role all the way up to becoming Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men and onward. Hamm is refreshingly open and comes across as very grounded, recognising on a few occasions that his opinion comes from a position of extreme privilege. Tennant is, as ever, a charismatic delight and proves himself to be a dextrous interviewer- asking a mixture of trivial and heavier topics. A cracking listen. Listen on Spotify
TALK IS JERICHO: LIVING THE DREAM WITH SLASH
As a teenager, I was obsessed with Guns N Roses- I literally didn’t listen to anything other than Appetite for Destruction between the ages of 15-16. Hearing Slash discuss with Chris Jericho the reunion between himself, Axl Rose and Duff McKagan and then for that discussion to go on and include dinosaurs proves that the coolest people are utter nerds. An aspect of Jericho’s podcasts which I absolutely love is the method with which Chris sneaks his adverts into the conversation. In the middle of talking to his guest(s), Jericho will begin asking a question with a phrase such as “I wanna ask you about the reunion Slash and how you’ve recorded with a bunch of cool artists, but first I gotta talk to my people about DDP Yoga…” Every advert is an impassioned pitch, proving that if you want something sold, give it to a wrestler. Listen on Spotify
WALKING THE DOG WITH EMILY DEAN: MARK KERMODE
A podcast crossover for me, a devout Wittertainee for some ten years now, Kermode takes host Emily Dean out for a stroll in my neck of the woods- the New Forest. Emily’s interviewing style is wonderful, she seems to absolutely nail the characteristics of her guests and asks them where the foundations of those characteristics come from. It’s enjoyable refreshing to hear Kermode (someone whom I’ve exclusively listened to for opinions on films) discuss aspects of his life which aren’t necessarily film-related, including his faith. Listen on Spotify