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The top 10 podcasts of 2018 that you must listen to NOW

Sutrishna Ghosh
22nd Dec 2018
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Podcasts exploded in popularity this year, emerging as an extremely engaging, appealing, and creative storytelling format. We tell you the top 10 you must put on your listening list.

The year 2018 could well be called the year of the podcast. Easy to listen to through smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices, podcasts exploded in popularity. As of this year, Apple had over 525,000 active shows; more than 18.5 million episodes were available, including content in more than 100 languages.

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Whether it is a Serial-inspired crime investigation series or the rambles of beloved makeover star Jonathan Van Ness, the options are endless. Even better if you are a podcast-virgin! Just jump in and choose from these top 10 podcasts from around the world.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Wondering what the wonderful Jonathan does when he is not being “flawless” or shooting for his hit Netflix reality series, Queer Eye with the Fab Five? Look no further, the answer is his truly entertaining and informative podcast series, titled Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. Drafted in the form of an episodic series, the podcast features the hair expert with prominent figures like actor Reese Witherspoon and comedians Nicole Byer and Erin Gibson, as together they explore a host of curious questions.

The Wilderness

Whether you are a politics enthusiast or not, the current state of the US administration has got the entire world intrigued about what next. But to answer this question, one needs to look into the past and doing exactly that is Jon Favreau, the Crooked Media Co-founder and former Obama speechwriter. Through his multiple interviews and insightful exchanges, Favreau not only takes a dive into the history of American politics but also seeks to understand what caused the downfall of the Democratic party.

Binge Mode: Harry Potter

“Jump on your broom and join The Ringer’s Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion as they take their signature deep dive into 'Harry Potter,’” reads the official Soundcloud description of the series. It’s pretty self-explanatory – Bine Mode is all about author JK Rowling’s incredibly hit book series. Years after the books’ release and subsequent movies, there’s still a craving among Potterheads for more insight into the magical world of Harry Potter, and Binge Mode aims to fill this void.

Serial

It’s criminal to talk about podcasts and not mention the flagbearer, Serial, a true crime investigation series following grappling cases. In its third season now, Serial is making a significant change in its format, introducing multiple cases rather than following a single incident through. Host Sarah Koenig will take it back to Cleveland, where the court house is the hero and the extraordinary stories the lead characters.

Decoder Ring

If it’s not apparent from the title, Decoder Ring is all about decoding or demystifying cultural enigmas. From hotel art to the Incunabula Papers and the Sherlock-and-Watson gay conspiracy, host Willa Paskin takes listeners through a range of topics, exploring their origin, meaning, and broader implications.

Animal Spirits

With a new episode airing every Wednesday, Animal Spirits, a show about markets, life, and investing offers a much-needed fix of the market in general. Hosts Michael Batnick and Ben Carlson make it even more enjoyable with their ceaseless banter and humorous take on the complicated terms involving business, investment, and more.

My Brother, My Brother and Me

Hosted by brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy, MBMBaM (abbreviated name) is a weekly podcast series that offers advice to listeners with a generous dose of comedy. The format involves the trio answering questions submitted to them by either their listeners or curated from Yahoo! Answers. Such is the popularity of this podcast, that it has already inspired a TV series.

The Sporkful

The best way to get to know people is through food. And The Sporkful puts to use this idea in fuelling lively discussions on race, culture, body image, and certain absurd topics as well. Hosted by the James Beard Award-winning Dan Pashman, the food-inspired series boasts varied episodes like the one about a couple who cooks together, why cows wear Fitbits, and Obama’s family chef.

Keeping it Queer

The ever-evolving LGBTQ community in India has gone through a series of developments in recent times, especially after the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India. Given the timing and the context, it seems like the right time to allow comedian Navin Noronha to guide listeners through an everyday experience of what it means to be queer. In the process, expect discussions on controversial topics of religion, sex, and hush-hush Indian family, all against the backdrop of being queer.

Host comedian Navin Noronha, podcasts
Host and comedian Navin Noronha

The Night Shift

Strangely enough, night time brings a mixed bag of emotions, situations, and conditions for women in India. Firstly, there’s the imminent issue of safety. This is brought to mind regularly with the numerous incidents that make it difficult, if not impossible, for women folk to venture out at night to earn their living. Keeping all this in mind, journalist Kunal Purohit turns the focus on the very idea of feminism and feminist living in The Night Shift, while spotlighting four women – a taxi driver, a bar dancer, a club bouncer, and a home guard constable – in the front and centre of his audio series.


 

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