There are times when I’m on my home from my day job and I just can’t focus on whatever book I’m reading at that moment, yet I still want something a little more engaging to do than waste my cellphone data scrolling Facebook or Twitter. So lately, I have turned to podcasts.
I first started listening to podcasts in high school when I was obsessed with a little thing known as Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series that lead to a podcast the team did called Wha-chow! (which I do not believe is a thing anymore). I thought Wha-Chow! was hilarious and looked for more podcasts that were just silly things I liked. Mostly it was just listened to the Team Four-Star guys yell profanity and dick jokes at each other, but sometimes I would listen to this Supernatural re-cap show that also made me laugh.
Now there’s a little more diversity in my listening habits. There are the fiction podcasts like Welcome to Night Vale (which I have had the wonderful opportunity to see live back when it was still a newer show), Campaign from the One Shot Podcast team, and The Adventure Zone from the McElroy Brothers. Sprinkled in with the dramatic shows, I’ve got my non-fiction stuff that is honestly mostly things on cults and serial killers like The Last Podcast on the Left (a new obsession of mine if I’m being entirely honest).
So why do I like podcasts? When it comes to the serial killer stuff – which has always been a deep interest of mine – it’s fascinating to hear different perspectives on the cases. An example I’ll use is Charles Manson. I know that case backwards at this point, having done project and project on him for various classes along with personal curiosity. There’s very little information on him in Last Podcast on the Left that I wasn’t already aware of, but the team on that podcast played some of his music, which I had never heard before, and provided just a different perspective on what kind of person he was. Note: All serial killers are monsters, it’s just interesting to see what kind of sympathies the different perspectives draw out while also acknowledging that they are monsters.
On the other hand, fictional story-telling in the terms of a podcast are fascinating. I’ve always been a fan of the Doctor Who radio dramas or even the various dramas that come out of Japan to go along with various anime series (such as Code Geass or Steins;Gate). It takes a strong writer to get the story across when we can’t actually see what’s going on which is why I enjoy the “radio talk show” aspect of Welcome to Night Vale or the documentary style of The Black Tape or TANIS (from Pacific North West Stories). Even the roll-playing game podcasts like The Adventure Zone and Campaign (a Star Wars version of DnD) bring something so completely new to the world of story telling it’s fascinating as a writer to listen to.
Podcasts are good time wasters (in the best way) and fill the silence when you just want a good story or to learn something new. There are hundreds of podcasts of various genres to listen to and I’m sure there’s something for everyone out there.
What are you favourite podcasts? Send me a link in the comments!