Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

PBS’s Masterpiece is getting its own podcast!  If you’re a fan of Sherlock, Downton Abbey and other Masterpiece favorites, you can get your between-episodes fix by listening to their new podcast Masterpiece Studio.

Entertainment Weekly just tweeted the news.  On December 21st the first guest will be Sherlock writer/co-creator Mark Gatiss.  On December 28th there will be a preview of the final season of Downton.

You can follow Masterpiece’s Twitter feed at @masterpiecepbs, and host Jace Lacob at @televisionary.

Here’s the press release.

#SherlockBBC #DowntonAbbey #MasterpiecePBS #MasterpiecePodcast #BenedictCumberbatch

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The first series of the Serial podcast was a runaway hit, so Sarah Koenig and her team have now begun podcasting series two.  This series will focus on Bowe Bergdahl, the Army Pfc. who walked off his post in Afghanistan in June of 2009 and ended up being captured by the Taliban.  He spent five years as their prisoner until he was released in a prisoner swap in May of 2014.

Originally hailed as a hero, his return caused controversy after questions arose as to whether he had deliberately deserted his post.  Several soldiers were killed while searching for him.  Bergdahl is currently facing two counts, desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

While there are certainly a lot of questions surrounding this story, it’s just not of particular interest to me, so I will probably skip this series.  If you find it intriguing, though, the first episode has already been released.  Personally I think this series won’t be anywhere near as popular as the last one, but we’ll see what the download numbers say.

As reported on Deadline, Serial will also have a television series on Fox.  If you’re interested watch out for that.

The first series of Serial explored the Hae Min Lee murder case from 1999.  Hae’s ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted of her murder in 2000 and is serving a life sentence.  Whether or not he is really guilty of the crime is very much in doubt.  Syed family friend and Adnan supporter Rabia Chaudry approached Sarah Koenig with the idea of doing a podcast about the case, which became Serial series one.  Chaudry, along with fellow lawyers Susan Simpson and Colin Miller, created their own podcast,  Undisclosed, to continue the search for answers and to help get Syed a new trial.  This podcast digs into the evidence (and sometimes the weeds of legal mumbo-jumbo in a way us laypeople can understand) to try to get Adnan’s conviction overturned.  Bob Ruff, a fire chief and arson investigator, became so wrapped up in the Syed case that he created his own podcast, Truth & Justice (formerly called Serial Dynasty).  Both podcasts have ferreted out quite a bit of interesting information, and in fact have helped win Syed a hearing where his attorney will present new evidence to a judge in the hopes Syed will be granted a retrial.

While Serial series one was interesting storytelling for storytelling’s sake, Undisclosed and Truth & Justice have dug into the details of the case that Koenig didn’t have the time and quite frankly, the interest, to do.  Syed may very well be innocent; at the very least he shouldn’t have been convicted on the evidence the prosecution had in my opinion.  Both Undisclosed and Truth & Justice are doing very well numbers-wise in their own right as many people want to know what happens with this case as it has now become reactivated.  Sarah Koenig is nothing if not a great storyteller, however, I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed that she’s shown little interest in the case since the end of series one (although I understand she may be giving some brief updates on the case during Serial series two).  In any case kudos goes to the folks who are still fighting to get overturned what may very well have been a wrongful conviction.

#SerialPodcast #AdnanSyed #Undisclosed #TruthAndJustice

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I’m continuing to discover some good podcasts out there, so I’m going to talk about three of the ones I’ve recently found.  I’ll link the websites below, but these are all available free on iTunes as well (or other venues, check their websites).

International Waters is a comedy quiz show pitting U.S. and U.K. comics against each other for bragging rights over who knows the most about pop culture.  Failing that, if they’re wrong they can still earn points just for being funny.  Think Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, only a lot more irreverent, with loosey-goosey rules and swearing.

American Cinematographer magazine now has a podcast!  Full disclosure that I have not yet listened to one, but here’s the description from the website:

American Cinematographer interviews cinematographers, directors and other filmmakers to take you behind the scenes on major studio movies, independent films and popular television series.

Recent episodes include interviews with the cinematographers of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Crow (1994) and Mad Men.

Crime Writers on Serial continues the obsession with NPR’s Serial podcast that covered the murder trial of Adnan Syed and his possible retrial.  We now have podcasts on Serial, podcasts on the podcasts on Serial, etc. etc.  This one gathers true crime authors Rebecca Lavoie, her husband Kevin Flynn, Lara Bricker and Toby Ball in discussions about Serial, Undisclosed (an excellent podcast by three attorneys that digs even deeper into the Syed case), and also extends into other topics, such as the television show True Detective.

So there’s three more worth giving some time to.  If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment below!

#InternationalWatersPodcast #AmericanCinematographerPodcast #CrimeWritersOnSerialPodcast #podcasts

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I had a lengthy podcast post already, but I’m back with some additional comments.

First, if you read my original post you’ll know I was not very impressed with Stuff You Should Know when I listened to their episode on ESP.  That one was a little rough.  However, I’ve listened to a couple of others, namely the one on Ouija Boards and one on the Deep Web.  Both of those were pretty good, and a definite improvement on the ESP one.  So give it a shot if you’ve a mind to, and you can find a subject that intrigues you.  That shouldn’t be hard, because these guys do episodes on anything and everything.

While you’re waiting for another season of Serial (and many of us are), there are some other criminal-related podcasts you can listen to.  One is from BBC Radio 4 and is called Who Killed Elsie Frost?  This series delves into the unsolved 1965 murder of 14-year old Elsie in an English town.  Her sister and brother are involved in the reinvestigation of her case and appear on this podcast, along with the investigators from iPM who are looking into the murder.

Another podcast that might be of interest is Criminal.  This one doesn’t follow a single case with multiple episodes like Serial, but each episode is about an individual case.  The cases might be large or small, but they’re all different.  For instance, Ex Libris is about a thief who only steals rare books, while Animal Instincts presents a case that may or may not be murder, with a resolution that may surprise you.  The title is a hint.

#Podcasts #CriminalPodcast #StuffYouShouldKnow #WhoKilledElsieFrost

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I’ve been getting more and more into podcasts recently, partly because I have a fairly long drive to work and partly because I’m over listening to music.  I can turn on the news on Sirius XM, but I’ve usually heard it all by the time I get to the car in the morning.  So podcasts it is, or has been recently.

I’ve downloaded some episodes from NPR.org before, mostly Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! which is a very entertaining and funny game show.  I decided, though, that I should have some variety, so after searching for what are deemed to be the best podcasts out there, I found a few that looked interesting and downloaded a sample or two from each series onto a memory stick for playing in the car.

One of the podcasts that turns up on almost all the lists of Best Podcasts I’ve seen is The Nerdist.  The Nerdist is hosted by Chris Hardwick who, along with a couple of his nerdy friends, usually spend the hour interviewing celebrities.  I downloaded a couple of episodes, one of which was Benedict Cumberbatch’s interview from December when he was promoting The Imitation Game (and before he was announced as the star of Marvel’s Doctor Strange – that’s serious nerd cred there).  You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Benedict, he of the lovely cultured English accent and sonorous tones, make every kind of fart noise he can think of.  That’s Nerdist.

A very recent Nerdist podcast had the guys interviewing Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt, along with Jurassic’s director Colin Trevorrow.  Pratt seems like such a nice guy you can’t help but just be happy for him for his recent success, especially when he talks about things like his early auditions (for jerk roles) or his struggles with his weight.  Awwww.

If you’re really, really into comic books, The Nerdist also has a Comic Book Club Channel.  Immediate geek cred given for listening to that one.

One of the other highly-recommended podcasts I listened to recently was from How Stuff Works.  There are actually several series here to pick from, including the original Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff To Blow Your Mind, and Stuff They Didn’t Want You To Know, among others.

Stuff You Should Know is hosted by two guys, Josh and Chuck, who talk about topics like How Autopsies Work, What’s The Deal With Blood Types? and How Junk Food Works (not sure why anyone would be confused about how junk food works, but I digress).  The episode I downloaded was How ESP Works.  I thought this one would be fun, since I am a big skeptic about things like clairvoyance and the ability to talk to the dead.  They hit on several such topics and not just on ESP, but I’m not sure I really learned much of anything I didn’t know already.

I’m in the meh category on this one, but it could be just the episode I listened to.  It took the guys a good 15 minutes of chit-chat and commercials before they really got into talking about ESP and related subjects.  What is up with all the chit and the chat?!  A little is good before you get into the subject at hand, but 15 minutes?  During the course of the episode they strayed from the topic as well and went off on a tangent before finally remembering they were supposed to be doing a show about ESP.

They should compare notes before they hit the Record button also – if one of them tells an anecdote about some past research trial and the other guy then tells him it was determined later that it was pretty easy to cheat on that trial, it’s clear they’re not spending enough time beforehand discussing what they’re going to say.  And one more thing – anyone who researches such things for a podcast should also know that name of the so-called “medium” who had the show called Crossing Over is John Edward, not Edwards.

Suffice it to say I’d have to listen to some more of this series’ episodes before I say skip it, but if you’re looking for tightly researched scientific knowledge on a subject this podcast is probably not where to find it.  It was somewhat entertaining, nonetheless, so I don’t want to be too down on it just because the episode I heard was a little rough.

I’ve mentioned NPR’s very popular Serial podcast on this blog before, which focused on the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed.  If you were hooked on the Syed case after listening to that series, you might want to pick up on Undisclosed.  This podcast picks apart the details of the case that sent Syed to prison for life 15 years ago.  He recently won a court victory that may lead to a new trial.

I’ve added a podcast category in my links and listed some of the ones I’ve been listening to there.  If you have some other suggestions use the comments below and let us know what you recommend (or not).

#TheNerdist #BenedictCumberbatch #ChrisPratt #StuffYouShouldKnow

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