December 31, 2016
Best Podcasts of 2016
by Doug Strassler
Podcast of the Year: Allison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend
I listen to it at work. I listen to it on flights. I listen to it in the shower. I listen to it while commuting. I can’t get enough of this semi-weekly podcast, which finds Rosen conducting expert interviews with show business talent and then chatting with industry friends. This year saw lows (Greg’s dad passed away, and Greg’s career took him away from the Thursday show) and highs (Allison’s pregnant! Baby Rosen-Quantz is almost here!), and always gives an insider viewpoint as to what it is to live and work in LA. Does it help that Rosen’s husband, Daniel, loves Twin Peaks as much as I do? It doesn’t hurt. I can’t wait to listen to their podcast once the new episodes begin. But I also can’t wait until next Monday to listen to it again. A week that goes by without listening ARIYNBF is a week not lived right.
Terribly Funny with Steve Basilone
Basilone has what I’d consider a dream life as a sitcom writer, but he hasn’t necessarily had it easy. His wife left him for another woman, and he had a terrible bout with a stomach disease. How do I know? Because he shares this and more on his podcast, in which fellow writers and performers talk to him about their own wounds: dead parents, dead siblings, sexual harassment. It’s a safe space to talk about the tough stuff. And it’s great listening.
Host Mike Pesca digests all the news and culture that’s fit to cast in this Slate-sponsored show. And so it was that I went and watched him and his cohorts live on Election Night. If you’re going to go down on the SS Poseidon, these are the people with whom you want to be submerged.
Will You Accept This Rose?
One time this summer, I found myself at a bar with co-host Paget Brewster (the terrific actress Arden Myrin typically leads this podcast), and of all the great things she’s done, what I wanted to talk about most was this podcast. I ended up being smart and not bothering her at all. But this deceptively sly podcast is a great supplement to TV appreciation, and it’s with them that I plan to see Nick Viall find Ms. Right.
Call Your Girlfriend
Are there two smarter, more informed people than Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow? Surviving 2016 was immeasurably easier listening to these hyper literate scholars and freelance writers discuss femininity and feminism (and never have to explain the difference), politics, and pop culture. I don’t even love the film As Good As It Gets, but I’ll quote from it. This podcast makes me want to be a better man.
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