February Podcast Roundup

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So clearly I’m a little behind on this February roundup – did anyone else feel like that month just FLEW by? There was so much going on and I didn’t end up searching for as many new shows I would have liked… but check below for thoughts on a newer NPR educational civics show Civics 101, my thoughts on the end of TERMS season one, and many more!

Newcomers

Civics 101 has been a great way to learn a bit more about the American system of government and the roles that different people play. They bring on different experts each week to talk about subjects like filibustering, contacting your local representatives, the White House press core, and the chief of staff. Since the episodes are all around 20 minutes long, it’s a short and easy way to listen and learn without feeling like you’re back in school.

Regularly Scheduled Podcasts

I’m not entirely sure how to feel about The Bechdel Cast, a show of two young women who examine a different movie each week and see whether it passes the Bechdel test. If you don’t know, that test looks at conversations between women in movies. If there’s two female characters who have a conversation about something other than men, it passes. If not, then goodbye. Luckily, this podcast uses that as a bouncing off point for a full gender assessment of whatever movie a guest chooses to bring, and they don’t base it solely on that one test. It can be fun, and is usually a good analysis of some enjoyable movies (Titanic, The Matrix, and Mad Max: Fury Road) without completely destroying them if they don’t pass the test.

Terms season one wrapped last month and BOY what an ending! Although none of his previous plans worked, it turns out the President had actually been devising a bloodless military coup the entire time. Once safely locked in a bunker and still in command, President – vows to change the constitution with input from all Americans before stepping aside to allow for new elections. What a stunning end – now I can’t wait until the next season, I just hope it comes soon.

The Canadian news and politics podcast Commons from Canadaland is back, now with new hosts! We have Ryan McMahon, Hadiya Roderique and Ashley Csanady with a new show every second Tuesday. Their latest episode focused on the Thunder Bay inquest into seven Indigenous student deaths, the Halifax-area cab driver acquitted of sexually assaulting his female passenger, and the cash-for-access scandal rocking BC’s upcoming election. It’s probably the closest I’ve found to the NPR Politics Podcast style (but about news, not just politics) so it’s a good listen for anyone wanting to get started. However, fair warning that it is Liberal-minded and they don’t shy away from their personal biases or emotional reporting.

Catch-up

Initially I couldn’t decide what I wanted to focus on for my catch-up of the month, but then it hit me: Darkest Night which was SO GOOD. It comes from the mind of the No Sleep Podcast which I’ve talked about here before, but the season was all one cohesive story. I loved the main characters, the different stories each week, and how well they all came together in the end. By the time the season ended I desperately wanted more from these storytelling minds. Hopefully, they look into more serialized horror shows in the future.

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