2017 has been a powerhouse year for high quality podcasts. So whether you’re looking for something new, or need to play catch up, here are some of the best that the year has to offer. And they’re not all true crime!
This is the story of a mass-murder that divided a nation – a story that began in a rickety old home on a cold June morning in 1994, where five members of a seemingly ordinary New Zealand family were gunned down. There were two suspects. One lay dead from a single bullet to the head.
The other was the only survivor: David Bain. Since then the country has asked: who killed the Bain family? David or his father Robin? In this podcast, Martin van Beynen explores the case from start to finish, picking through evidence, the mysteries and motives, and interviewing never-before-spoken-to witnesses. He seeks to finally answer the question: Who was the killer?
Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.
John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.
Some stories are too sensitive, painful or potentially damaging to share publicly — unless they can be shared anonymously. TED and Audible present Sincerely, X: an original audio series featuring talks from speakers whose ideas deserve to be heard, but whose identities must remain hidden. The first season features a compelling program of victims, perpetrators, investigators, activists, empaths and more.
Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family doesn’t like John, and they get entangled in an increasingly complex web of love, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.
BFFs Kathy Tu and Tobin Low are super queer, super fun and ready to take over your podcast feed. Join them for provocative stories and frank conversations about the LGBTQ experience today. Because everyone’s a little bit gay. WNYC Studios is the producer of other podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, 2 Dope Queens and many others.
The first scripted series from Gimlet Media, starring Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, David Cross, Amy Sedaris, Michael Cera, Mercedes Ruehl, Alia Shawkat, Chris Gethard, and Spike Jonze. Homecoming centers on a caseworker at an experimental facility, her ambitious supervisor, and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life — presented in an enigmatic collage of telephone calls, therapy sessions, and overheard conversations.
So Binge Mode isn’t just dedicated to Game of Thrones. But what they did this year was pretty wild. In the lead up to the season 7 premiere they binge watched and recorded and episode for every single episode in the series. I don’t know how on earth they did it. I assume by not sleeping. Anyway, it’s awesome and you should check it out.
Join The Ringer’s Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion on their signature deep dives into the topics obsessing them at the moment, from shows and movies to books and sports.
Episodes: 67 for Game of Thrones specifically
Welcome to Crimetown, a new series from Gimlet Media and the creators of HBO’s The Jinx. Every season, we’ll investigate the culture of crime in a different American city. First up: Providence, Rhode Island, where organized crime and corruption infected every aspect of public life. This is a story of alliances and betrayals, of heists and stings, of crooked cops and honest mobsters—a story where it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Hosted by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier.
Episodes: 18 and 3 ‘bonus’ episodes
In 2016, Danny Ray Johnson was elected to state office. The fast talking biker-preacher known as “The Pope” paints himself as a 9/11 hero. He says he raised the dead! But our seven month investigation uncovered a much different picture: Attempted arson. Another mysterious fire.
Alleged bootlegging and molestation in the church. For years, Johnson broke laws. Now he helps make them. What happens when the institutions we rely on look the other way? How does a liar slip through the cracks into a position of power? This series attempts to find out.
Note: Dan Johnson committed suicide 2 days after the investigation became public.
Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and some insane stories about what fuels these professional ologists’ obsessions. Hosted by comedian and science correspondent Alie Ward.
Episodes: 10 plus 2 ‘minisodes’