Given the political climate and how inundated we all are with news, I like to unwind by listening to pop culture podcasts (they’re definitely a great way to survive a long commute!). Personally, I think it’s particularly important to prioritize and center the experiences of marginalized communities and tend to gravitate towards podcasts led by women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals. Below are just a few of the podcasts I am particularly fond of.
1. Call Your Girlfriend
Hosted by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sou and produced by Gina Delvac, Call Your Girlfriend, or CYG as it’s known to its many fans is a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere. Released once a week, each episode is a conversation between Ann and Aminatou about pop culture and recent political developments. Their fun yet informative conversation is a glimpse into their relationship and definitely makes you feel like one of the gang!
2. Another Round
Buzzfeed’s Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton host this amazing weekly podcast that touches upon a whole array of issues including gender, race, beauty, and pop culture. Another Round features amazing interviews with greats like Janet Mock and Hillary Clinton and is definitely a must-listen!
SRSLY, a pop culture podcast from the New Statesman, hails from across the pond! Hosted by Caroline Crampton and Anna Leszkiewicz, SRSLY takes a critical look at music, books, television, and film – including a few special episodes on Love Actually and the Harry Potter series. As it definitely leans heavy on British pop culture, this podcast is a great way to get acquainted with the happenings in the UK and will broaden your ‘To Watch/Read/Listen’ list!
4. Chuski Pop
A bi-weekly podcast hosted by Sweety and Pappu, Chuski Pop, is a podcast about Desi culture, women’s issues, and Bollywood. Started in 2015, Chuski Pop critically engages with issues that particularly affect South Asian women and is a great way to diversify your pop culture references!
5. Melanin Millennials
Another UK-based podcast, Melanin Millennials is hosted by Imriel Morgan and Saitama Cienfuegos who discuss pop culture and millennial struggles with a distinctly British twist. Melanin Millennials is a hilarious and fun podcast where “they don’t hold back on serving all the tea, crumpets, shade and woke commentary“.
6. See Something, Say Something
A new podcast created by Buzzfeed, See Something, Say Something is hosted by Ahmed Ali Akbar, where he invites guests to drink chai and talk about issues pertaining to the Muslim-American community. Given recent events in the U.S., this is a particularly important podcast that features an in-depth discussion of the #MuslimBan and other political developments.
Bonus: They recently released an episode featuring our very own CEO, Laila Alawa!
7. Buffering the Vampire Slayer
If you like me were a HUGE Buffy fan growing up, this is the podcast for you! Hosted by Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo, this weekly podcast analyzes a new episode of Buffy a week and is a great walk down memory lane. Definitely worth checking out!
8. Reality Bytes
Reality Bytes is a new podcast/talk show about “sex, love, relationships & dating in the digital age” hosted by IRL best friends Stephanie Beatriz and Courtney Kocak. A hilarious podcast, Reality Bytes, touches on issues ranging from polyamory to business partnerships to queer issues – highly recommend!
9. The Exposé
We’re happy to announce the return of The Exposé! A brutally honest podcast hosted by Laila Alawa, Kat Chen, and Esther Meroño Baro, The Exposé is The Tempest’s own podcast, and it covers a wide variety of topics ranging from dad jokes to pop culture to politics. Definitely, give it a listen and let us brighten up your day!
By no means exhaustive, this list is just a starting point to explore different podcasts to engage with pop culture and other pertinent issues. I hope it serves as a reminder that it’s okay to laugh and take some time for yourself even when it seems like the world might be ending.