I was already making this for @dauphinedolphin (whom I’ve successfully dragged into podcast hell alongside me) so I figured I would just post it here for anyone else who might be interested!
Note: these are just the podcasts that I’m interested in. Not everyone will enjoy them and there are many many MANY more out there that I haven’t listened to yet that are absolutely amazing. I’ve only been listening to podcasts since about October, so I haven’t listened to many yet. Also I have a significant preference towards audio dramas because I find them easier to focus on.
All these shows can be listened to for free on iTunes.
* = personal fave
The Bridge******** - I literally cannot recommend The Bridge enough. It is INCREDIBLE. They excel at everything from sound editing to incredible writing to incredible voice actors and I just love it. so. fucking. much. It’s so good. And you should go listen to it right now. It’s about the crew of Watchtower 10 out on the Transcontinental Bridge, which spans the length of the Atlantic Ocean. It features spooky stories, eldritch monsters, a possessed doll and my favourite character of all time, so it’s basically the best. I’ll probably be making a separate recommendation post for it soon because there’s too much to say.
Welcome to Night Vale - I know, I know, Night Vale Presents podcasts are on every single list and everyone’s sick of hearing about them, but seriously folks. They’re popular because they’re good. If you haven’t heard of Welcome to Night Vale before, it’s a radio show set in the fictional town of Night Vale where all sorts of weird stuff happens.
The Orbiting Human Circus (Of the Air)* - The only other Night Vale Presents podcast that I’m gonna put on here. It follows Julian, a janitor at the Eiffel Tower who dreams of becoming a famous radio host.
Wolf 359*** - This show. This fucking show. It’s so good y’all. If you like shows that start off kind of funny and not-so-serious before doing a complete 180 and becoming the most HEART-WRENCHING ANGST EVER then you will love it. Also kudos to them for having the best team of antagonists ever. It’s all about Doug Eiffel, the Communications Officer onboard the Hephaestus Station who finds mysterious radio signals out in deep space. But not everything is what it seems, nor is anyone who they seem…
Wooden Overcoats - It’s all about rival funeral home directors on the small British island of Piffling. It has a lot of dark humour so if that’s your jam you should totally check it out.
The Bright Sessions** - This is another show that’s just… so amazing. It’s about this group of humans called atypicals, who are basically superheroes (only they don’t fight crime and they have to hide their abilities from the general public). The show follows a time traveller, an empath, and a mind reader, with more atypicals popping up as the show progresses. It’s another one of those shows that gets darker as it goes, but the plot’s very character driven so you also get a TON of great character development.
EOS 10* - Apparently the best way to describe this is “Scrubs in space”? But yeah, it’s basically a hospital drama set on the space station EOS 10. The main lead’s a recovering addict and that part of his backstory’s never ignored or glossed over, which is amazing. Also it’s my #1 feel good show sooooo….
The Deep Vault* - It’s the end of the world and a group of four people seek asylum in an underground vault created to help humanity survive the apocalypse. But is it really as safe as they thought?
Archive 81 - Made by the same people who did The Deep Vault. Daniel Powell has a new job working as an archivist at Archive 81. The tapes he listens to seem to be telling a story that he’s not sure he wants to hear but knows he has to. Season two’s a little weird but season one really holds up.
The Once and Future Nerd** - Three kids from Pennsylvania end up in a fantasy world and soon get caught up in the conspiracies and dangers that are threatening to pull it apart. This one’s got a lot of really great social commentary, particularly of fantasy tropes.
The Strange Case of Starship Iris* - Violet Liu is the sole survivor of a shuttle explosion, but her ship is going down fast. She’s going to need whatever help she can get to make it out of this alive. Featuring the best alien you will ever meet, government conspiracies, and cases of mistaken identity that might just get you killed.
The Far Meridian - This one’s pretty new but it’s already shaping up to be absolutely amazing. It’s all about a woman named Peri who wakes up to find that her lighthouse has mysteriously moved locations. Peri’s also agoraphobic but it’s never treated like something weird or used as a joke, which is sooo refreshing to hear.
Bonus non-fiction podcasts:
The Podcast History Of Our World - Exactly what it says on the tin. Each episode examines a different part of history, with the end goal of studying every single part of history. Currently somewhere in the Roman Republic.
My Brother, My Brother, And Me - Yeah so I’m slowly being dragged into McElroy brother hell… This is another one that makes basically every single list (or at least one McElroy podcast does) but for good reason. It’s really really good and really really funny. The McElroys run an advice show but their advice is not meant to be taken seriously. In fact, you really shouldn’t take their advice.