Jason Arriola’s Favorite Podcasts of 2017

If you’re looking for some podcasts to listen to, I’ve got a few suggestions for you. These are a few of my favorites that I either started listening to last year, they started last year, or I felt they really came into their own last year. You know, some sort of qualification tying it to 2017, no matter how tenuous it may be is all I was looking for to throw this together. None of these are specific to video games, although one of them has covered


5 – My Favorite Murder

I’m not really sure how to sell this one to you. Hell, I’m not sure that I need to sell this. My Favorite Murder isn’t quite the phenom that Serial was a couple of years ago, but you’d never guess that based on the ravenous fan based that Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark have acquired over the last two years. If you’re a fan of true crime and want to listen to two best friends telling each other about some of the most horrific crimes, this should be right up your alley. Throw in mini episodes where fans write in to talk about murders that happened in their hometowns, and you’ve got a huge, ongoing catalog of true crime stories to listen to.

This should probably be higher up on my list, but I don’t think Karen and Georgia need my help in getting people to listen to them.



4 – The Ends

History isn’t always pretty, and The Ends really leans on the tragedy part of it. While some of the episodes seem to have disappeared from the feed, two of my favorites that were a few episodes long remain. Getting a little bit of a deeper, more personal dive on the Jonestown Massacre kept it moving along briskly and had me refreshing the feed every other Wednesday in anticipation of what was coming next. What I feel is the strongest entry is titled Heart of the Sunrise, and it covers the early days of Russia’s space program.

The feed’s been quiet since July, but what is there isn’t something you need to worry about getting outdated, so it’s worth listening to and checking in on it from time to time to see if host Kevin Allen has put something back up.



3 – The Grift

I became familiar with the host of The Grift, Maria Konnikova, from The Gist, where she does a segment called “Is That Bullshit?”. There, she takes a subject that’s held as fact and takes a look at scientific research about and decide if maybe it’s not as factual as it may appear. Enough on that, I’m here to sell you on her podcast, not a segment she does on someone else’s.

Maria’s got more than a passing interest in con artists and how they manipulate people. In The Grift, Maria takes a look at some people who aren’t particularly well known but their stories are fascinating, all the same. Ranging from art frauds to psychics to someone who uses love as the greatest manipulator of all. It’s an intriguing look into the minds of people who operate just below the surface of most of our realities.



2 – Tardy to the Party

Bill Mudron and Daniel Rutis take turns each week suggesting a movie, TV show, video game, or some other form of media to check out that the other may have missed initially. The dynamic between these two is great. Bill occasionally gets more than a bit tangential and Daniel’s attempts to rein him back in are some of my favorite moments in podcasting. What really convinced me that I was digging this show more than I realized was when I found myself listening to the back catalog about things I didn’t have any interest in. I started on an episode where they broke their format and talked about Breath of the Wild (not even really sure how I found that one). Started subscribing and, after a couple of months, went back and listened to the entire backlog of episodes.



1 – Radio Free Mid-World

Have a love of Stephen King? His The Dark Tower series? How so much of the rest of his work all lead back to The Tower? Host Kole Ross takes an incredibly deep dive into the series chapter by chapter with rotating guests and the results are delightful. It’s not all serious and the moments of frivolity come almost perfectly each time. Between books of The Dark Tower, they’ll delve into other of King’s works like The Stand, It, and the lesser known The Eyes of the DragonThis is one of those podcasts that I tried on a whim and dug so much that I blew through the back catalog in a few weeks. While I haven’t read beyond the fifth book, The Wolves of Calla, but this is making me want to try to make the time to read the series again. I don’t know if I can recommend this one any harder than I do. It was a delight to catch up with and I almost dread the end of it in 2019.

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