We can all only talk about politics, our vacation plans or Trevor’s travel hockey team for so long. Why not enhance your conversation repertoire with some well-chosen podcasts that highlight interesting people and newsworthy events? They’re easy to listen to while taking that speed walk you keep saying you’ll take, waiting in carpool lines or riding Metro-North. Here are five great options—or take a few minutes to explore iTunes or Stitcher. Chances are you’ll find something that will help make you the most interesting person in the room.
We all have at least one friend who is obsessed with Serial, which premiered with the case of the disappearance of a Baltimore high school senior. In Season 2 host Sarah Koenig is back with another riveting story about soldier Bowe Bergdahl that will challenge the beliefs of even the most opinionated among us. Season 3 is already in the works, so catch up on the first two seasons now.
Film critic Elvis Mitchell hosts all the big names and those on the rise in pop art and entertainment. From actors like Leonardo DiCaprio to cutting- edge screenwriters and directors like Cary Fukunaga and Ryan Coogler, Mitchell’s guests give listeners the stories behind the making of what’s on today’s TV and movie screens. Mitchell knows the right questions to ask to create an illuminating hour that will make you feel a bit like you’re eavesdropping on a Beverly Hills Polo Lounge power lunch.
Don’t have time to read the Sunday New York Times? Have celebrities like Colin Farrell and Connie Britton read you each week’s thought-provoking Modern Love essay on relationships in a little over twenty minutes.
RADIOLAB PRESENTS MORE PERFECT
The decisions the Supreme Court makes shape our daily lives, and More Perfect gives you a layman’s synopsis of what’s going on in the highest court in the land. You’ll get an hour-long look at one Supreme Court case each engaging episode. You don’t need a law degree to gain a new perspective on the stories behind the people and politics in these cases. wnyc.org/shows/radiolabmoreperfect
THE DINNER PARTY DOWNLOAD
A little bored with your usual social circle? Try the Dinner Party Download. Each episode is a virtual party guide complete with an icebreaker, theme drink, emerging food trend, musical playlist, etiquette Q&A, author reading and interesting celebrity guests. Hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam invite you to dine with an eclectic assortment of personalities like Viola Davis, Alan Cumming and Dave Navarro for a fast-paced hour that will fuel your weekend party conversation.