Two people talking about things. I need more podcasts!
March 12, 2018 7:53 AM   Subscribe

I need more podcasts. Specifically, I need more of a particular type of podcast. Two/three regular podcasts hosts, no interviews, talking about things. Not humor/shoot-the-shit type podcasts however. Examples inside!

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I can't believe I'm asking for more. But I've come to realize there's a type of podcast that I really enjoy. It has quality audio and editing (this is super important... if it sounds like it's recorded over skype i'm out), has 2-3 regular hosts, is not an interview show, and actually has a general theme/topic for each episode. It's a podcast where humor is not the focus. Obviously the funny bit here and there is welcome, but it is not the goal. I strongly prefer consistent hosts because I like getting to know them and their quirks. The odd interview is ok if it aligns with the topic, but it needs to be more about the hosts and not at all "On this show we talk to XYZ about their new book/podcast/tvshow/whatever".

Topics: Basically anything that is not politics or religion, but podcasts are my escape from reality so anything that is designed to provoke uncomfortable feelings because XYZ is horrible I'm not into. I work in tech and have tended to lean that way for topics, but other things like sports, law, cars, animals, food, medical, etc... any random niche I could learn about is fair game! (but please no more apple-news... I get enough of that already!)

A list of podcasts I already listen to that fall into this category:

* Accidental Tech Podcast (ATP)
* Analog(ue)
* Grumpy Old Geeks
* Cortex
* Upgrade
* Sawbones
* Gastropod
* How Stuff Works
* Part Time Genius
* Hello Internet (this is on the blurry edge of my requirements but I love it, so...)

Podcasts that are too random/humor focused (I'll admit it's a fuzzy line):

* Do By Friday
* No Such Thing As A Fish

Thanks all - looking forward to any suggestions!
posted by cgg to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Oh No Ross and Carrie is soooort of about religion but sort of not since it's mainly about skepticism. They're in a multi-part series about their trip to Costa Rica to try ayahuasca right now and it's super interesting.

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would also seem to meet your needs.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:59 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

We Got This with Mark and Hal. Mark and Hal debate a topic to a conclusion on which is the best of something. Best Bill Murray movie, which is better, a pen or a pencil. It's a debate, but it's all taken fairly lighthearted. I don't listen to all episodes, but if the topic is something I'm interested in, I'll give it a listen. If there's a guest, the guest has an intimate knowledge of the topic at hand, and lends an interesting bent to the proceedings.
posted by deezil at 8:02 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Perhaps Futility Closet? The hosts are a married couple (with occasional unexpected pop-ins by their cat) who research odd/quirky historical occurrences and present them weekly. The story narration is chiefly handled by the husband, but in the second half they work out a lateral thinking puzzle which obvs becomes a dialogue. This back half is a good showcase for personality quirks.

A randomly-chosen string of episodes includes:
130: The Unlikely Ultramarathoner
129: The Voynich Manuscript
128: The Battle for Castle Itter
127: Rowing Across the Atlantic
126: The Great Australian Poetry Hoax

The website is a compendium of interesting information in itself, as well.
posted by myotahapea at 8:16 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Reading the End bookcast with the demographically similar Jennys. They talk about books; generally the format is that they tell each other what they've been reading, have a bookish conversation (there's a topic for each episode: favorite literary friendships; exciting new releases this spring; sea or space) and then they discuss a book that they read for the podcast. I find it absolutely delightful.
posted by gideonfrog at 8:24 AM on March 12, 2018

Sydnee McElroy of Sawbones also hosts Still Buffering with her sisters, though one of them does have to call in over Skype. The sound quality's not too bad though, sometimes I just have trouble hearing her. It does occasionally touch on political topics, but mostly it's about lighter teen topics.

NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour usually has 2-3 of their regular hosts, plus a guest spot (or two, depending on vacation schedules and topics). As the name implies, the topics are movies, music, books, tv, etc.

Buzzfeed's Thirst Aid Kit features their 2 hosts talking about lusting after men. They usually have a guest come on for a segment, but it's not really an interview format. If you like that, you might also like Another Round, though that's sort of half topical discussions and half interviews.

One Bad Mother - two women talking about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Sometimes they do interviews, and they do have a call in segment every week of varying sound quality.

From the ads I've heard, a lot of the MaxFun podcasts would probably scratch that itch.
posted by natabat at 8:25 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

This might be too lighthearted for you but I love these three hosts that talk about movies Hey Do You Remember?.."is a podcast where Chris, Donna, and Carlos pick a movie or TV series they grew up with, share their memories of it, then see how it holds up. Along the way they'll give some context for what was going on in the world when these titles were released, discuss any noteworthy behind-the-scenes trivia, and play a few games." They've got great chemistry together, stay on point and it really is relaxing to listen to these folks.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:29 AM on March 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

The Nod

The Partially Examined Life
posted by book 'em dano at 8:30 AM on March 12, 2018

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Stuff You Missed in History Class ... part of the How Stuff Works compendium, but I enjoy the hosts and the historical focus more.
posted by alleycat01 at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2018

The Slate Culture Gabfest and the Slate Political Gabfest. I think most Slate podcasts match your criteria, but these are the two I listen to most regularly.
posted by kelper at 9:01 AM on March 12, 2018

Rex Factor!!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:13 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I recently discovered Switched on Pop and I can’t get enough! It’s an educational/music-theory oriented show about pop songs, and I love that they stay on topic and don’t often veer off into bits etc.
From their about page “A podcast about the making and meaning of popular music hosted by musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding. We break down pop songs to figure out what makes a hit and what is its place in culture. ”
posted by astrid at 9:19 AM on March 12, 2018

I'm not a die-hard Disney parks fan, but I love all things related to theme park design and technology.

The Golden Horseshoe Review podcast (podcast website, Twitter feed) is a sporadic podcast from a trio of people that are die-hard Disney fans and have tangentially done work for Disney in the past. They muse on past and future park features, review new rides and renovations, and get pretty deep in their discussions from story to design to implementation.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:20 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by baseballpajamas at 9:25 AM on March 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Positively Rex Factor. I have almost caught up with them and plan to go back to the beginning and coordinate the
English monarchs, the Scots series and The History of English which is a lecture rather than a conversation.
I have just begun listening to In Defense of Plants which is a single interviewer but he seems to have repeat guests.
I will follow this as I enjoy the same style, primarily about history and science.
posted by Botanizer at 9:31 AM on March 12, 2018

Just remembered another one: History of Fun.
posted by deezil at 9:35 AM on March 12, 2018

How about The Greatest Generation. Two hosts discuss Star Trek the next generation episode by episode. (And now Deep Space Nine).

High quality editing.
Quite jokey, but the point of it is to talk about star trek and not to make jokes.
Two regular hosts and almost never any guests. The hosts are film professionals by trade, but it may skew too goofy for you.

Somewhat dependant on how much you like Star Trek of course.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 10:19 AM on March 12, 2018

I really enjoy "The Kitchen Cabinet" which is a brilliant BBC podcast revolving all around food - it's right up my alley. The host stays the same each week and they have a small but steadily revolving culinary panel who are all incredibly well spoken and knowledgeable.

And any podcast thread would be incomplete without mentioning the BEST PODCAST IN THE WORLD My Dad Wrote a P0rno, which is entirely NOT what you asked for, not what you are looking for, but trust me, you're missing out if you don't give it a whirl!
posted by JenThePro at 10:40 AM on March 12, 2018

These are both new, so I've only been able to listen to a couple of episodes each, but they seem promising in terms of meeting your requirements:

Unexplained Mysteries is being framed as if it's all about spoooooky paranormal stuff, but it's actually more about unpacking the ways different long-standing mysteries and legends have arisen over time, and examining what theories seem most plausible in explaining them.

I've only had the chance to listen to a portion of the first episode of Dressed: The History of Fashion (from the How Stuff Works network), but I love it so far. (Teeny tiny nitpick: occasionally terrible pronunciation of French names/terms, which I only mention because I see that you're Canadian and thus you may find this even more jarring than I do as an American.)
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 10:58 AM on March 12, 2018

Seconding Futility Closet and Pop Culture Happy Hour. PCHH is always a pleasure to listen to, even if I'm not terribly interested in the exact topic, because the hosts and their semi-regular guests have such great chemistry (and sharp editing!).

I'd randomly add No Dumb Questions and Something About the Beatles.
posted by maudlin at 11:27 AM on March 12, 2018

There's only one season so far, but I'm enjoying This Podcast will Kill You. It's two grad students in disease ecology and each week they talk about the biology, history and current state of an infectious disease. I never knew leprosy was so fascinating...

As an added bonus they begin each episode with a recipe for a quarantini, so you know what to drink while you're learning about the plague.
posted by thejanna at 11:35 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

No Dumb Questions is just on the edge of what you're looking for. It's not about religion, but hosted by an engineer (Destin Sandlin - Smarter Every Day) and a pastor (Matt Whitman - Ten Minute Bible Hour), both Christians, who (sometimes) bring their worldview into their discussions. It's very much in the spirit of Hello Internet, but they don't shy away from serious discussions about serious topics.

And Brady Haran has a a new podcast called The Unmade Podcast, with his childhood friend Tim Hein.
posted by yuwtze at 12:03 PM on March 12, 2018

My Favorite Murder! True crime podcast ft ridiculously charming & funny hosts.
posted by moons in june at 12:03 PM on March 12, 2018

If you are at all interested in filmmaking or writing, I recommend Scriptnotes, which is a long-running podcast about screenwriting. It can get a tiny bit Hollywood inside baseball at times, but the two hosts are excellent. It's good to listen to even if your main interest is not screenwriting, as they discuss a lot of thing which are equally applicable to other creative forms.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:14 PM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Answer Me This!
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 12:31 PM on March 12, 2018

What Trump Can Teach Us about Con Law (maybe kinda interview-ish, but it's always Roman Mars and Elizabeth Joh)
Seconding Stuff you Missed in History Class
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 1:19 PM on March 12, 2018

Spilled Milk! It’s a good podcast, two food-adjacent hosts, a different food theme for each episode, although sometimes they get silly and/or lose the thread. They have a really amazing rapport with each other that makes it a really easy listen, and it’s pretty short.
posted by Night_owl at 3:14 PM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Came in to rec This Podcast Will Kill You, will second it! Really interesting and informative, and the gals have a good, consistent dynamic.

I fell in love HARD with Alie Ward's Ologies podcast. I am not sure how this will fit in to your stance on interviews, because it is really interview-based, but not about a new book/podcast/other venture. Each week, she interviews a scientist/expert about their field. I've learned a TON--my favorite so far has been about cephalopods, but it's all been interesting. An added bonus is that I feel it's really well-produces in general.

Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir have a podcast. I don't know anything about figure skating, really, but their dynamic is fun and you can tell they are good friends in real life. I don't listen routinely but if I don't have new episodes of any of my other shows, I will pop it on.
posted by assenav at 4:18 PM on March 12, 2018

The Watch! Mostly about television, but it branches out to other pop culture as well--most often film, sometimes literature (they do a book club that's typically focused on crime novels. Hosted by two Philly-to-LA transplants who have been friends for a very long time, so the camaraderie/affection is genuine.

The Poscast: definitely silly but also delightful. Ostensibly sports talk, but often devolves (evolves?) into drafts of everything from the best utensils to the best Christmas songs.
posted by dapati at 5:39 PM on March 12, 2018

Surprisingly Awesome
posted by pyro979 at 7:02 PM on March 12, 2018

MBMBaM is also too gonzo for me but if you like Sawbones you might also enjoy Shmanners.

If you like horror movies, I can't recommend Werewolf Ambulance strongly enough. Each episode, Allen and Katie review a horror movie they just watched, and their reviews are both useful and hilarious. There's a chance it might lean a little too hard on the humor, and they have the occasional guestisode, but I wanted to mention it anyway.

I have also been enjoying the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast more than I'd initially expected to.
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:21 AM on March 13, 2018

I think you will really enjoy Tea with Alice. Poignant and funny without trying to be - just Alice Fraser talking to someone she clearly enjoys talking to, about whatever they feel like talking about.
posted by busybee at 7:54 AM on March 13, 2018

Blank Check with Griffin and David fits what you are talking about. I'm a bit obsessed with it. A film critic and an actor discussing director's filmographies one episode at a time. They are thoughtful and funny and usually very upbeat.
posted by MillyMath at 9:17 AM on March 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

In case you haven't already listened to Adam Savages Tested podcasts Still Untitled and This is only a test both are are great.
posted by ljesse at 10:24 PM on April 5, 2018

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