Choice Picks: The Entertainment Podcasts You Should Be Listening to (According to Whitney)

My name is Whitney, and I work… in an office.

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Everyday presents a new challenge.

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And my co-workers are great.

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In general, it’s just a really fulfilling way to make a living.

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But sometimes, even your dream job can be invaded by occasional moments of tedium and drudgery. I know it’s hard to believe that ennui can set in when you’re making 300 copies of a 90 page, 2-sided insurance document, but it can happen. To combat that, I developed a passionate relationship with podcasts and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned. Here are the top five podcasts to get you through the workday, according to me (aka The Final Word).

posterBlacklist5. The Black List Table Reads

I like to believe that one day, technology will provide me a way to sit at my desk and watch movies all day while appearing only marginally unproductive. The Blacklist Table Reads is the closest thing we have in 2015. It’s essentially a recorded table read of awesome unproduced scripts, performed by some surprisingly big names. Paul Sheer, June Diane Raphael, Rose McIver, and Parminder Nagra are just a few of the many voices you’ll recognize. If you have even the remotest interest in movies, Black List Table Reads should be a safe bet for you.

4. Science V.

Ok, this one isn’t, strictly speaking, an entertainment podcast. It is, however, absurdly entertaining. This show takes 6507062-3x2-700x467popular science fads and pins them against hard scientific data. Before you panic, it’s not remedial Statistics. The format is really engaging and host Wendy Zukerman feels like a BFF waiting to happen. So far, the show has tackled e-cigarettes, race, the female brain, and lots more. Season one just concluded, but that means all of season one is locked, loaded, and ready to binge.

1435103169-tumblr_np69fuubcu1sez6y5o1_5003. Mystery Show

This one is slightly harder to synopsize. It’s sort of like if Veronica Mars were a Wes Anderson movie. It’s a show that ostensibly solves a weekly mystery, but the mysteries are less whodunnit and more “exactly how tall is Jake Gyllenhaal?”. Not kidding about that. It’s laughably addictive. Just trust me.

2. This is Actually Happeningcover170x170

Another entertaining, non-entertainment podcast. I stumbled across this one by accident and became hooked, in spite of myself. It’s people, just ordinary people, sharing stories. The stories themselves can often be hard to listen to, and a few are admittedly very disturbing. It’s sort of like being at a sleep over, post-3 am. You know, when everyone is talking and sharing intimate details about themselves, and suddenly someone tells the most insane, personal, unbelievable anecdote and no one ever mentions it again? It’s like that.

CHqFPsVWcAIII3l1. Pop Rocket

Pop Rocket is my salvation. Everything I need, I can get from one weekly dose of this show. It’s a round table homage to all things pop culture, hosted by the ineffably charming and hilarious Guy Branum. Every panelist has a particular area of expertise: Guy the Comedian, Wynter Mitchell the Media Strategist, Oliver Wang the Academic, and Margaret Wappler the Journalist. They are all so well spoken, so smart, and so distinctive that they warrant a dedicated Fangirly post of their own (but who has THE TIME?). Point is, you could spend your day trying to make small talk at dinguses with whom you share a work-space, or you could listen to interesting people talk about their passions. I leave it to you.

-Whitney

 

 

 

In with the Old: Empire Records

Empire Records has ruined all of my summer part-time job experiences. You think I’m kidding? Imagine my horror, when I showed up for my first day of work at Don Pedro’s Family Mexican Restaurant, to find that my boss was NOT a curmudgeonly but lovable ex-drummer, no one had ever shaved their head in the bathroom sink, and I had no veto rights in regards to music choices. My co-workers actually did turn out to be a rag-tag group of misfits, but not in a cool way. It’s ok, though. The fact that my summer joe-jobs never play out like a cult comedy only furthers my appreciation for this awesome, awesome movie.

It’s hard to pin down what exactly makes this film so friggin’ spectacular. It might be snappy dialogue, the awesome cast, or maybe the killer soundtrack, packed with all the 90’s alt-rock a lady could wish for. Or, more likely, it’s because this movie is so weirdly polarizing; either you love it or you hate it, and simply by loving it I get to be part of an exclusive club. (If that sounds snobbish, remember that this is a club that worships a movie about a bunch of losers working in a record store). And someday, I may have to move past this juvenile obsession I have with Empire Records. I may have to learn to appreciate Wes Anderson movies and try really hard to get into The Killing. But for now, I’m gonna stick with what I know.
Damn the man, save the Empire!

-Whitney