10 Great Podcasts of 2018 (So Far)

by Dan Delgado

Anytime I go to look for a new podcast it can become an intimidating chore. much like the days of selecting a VHS at a good ole Blockbuster Video, the selection can be completely overwhelming. In an attempt to help alleviate some of that stress I am providing you (free of charge!) a list of podcasts that I have really enjoyed this year. Here they are, in no particular order.

Uncivil

This is a show that really belongs on a list from last year but I didn’t discover it until 2018 so it’s here. Uncivil is a show that takes a look at the Civil War and dispels some of the myths that have been built around. Education and eye opening, each episode tells you something you didn’t know but probably should have. And hey look at that logo, it won a Peabody!

Check out Uncivil here.

American Fiasco

I do not watch soccer. Okay? Got it? I don’t. Which should tell you just how interesting this show is since it’s about the USA’s disastrous 1998 World Cup. Host Roger Bennett’s enthusiasm and great interviews with members of that World Cup team make this a great and easy listen. Personally, I have a thing for fiascos so the appeal was right there in the title.

Check it out here.

Heaven’s Gate

Glynn Washington’s intros on Snap Judgement are always stellar. I just love listening to that guy dish out a story. Here Washington is hosting a 10 episode podcast on what happened with the infamous Heaven’s Gate cult, a group that took their own lives in 1997. Heartbreaking and always engrossing, this is one of the best listens of the year.

Check it out here.

The Gateway

This podcast’s release was perfectly time. Right after going through the cult of Heaven’s Gate, I stumbled upon The Gateway. This show is taking a look at a potential cult going on right now. Is Teal Swan a scam artist, a cult leader, or a genuine spiritual guru? Host Jennings Brown does a deep dive into Swan and her group to try to find some answers. One thing I really liked about this podcast was Brown’s genuine interest to find out what is going on with Teal Swan. Though he certainly comes to many conclusions during the show, it seems like he was going in fairly open-minded.

Check out The Gateway on Stitcher here  and on Apple Podcasts here

Additionally, if you liked The Gateway then you should also listen to this episode of Shoot This Now (itself a great podcast!) which features Brown and his podcast producer, Jessica Glazer. Check that one out here.

The Habitat

Have you ever wondered what it be like to be on the first exhibition to Mars? I certainly haven’t, but The Habitat told me about it anyway. Here we have a small group of people who go through a simulation (on Earth, fyi) of what it would be like be on the red planet for a year. Yeah, that’s right a year. Each episode, while always interesting keeps making me happy to be on this spinning planet of love called Earth.

Check out The Habitat here.

You Must Remember This

After a too long hiatus You Must Remember This has returned has picked up right where it left off, giving us great stories of Hollywood’s first century. This season’s episodes, all about fact checking Kenneth Anger’s infamous book Hollywood Babylon, is just a fascinating listen. For anyone who likes show business, I cannot recommend this enough. Host Karina Longworth always exhaustively researches each episode and is one the more knowledgeable hosts you’ll find out there.

Check out You Must Remember This here.

Disgraceland

This is the coolest podcast going. Period. A true crime podcast that focuses on rock stars? Sounds like a good beginning, but then you add in some great production to this truly insane stories and toss in the too-cool-for-school delivery of host Jake Brennan and you have a podcast that you can binge all day long. I honestly do not know why this podcast isn’t a bigger deal than it already is.

Check out Disgraceland here.

Slow Burn

The first season of Slow Burn focused on Watergate and was shockingly addicting. Fortunately for me, all the episodes were already out on that season and I can gobble them all up quickly. Now Slow Burn has just returned with a new season about Bill Clinton’s impeachment (is Andrew Johnson going to be season three?) and I’m stuck waiting week to week like everyone else. The first season was great deep dive into Watergate and gave you much more insight than just what you know about Woodward and Bernstein. I expect this second season to do the same about the Clinton Impeachment.

Check out Slow Burn here.

The RFK Tapes

A podcast about the Kennedy assassination? Oh wait, the OTHER Kennedy assassination? Okay let’s do it. Shame on me for having never listened to Crimetown, the makers of that podcast who happen to making this one. It’s a hard sell on a conspiracy here. After they caught the guy on the scene with the gun in a room full of people. After an episodes or two you may find yourself leaning the other way. That name is serious though, there is an abundance of tapes from 50 years ago on this subject that you likely have nor heard. It really the usage of this audio from years past that sets this one apart. Hearing RFK’s killer, Sirhan Sirhan, going under hypnosis in 1968 to find out why he did it is not something you’ll forget.

Check out The RFK Tapes here.

The Industry

I will admit it. This is a total cheat, since this is my podcast, but come on give it a shot! A storytelling podcast about some of Hollywood’s lesser known stories with a charming host (!) and some interviews mixed in and you have your next favorite podcast! Well, that’s the idea at least.

Check out The Industry here (or hit the home button on this page).

Okay so that’s my list. What do you think? What podcasts am I missing out on. Come on, I know you have some recommendations too so let me have me have ’em!

 

 

Advertisements

6. The Legend of Supertrain

 The fall season for NBC in the 1978-79 season was a disaster. It was such a wreck that virtually of their fall debuts were gone by the time January rolled around. However, hope was on the horizon. For the last place network, they had an ace up their sleeve that they could not wait to play. That was called Supertrain, a super expensive, super marketed, super show that couldn’t miss. Until it did. The failure of Supertrain is of legendary proportions. A failure that all other giant television failures would become measured against. Was it really that expensive? Was it really that bad? And did it really almost bankrupt NBC? We talk to Supertrain Superfan Tony Cook to sort out the truth.

Visit Tony’s Supertrain website here.

Download

 

5. Cliff Robertson Will Not Be Silenced

In 1977 actor Cliff Robertson received a notice in the mail saying he owed taxes a $10,000 payment he received from Columbia Pictures. The only problem was he hadn’t worked for Columbia Pictures in the previous year.

What followed uncovered embezzlement, a corporate power struggle, and the blackballing of the man who started it all and would not stop talking about it.

Download

 

 

4. Winter Kills

Director William Richert had a dream set up for his first feature film. It was based on a new popular novel from the author of The Manchurian Candidate, he had a hot leading  man in Jeff Bridges, and he had an all-star supporting cast made of up Oscar winners, legendary character actors, and one bonafide member of Hollywood royalty. What could go wrong? As it turns out, everything! William Richert helps tell this story that involves shotguns, drug dealers, and a repossessed mink coat.

Visit William Richert’s homepage here.

Download

3. Sorcerer

After earning massive success in the early 1970’s with the movies The French Connection and The Exorcist, William Friedkin could call his own shots. For his next movie he decided on a remake of the 1953 French thriller The Wages of Fear.

What started out as a small budgeted movie turned ballooned into a never ending production with casting issues, unwelcoming locals, and uncooperative rivers.

Toby Roan of the Sorcerer Blog helps explain the mystique of this movie, which Friedkin considers his best.

Download

2. Lambada vs The Forbidden Dance

When Menahem Golan left Cannon Films for 21st Century Pictures, he brought with him a grudge that would propel both companies into direct competition over the Brazilian dance craze, the lambada. From this sprang a crazy race to the theaters between competing lambada movies.

J. Eddie Peck, star of Lambada (for Cannon Films) and Greydon Clark, director of The Forbidden Dance (for 21st Century Pictures) help tell the true story of this cinematic grudge match.

Get Greydon Clark’s autobiography here.

Download

 

 

1. The Rural Purge

The Rural Purge is legend of television history. A landmark time and a watershed moment when TV decided to leave behind the down home fun and wholesomeness of Mayberry RFD, Green Aces, and The Beverly Hillbillies for urban skewing shows like All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But what was it that prompted mass cancellations and a television revolution? In this episode we explore the history of The Rural Purge with author Telly Davidson.

Telly Davidson’s latest book is available here.

Download