The best podcasts 2020: 7 you need to listen to now
I love listening to podcasts. And recently I’ve been lucky enough to come across some great ones that I think you’d like too. I usually listen to podcasts on my way to and from work or on my Google Home Mini while I cook or do stuff around the house. If I’m really into a podcast, I will stay up late and binge-listen to it while in bed (I love the night setting on Spotify that lets you stop a podcast after an episode or after a certain amount of time).
I’ve broken up my recommendations into podcasts that are fiction, podcasts that deal with real-life and ones that solve mysteries.
Story podcasts are amazing. I have found a few and I am obsessed. The sound production is amazing and they are attracting top Hollywood talent.
What is Blood Ties about? When Eleonore and Michael Richland (played by Gillian Jacobs and Josh Gad) lose their parents unexpectedly in a small plane crash, they must choose between two very different paths: honour their father’s legacy as a world-renowned cardiologist and health care magnate — or risk everything for the truth.
Listen to Blood Ties because: There are 6 episodes and the story just gets better. I don’t want to ruin anything, but this is one of the podcasts I sacrificed sleep for. You also get to listen to Gillian Jacobs and Josh Gad.
What is Gaslight about? Everyone thought Danny had gone missing. Towards the end of senior year, she vanished, leaving family and friends devastated and confused including her closest friend in the world, Becca. Gaslight picks up years later when Becca and her new husband receive an unexpected visitor during breakfast. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz.
Listen to Gaslight because: The plot is different from most fiction and the cliff hangers are amazing. The only thing I didn’t like was the ads. The episodes are quite short (sometimes only 20 minutes long) but there are so many ads that it kind of ruins it. Some of the episodes could have been combined. But if you can look past that, it is very interesting and the ending will leave you in a daze.
Showing that sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction, these podcasts take a deep dive into some of the most bizarre people out there. I wrote about Theranos here, and these podcasts are along those lines in that they focus on individuals.
Fake Heiress from the BBC Radio 4
What is Fake Heiress about? The rise and fall of Anna Delvey, who conned New York high society into believing that she was a multi-millionaire heiress. Vicky Baker and Chloe Moss dig deeper into the scandal.
Listen to Fake Heiress because: This is the gal that convinced high society that she was wealthy and an influencer until it all came crashing down. I often wonder how people get conned, but that’s what makes con artists successful – they know how to manipulate others.
What is The Catch and Kill Podcast about? Journalist Ronan Farrow helped expose Harvey Weinstein and this podcast shows how he did that by interviewing key witnesses. It is based on his New York Times Bestseller of the same name.
Listen to The Catch and Kill Podcast because: I thought I had the gist of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but I really didn’t. This goes so much further and shows how messed up power can be.
Stories like this make you realise why the media is so important. Although most of the time people like clickbait, the media really does play an important role in exposing the truth and keeping people accountable. This podcast highlights the depths journalists go to.
What is The Missing Crypto Queen about? Another one from the BBC (I’m excited to see what else they are going to do in terms of podcasting), follows Dr Ruja Ignatova who persuaded millions to join her cryptocurrency revolution and then vanished.
Listen to The Missing Crypto Queen because: It is an insane story of greed and is a good lesson to remember why going with the crowd isn’t always a good idea. It is also crazy to see what people can get away with.
While both of these podcasts are about mysteries, they deal with them in very different ways.
On my drive home from work one day I decided to listen to an episode of Solve.
What is Solve about? Each episode reenacts a crime and at the end, you need to guess whodunnit. You get to become a detective and solve a murder. The crimes are also based on real crimes. There are no ads except just before they reveal the criminal, which I thought was very clever. So far, I’ve listened to four and haven’t been able to solve one!
Listen to Solve because: You get to become a detective and solve a murder! It’s like Cluedo in real life. I’m going to listen to another and I hope I solve it because now it’s embarrassing.
My work colleague introduced me to this podcast by telling me about Feral Hogs. Feral Hogs are a big problem in Texas and while I laughed at it initially, after listening to the podcast I still giggle but take it much more seriously.
What is Reply All about? Every episode PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman investigate an internet mystery. It’s a podcast about the internet but also so much more than that.
Listen to Reply All because: It is very funny and extremely interesting. I’ve listened to a few and the topics they cover are vast. From investigating a telephone scammer to a Snapchat thief and of course feral hogs.
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