REVIEW: The Podcasts That Took Over My Life

Beautiful Anonymous (Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People)

This is Beautiful Anonymous. One hour, one caller, no holds barred.

This podcast does what it says on the tin: comedian Chris Gethard has an hour-long phone conversation with an anonymous caller, the only rules being that Chris himself cannot hang up until the end of the hour, and the caller should remain anonymous. The freedom of anonymity often reveals intriguing secrets and hidden emotions. Every episode is different: the heart-breaking story of a 25-year old daughter struggling with her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, the fascinating discussion of religion from a man in the process of breaking away from his Mormon faith and society, the light-hearted banter of a man determined to achieve his musical dreams by recording 18,000 songs, and so much more. Sometimes it’s infuriating to not be able to know how those stories end, but the very nature of the podcast is to open you up to a whole new world of people. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are going to hear the stories of people worlds away from you and your situation, yet despite that, still find elements to identify with . Beautiful Anonymous simultaneously helps me explore the world and meet people through my earphones as well as helping me understand the similarities that exist between every human. Yet it never feels heavy – Gethard’s knack of easing back and forth between gentle questioning and lightening the mood with his agreeable humour keeps me engaged with every episode, making his podcast my firm favourite. I’m even listening to it as I write this now.

My Dad Wrote A Porno

The following podcast contains adult themes, sexual content, and strong language. Basically, all the good stuff.

Once again – it’s in the name. Jamie Morton’s dad, under the pen name Rocky Flintstone, dabbles in writing erotic fiction and then sharing it with his son. As a coping mechanism, Jamie shares his dad’s business-based sexual fantasies with two friends, Alice Levine and James Cooper. But this is not just any paternally-gifted porn (if it’s even possible for that to be normal) – Rocky’s past career in sales and business clearly influences his fiction, and the lead role of Belinda uses her questionable sexual prowess to conquer the erotic world of paper sales. Yes, you read right. Paper sales. If you thought that sex and paper couldn’t be successfully brought together… then you might be right. But following Rocky’s attempts and the trio’s hysterical reactions to his convoluted (at best) plot developments is the very best entertainment you could ask for. Although you will have to just accept that you are now going to be that crazy person giggling to themselves if you listen in public.

The Guilty Feminist

This show is The Guilty Feminist, the podcast in which we explore our noble goals as feminists and our hypocrisies and insecurities which undermine them.

If you’re anything like me and you openly and proudly identify as a feminist, yet still can’t quite let go of your old love for Pretty Woman, these women will make you feel slightly less guilty. Deborah Frances-White and Sofie Hagen began this podcast, bringing on special guests every week, to explore what it means to be a feminist in our world, and how having the old slip-up or guilty secret doesn’t mean you’re a terrible feminist. Or maybe it does, but there’s lots of us out there. With a new topic every week, they bring together enlightened discussion with confessional comedy, and take on challenges to broaden their feminist experience, whilst also helping listeners learn more about feminism. I personally have grown as a feminist massively whilst listening to it, not just from the actual content, but also from being introduced to the special guests and mentions of other helpful books, podcasts, and films. It’s ideal for a bit of social growth, especially if you don’t want to take it too seriously.



One story. Told week by week.

Moving away from comedy, this podcast will make you question everything about the powers that be. The Making A Murderer of podcasts: Sarah Koenig, investigative journalist, looks into cases that have more to them than what appears on the surface. Season 1 is the story of Adnan Syed, jailed for the murder of his ex-girlfriend as a teenager, and Season 2 follows Bowe Bergdahl, American soldier who spent five years with the Taliban. I won’t say anymore on either of their stories for fear of spoilers, but safe to say, you’ll be gripped from the start. The fact that these are real people with real stories is nigh on impossible to forget, and stopping yourself from bingeing both seasons is even harder.

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