Non-Bookish

Podcasts I’ve Listened To Recently, ft. Disappointments and Recommendations

Podcasts I've Recently Listened To, feat Disappointments and Recommendations

Hello friends! As some of you might know, I’ve fallen in love with podcasts during the past year or so, and I have already shared some of my favorite podcasts a couple of months ago (click here to read about them). Today, I had the idea to (1) catch you up on the podcasts I’ve continued to listen to since that last post, and (2) discuss the ones that I have started since that last post. Most of these are high quality podcasts that I’d highly recommend, but there have been some mixed feelings and disappointments along the way.

Podcasts I’ve Recently Caught Up With

The Magnus Archives

The Magnus Archives, a horror anthology podcast that slowly builds its over-arching plot, has recently come to an end which left me with the strangest feeling. I’ve been listening to this podcast since last March, so I’ve spent a little more than a year consuming the podcast, reading fanfiction, looking at fanart, and theorizing with my friends about how it would end. Long story short, much of my last year was about The Magnus Archives, so it feels weird that it’s now over. So weird in fact that I started to relisten to the podcast as soon as I finished the last episode. πŸ˜…

I feel a bit torn over the final – on the one hand, I don’t have a massive issue with the ending and I liked multiple elements of it; on the other hand, there was one pretty significant thing that I didn’t like. That being said, with me being so invested in the podcast, I wonder if any ending would have satisfied me fully? In any case, this still remains my all time favorite podcast and I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in it at all. 5/5

The Two Princes

Ah, unfortunately, season three of The Two Princes wasn’t as good as I hoped it’d be. On the one hand, it brought back some of what I love about the podcast, such as the light, fun atmosphere, the banter and the lovable characters. On the other hand, it wasn’t the most exciting of seasons, in fact, I found it a bit repetitive and boring. That said, the worst part of season three is that they made it… a musical.

Look, I love musicals, however, not when it comes to podcasts. So far, this is the second time I’ve encountered a podcast with singing in it – The Bright Sessions had a musical episode – and both times were horrid. I think there are two main issues: (1) the songs have no substance and thus feel like fillers, (2) the voice actors, while being absolutely fantastic at acting, aren’t good singers. The fact that every single episode of The Two Princes S3 had a song in it killed a part of me, it really did. As a whole, The Two Princes receives 4/5 stars from me, but S3 only got 3 stars, and that was me being kind.

The Penumbra Podcast

Season three of The Penumbra Podcast came to an end, and god, I’m so glad I’m no longer as invested in this podcast as I used to be because the last couple of episodes were incredibly disappointing to me. (Side note, I actually only listen to the Juno Steele stories of Penumbra, because The Second Citadel bores me to tears.) Partly, I think my issue is that – to my knowledge – the creators never addressed the criticism they received, which is especially disheartening with a podcast that prides itself on being diverse. Don’t get me wrong, Magnus isn’t perfect, but the creators at least did the bare minimum and addressed the criticism they received? Obviously, it’s not my place to accept or not accept that apology, so I can’t comment on that, but with Penumbra, there wasn’t even an apology. 😭

The other thing is that, even though S3 started off really strongly, I later felt like some of the episodes weren’t very good and the last three episodes in particular were disappointing. There was also a subplot that, uncharacteristically, got dragged out for multiple episodes and was left open at the end of the season. This would have been fine had it not been for the two to three instances where the creators pretended that finally we would get some answers to our questions… just to then push us farther away from those answers. I don’t have an issue with unclosed season finals, to an extent they are necessary, but I do take an issue with being baited into believing that the answers are just around the corner. I’d still give 4 stars to this podcast, but we’re inching away from it to 3 stars.

Podcasts I’ve Recently Listened To

Archive 81

Unfortunately, Archive 81 was utterly disappointing – to be honest, I’m really surprised it was picked up by Netflix, because every single podcast I’ve listened to so far was more original and better written than Archive 81. It is a found footage podcast where the main character is listening to tapes made by a filmmaker who was investigating a creepy cult. While I was invested at first, the more I listened to the story, the more disappointed I became, and don’t even get me started on the ending. Still, I looked up some information about the following seasons and man, what I found left me even more confused and made me decide that I wouldn’t continue with Archive 81. I expect that they will change many things for the Netflix show so I might check that out when it drops, because the original concept is fascinating, but right now I’m ready to forget about this podcast. 2/5

Wolf 359

Despite not being a big fan of science fiction, I started Wolf 359 because it kept appearing on everyone’s lists of best podcasts and it sounded great. Initially, the podcast follows a couple of characters – three humans and an AI – who were sent to space to look for alien life and who start to discover that the mission they know about is just the top of the iceberg. Wolf 359 is an excellent podcast with spectacular voice acting, complex characters and a plot that was incredibly captivating.

The only issue I have with this podcast is that it starts relatively slowly – the first approx. nine episodes are essentially plotless: they are doing nothing, but showing us the types of arguments and troubles that the crew gets into. Not going to lie, I found these episodes really boring, but looking back we needed them to introduce the original cast and to build the world a bit. Anyhow, even with these episodes, Wolf 359 is a five star podcast for me and one I’d gladly recommend. 5/5

The Left Right Game

I think it’s no question that, in terms of production costs, The Left Right Game is the most expensive podcast on this list – not only does Tessa Thompson play the main role, but the sound design of the podcast is also exceptional. The Lift Right Game is based on a story that appeared on reddit, and it follows a journalist who is investigating a game which will allegedly take you to a different world.

First, the positives – not only are the actors fantastic, but the characters they play are also intriguing. Furthermore, I was completely engrossed in the plot – as someone that had no read the original posts on reddit, I was fascinated by where the story was going and I couldn’t stop listening to the podcast. My issue is that, especially towards the ending, listeners are left to guess what is happening based on the background noises and sounds, as there is little to no narration / explanation. This was baffling because the beginning of the podcast had no such issue, although even there, occasionally I felt that some more explanation would have been good. In any case, The Left Right Game is still a good podcast that I’d give a strong four star rating.

Old Gods of Appalachia

Ahh, I love this podcast so much! As The Magnus Archives was ending, I knew I wanted to find a solid horror podcast to listen to, and Old Gods of Appalachia came highly recommended. It is narrated by one person (Steve Shell) who does an incredibly job presenting the stories in an engaging manner – every episode, I found myself transported into the setting. Even though the podcast is called an anthology, the episodes are connected, at least within each seasons. My explanation of what the podcast is like is really not doing justice to it, but believe me when I say, Old Gods of Appalachia is well worth listening to. 5/5

Let’s chat!

Do you listen to podcasts? Do you want to try podcasts? What are your favorite podcasts? Have you listened to any of the ones I discussed in this post?

Veronika

28 thoughts on “Podcasts I’ve Listened To Recently, ft. Disappointments and Recommendations

  1. I’ve been a little hesitant to listen to podcasts that tell stories because I tend to use podcasts as background noise while I’m doing other things, but these do sound interesting! And I’m with you on musicals outside of musicals: it may seem like a good idea but if the cast aren’t good singers it just doesn’t work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think some fiction podcasts work alright as a background noise that you don’t 1000% pay attention to, usually the ones that are at least mostly narrated by one person, so if you want to, you could start with one like that. πŸ™‚ Old Gods of Appalachia and The Magnus Archives are like that, though Magnus has more characters appear as the series progresses. πŸ™‚ So true about musicals.

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  2. I usually listen to true crime podcasts but I’ve been wanting to try some new ones. The two horror ones you recommend seem interesting! I’ll have to check them out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’ll enjoy them, especially Magnus Archives, if you check them out. πŸ˜€ Also, if you see this comment – what are your favorite true crime podcasts? I’m trying to branch out and listen to some nonfiction podcasts.

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  3. I haven’t heard of these ones but I’ve listened to a couple of fiction podcasts in the past and enjoy these a lot more than audio books. I enjoy it when there is a range of cast members reading different POVs or voicing different characters and I find the audio backgrounds are a lot more enriching.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree! Plus I think some podcasts are a little more creative since they’re not based on a book they have to follow. I think it gives them a bit more room to do something interesting. Not all books translate well to an audio format.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the recs/experiences!!
    I haven’t really picked up podcasts yet- I just listen to a few of true crime ones that was made by one of my doxie mamas friend!

    While Ive gotten a few audiobooks, maybe I should try to listen to them more often.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to listen to two podcasts, one about Agatha Christie books and one about books in general, but I no longer do that. I don’t know, ever since the pandemic started, I have a hard time listening to them or audiobooks, as I usually did that when I was traveling. Otherwise I’d need to do something, like coloring or calligraphy, but nowadays I’d much rather read an ebook.
    Still, The Magnus Archives sounds intriguing! I might give it a try if I am in the mood. 😁 Also, what do you usually do while listening to podcasts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that, though it was the opposite for me – I started listening to podcasts and more audiobooks after the pandemic started. I try to walk 10,000 steps every day and I listen to podcasts while doing that. I also listened to Magnus while putting together a puzzle and I want to try coloring with podcasts, but like you, I haven’t been coloring for a while. 😦 If you try Magnus let me know!! I need to know what you think of it. πŸ‘€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE that you did another podcast post, as I love hearing your opinions on them ❀ You know by now how much I love TMA and I’m definitely not ready to reach the end πŸ₯Ί I saw Wolf 359 mentioned somewhere on Tumblr, so I’m happy to see that you loved it, despite the slow start! This will have to be the next podcast to listen to after TMA πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! ❀ I know that feeling – I’d been waiting for Mangus’ ending for so long, and then when it arrived I was so sad there weren’t more episode. 😦 I hope you’ll love Wolf 359! Definitely let me know when you start that. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. oh!! i listen to a lot of podcasts but most of mine are nonfiction (like reply all) and i’ve only listened to the bright sessions and the strange case of starship iris! but omg.. i had no idea the bright sessions had a musical episode… i really like musicals but i hate it when music is inserted randomly into fiction it’s just like WHY.

    the left right game is also on my list! i had no idea that tessa thompson was narrating it??? yes??? i will be listening to that definitely then LMAO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really want to try The Strange Case of Starship Iris, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. πŸ™‚ I don’t know, and I’m baffled because a lot of people love musical episodes – like with Magnus, a lot of fans were asking the creators to do a musical episode and I’m so glad they never did, lol.

      I hope you’ll love The Left Right Game! Yes, she plays the main character and narrates a lot of the story as she is a journalist cataloging her experiences. She did such a good job!

      Like

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