Podcasting is still a relatively new industry, so there isn’t really a season in the way that television debuts fall dramas or film pumps out summer blockbusters. As such, there’s no set time of year that someone looking for new podcasts should start their search back up. Instead, it falls to us, the average consumer, to do our own research and find productions we might be interested in. We did the leg work for you this time. Here are the best new podcasts of spring 2018.
In the bursting but short history of true crime podcasts, Empire on Blood presents its material with the best of them. It’s the story of a fairly small-time drug operation in the Bronx during the early ’90s and the possibly true/possibly false murder accusations that arose during the dissolution of the operation. There’s no question that these people were criminals, so the podcast, along with telling the story, tackles the question of whether or not it matters if the accused is innocent of the crime if everyone knows he’s definitely committed others he couldn’t be tried for. All the episodes are out now, so listen and determine for yourself whether Calvin Buari is guilty.Listen
It was only a matter of time before Marvel decided to bring superheroes into podcasting, seeing as how they’ve almost cornered the market for movies and comics. Wolverine: The Long Night seems like it’s going to follow the old radio drama format, with scripts, voice actors, sound effects (we imagine), and plots. There’s no way to know how successful the attempt will be and it’s totally plausible that this could be the only Marvel podcast ever made. But success would mean our morning commutes could be full of superhero action, which isn’t something we could pass up.Listen
There was a quote we heard a while ago about how small towns have very few murders, but when they have them, they’re gut-wrenching, horrific acts that put those normal, low-violence city murders to shame. We can’t remember who said it or where it’s from, but West Cork helps prove the idea behind it. Until 1996, the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland, had never had a murder. At least not in living memory. Then French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier turns up dead, her body battered and discarded in the briars at her West Cork home. Obviously it’s unsolved, because these small towns don’t get straightforward murder cases.Listen
Regardless of your politics, you have to admit Barack Obama is an interesting person. Beyond the obvious first black president achievement, he’s a guy that’s as comfortable behind a late night desk as the one in the Oval Office, is easily among the smartest people of his generation, is completely open about his history with marijuana—another presidential first—and he loves comic books. Making Obama is a podcast that explores who he is and how he got there, with frequent contributions from the man himself.Listen
A movie that drives you insane if you watch it sounds like the plot to a C-movie written by someone who’s never heard the words “horror,” “subtlety,” or “talent.” Nevertheless, apparently it exists, because Nic Silver is on a quest to find it. And honestly, we’re not actually sure that this isn’t fictionalized. It could be a send up of a whole genre of movies and podcasts or it could be a genuine pursuit of a mythical movie. Whatever it is, we’re sticking around, at least for a little. There has to be an answer here somewhere.Listen
Homecoming is less of a podcast and more of a radio drama, but it popped up during our podcast browsing time, so we say it qualifies. It’s been around for a couple of years, with season 1 and 2 proving the idea has some merit and people maybe weren’t as willing to give up on audio plays as soon as everyone thought. The cast is bursting with famous names, including Julia Roberts, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris and David Cross, all of whom play exactly as well as you’d want them to. If audio plays are going to stick around, and we’re thinking they will, expect more like Homecoming.Listen
Comedy reviews of war movies seems like an impossible task, but John Roderick, Adam Pranica, and Benjamin Ahr Harrison somehow make it happen. Each week, the group watches and reviews a new war movie, covering anything and everything about it, including filmmaking techniques, plot points, history, and overall indulge their inner military nerds. For right now, they’re covering the bigger war titles, like Saving Private Ryan, Fury, and Braveheart, so it’s a great time to jump in. If there are long legs to the podcast, we imagine it’ll be fun when the hosts start to get more into the lesser known movies.Listen