The last few weeks have involved lots of changes and upheaval. Luckily, there are several podcasters who have come up with limited-run projects to get us through these unique and trying times.
A cursory glance at your preferred podcatching app will definitely show an increase in new shows in the wake of the COVID crisis. While there are many designed to provide news and commentary about the science and social impact of pandemic, the three podcasts I’ve chosen to highlight provide a much more positive, personal, and even humorous contribution to our cultural lineup.
Each of these shows was developed specifically to last through the time period of social distancing. They may only last a few weeks, but they all live up to the purpose of brightening our lives.
Here For You
Here For You’s hosts, Doree Shafrir and Kate Spencer are also the hosts of the delightful Forever 35 podcast. On Forever 35, the two women spend their time talking about self-care, beauty products, hobbies and so much more with invited guests. An encapsulation of their brand can be fround from this quote their website, “Kate and Doree are two friends who love to talk about serums.”
It makes perfect sense, then, that these two would start a podcast to help the world find meaning during quarantine days. Here For You is a daily podcast that functions like a check-in with close friends about how we’re all getting through these uncertain times.
Each episode involves a sort of general check-in and banter between the hosts about how their days are going and what’s new. Listener emails add a wonderful communal quality—if Doree and Kate aren’t sharing your particular social distance experience, it’s likely another listener out there will help you feel seen and validated!
There’s a theme of self-care or an activity to do in each episode like making banana bread or reading a good book. Doree and Kate also pick a word of the day to think on—it could be something positive like “balance” or “hope,” or something not-so-positive that you might need to sit with and accept like, “lonely.”
Periodic check-ins with the Here For You podcast have really helped me center a bit more as I learn to take care of myself!
Oh Hello: The P’dcast
Here at Frolic, we love some John Mulaney. So it came as a great delight to discover that he’s releasing a limited 8-episode podcast with his buddy, Nick Kroll!
First thing’s first: If you haven’t done so already, you should definitely check out the comedic play Oh Hello on Broadway, which is streaming on Netflix. Oh Hello is an actual Broadway show based on two odd characters developed by Kroll and Mulaney. You can listen to the podcast without seeing the show…but it’ll seem even weirder than it already is!
Kroll and Mulaney are back in Oh Hello: The P’dcast as their signature characters Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland. George and Gil want to get into podcasting, since it’s such a popular medium. Against the advice of pretty much everyone they encounter, the two start investigating the death of Princess Diana through interviews and speculation.
There are plenty of comedy riffs, character bits and parodies of famous podcasting conventions. However, much like the trajectory of the Broadway show, it seems likely that the podcast will reveal the depths of dysfunction between these two crusty best friends!
Staying In With Emily and Kumail
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani have been in the podcasting game before with their video game-themed show, The Indoor Kids! However, the two have had many more projects since then, including co-writing their amazing autobiographical comedy movie The Big Sick!
Now, the charming married couple is back to podcasting with their new weekly show: Staying In With Emily and Kumail.
This show is such a success because the hosts are so lovable and clearly in love with one another. Emily’s training as a therapist allows her to competently and confidently address the stages of fear and acceptance that might come up during a pandemic. The two hosts are also bracingly honest about the difficulty of living through a pandemic as an immunocompromised person (and, of course, as the partner of an immunocompromised person).
Much like Here For You, Staying In With Emily and Kumail feels like checking in and spending time with treasured friends. Listeners get awesome bonuses along with the check-ins, though! From pop culture recommendations to self-care tips to the gentle question of, “what’s the weirdest thing you cried about this week?” Emily and Kumail come through as the podcast hosts we all need during this time!
Oh, and they’ve given me my favorite term for what this period of time living through a pandemic should be called…next time you’re trying to describe all of this, just say you’re living “in the weirds.”
These are a few of my favorite new podcasts to get through our time “in the weirds,” but there are so many other new projects popping up out there! Here’s hoping you find new entertainment and creative projects during this weird time.