One of the best things about podcasting is that it is accessible to everyone. Recently, Suge Knight, the head of a record label that signed popular artists Tupac, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre, started his own podcast while in prison serving a 28-year sentence for manslaughter. Titled “Collect Call With Suge Knight,” the podcast features recordings of phone conversations from the RJ Donovan correctional facility in San Diego. Could this be the newest and most popular podcasting trend of the year, with 90s rap moguls settling disputes from their jail cells? Probably not, as this particular episode seems to wander off topic. However, it definitely adds a vibrant touch to the world of podcasts.
Instead of focusing on prison-related retro entertainment, we have a glimpse into the top throwback podcasts available, including ones dedicated to 90s nostalgia and the flashy, neon aesthetic of the 80s. This week also features a critique of Jason Derulo’s unexpected romantic thriller podcast and a new series from Alexi Mostrous, known for hosting our favorite podcast from 2022. It’s a varied lineup for the week.
Deputy TV editor
Top choices of the week
Widely available, episodes weekly
Jason Derulo and Alexandra Shipp star in this captivating love story that takes place at a luxurious island resort. The story begins with Nico hinting at a mysterious past, but his attention is quickly captured by Anna (played by Shipp) and her impressive mixology skills. However, a cryptic phone call suggests that their encounter may not be a coincidence. The film is full of glitz and sensuality, with Derulo perfectly embodying the role with his signature confidence. Fans will also be treated to new music from the artist, complete with his trademark “Jason Deruuuuulo” adlibs. Hannah Verdier
All episodes of Tortoise Media are available now.
What led to the widespread acceptance of anti-vaxxers? In his piece, journalist Alexi Mostrous (pictured above) delves into the history of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the figure who ignited a global fear of vaccines 25 years ago. Despite facing backlash from authority figures, Wakefield remained committed to his cause, a trait shared by present-day anti-vaccine activists.
Episodes are released on a weekly basis and can be easily accessed.
Patrick is returning with a new season of her podcast, which delves into the complexities of the literary community. This season will feature discussions on banned books, ghostwriters, and literary feuds. Patrick begins with an intriguing story about Colleen Hoover, who found success through self-publishing. Is this a sign of things to come or simply a stroke of luck?
Weekly episodes on BBC Sounds.
Poonam Taneja of BBC Asian Network displays great courage and expertise in this captivating podcast. It begins as a quest to find a three-year-old child in Syria, but takes an unexpected turn when she establishes a connection with Dure Ahmed, the wife of Islamic State member El Shafee Elsheikh. Ahmed provides insight into the life in a detention camp. HV
There is a podcast available for that topic.
This week, Ammar Kalia has selected five of the top podcasts that evoke nostalgia. These podcasts cover a range of topics, from exploring the impact of food on our childhood memories to analyzing the popular 90s sitcom Sex and the City.
Television programs are a rich source of nostalgic feelings, and series often evoke a flood of past memories. The Sex and the City podcast, hosted by Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni, thoroughly examines the fashion and chaotic plot lines of the popular New York show, as well as delving into its cultural significance and 90s obsessions. With details like Carrie earning $5 per word at Vogue and Miranda’s reluctance to move to Brooklyn, the series serves as a perfect representation of its time and makes for a great companion for fans still watching the spin-off, And Just Like That.
With more than 300 episodes to delve into, host Garry Vander Voort’s personal archive of retro phenomena is an engaging blend of thorough historical research and his own recollections. None of the episodes are scripted which makes for unexpected and fascinating tangents, such as Voort recounting how he overcame bullying in high school while explaining his love of the 1980 film My Bodyguard, or explaining the enduring appeal of chicken McNuggets in 80s America. The specificity of the films, foods and TV shows covered make for a great gateway into remembering our own experiences.
Super 90s Bros
The 90s brought us many beloved TV shows, movies, and games that still hold a special place in our hearts. Brennon and Adam, the hosts of this playful series, discuss the influential releases from this decade, including The Lion King, The Matrix, and Super Smash Bros. They explore how these works laid the foundation for many of the popular franchises we know today. While we continue to see a constant stream of live-action Disney films and even a Mrs. Doubtfire musical in the West End, the series also reflects on the lack of innovation and risk-taking in modern entertainment.
Exploring the past, this beloved series delves into the flashy and extravagant 80s. With over 200 episodes currently airing, host Jamie Logie presents a general history podcast, with each episode focusing on a specific year of the decade. Logie also delves into various trends of the time, including toys, cartoons, video stores, and pizza franchises. His expertise shines when discussing the unique aspects of 80s culture, such as the competition between LaserDisc and VHS formats and the innovative visuals in the short film Captain EO.
Desert Island Dishes
There are moments in life when a simple taste or a faint scent can send us back to our childhood or significant memories. In this podcast, inspired by Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, chef Margie Nomura invites famous guests to choose the seven dishes that have had the biggest impact on their lives. Featuring well-known names from British television, notable episodes include MasterChef’s John Torode discussing the pleasure of a salad sandwich, critic Jimi Famurewa revealing the dish that transformed his life, and chef Ravinder Bhogal sharing her concept of cuisine with a narrative.
Why not try …
Every week, American comedians and close friends Benito Skinner and Mary Beth Barone meet to chat about their thoughts on life and society in their show, Ride.
The documentary Violation delves into the murky parole system in America by examining the 1986 killing of Jacob Wideman.
Always in Season is a show featuring chef James Golding that offers ideas for eating in accordance with the seasons. The program showcases perspectives from chefs, artisan producers, farmers, and others.