Best podcasts of the week: the reality show that ridiculed its trans star | Podcasts


Choice of the week

The Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera
In 2004, when There’s Something About Miriam was billed as the Next Big Thing, ratings were more important than duty of care in reality TV. This podcast goes beyond the reality TV show that saw six men compete for money and love from Miriam Rivera – and exploited the trans star’s identity as her “twist.” “. He recalls Miriam as a superstar of the New York ballroom scene and celebrates her life as a trailblazer rather than a victim of cruelty.
Hannah verdier

The thing about Helen & Olga
From the creators of the serial killer podcast The Thing About Pam – currently in development for television, starring Renée Zellweger – comes another useful, albeit tabloid, true crime story. This time our subjects are two sweet retirees who help homeless people in Los Angeles – and push them away.
Hannah j davies

One year
Another series of podcasts from Slate, which zooms in on forgotten or little-known events from a year of history (this time it’s 1995). Josh Levin tells the mind-boggling story of a group of American college students tricked into believing they’ve been accepted to Oxford, The Rise of the Macarena and more. HJD

John Grant’s Beautiful Creatures
Grant has a voice made for sweet, witty conversation and a high-quality guest bank, so it’s no surprise that his first podcasting adventure was such a treat. The first is Paul Rudd, with a conversation that winds from their mutual love for bad horror movies to yorkshire pudding genius. Kristin Hersh and Linda Thompson follow. HT

In the conference room
It’s as if in recent years some of the larger issues surrounding The Beautiful Game have finally started to be addressed. In this series from The Athletic, football presenter Jacqui Oatley hears from men and women at all levels of the game trying to make positive changes to their clubs and the football community at large. Her guests so far include Arsenal’s women’s football manager, Clare Wheatley, and Football Black List co-founder, Leon Mann. Hollie richardson

Leon Mann of the Football Black List is featured in In The Boardroom. Photography: Christian Sinibaldi / The Guardian

Producer’s Choice: Uncanny

Chosen by Joleen Goffin

It was around Halloween that I discovered Uncanny on BBC Sounds, so I blame the lure of a podcast on anything scary about the time of year, and maybe my 13-year-old me too. who spent several nights summoning spirits using an improvised Ouija board. Google wasn’t there yet to explain the inexplicable, so I wondered: are we talking to real ghosts?

In Uncanny, host Danny Robins explores the mysterious world of strange encounters and paranormal sightings, drawing inspiration from real-life stories of listeners who contacted him following his previous hit series The Battersea Poltergeist. In the first episode of Uncanny, a respectable scientist named Ken tells him how some grim sightings in his dorm room in Belfast 40 years ago still haunt him today. A panel of experts tries to explain what may have happened, but the best part comes when, a few episodes later, Robins returns to the case after listeners – and the former inhabitants of Room 611 – have confirmed that Ken was not the only witness …

Entertaining if you’re a skeptic – and haunting if you’re a believer.

Discussion points

  • It was the terrifying word of mouth that sparked intrigue and interest in the well-worn true crime podcast genre, and this week Sweet Bobby ended with a stunning reveal. Showing that a complicated story doesn’t need too sensational treatment, Tortoise Media’s series was among the most discussed and terrifying shows of the year.

  • Why not try: Boys Like Me | Once Upon a Time with Janet Ellis | Paul McCartney: Inside the Songs

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