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Podcasts for 2020
Illustration Callum Abbott

The podcasts we’ll be devouring throughout 2020

From Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness’ ruminations on life, to socialite-centred true crime, and wellness industry scams, we’ve got you covered

We’re almost half way through the month of January. You’re skint, and depending on how your Christmas break went, you’re still getting over your mum’s hellbent dedication to stuffing your innards with as much Tofurky and Linda McCartney sausages as humanly possible, or you’re burnt out from all the awkward family politics you’ve had to endure at the hands of, well, the Tories. Not to mention, that New Years sesh hasn’t gone down too well with your dopamine receptors.

But don’t fear, our podcast list has got you sorted. I mean, it’s January after all, which is basically a free pass to curl up under your newly purchased Amazon weighted blanket, switch on your Himalayan salt lamp, and dive headfirst into a self-imposed state of social hibernation. There’s a weekly exploration of all things pop-culture by Jonathan Van Ness, a scripted prequel to Netflix teen comedy Kissing Booth, a true crime story of a socialite who flees the country after murdering her sixth husband, and more. Enjoy!

THE CASE OF ADIRONDACK ROSE

From the brain behind Freaks and GeeksBridesmaids, and Ghostbusters, Paul Feig’s The Case of Adirondack Rose is a scripted true crime story of a famed artist and socialite who flees the country after being accused of murdering her sixth husband. While there doesn’t seem to be any more information on the podcast, if Feig’s back catalogue of work is anything to go by, we can expect big things. (GY)

Release 2020 TBC

THE GREAT WOMEN ARTISTS

The hegemony of old, white men in art is over. Following the success of her 84k-strong Instagram account, fledgling art historian Katy Hessel’s The Great Women Artists podcast features interviews with artists, curators, writers, and general art lovers, all on the female artists who inspire them. With previous episodes featuring the likes of Tate Modern director Frances Morris in conversation with Agnes Martin, British painter Celia Paul, and Ami Bouhassane on her late grandmother Lee Miller, Hessel’s weekly show is one of the most listened to podcasts in the UK. Get on it, people, and expand your art canon. (GY)

Ongoing, out now

THIS IS LOVE

For when real-life is too much to bear, tune into This Is Love. The podcast (from the makers of true-crime podcast Criminal), delivers warm stories on “sacrifice, obsession, and the ways in which we bet everything on each other”. With its fourth season due this spring, the real-life tales told in the podcast aren’t traditional love stories per say, rather instances of people putting themselves out there and being vulnerable. Previous episodes range from a woman rescuing a baby whale to Peggy Guigenheim’s favourite city, making This Is Love the perfect series. (GY)

Season four, Spring 2020

GETTING CURIOUS WITH JONATHAN VAN NESS

He may be best known for his blow drying expertise, but Queer Eye host Jonathan Van Ness’ Getting Curious was one of the few things that made 2019 bearable. A weekly conversation about literally anything and everything that sparks his interest (recent episodes range from ‘What does inequality have to do with HIV?’ to ‘How are turtles doing these days and are they the same as tortoises?’), each episode brings with it JVN’s trademark sparkle. (PC)

Out now

YOU’RE WRONG ABOUT...

Think you know everything about the O.J Simpson trial? What about Tonya Harding, the figure skater behind I, Tonya? In You’re Wrong About, journalists Michael Hobbs and Sarah Marshall re-examine key events and cultural phenomena that have been distorted or misrepresented in the public imagination, offering new angles on well-known stories and figures. Each episode scrutinises topics such as sexting, human trafficking, and obesity, and reexamine the stories of figures such as Kurt Cobain, Monica Lewinsky, and Yoko Ono in a new light. Get ready to question everything you think you know. (PC)

Out now

JORDAN PEELE’S UNTITLED PODCAST

We know nearly nothing about this podcast from Get Out and Us director Jordan Peele, whose currently untitled project has been announced by Spotify as one of its 2020 podcasts to watch. But if the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s celebrated films are anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. (GY)

Release 2020 tbc

THE HEART

After a two year hiatus, The Heart is back. Describing itself as “an audio art project about intimacy and humanity”, the show shares stories about sexuality, gender, and identity, with each episode focusing on some aspect of queer love, from trauma to selfhood. First dreamt up in host Kaitlin Prest’s bedroom in 2014, The Heart’s back catalogue contains a wealth of remarkable stories. Prest released the first episode this week (6th January) to announce the show’s return, and if her gorgeously soothing voice isn’t enough to make you subscribe straight away then you need better headphones. This new incarnation of an old favourite promises more moving tales and discussions on all matters of the heart. (PC)

Out now

KISSING BOOTH – ELLE’S DIARY

This podcast is a prequel to the 2018 Netflix movie The Kissing Booth, a fluffy rom-com about a high school girl who falls in love with the wrong high school boy. Starring cast members Joey King (The Act on Hulu), Jacob Elordi (Euphoria on HBO), and Joel Courtney (Super 8), the scripted audio series will give fans more insight into the main character’s lives while they await the film’s sequel, which is scheduled to debut on Netflix later this year. (PC)

Release 2020 tbc

HEAR TO SLAY

The self-described “black feminist podcast of your dreams”, Hear to Slay is presented by acclaimed writers Roxane Gay (best known for her seminal essay collections Bad Feminist and Hunger) and Tressie McMillan Cottom (author of Thick: And Other Essays) and offers in-depth and illuminating discussions on the politics and popular culture that shapes everyday life. Season one boasted an impressive lineup of guests including comedian Michelle Buteau and Know My Name author Chanel Miller, and covered everything from WoC in rap to navigating career changes. We can’t wait for what’s in store for 2020. (PC)

Out now

BLOOD TIES

We love a family scandal, and Blood Ties is no exception. When Elenore and Michael (voiced by Gillian Jacobs and Josh Gad) lose their parents unexpectedly in a plane crash, uncomfortable truths about their father begin to surface. Do they honour their father’s legacy as a world-renowned cardiologist or expose the dark truth? Blood Ties is a six-part fictional series by the makers of hit shows Dirty John, Over My Dead Body, and Dr Death. Let the drama ensue. (GY)

Out now

HEYER TODAY

The queen of Regency romance, Georgette Heyer was selling a million copies of her books a year in Britain by the time of her death in 1974. Now the subject of a new podcast, Heyer Today is a deep-dive into the life and work of the novelist, whose meticulous (and historically accurate) period romances and thrillers have amassed a dedicated following, including Stephen Fry, who features in the podcast. (GY)

Release 2020 tbc

ADULTING

Exploring topics ranging from white saviorism and living sustainably, to female pleasure and vagina pottery (don’t ask), Oenone Forbat’s Adulting explores how socio-political and cultural factors feed into how we ‘grow up’. With season five focusing on questions of ‘Why’, expect in-depth discussions on Brexit, cancel culture, why we should stop apologising, and more. (GY)

Season five, out now

THE DREAM

For all those who ever wondered why your second cousins were shilling patterned leggings on Facebook or girls who never spoke to you in school were reaching out to talk Younique makeup palettes, the first season of Little Everywhere and Stitcher’s The Dream was a wild ride. The pod, hosted by Jane Marie and Dann Galluci, delved into the murky world of multi-level marketing scams, and the tragedies, triumphs, and expensive as hell tribulations into the largely horrifying schemes. 

Season two picks up on an avenue they didn’t get to delve into with the first, focusing now solely on the wellness industry and its multitude of scams. Oils, crystals, juices – who is winning and losing in the world of wellness? 

Season two, out now

KEEP IT

Politics is downstream from (pop) culture, ofc – hosts (and prolific tweeter) Ira Madison III, Aida Osman, and Louis Virtel go deep on the biggest pop cultural moments and the breezy intersections they share with politics and wider society. From Lizzy Caplan (Janis Ian) on the legacy of Mean Girls, to the Weinstein trial, and Hallmark pulling a same-sex marriage advertisement, Netflix blockbusters, election campaign dramas, and Twitter beef – Keep It has you covered with acerbic wit and Extremely Online humour.

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