The Best Podcasts of 2018 (So Far)

A curated podcast list by

Creation Date October 5th, 2018
Updated Date Updated January 5th, 2021
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  1. In the war on terror, who is it that we’re really fighting? “Caliphate” follows Rukmini Callimachi, who covers terrorism for The New York Times, on her quest to understand ISIS. For more information about the series, visit nytimes.com/caliphate. This series includes disturbing language and scenes of graphic violence. Producer: Andy Mills; Reporters: Rukmini Callimachi and Andy Mills; Managing Producer: Larissa Anderson; Editors: Wendy Dorr and Larissa Anderson; Associate Producer: Asthaa Chaturvedi; Technical Director: Brad Fisher; Executive Producer, NYT Audio: Lisa Tobin; Editorial Director, NYT Audio: Samantha Henig; Assistant Managing Editor, NYT: Sam Dolnick; Music: William Brittelle, Andy Mills, Nate Henricks, Cliff Martinez, Brad Fisher, Taku Sugimoto and David Wingo
  2. Personal Best turns tiny goals into grand adventures. From CBC Original Podcasts.
  3. Welcome to Night Vale creator Joseph Fink and the Mountain Goats singer/songwriter John Darnielle discuss what it means to be an artist, a fan, and, as many people are, both at once. Season Two explores the process of writing, recording, and releasing the Mountain Goats’ latest album, In League With Dragons, giving you an unprecedented look at the creative process as it is happening.
  4. Marvel’s “Wolverine: The Lost Trail” is an epic quest that takes place in the Louisiana bayou. Following the events of Marvel’s “Wolverine: The Long Night,” Logan (Richard Armitage) returns to New Orleans in search of redemption, only to discover that his ex-lover, Maureen is nowhere to be found. And she's not the only one. Dozens of humans and mutants have gone missing, including the mother of a teenage boy, Marcus Baptiste. With Weapon X in close pursuit, Logan and Marcus must team up and follow a trail of clues that leads them deep into the gothic heart of the bayou, where they encounter biker gangs, Cajun thieves and a world of wonders that defies explanation. It is here that they find Greenhaven -- a refuge run by a powerful mutant named Jason Wyngarde. Award-winning comic book author Ben Percy (“The Dark Net,” “Red Moon”), director/sound designer Brendan Baker (“Wolverine: The Long Night”) and associate director/sound designer Chloe Prasinos (“Wolverine: The Long Night”) will return for the series, produced by Daniel Fink and Chloe Wilson of Marvel and Jenny Radelet Mast of Stitcher. Learn more at wolverinepodcast.com. Season 1 now available wherever you get your podcasts.
  5. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster.Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores the people and ideas that propelled the country into the Iraq War, and the institutions that failed to stop it. How did the Iraq catastrophe happen? And what was it like to watch America make one of its most consequential mistakes?
  6. WBEZ's critically-acclaimed bio-podcast series explores how an icon is made.
  7. Award Winning Sitcom || Rudyard Funn and his equally miserable sister Antigone run their family’s failing funeral parlour, where they get the body in the coffin in the ground on time. But one day they find everyone enjoying themselves at the funerals of a new competitor – the impossibly perfect Eric Chapman! With their dogsbody Georgie, and a mouse called Madeleine, the Funns are taking drastic steps to stay in business…
  8. On a remote mountain in Hawaii, there's a fake planet Mars. Six volunteers are secluded in an imitation Mars habitat where they will work as imitation astronauts for one very real year. The goal: to help NASA understand what life might be like on the red planet—and plan for the day when the dress rehearsals are over, and we blast off for real. Host Lynn Levy has been chronicling this experiment from the moment the crew set foot in their habitat, communicating with them through audio diaries that detail their discoveries, their frustrations, and their evolving and devolving relationships with each other. From those diaries, Gimlet Media has crafted an addictive serialized documentary: the true story of a fake planet.
  9. Join host Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers for this story of the U.S. men’s soccer team that swaggered onto the international stage and set out to win the 1998 World Cup in France. When they arrived, they faced only one serious opponent: themselves. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts, including On the Media, Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many others. © WNYC Studios
  10. Serial investigative journalism from APM Reports, with host Madeleine Baran and a team of reporters. Season 1 looked at the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota and the accountability of sheriffs in solving crime. Season 2 examined the case of Curtis Flowers, who was tried six times for the same crime. Also, a special report on Covid-19 in the Mississippi Delta.
  11. Original audio documentaries from the makers of the acclaimed 30 for 30 film series, featuring stories from the world of sports and beyond. 30 for 30 offers captivating storytelling for sports fans and general interest listeners alike, going beyond the field to explore how sports, competition, athleticism and adventure affect our lives and our world. Sports stories like you've never heard before.
  12. 'The Rewatchables,' a film podcast from the Ringer Podcast Network, features The Ringer’s Bill Simmons and a roundtable of people from The Ringer universe discussing movies they can’t seem to stop watching.
  13. A weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye, Gay of Thrones) is curious about. Come on a journey with Jonathan and experts in their respective fields as they get curious about anything and everything under the sun.
  14. Serial is a podcast from Serial Productions, a New York Times company, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won't know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in, starting with Episode 1. New episodes are released on Thursday mornings.
  15. A truck driver searches across America for the wife she had long assumed was dead. In the course of her search, she will encounter not-quite-human serial murderers, towns literally lost in time, and a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.
  16. We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system.Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away.But soon his patients started to experience complications, and the system failed to protect them. Which begs the question: who - or what - is that system meant to protect?From Wondery, the network behind the hit podcast Dirty John, DR. DEATH is a story about a charming surgeon, 33 patients and a spineless system. Reported and hosted by Laura Beil.
  17. “What’s wrong with me?” Each episode of this documentary series begins as a medical mystery. But once you peel back the layers, more questions emerge.
  18. Los Angeles is a city carved out of the desert — a conjured image of paradise. Award-winning journalist David Weinberg returns with stories of people who learn what lies beyond the dream.
  19. Everything is Alive is an unscripted interview show in which all the subjects are inanimate objects. In each episode, a different thing tells us its life story--and everything it says is true.
  20. Welcome to Fairhaven, a literal Bubble of corporate utopia set amid the wild, goblin-infested Brush. The first scripted comedy series from Maximum Fun, Bubble was created by Jordan Morris, and tells the tale of a small band of monster killers struggling to make ends meet and find love in a nightmarish version of the gig economy. Starring: Alison Becker (Parks and Recreation), Keith Powell (30 Rock), Cristela Alonzo (Cristela), Eliza Skinner (The Late Late Show) and Mike Mitchell (Love), with appearances by Judy Greer, John Hodgman, Martin Starr, Paul F. Tompkins, and many, many more.
  21. An improvised science fiction sitcom following a team of ambassadors as they attempt to establish diplomatic relations with planets in the remote and chaotic Zyxx Quadrant… better known as the "ass end of space."
  22. What if the greatest hits could be ...greater? Every Thursday, comedian/musician Miel Bredouw teams up with a special guest to revisit, review and revise the pop songs of our past, and offer an improved "punched-up" version.

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