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How many times have you finished a TV show and asked ‘That’s IT?!’ Or replayed The Walking Dead finale to prove it can’t be Daryl who dies? Or spent the day at work with your headphones on, trying to dodge spoilers? Me too. TV moves pretty fast and it’s easy to miss the big moments, and even if you do catch them, you want to talk about them again and again. That’s where the best TV podcasts come in. Think of them like the friend who’s watching at the same pace as you. They laugh, they cry, they yell ‘WHAT THE-?!’ as much as you do. And they even have a pause button. We’ve picked 8 of the best, but there’s so many, we’re sure to have missed some. Let us know what your favourite TV podcast is in the comments below and we’ll make sure to check it out.
8. Pop Culture Happy Hour
Any show that has a regular spot called ‘What’s Making Us Happy This Week’ will always have a place in my heart. Part of American podcast legends NPR’s pop culture blog, it’s a weekly sprint through the best things the staff have seen, read, or heard in the last week. Sounds dull, right? It’s not. Linda Holmes and her team are full-on geeks and they love what they do. In-depth discussion is mixed with easy comedy and a friendly tone well as the odd quiz. And who doesn’t love a quiz?
7. The Watching Dead
So how many times have you watched the final scene of The Walking Dead this year? I topped out at about 10. In fact, there’s this YouTube video that proves who dies by slowing down the audio and… we may have said too much. Jim and A. Ron haven’t, though. Every episode of The Watching Dead, they explore the grim and gritty post-apocalyptic world of the show. Their feed is split between Instant Takes and longer form discussions. The long form episodes are really meaty (fresh, we promise, not undead) and include plenty of audience participation as well as NSFW language. Especially as their season 6 finale episode talks about something everyone else may have missed. Start there and work your way back.
Doctor Who’s massive history and even larger fandom can be intimidating. After all, where do you start with a 50 year old show about a shape changing alien who travels through time in a phone box? Don’t worry, Verity’s here to help. Hugo award-winning hosts Deb, Liz, Lynne, and friends are the friendliest, funniest Who experts you’ll find. Previous episodes have discussed the new show’s resurrection of the Daleks and the career of Doctor Who’s first female director. Welcoming and positive, this is Who fandom at its best. Start with their excellent look at the new wave of Doctor Who comics.
5. Engage - The Official Star Trek podcast
Happy anniversary Star Trek fans! Ready for the new movie? I’m a huge Trekkie and massively excited about what’s heading our way. As is Jordan Hoffman, the host of the new official Star Trek podcast. Engage is a young show but it’s off to a brilliant start. Hoffman’s affable persona drives it and the show’s mix of interviews (Weird Al Yankovic!) and features is high energy, informative and fun. Start anywhere but pay special attention to the episode about the new fan film guidelines. Trek has a huge community who produce their own movies and the show uses those guidelines to take a look at a creative and often overlooked area of Trek fandom.
Netflix TV is always good. Whether you’re an Orange is the New Black fan or devoured Voltron: Legendary Defender in two days (like me) then you know just how good it all is. So do the NetFreaks team, whose show is dedicated to reviewing and talking about all Netflix’s original programming. The only difference between this and having some friends over, is the show can’t bring you Doritos… yet. That tiny problem aside, Netfreaks is one of the best TV podcasts around. Hosts David Troy, Adam Eastwood, and Heather Woodcock’s OITNB season retrospective episodes will get you up to speed in no time and their episode by episode discussions of Daredevil are must-listens. Start with their Voltron episode, though because it, like Voltron, is top fun.
3. The West Wing Weekly
Missing Madam Secretary? Now’s the perfect time to catch up on its predecessor. The West Wing is one of the best TV shows ever made, and this makes the perfect companion to a marathon binge-watch. Hosted by musician and podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway and West Wing cast member Joshua Malina, TWWW tackles an episode at a time, in order. Hirway’s a great host and Malina’s affably awkward persona complements him to a tee. The regular guest stars are the icing on the cake, making this a joyful weekly trip through an all-time classic. Start at the beginning with the podcast and the show. They’re both that good.
2. The Avatar Returns
I’m watching Avatar: The Last Airbender for the first time right now and kicking myself for not getting to it sooner. Set on an alternate earth where Earth, Air, Fire and Water are elements that magicians can control, it and sequel Legacy of Korra are a fantastic combination of fantasy, martial arts and comedy. Also? Best Sky Bison ever. TAR watches the show from the start, talking about a couple of episodes at a time. Hosts Paul Smith, Arlo J Wiley, and Eric Sipple are informal, friendly and love the show. That makes it the perfect companion for a re-watch. And yes, they even watch the live action movie. And no, you don’t have to as well.
1. Game of Owns
Less a podcast more a vital resource, Game of Owns is a show every GoT fan needs in their lives. Over 300 episodes, covering every book and every episode of the show, Game of Owns is almost as epic as the series itself. Hosts Zach, Selina, Micah, and Eric do the near impossible and cover every aspect of the biggest TV show in the world and the books that it’s drawn from. If you’re a newcomer to Thrones in either form, this is for you. If you’re a fan and desperately need something to tide you over to season 7, this is for you. Every episode, every chapter, every theory and every aspect of fandom gets covered. Wherever you are in the story, there’s an episode for you.