Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My 5 Favourite Podcasts: Redux

A few years ago I did a list on my favourite podcasts, but a lot has changed since then, so I am updating it.  Only one podcast from the original list remains.  If you are interested in any of these topics, I highly recommend these casts.

5. The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast

It amazes me how many board game podcasts there are, and if you are someone who is not a part of the board gaming hobby it would REALLY surprise you.  But it takes something special to rise above the rest, and the Secret Cabal definitely has that.  So what is it?  Its the charisma and chemistry of the 5 hosts.  These are all guys who are friends in real life who decided to start a podcast which has since become huge.

There format is solid: they spend some time talking about games they’ve played, review a feature game, go through a news segment(with too much miniature games stuff in it, but oh well), and then has a discussion topic which is usually the most compelling part.  It keeps the cast interesting even if it runs 3 hours.  Tony is always the voice of reason, Steve provides the humour, Brian a different perspective, Chris is always distracted by shiny objects, and Jamie keeps everything running like a machine.  At times they get a bit hyperbolic, but what will keep you coming back is how much fun you can tell they are having and how well they know each other.

4. The Legendarium

 

This is a rather new discovery for myself, though its been going for a few years now.  I came upon it while looking for a podcast which discussed the Wheel of Time series.  This is a podcast which started as a Lord of the Rings podcast, but went into fantasy literature of all types, as well as pretty much anything nerdy, like Star Wars and superheroes as well.

The hosts walk just the right line of being geek who are excited about this stuff, without going overboard and being the kind of geek no one likes.  They add interesting perspectives on the books and other works they are discussing, which leads to great conversation.  I have only so far listened to some of their Wheel of Time and LOTR episodes, and some of the Star Wars centric discussions, but I am really excited to delve into their back catalogue.

 

 

 

3. F This Movie

Despite how the title might sound, this is not one of those negative podcasts where they like to bash movies.  In fact, F This movie is at its best when they are elaborating on the reasons why they love the movies that they love.  Hosted by Patrick Bromley and a revolving door of guest hosts, F This Movie brings tons of both humour and insight into their film discussions.

F This Movie covers both old and new films with a strong variety of both, though perhaps leaning too much towards horror flicks.  They have annual traditions and encourage audience participation, such as their scary movie month every October. My favourite podcasts are their end-of-year specials.  So try joining Patrick, Adam, JB and the rest of the gang as they discuss great and not-so-great movies in a more entertaining way than most movie podcasts out there.

 

 

2. Hardcore History

How can a podcast that runs well over 3 hours per show with only one guy speaking be compelling? Well it is, and its one of the best podcasts out there.  Dan Carlin provides an in depth and entertaining look into various eras of history, including WWI and II, Ancient Rome, the Mongol empire, and the Reformation.   Sometimes he will do one episode on one topic, sometimes he will go into a series of podcasts to cover a larger topic.

The reason Carlin’s accounts of these periods are so enthralling is that he explores not just the events, but what it would feel like to be living in that time.  He makes the events and living conditions relatable for us today and humanizes these historical stories.  He is also able to dig up really cool side-stories and details that are great to hear about.  One warning however: it usually takes months for a new episode to come out, but when it does its worth it.

 

1. Film Junk

There’s a lot to be said for history, and that’s why Film Junk, the longest running movie podcast, remains my number one show.  After over 12 years of podcasting, the Film Junk crew has so much history, so many stories, so many inside jokes, that the audience really feels like a part of the crew despite never having met them.  These hosts are friends outside the podcast, and their interaction s make that very obvious.

Sean, Jay and Frank spend three hours discussing movies for us every week, delving into arguments over minutia like no one before.  They have built up their own vocabulary of words and phrases (ex. the COPO, Criterionitis, a feast for thine eyes, etc) that brings regular viewers in and makes them feel included.  They have tons of great stories that keep coming back, like Jay’s trips to the doctor and Frank’s BBQ building escapades.

Film Junk also has a colourful cast or recurring guests, like the excitable Dax, the hilarious Greg (who also used to host), and of course Reed Farrington, who you simply have to hear to believe.  Film Junk is a rich tapestry that has become far more than simply a movie podcast; its a community that can only build after years and years of tradition and providing entertainment without ever compromising themselves.

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3 Responses to “My 5 Favourite Podcasts: Redux”

  1. What a great selection! I had no idea that there were board game podcasts! Fab post – thanks for sharing, Jam x

  2. Cool list! Will try checking some of these out!


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