2019 Podcast Roundup
- Crackdown, a podcast about drugs, drug policy and the drug war led by drug user activists and supported by research. (Garth Mullins) 🇨🇦🆕
- Sanctioned, about the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. (Stephen Quinn, CBC Vancouver) 🇨🇦🆕
- Narcos PQ, a true-crime podcast featuring exclusive interviews with drug traffickers, from a Quebec perspective. (Bastien Gagnon-Lafrance, Anne-Sophie Carpentier, QUB Radio) 🇨🇦🆕
- Where Should We Begin?, similar to Other People’s Problems, lets you hear real couples’ therapy sessions, with interspersed explanations of psychology and therapy. (Seasons 1–3) (Esther Perrell) 🇺🇸
When I first looked for French Canadian podcasts in 2017, most were radio shows transposed to podcasts. Since 2018, there is a glut of new podcasts covering unique topics in Canada.
One-shot documentaries I recommend include: Rap Carcéral (Simon Coutu, Alain Loiselle, ICI Radio-Canada), La Bombe (Gabriel Allard, Télé Québec), Trafic (Catherine Proulx, Télé Québec) 🆕 and, in English, SOLD! (Stephen Quinn, CBC Vancouver) (all 🇨🇦).
This year, I subscribed to: Ferry, traversée érotique (ICI Radio-Canada), Sightlines (Ryerson Image Centre) 🆕, RUDE, You Don’t Know What It’s Like (Amanda Connell, Katie Mattiuz, Ryerson Leadership Lab) 🆕, and Born & Raised (Angelyn Francis, Al Donato, HuffPost Canada) (all 🇨🇦).
Among older podcasts: Cavern of Secrets (Lauren Mitchell) 🇨🇦 returned thanks to Vocal Fry Studios. Alone: A Love Story (Michelle Parise, CBC) 🇨🇦 had its final season. Ear Hustle (Earlonne Woods, Nigel Poor, Radiotopia) 🇺🇸 had a 4th season. Meat (Jonathan Zenti) 🇮🇹 had a 3rd episode. And Spacing Radio (Glyn Bowerman) 🇨🇦 started a new series, The Future Fix, as part of a program led by Evergreen and Open North (a nonprofit I founded) to help communities across Canada navigate the smart cities landscape.
My strongest recommendation is PlayME, featuring the works of Canadian playwrights in podcast form. My favorites were:
- Vitals (Rosamund Small, Outside the March)
- Huff (Cliff Cardinal)
- Bang Bang (Kat Sandler, Factory Theatre)
- Butcher (Nicolas Billon, Why Not Theatre)
- What a Young Wife Ought to Know (Hannah Moscovitch, Crow’s Theatre)
That said, I found it curious that 3 of 10 plays in the first season— Lo (or Dear Mr Wells), and to a lesser extent Bunny and Quiver — offered the familiar tropes of a precocious girl having sex with her older teacher. For a different take on sex between adults and minors, listen to the Trafic documentary by Télé Québec.
The other audio fiction I listened to, with favorites in bold, are:
- The Bright Sessions (Seasons 1–4) 🇺🇸
- Wolverine (Seasons 1–2) by Stitcher 🇺🇸
- The Far Meridian (Seasons 1–2) by The Whisperforge 🇺🇸
- Macbeth by Almost Tangible 🇬🇧
- Homecoming (Season 1) by Gimlet 🇺🇸
- This Sounds Serious (Season 2) by Kelly&Kelly 🇨🇦
- The Complete 150 on The SoulPepper Podcast 🇨🇦