TV Without the TV: 7 Recap & Pop Culture Podcasts That You Need in Your Life

Because who has time to actually watch TV anymore?

In a world overcrowded with exceptional content and a Twitter feed that just won’t quit, it’s nearly impossible to find time to watch, read, or listen to everything you should to stay up to date with the latest in the world of pop culture.

Thankfully, podcasts make saying in touch with your favorite shows and characters easier than it ever has been. Brilliant journalists, entertainers, and comedians are teaming up week after week to analyze your favorite shows and dig deep into the latest happenings in Hollywood. Brighten up your morning commute (or dinner conversation, lunchtime listening, date night out…) with the shows and tea you’ve missed all week.

If you love reality recaps, try:

  1. Here to Make Friends with Emma Gray & Claire Fallon
https://soundcloud.com/here-to-make-friends

The Bachelor is a staple of reality television. Part game show and part ‘overly attractive people who claim they can’t find love in the real world,’ the Bachelor has graced our screens for 21 seasons. Currently its female counterpart, the Bachelorette, features fan-favorite Rachel Lindsay on her search for love.

While in recent episodes the show has made some serious waves in its approach to covering significant cultural issues (race, religion, and personal exploitation for the purposes of entertainment to name a few,) it has a loyal fan base and vocal social media following. Here to Make Friends is one of the best pieces of that following. Each week, Emma Gray, executive women’s editor, and Claire Fallon, culture writer, for the Huffington Post lovingly snark on the show and its cast of characters. Episodes feature a full recap of the previous night’s show, former show contestants and celebrities, and culture and entertainment writers from around the Web to join them.

While they do deliver fantastic recaps, its arguably their social commentary that makes this show a hit. Emma and Claire are brilliant and hilarious and their guests are always intelligent and insightful contributors. Although obviously huge fans of the show, HTMF isn’t afraid to call the show out on its recent questionable decisions.

2. Watch What Crappens with Ben Mandelker & Ronnie Karam

Technically, Watch What Crappens is an ‘all things Bravo’ podcast, but their Real Housewives recaps are where these boys shine. Hosted by the hilarious and delightful duo, Ben Mandelker and Ronnie Karam, Watch What Crappens hosts five shows a week and will leave you in stitches after every episode. Although they’ve toyed with the format in previous years, current episodes recap each episode of a given show complete with voices, character performance, and lots and lots of pop culture tangents. Depending on their favorite shows at the time and whatever is playing on Bravo’s schedule, Ben and Ronnie spend hours watching incredible (and terrible) shows on Bravo so that you don’t have to. If you like your trash TV with a side of snark and comedy, Watch What Crappens goes there.

Psst! You can also check out their upcoming live show in LA!

3. Afterbuzz TV with… Everyone

https://www.podcastone.com/Afterbuzz-Game-of-Thrones

If you like recaps of your favorite shows you HAVE to listen to one of the many podcasts hosted by AfterBuzz TV. They cover shows like Game of Thrones and the Bachelorette and everything in between. The online network, co-founded by E! host Maria Menounos, is dedicated to fans who want to discuss and analyze their favorite shows in detail right after the final credits. Each show has a different panel of hosts and each episode is packed with four or five unique voices offering insight into the show. However, AfterBuzz feels designed for the layman watcher. Example: If you watch and love the show but don’t want to do the deep diving that involves re-reading an epic history book on every previous contestant on a reality show, give this one a try.

If you’re here for the inside scoop, check out:

4. The Daily Dish with Megan Segura and Rachael Roberts

https://soundcloud.com/bravo-tv-the-daily-dish

The Daily Dish is Bravo’s first podcast and oh my is it a great one. Hosted by Megan Segura and Rachael Roberts, digital producers at Bravotv.com, the Daily Dish is packed with individual show recaps, celebrity interviews, and insider Bravo content. Listening to people who love the dirty details of a show or character as much as you do is always a great time. Whether they’re returning from filming the most recent ‘Housewives’ reunion or grilling the newest ‘Bravolebrity’ on their time on the show, Megan and Rachael are engaging and obviously love what they do. If you like fun and light-hearted content with lots of giggles every once in awhile this is the one for you.

5. Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald

http://wondery.com/2016/09/15/juicy-scoop-heather-mcdonald-wondery/

In the world of celebrity gossip, comedian (and close friend of one Kris Jenner,) Heather McDonald has made an impressive name for herself. A former writer and performer on Chelsea Lately, Heather’s McDonald’s most recent venture is Juicy Scoop, a podcast covering everything you wish you had time to read in the tabloids and more. She’s hosted everyone from Lance Bass to former Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton and doesn’t beat around the bush as she grills them on their stories.

If you prefer a little of both, you might like:

6. Unhappy Hour with Matt Bellassai

A former comedy writer at Buzzfeed, Bellassai now counts a web series, live comedy tour, and new gig as a professional complainer among recent accomplishments. Basically, Matt Bellassai has your dream job. He writes, talks, and eye rolls about everything you love to hate. His latest venture is Unhappy Hour, a podcast produced by Pineapple Street Media. The podcast includes celebrity interviews, invasive questions, and, obviously, a sh*t load of wine. While his show is in great company — PSM hosts massive podcast hits including Missing Richard Simmons and With Her, the officially podcast following Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign — Unhappy Hour stands out as a new kind of podcast. It hasn’t taken long for Bellassai to find his podcasting legs and if the first few episodes are any any indication, we have a season of sharp, witty, and undoubtedly hilarious snarking to comes.

7. Reality Life with Kate Casey

https://art19.com/shows/reality-life-with-kate-casey

Kate Casey is a former public relations professional turned comedian and Real Housewives consultant. Trust me, she’s found her calling. Not only are episodes of Reality Life incredibly funny, they also include insightful and genuine interviews with some of your more obscure reality starts. Kate has the ability to recall details about shows that most of us have long forgotten. Most recently she had a wonderful interview with Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino where he opened up about his struggle with sobriety and experience during the height of his Jersey Shore years.

While many of our other hosts speak with people who are (quote unquote,) famous, Kate speaks with people who see a very particular type of fame. She’s authentically interested in their stories and it comes across in her interviews. Plus, she makes one of her friends watch an episode of a show they’ve never seen before and recap it live for her. If you’ve ever seen Vanderpump Rules you can imagine how fun it is to hear someone try to explain that fabulous mess.

Kate also writes hilarious recaps at her personal blog, loveandknuckles.com. Check it out!

Did I miss any? Probably. Leave your recommendations in the comments!

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