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4 recommended podcasts, from gay Bake-Off recaps to call scams

4 recommended podcasts, from gay Bake-Off recaps to call scams

In this round-up of great nonfiction, reality-focused podcasts, I recommend four shows, including a podcast about podcasting and the return of the Shark Tank of podcasts.

Plus, as the headline mentions, there’s a deep dive into scam phone calls and a delightfully gay recap podcast of The Great British Bake-Off, hosted by one of its winners and one of its contestants.

If you listen to any of them, I hope you enjoy. And please feel free to recommend any podcasts you’re currently loving, either in the comments or via e-mail!

The Pitch

Vox Media (presents) The Pitch with Josh Muccio

Excellent news came this summer: The Pitch is returning. Josh Muccio and Lisa Muccio bought their show back from podcast-killer Spotify, and are relaunching it next month.

The Pitch is Shark Tank in podcast form, and takes roughly the same form, though in audio: people pitch companies and products to investors.

What I’m recommending here is a single episode, on which The Pitch pitches itself to The Pitch’s investors: episode 101, “Josh Pitches the Pitch.”

It’s a great look behind the scenes at what’s happening and the show’s new direction, and I’m looking forward to the new season! And if you haven’t heard it before, its archive of 100 episodes is a wealth of entertainment.

Chameleon: Scam Likely

The cover of the podcast Chameleon: Scam Likely

At the end of last year, Best Evidence asked me to contribute to their year-end pieces, including best true-crime podcasts, and the two that came to mind were Wild Boys (which I previously recommended) and Scam Likely.

Both are seasons of Campside Media’s Chameleon series, though that’s about the only thing they have in common. While Wild Boys revisited an old story to go behind the headlines, Scam Likely tells the story of an entire industry. It’s much broader, without many more characters, but it’s still compelling.

Host and reporter Yudhijit Bhattacharjee looks at the industry and the investigations into it. He explores why people get scammed, how the scam works, and why people participate in the scamming.

I admit that, listening to the first episode, I was baffled how someone could fall for a request to go buy gift cards and read the numbers over the phone to a stranger, and certainly had no idea what happened after that. But now I have a much clearer understanding of both, and even empathy for people on both sides of the call—though certainly not for the people running the scams.

Sticky Bun Boys

The cover image of the Sticky Bun Boys podcast, with white frosting dripping across horizontal rainbow stripes

The Sticky Bun Boys are Great British Bake-Off season 10 contestant Michael Chakraverty and winner David Atherton, who are both gay men, which is relevant because their podcast is half Bake-Off and half gay references.

David and Michael recap the latest GBBO, and in each episode—sometimes in a single sentence—you get:

  • quick (spoiler-filed) recaps that include their analysis as both bakers and former contestants
  • insight into the production of the show
  • many, many gay references, generally folded in to hilarious puns, many of which write themselves, but are perfectly delivered by David and Michael

I’ve laughed a lot, and I’ve learned, for example, that Bake-Off contestants have to send in photos of their signature and showstoppers and the production gives them feedback.

Michael and David finished recapping season 13 back in November, and are now working through season 12, which is great because if there’s anything I love more than sticky buns, it’s queer puns.

Shameless Acquisition Target

Shameless Acquisition Target

Shameless Acquisition Target is an extremely meta look at the podcast industry, as documented on a podcast.

It’s hosted by Laura Mayer, who has an impressive history in the podcasting, and her stated goal is for her podcast to be acquired.

Along the way, her behind-the-scenes stories about her own experiences and interviews with experts illuminate various aspects of the podcast pipeline, and the effect massive corporations are having on the industry and it’s creativity. There’s some crossover here, too, with the TV industry, which I found especially interesting.

It’s all very inside baseball, but in a way that’s accessible and fascinating. The six-episode show started last summer and ended in December, but I just discovered it, and I’m glad I did.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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