There has never been a better time to be a media-savvy student, with thousands of hours of entertainment vying for your attention at any one time.
Podcasts are quickly becoming amongst the most popular for the college demographic, and with there only being so many hours in the day and storage on your SD card, podcasts really have to stand out to be worthy of your precious free time!
Here is a list of the podcasts we think you should listen to!
My Brother, My Brother, And Me
Readers of a certain age will remember traversing Yahoo Answers for the answer to everything from domestic disputes to greater existential questions, but there are a few thought-provoking ones slip through the cracks.
That’s where the McElroy brothers come in.
Travis, Griffin and Justin McElroy have the work ethic of roughly a small country (their podcast portfolio is staggering, with The Adventure Zone being the most famous among them) but for our money, this is the best of the lot.
The 3 brothers hear questions sent in from avid listeners and give unconventional, often hilarious advice.
Sure to lighten up any commute into college or long hours in the college library, you could do far worse than MBMBAM!
Blank Check With Griffin and David
Ignoring the American spelling of Cheque, this movie podcast isn’t just content with ripping a movie apart like seemingly every other movie podcast, they examine each movie in the context of a director’s career.
Actor Griffin Newman (of Amazon’s The Tick) and film critic David Sims (of The Atlantic) examine these directors high points, low points, and whether this movie’s “Blank Check” cleared or bounced.
Previous subjects include Steven Spielberg, Brad Bird, The Wachowski’s, Christopher Nolan, Ang Lee, to name just a few.
A perfect blend of film-related tangents, industry insight, and a genuine chemistry between the so-called #TheTwoFriends, Blank Check should be appointment listening for any self-described film buff.
Comedy Bang! Bang!
The title of this show may already be familiar to some as the TV adaptation of the show is currently on Irish Netflix, but for the uninitiated it’s the granddaddy of comedy podcasts.
Running since 2009 (practically ancient history in internet terms!), host Scott Aukerman guides the listener on a trip through the depths of improvised comedy mayhem.
The show is best experienced knowing the basic outline of it being an improvised comedy podcast, and embracing the madness.
If you’re a fan of TV shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway or Curb Your Enthusiasm, this podcast may well be up your street!
Perhaps the biggest success story to come out of Irish podcasting in recent years, Second Captains takes the concept of discussing the match down the pub with the lads, and spins it into high art.
Thanks to it being majority audience-funded, the show is free of the restrictions of traditional broadcast media, meaning that episodes can go on for as long as they like, without worrying about pesky stuff like advertising or language restrictions.
There is something for everyone on Second Captains, from GAA, football, rugby, tennis, and any big sport you can think of.
The best part of Second Captains is that you could listen to any given episode and not have a particularly strong interest in the sport they’re discussing, but still take away something interesting from their conversations.
There is a genuine easy-going quality to the show, and for 5 euro a month you can get a brand new episode every day of the week via their Pateron feed.
If you’re a sports buff and want to keep abreast of the issues and stories in your favourite sport, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better sporting podcast than Second Captains.
The Blindboy Podcast
It is doubtful that there’s a person reading this article that hasn’t listened to an episode of The Blindboy Podcast at this stage, but on the off-chance you haven’t, it is quite simply the most socially pressing podcast today.
You may know Blindboy as one half of Limerick-based comedy duo The Rubberbandits, but Blindboy shows that he’s much more than that guy with a Spar bag over his face that raps about horses outside weddings.
The show currently boasts roughly 200,000 weekly listeners in Ireland alone, along with a million worldwide, and after listening to a few minutes of any given episode, it’s easy to see why.
Imagine beloved children’s television host Mr Rogers had the mouth of a sailor and you’re halfway there.
The show walks an incredibly narrow tightrope discussing heavy social issues such as LGBT rights, mental health and racism, and in the hands of a lesser host it would delve into a preachy soapbox.
However, Blindboy has a prodigious talent of being able to make these topics easy to digest and relatable, which is partially the reason the show is seen as the new alternative to the likes of established radio shows.
RTE Docs On One
The United States has NPR, The UK has BBC, and Ireland has RTE.These nationally funded broadcasters may sound like the kind of channels your parents would listen to on the way into work, but trust us when we say that the RTE Docs on One are some of the most essential podcasts out there.
With the archives spanning all the way back to the 1950’s and over 1500 episodes, you’ll never be stuck for an episode.Want to listen to a documentary about an expedition to Mount Everest gone wrong?How about an episode on Johnny Cash’s first-ever tour of Ireland?If that doesn’t appeal to you, why not give a piece on the restoration of St Mels’ cathedral following the 2009 fire?
In short, there is literally something for everyone here.
By Mike Finnerty