Mens Rea

Mens Rea is a podcast that brings us episodes all about true crime cases

IMG_20180225_045831from Ireland and the surrounding areas of the United Kingdom! Hosted by Sinead, the listeners are taken on audio adventures featuring cases that may or may not be lesser known to the audience (I know I had practically no knowledge about any of the cases and that both surprised and delighted me!).

An upbeat theme tune greets the listener and then transitions to news clips featuring information about the case being chronicled in that episode. Each episode is an average length of 30-40 minutes, so it was nearly the perfect commute podcast for me on days when I was taking public transit or being driven somewhere. I bring this really specific detail up because I must admit that I had a lot of trouble with the audio levels on the apps I used to listen to the podcast (Play Music and Podcast Addict); sometimes this was fixed by my using headphones, but more often than not I listen to podcasts in places where headphones aren’t appropriate or safe to use. I’m not sure if I am the only one who had this issue, but I was really glad to find a solution that helped me continue listening to the podcast!

So far, there are only twelve cases that have been discussed on the show (some in multiple parts, which I’m always a fan of) which makes this show easy to catch up on! My personal favourites were the cases of James Bulger (I found a great documentary on YouTube afterwards that helped to augment the information I learned in this episode because I became absolutely interested in this case!), The Acid Bath Murders (I have listened to so many podcasts about this case and always love stumbling across one I haven’t heard yet!), and The Kerry Babies (this case could be triggering for some, so please take a look at the episode description beforehand; I love that it added an element of politics and political history. I had no idea about the history of reproductive justice in Ireland and really want to learn more after listening to this episode!).

Give this show a listen if you’re looking to add Ireland to your list of countries you want to learn about through the lens of true crime!






But Why Tho?


This podcast matters. But Why Tho? Is a pop culture podcast that is a bit different from all the rest. The episodes aren’t just about why some aspect of pop culture is good, bad, both, or neither; each episode goes further and explains why this bit of pop culture is important to pop culture as a whole and what it’s done to further its genre, make something more mainstream, etc. With certain areas of pop culture/fandom still seen as niche, this kind of analysis is important because it brings pop culture to those who may not be inclined to see what the chain reaction has been in society due to the creation of what is being discussed in each episode. This series covers all different kinds of things: video games, movies, television shows, older things, newer things, etc. I also really appreciate that this podcast doesn’t shy away from discussions about race, gender, class issues, and other topics that are usually seen as academic or uninteresting to most listeners but the hosts do this in a really accessible way that is easy to listen to and easy to comprehend and understand.

Other great things about the podcast have to do with the hosts and their dynamic. I love the way they converse with each other, all the jokes that get thrown in, how when a host doesn’t know something or isn’t a fan of something they aren’t afraid to say so, and also how each host gets to take a turn being the lead on a subject — especially if it’s something that’s totally their jam. This show also does some really fun crossovers and I’ll get into more about that in this next section where I tell you all about what episodes you absolutely need to hear, but I’m totally a sucker for a great crossover and/or a great guest host.

Episodes I recommend: Star Trek (a great look at one of the shows that made fandom and conventions come more into the mainstream), Hayao Miyazaki (if only just for the fun argument of whether all the Ghibli movies take place in the same universe or not), Horror (I really appreciated the guest host!), Mortal Kombat (one of my favourite game franchises and the hosts did the series so much justice with regards to its pop culture importance), Quentin Tarantino (if I recall correctly, the episode was done before all the things that have come to light recently from Uma Thurman’s experience; the episode was great, but I would love for the show to revisit this with all the new information further regarding Tarantino’s problematicness), Bill Nye the Science Guy (Matt is a really great host and I’m glad he was on this episode! If I were to get someone started on this show out of order, it would definitely be with this one. Pretty much everyone knows who Bill Nye is, but we might take for granted why he’s important to pop culture and society; this episode does a great job of breaking that down), eSports (bringing video games even more mainstream and paying people’s college tuitions; how could this show not discuss MLG and all the games that have been played professionally?), True Crime (I am huge into true crime and have been for pretty much my entire life; it’s how I’ve made most of my friends, it’s the genre that most people go searching for podcasts for, the notion of commodifying death/true crime as a form of capitalism, the cathartic use of true crime by those with mental health issues, etc.), Selena y los podcasters with It’s About Damn Crime (I love both of the sets of hosts for this episode and Selena is life so of course this episode is gold.), Religion & Myth in Assassin’s Creed (so one of my passions and something I wish I could study more is pop culture portrayals of religions. This episode wasn’t the standard kind of analysis that Assassin’s Creed usually receives and that was super important to me.).

But Why Tho? is an absolutely fantastic podcast and has easily become one of my favourites. I wish I could be friends with the hosts in real life and pick their brains. Each episode captured my attention in so many ways that I could continue to gush about, but I’ll just end this review here and tell you to subscribe and listen to this podcast right away.

Fun Dip and Cherry Coke

A drawing of a human face with greenish blue hair and wearing heart shaped sunglasses is centered on a pink background and accompanied with the text "Fun Dip & Cherry Coke".Remember all those movies and television shows you loved as a kid? Wouldn’t it be fun to watch them now that you’re an adult and see how they hold up? Then join host Kira and her friends on a pop culture nostalgia adventure that is the podcast Fun Dip & Cherry Coke.

The episodes all follow pretty much the same format: Kira and one of her friends introduce what they’ll be watching and talking about that episode, the friend explains the gist of the piece of pop culture (subjects range from music to movies to television), the episode takes a quick break so the two can partake of the pop culture nostalgia, and then the two come back from their viewing/listening to discuss the work in further detail and talk about whether it holds up to the first time they viewed it during childhood/adolescence.

My favourite episodes are: “Millennium – Backstreet Boys”; “Clarissa Explains It All” (quick side note: I have never talked back to/interacted with an episode of a podcast as much as I have this one; I was laughing, responding to the hosts, etc., the entire time. Nineties Nickelodeon is my jam and Clarissa Explains It All is one of my favourite shows of all time, so as soon as I saw this episode I *knew* I would at the very least love this one episode if I didn’t end up loving the show); “Earth Girls Are Easy”; “The Last Unicorn”; “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”; “Hocus Pocus”; and the newest episode, “Fantasia”.

As someone who loves pop culture but has some significant gaps in their pop culture knowledge, I love that the host does too and also totally admits to it! And with a title that’s a throwback to one of my nostalgia songs and a theme song that reminds me of nineties children’s television shows, I think this is a show that pop culture buffs and newbies alike should be getting in on. I’ve been meaning to fill some of the gaps in my pop culture knowledge and this show has definitely inspired me to make a list of what I want to watch and then tackle that list! I’m definitely looking forward to more episodes from Kira and her fantastic, informative friend group!

True Crime Island


Grab a craft beer, grab the least rickety deck chair — this is a review of True Crime Island.

True Crime Island is a true crime podcast about various crimes taking place in and/or involving Australia and Australian people. Pretty much all of the episodes focus on violent crimes (armed robbery, assault, murder, rape, etc.) and I appreciate that because it’s very relevant to my interests within the true crime genre. I also appreciate that the host (Cambo, who I’ll talk about in a second) offers warnings when the descriptions of the crimes he provides during the episode are going to be especially graphic.

Cambo is the sole host of the show and does a great job of reporting on an event (while adding in his opinions, which I love, because when he gets on a rant he gets on it), keeping the listener interested, and he’s also really fantastic about teaching those of us who may be either semi-illiterate or completely illiterate when it comes to Australian slang, law, geography, etc.

I highly recommend the three part series “The Last to Hang”; it details the life and crimes of the last man and last woman to be executed in Australia before the abolition of capitol punishment throughout the country. The other episode I recommend is episode 27, in which Cambo details all about the Munich Olympic massacre; it’s not an Australia-centric episode, but I like it because it’s a great episode and shows how Cambo’s way of hosting and reporting on events easily transitions to other stories and isn’t geographically stuck in Australia.

Another thing I like about this show is episode length; the average episode length is between 35-40 minutes which makes the show fantastic for my commute to work. Finally, the theme tune is a fantastic, jazzy tune that reminds me both of islands and video games and makes me feel like True Crime Island is a legit physical place. If it were, I would totally grab a pint, grab a deck chair, and talk true crime with Cambo for hours on end. Make sure you get True Crime Island in your ears as soon as possible and learn you some cool stuff about Australia.

DB Has a Top Ten!

Hi there global podcast community and the internet-at-large! I’m DB, my pronouns are they/them, I’ve been listening to podcast for years upon years, and I’m so glad to be a part of the team here at Promote the Podcasts. I love chatting with you all on twitter and love sharing my thoughts on all the different shows out there! It’s so great that podcasts have seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years and it’s absolutely amazing to see just how many thousands of shows there are out there!

Anyway, on to my top ten list!

  1. Last Podcast on the Left: This is an amazing, well-researched occult/true crime/conspiracy/etc., comedy podcast from the Last Podcast Network (formerly Cave Comedy Radio). I’ve been a fan since mid-2014 and recommend this podcast to nearly everyone I meet. Marcus, Henry, and Ben are amazing hosts and amazing people. From Hollow Moon to Peoples Temple/Jonestown to Andrei Chikatilo and more, these three dedicate themselves to presenting the facts, their opinions, and making us laugh while we learn about something interesting. The guys recently celebrated their 300th episode and I couldn’t be more proud of them! Give this show a listen.
  2. Within the Wires (Season One): Within the Wires is one of the newest shows from Night Vale Presents. There are currently two seasons available wherever you listen to podcasts. Season one was this fantastic story told through guided meditations that took the reader on this eerie adventure about being kept in a research facility and trying to figure out who they were on the outside. It is expertly narrated and I highly recommend it.
  3. Lore: Aaron Mahnke is an amazing storyteller. His voice and words weave their way into history to tell stories that no one has ever told before. Recently, Lore was adapted into a tv show on the Amazon platform; I haven’t watched it yet, but I look forward to eventually doing so!
  4. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Each episode of this show is a minimum of 3-4 hours long. It’s like getting a history lecture or listening to an audio book rather than a podcast. The episodes are posted infrequently, so it’s always a treat to get a notification about a new one.
  5. The Wizard and the Bruiser: Another podcast from the Last Podcast Network, The Wizard and the Bruiser is all about nerdy popular culture. Holden and Jake take the listener on adventures that discuss subjects such as Cowboy Bebop, The Muppets, Deadpool, The X-Files, etc. The hosts are super funny and really passionate about nerd culture and make sure they do all their research to present the best episode possible.
  6. NoSleep Podcast: One of the most well-known titles in horror fiction podcasting, NoSleep Podcast is currently on its 10th season! Originally taking stories from r/nosleep, the podcast now accepts original submissions that may eventually be brought to life by the amazing voice actors featured on the show. The stories range from eerie to frightening, but there will be a story for all types of horror fans who may find themself interested in this podcast.
  7. Page 7: Jackie, Marcus, and Molly are the amazing hosts of this Last Podcast Network show all about pop culture and celebrity gossip. It’s my favourite show in that genre. I look forward to each new episode because I know there will be some singing from Jackie, Marcus will chime in with his opinion, and Molly will make sure everyone acknowledges when things are problematic. Overall, the three of them together make this show an amazing listen that always has me laughing out loud in public.
  8. The Roundtable of Gentlemen: Though now not updated as frequently because all the members of the show are super successful and moving all around the US, Roundtable is an amazing show that brings up hilarious news and comedy anecdotes. It features many of the previously mentioned Last Podcast Network members and they all have such an amazing dynamic. This show is pretty much like just getting drunk in a basement with your friends and shooting the breeze for an hour or so and not having any real goal with the conversation. Just talking with each other and strengthening your friendship with each other.
  9. Ear Hustle: This show is an absolutely brilliant work from the San Quentin prison. Hosted by an artist and an incarcerated person, each episode takes a theme from prison life and builds around it with music and anecdotes from currently incarcerated persons at San Quentin. I am impatiently awaiting season two because this show is so amazing and I can’t wait to hear what’s happened with the people featured in the show since we last heard from them.
  10. WTF with Marc Maron: WTF is a recent addition to my podcast listening and a near immediate add to my list of top 10. I’ve only been interested in Marc Maron since seeing him on Netflix’s GLOW and only had lukewarm feelings on him and his acting. It was listening to his podcast and getting to hear about his personal life (or as much as he was willing to share) and hear how he interacts with his guests that he has on a couple times a week. The show is in the format of essentially celebrities conversing with each other. It’s not really an interview, but it also is. I look forward to hearing who Marc is having on his show each week.

Honourable mentions go to: Chilling Tales for Dark Nights, Myths & Legends, Sirenicide, Killafornia Dreaming, Sex & Other Human Activities, This Week I Learned, Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know, 7-Minute Explainers, & Cults.

Killafornia Dreaming: True Crime Tales from the Golden State


xmrl5gTO_400x400Killafornia Dreaming is a podcast all about true crime tales from California state! Hosted by the lovely Roseanne, each episode is an adventure for the listener. I was so excited to find out about this podcast because I’m originally from Northern California and have been so homesick the past few years; having this podcast has helped to lessen that feeling and also give me the feeling of “how the heck did I not know about this case?!”. I also really appreciate that Roseanne doesn’t focus on California’s many serial killers, but instead focuses on a wide variety of crimes: domestic violence, murder, animal maulings, armed robbery, etc. California has a rich crime history and I’m glad this show doesn’t confine itself to one type of crime.

Other than fantastic content, I really appreciate the presentation. Roseanne has a lovely, relaxing, calm voice and speaks with such compassion and respect for the victims. Things are presented factually with Roseanne’s opinion occasionally tossed in. Roseanne also takes time to explain things/situations that may not be common knowledge and to speak on important issues related to each case. (Examples include: mental health, domestic violence, breed-specific legislation, etc.) Nearly every episode has a detailed, appropriate, and compassionately worded content warning which is really helpful for all listeners.

In early episodes, the audio can be somewhat rough and episodes were sometimes hard to hear on my mobile phone (the primary way I listen to podcasts), but the audio gets better as the episodes progress and Roseanne’s voice becomes easier to hear.

A few episodes I recommend include: “The Tale of Apres Moi le Deluge” (all about the murder of Gianni Versache; perfect for those who are following the current season of American Crime Story.); “The Tale of the Victim Blame Game” (all about Bonnie Lee Bakley and Robert Blake.); “The Tale of the Presa Canario” (all about a dog mauling incident; I had not previously heard of this case or this dog breed, so I was really fascinated to learn about all of it.); “The Tale of Dana Plato” (an episode all about the actress best known for her role on the television show Diff’rent Strokes; a perfect episode for pop-culture and television fans.); and the newest episode, “The Tale of Sexting, Shaming, Bullying, and Audrie” (all about the 2012 death by suicide of high school student Audrie Pott.) Though I’ve only singled out these few episodes, no matter what episode you pick — there is an episode that speaks to you and for you to fall in love with.


Film Roast


From the catchy theme tune and upbeat hosts (Hannah and Julia), I knew I would really like this show. Admittedly, I had to skip around to avoid spoilers for movies I haven’t seen yet (lookin’ at you, The Last Jedi episode). Film Roast is a fun show that will make you think you’re talking with your friends about pretty much anything and everything pop culture has to offer.

I started with an episode set called, “I Know a Lot of Deadpools” (Parts 1 & 2), and contrary to the episode title it’s all about coming of age films which is something of a guilty pleasure of mine, so I can recommend these episodes and many of the films mentioned in them (Mean Girls, Princess Bride, Sandlot…just to name a few). They get on tangents a lot, which I totally appreciated because I am a queen of tangents. I also really appreciate a good episode with good guest hosts and hearing Steven from Is This Adulting? was such a treat because I also enjoy that podcast and appreciate a great crossover!

In addition to full episodes, Film Roast also has episode categories called “Mini Movie Moments” and “Coffee Corner”. These episodes are shorter (around 30 minutes in length) and more informal. My first experience with a “Coffee Corner” episode was one all about Taylor Swift, who used to be a guilty pleasure of mine — I can’t lie. I can’t agree with the hosts about being in love with Taylor Swift’s single “Look What You Made Me Do”, but I can really appreciate hearing their process of how they came to love the song and like how Swift is taking her career from this point.

My two favourite “Coffee Corner” episodes are the ones titled “Assault in Hollywood” and “Ed Kemper is the Worst (Mindhunter)”. “Assault in Hollywood” is all about all of the light being shed on people in power using that power to assault others in Hollywood/the film industry. I really appreciated this episode because it was well-spoken and positive, while affirming to the victims/survivors who are speaking out and also those who choose to remain silent. “Ed Kemper is the Worst (Mindhunter)” was a fun episode for me because I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to a non-true crime podcast about both Ed Kemper and Mindhunter, so I really appreciated getting more of a pop culture read on the show instead of just staying in the true crime world. Also, in the spirit of “Coffee Corner” I have to tell you what caffeine I’ve consumed today: one cup of black coffee with a bit of salt rather than sugar.

For “Mini Movie Moments” I have to recommend the episode titled, “The Exorcist (1973)” because it’s all Hannah and Julia talking about their experience watching The Exorcist for the first time; I absolutely love hearing about people seeing a film for the first time and The Exorcist is one of my favourite films, so it’s like this episode was absolutely made for me.

Overall, this podcast is well put together and a ton of fun to listen to; it was like sitting down with friends and just shooting the breeze about pop culture and life. I definitely recommend you give this podcast a go and add it to your subscriptions.