Podcasts are an incredibly personal medium -- we often listen to them alone, usually on headphones, with hosts’ voices sounding like they’re inside our own heads. They keep us company and change how we see the world. There’s that intimacy, and also the specificity of taste. From comedy to true crime, from documentaries to fiction, podcasts span a huge range of genres and styles.
And in each style, what makes a podcast great varies: the carefully doled out storytelling of suspense, the sparking rapport of comedy, the insightfulness of criticism, the unexpected adventures of strange investigations. The great thing about podcasts is that they encompass it all. But god, that makes it hard to write a best-of list.
But to chart the podcasts of 2017, I turned to the people whose opinions I trust most: the makers of my favorite podcasts. I asked them what podcasts they loved most in 2017. Here are their answers: