One of my favorite podcasts from this last year was The Impact.
There is a new fad in podcasting where you make a short, digestible series with a finite set of episodes from the beginning. Its something like S-town, but it can be fiction or non-fiction. There were two great podcasts like that this year. The first is Bundyville by NPR, which chronicles the beginning of the Bundy family and how it led to the occupation of the Oregon bunker in 2016. Another incredible one is The Habitat, which tells the true story of six people who chose to live on a simulated “Mars” to test the viability of human interactions in a closed setting.
Another great idea podcast is The Impact which explores the consequences that laws have on real people. Its a great podcast as it treats cities and states like mini experiments in public policy and it does a good job of demonstrating the observations.
I also enjoyed some more personal podcasts - Reply All from Gimlet has a lot of original stories about interesting people. My favorite new funny podcast is Why Won’t You Date Me which is a deeply personal account of a very funny woman, Nicole Byer.
A lot of the podcasts I listened to last year are still great, and still listen to.