30 for 30 podcasts are amazing, especially their limited series. I've really enjoyed the limited podcasts on the yoga guru Bikram and the basketball team owner Donald Sterling - there's excellent reporting going on. Their most recent mini-series called Heavy Medals discusses the influence of Bela and Martha Karolyi on gymnastics. It starts all the way back when they met in Romania and married, coached the Romanian athletes, then fled to the US, and their successive success with the Team USA.
The historical information early on was super riveting. I really thought the interviews with former Romanian athletes were fascinating, especially since it's not something I really know about. I wish the ending episodes had talked a bit more about what the future of American women's gymnastics looks like without the Karolyis in it, but overall this was quite strong.
Clotheshorse is a podcast about the fashion industry - why things cost what the do, how things are made, and why it's important. Hosted by Amanda Lee McCarty, this podcast touches on fast fashion, dumb satin bows on undergarments, and how what we're wearing is polluting the world and killing Mother Earth. McCarty's main argument seems to be that we vote with our dollars, so if we want there to be a world left for our kids, we need to use those dollars wisely when purchasing clothing. As someone who thinks endlessly about the clothes I wear, I'm finding this fascinating. Also, it's new, so there isn't a giant intimidating back catalog to go through.
Reveal always does such excellent reporting, and, equally important, excellent storytelling. This last month brought me so much awesome Reveal content that I can hardly contain myself. The episode called "And Old Hate Goes Viral" is all about the disgusting consequences of a president who says racist things. As Trump calls it the "Chinese virus," Asian Americans suffer the consequences of getting spit and coughed on, yelled at, and otherwise harassed. I sort of knew that this was happening, in theory, but to hear firsthand accounts was horrifying.
Reveal is also in the middle of a limited series called American Rehab that is all about how a type of drug treatment has taken over. From early days of drug treatment to "work therapy" in 2020, this series is eye-opening and shocking.
The Indicator does short stories about the economy. The episode "How Rural Texas Hospitals are Fighting Covid-19" really touched me. It was mostly an interview with the man who runs TORCH, the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals and, at one point the interviewer asked him if it would be better if smaller hospitals closed and consolidated resources to larger hospitals and the guy was explaining that would cost lives since so many people live hours away from large cities. Rural lives aren't worth less. And man did I feel that sentence.