Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Illustration: Jim Cooke / Photos: Shutterstock

Everyone should be listening to an audio drama podcast — the kind of podcast that plays out like theatre or movies or TV. Listening to podcasts without any audio dramas like watching TV without ever trying Game of Thrones or Arrested Development or Orange Is the New Black. And while the medium is about to explode with spinoffs of existing franchises, there are already dozens of great original shows to try. Here are some of the best.


Let’s start with the funny ones.

Victoriocity: Steampunk adventure comedy

A detective and a journalist run around a sci-fi Victorian London solving the murder of an inventor. If you’ve ever read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, then you will love this show. It’s good for anyone who likes genre fiction and arch British jokes. Unlike Hitchhiker’s, the plot is surprisingly meticulous.

Mission to Zyxx: Improvised space parody

A diplomatic space team fails mission after mission. I hesitate to call Zyxx a parody of Star Wars and Star Trek, because it stands on its own much better than “parody” implies. There’s a Bojack Horseman vibe to this show, where the whole world follows a mad kind of logic. While the show is made up on the spot, it’s then heavily edited and cinematically sound produced. We interviewed the creators about their process last year.

The Offensive: Snappy workplace sitcom

This is Veep but for the management team of an English football club. This is mainly a show about people insulting each other in very clever ways. While many references lean on a little knowledge of footie or of British culture, I still love it even as a sports-phobic American.

Gay Future: Wacky dystopia

“The year is 2062 and everyone is gay.” This show is buck wild. Lightly framed as Mike Pence’s failed Divergent ripoff, Gay Future follows the “straight resistance” against President Clay Aiken. The sound design and soundtrack are a treat, and the story and acting are like a cartoon for adults.

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