Zack to the Future Podcast Review (2020 to 2021)

Every era and every age group has its own archetypal character that sort of sums up the creative ideas of the time.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, this character was Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar)  on Saved by the Bell. Zack was an overconfident, smooth-talking kid with a slightly used salesman con artist veneer. He had a good heart, but it wasn’t always on the surface.

Zack to the Future (2020 to 2021) is a rewatch podcast in which Gosselaar sits down with co-host Dashiell Driscoll to watch the program with adult eyes. Having never watched the show, it is an opportunity for the cast, crew, and fans to reminisce about the gang at Bayside High.

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I looked forward to this podcast every week. Gosselaar’s insight provides a unique perspective on his time playing one of television’s most well-known teenage characters. Unfortunately, it has since been canceled. But like its small screen predecessor, there are always returns.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Pod Meet World Podcast Review

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It can take you back to who you were at the moment in time. But there is also an element of understanding how the passage of time can change your perspective.

The new podcast Pod Meets World stars three actors from the 1990’s sitcom Boy Meets World. In the same vein as Zack to the Future, Danielle Fishel (Topanga), Rider Strong (Shawn), and Will Friedle (Eric) talk about their memories of making the show, watching it through adult eyes, and interviewing their costars.

This podcast is so much fun to listen to. I remember watching it as a kid and loving the program. Growing up with these characters, the experiences of my teenage years was perfectly reflected through Corey’s eyes. It was the perfect mixture of reminiscing and having the understanding of now being an adult.

What made me feel quite old was the episode with William Russ, who played the father. At the time of the show, Russ was the same age that Strong is now. Where have the last thirty years gone?

Do I recommend it? Yes.

New episodes of Pod Meet World are released every Monday and Thursday.

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The Forgotten Exodus Podcast Review

Immigration from one land to another is part and parcel of human history. Unfortunately, so are violence, expulsion, and becoming a refugee.

The new podcast, The Forgotten Exodus, tells the story of Mizrahi Jews who were either forced out of predominately Arab lands or left of their own volition. Produced by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which also produces People of the Pod, this limited series started releasing episodes this week.

Each week, the listener is introduced to one person who tells the story of their family. This person speaks both of their familial past in the land of their ancestors and their experiences living outside of that country. After this narrative is told, a historian fills in the gaps with the documented events that led to the immigration or expulsion.

When we talk about Jews, the focus is often on Ashkenazi Jews. The problem is that in doing so, we forget that Jews come from many nations and have different skin tones. This podcast rounds out the Jewish narrative and brings new colors and flavors to a tale that the listener thinks they know.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

New episodes of The Forgotten Exodus drop every Monday.

Hot and Bothered Podcast Review

The thing about a book like Pride and Prejudice is that with every reading, there is something new to discover.

The new season of the podcast Hot and Bothered is about Pride and Prejudice. Specifically, the romantic aspect of the narrative. Subtitled Live from Pemberley, hosts Vanessa Zoltan and Lauren Sandler dive into Jane Austen‘s most famous novel in bites of two chapters per episode. Reading from the text and interviewing experts whose work is related to the novel, they explore how the wider world of the time contributed to the book as a whole.

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A friend recommended this podcast and I am so glad she did. Both Zoltan and Sandler nerd out in a way that I would expect them to, but not so much that it alienates those who have not memorized every tiny detail of the story. I laughed, I learned, and best of all, I smiled.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

New episodes of Hot and Bothered are released every other Friday on various platforms.

Flashback Friday: Radiolab (2002-Present)

It has been said that curiosity killed the cat. But it also leads us to ask questions and perhaps create a better world from those questions.

The NPR and WNYC podcast, Radiolab, has been on the air since 2002. Hosted by Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser, this show uses curiosity as a launching pad for an in-depth examination of various subjects such as science, news, and history. Known for adding both sounds and music, each takes the viewer in a direction that could be both surprising and educational.

Though I don’t regularly listen to this podcast, they sometimes have interesting episodes. What I do appreciate is the unorthodox approach that is taken in both the topic and their approach to the topic.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

New episodes of Radiolab are released every Sunday.

Will Be Wild Podcast Review

The thing about news and politics is that both are ever-present in our lives. As much as we want to get away from them, we can’t.

The new eight-part podcast, Will Be Wild, is a follow-up to the WNYC podcast, Trump Inc. Hosts Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz dive into what led to January 6th and its repercussions. Using sources from different backgrounds and perspectives, Bernstein and Marritz explore the potential lasting damage and those that would overturn our democracy for the sake of power.

The podcast is amazing and so important to listen to. It once more reveals how corrupt many politicians are and how willing they are to put their own needs ahead of the people they work for and represent.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

New episodes of Will Be Wild are released every Monday.

Four Political Podcasts You Should Be Listening To (If You Aren’t Already)

Politics podcasts are a dime a dozen these days. For one to stand out, there has to be something about it that keeps them coming back every week.

The New Abnormal: Hosted by Molly Jong-Fast (daughter of author Erica Jong) and Andy Levy, the light is held up to the darkness that is threatening our country. Told with humor, guts, and a few four-letter words thrown in along the way, I feel better knowing that I am not alone in my fears for the future.

New episodes air every Tuesday and Friday.

The Meidas Touch: Started during the pandemic by the three Meiselas brothers (Ben, Brent, and Jordan), their mission is clear: save our American democracy, get rid you know who, and force the Republicans to take responsibility for what they have done.

New episodes air every Tuesday and Friday.

The Mary Trump Show: Hosted by author Mary Trump (the niece of he who shall not be named), she is not afraid to speak the truth. Seeing the world as only she can, it’s a refreshing, no-bullshit take on what is happening around us.

New episodes air every Wednesday.

Fever Dreams: Hosted by journalists Asawin Suebsaeng and Will Sommer, the purpose of this podcast is to call out certain persons and political parties who are using our long-held beliefs and norms to fit their perspective.

New episodes air every Wednesday.

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Throwback Thursday: Trump, Inc (2017-2021)

To say that the last Presidential administration was controversial and unnecessarily complicated is an understatement.

The WNYC podcast, Trump, Inc. aired from 2017 to 2021. For four years, this investigative journalism podcast delved into the lies and half-truths coming from Washington D.C. Leaving no stone unturned, the revelations of the greed, complicity, and scandal were complete and jaw-dropping.

I loved it. There was nothing superficial or flashy about the information that was reported. It was deep, real, disturbing, and solidified my opinion of you know who.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Rotten Tomatoes is Wrong (A Podcast from Rotten Tomatoes) Podcast Review

The good thing about the movies (or any art form), is that it is subjective. What one person likes, the other may not like. Which can lead to some very interesting discussions.

In the fall of 2020, the website Rotten Tomatoes released a new podcast. Entitled Rotten Tomatoes is Wrong (A Podcast from Rotten Tomatoes), hosts Mark Ellis, Jacqueline Coley, and guests take a deep dive into our favorite movies and television shows. Some are hated, some are loved, and others are somewhere in between.

I discovered this podcast recently and I am thrilled that it exists. I can hear the fun that the hosts and the guests are having. Its akin to getting together with friends and having a lively discussion about our favorite (and not so favorite) films and television shows.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Thoughts On the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre

Hate is powerful. It turns us away from the humanity of our fellow mortals and only shows us the negative stereotypes we want to see.

This past weekend was the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. It is one of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history. The Greenwood District of Tulsa, in Oklahoma was known locally as Black Wall Street. Outside of the Greenwood District, the residents knew that they would be treated as second class citizens. But inside of the district was another story. It was a vibrant and thriving community that disproved the racist ideas about African-Americans. Unfortunately, some Caucasian members of the community had their minds blown by this success and used the accusation (which has not been verified) that a black man attacked a white teenage girl.

By the time the dust settled, hundreds were dead and the neighborhood looked like a war zone. To make matters worse, it was not spoken of until recently. In light of the fact that this disgusting event has been buried, both WNYC and CNN told the story of the destruction. The new six part podcast, Blindspot: Tulsa Burning, and TV movie, Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street, told the compelling and heartbreaking story of those horrific days. I highly recommend both.

This was a pogrom. The actors and the location have changed, but the reason (if you want to call it that) and the results were the same. I wish that it had not taken a century for this country to remember and honor the memories of those who were killed. But it has. The only thing we can do is talk about it and educate our children so this never happens again.

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