Photo Illustration by Kenneth Bachor for TIME
By Eliana Dockterman
May 26, 2017

Podcasts are experiencing yet another renaissance in 2017. Missing Richard Simmons and S-Town filled the Serial-shaped gap in true crime fans’ hearts, even while they stirred controversy. When it came to interviews, hosts coaxed revelations out of the likes of Kevin Durant, Alec Baldwin and Barry Jenkins. A handful of podcasts helped process the election: A New York Times journalist talked about environmental concerns with a coal miner; three women in the media reported from the Women’s March; and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson called listeners to action. Finally, debuts of new podcasts like the LGBTQ podcast Nancy and Tavi Gevinson’s much-awaited Rookie set Twitter a-tweeting. Here are the best episodes of the year so far.

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