TIME podcasts

7 Great Podcasts To Get Hooked On Now That Serial’s Over

Sarah Koenig
Sarah Koenig, host and executive producer of Serial Meredith Heuer

Serial is over (for now)—but there’s no reason to kick your addiction to downloadable stories.

Anyone who’s ever heard a public radio pledge drive knows that a “driveway moment” is when the show you’re listening to is so good, you’ll sit parked in your car until it’s over. Now, with great podcasts flooding the digital airwaves, downloadable stories have spread “driveway moments” all over the world — to gyms, subways, kitchens, and, well, more driveways.

Serial, the weekly podcast that explored the murder of a young Baltimore woman, was the most recent show to capture everyone’s ears. The last episode of Serial’s first season dropped Thursday, but there are a lot of other great podcasts worth a listen.

Here are seven podcasts to tide Serial fans over until the show returns for a second season:

Slate’s Serial Spoilers

Can’t get enough of Serial? Neither could the folks at Slate Magazine, who created a complimentary podcast to discuss and dissect the details of each week’s episode. Designed to be listened to following the corresponding episode of Serial, this show is also weekly, and features hosts David Haglund and Katy Waldman nit-picking over the case’s finer points, as well as how Serial’s producer Sarah Koenig has crafted the narrative. (Warning: Spoilers, obviously).

Welcome to Night Vale

Part Twilight Zone part A Prairie Home Companion, this fictional, bi-weekly podcast takes the form of radio broadcasts to the Southwestern desert town of Night Vale, where eerie (and often humorous) occurrences pop up all the time. Performed by a central narrator (or news reporter) named Cecil, the show has periodic guest voices, winding, recurring storylines, and — even better, for new listeners — almost 60 episodes under its belt (and counting) to binge on before you get throttled by its first and 15th of the month broadcast schedule.


Digging deep into the areas where the law doesn’t dare tread, this podcast talks to everyone from cooks to coroners in its pursuit of the story. From tales of the mysterious — like the Venus flytrap kidnapping ring — to cold-blooded drive-by shootings, these episodes, which last around 20 minutes each, will keep you on the edge of your seat, while locking you in with masterful, expert-level audio production. It’s true crime at its finest.

Thrilling Adventure Hour

This highly entertaining, live recorded podcast evokes the golden age of radio through a variety of segments, including fictional ads, one-off sketches and periodic updates from recurring stories, like the tales of diva detective Desdemona Hughes, the campy adventures of Captain Laserbeam, and the story of a time-traveling Amelia Earhart who faked her death.

Packed with cameos by voices you’d no doubt recognize, like Joe Mantegna, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alison Brei, it’s a great way to see (well, listen to) your favorite actors in a whole new light. But get it while you can — sadly, after 10 years of monthly shows, the Thrilling Adventure Hour will be ending in April 2015.

Here Be Monsters

Unpredictable, dark, and absolutely enthralling, this podcast sets out to explore the unknown and does so with a great staff of radio producers from literally all over the world (one even lives in Antarctica). In its most popular episode, the show follows a woman who, in the wake of losing her daughter, seeks alternative treatment for her extreme grief by taking highly powerful hallucinogens that can only be found in the Amazon rainforest. Other episodes are also strange trips, from explorations of white supremacist churches to covering the ways that crows mourn their dead, they take listeners down unexpected avenues, to places where they’d never venture otherwise.

This American Life

Arguably the radio show that launched the entire genre of podcasts, this public radio show launched Serial as a spin-off, but had considerable success on its own for more than 15 years. In that time, it’s put out more than 500 episodes and given the world fantastic stories by Ira Glass (the show’s host), David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, Mike Birbiglia, Jon Ronsom, and others. Its top-notch audio production has been aped by many podcasts since, but none have ever matched its popularity. In fact, while weekly episodes of This American Life are available for download, past episodes can be accessed through the show’s official app, something few other podcasts can boast.

How Did This Get Made?

A bit off topic from the true crime and great story podcasts listed above, this weekly comedy download takes an up-close, highly-critical, and wickedly funny look at terrible flicks that Hollywood pumps out, and rips them to hilarious shreds. Hosted by Paul Scheer and packed full of guests like Adam Scott, Dan Harmon, and Amy Schumer, the host and guests dissect films like Pamela Anderson’s Barb Wire, Miley Cyrus’s LOL, and even Sylvester Stallone’s classic, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. And since there’s no stopping the movie industry from making bombs like these, you can’t expect this podcast, soon to be in its fifth year, to quit any time soon.

Read next: Everything We Know as Serial’s Season One Ends

TIME movies

Texas Theater to Show Team America After Sony Pulls The Interview


Movie makes light of previous North Korean leader

If you can’t make fun of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, might as well have some fun at the expense of his late father Kim Jong Il. That’s the approach being taken by a Texas movie theater, which will screen Team America: World Police after Sony cancelled the Christmas Day release of The Interview amid threats of attacks, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A representative of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Dallas/Fort Worth location said the theater is “trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation.” Sony cancelled the release of The Interview after hackers, potentially linked to North Korea, threatened 9/11-style attacks on theaters that showed the movie, which depicts a fictional assassination plot against Kim Jong Un. North Korea has denied being behind the hack against Sony.

The 2004 movie Team America, in which all the characters are marionette puppets, depicts Kim Jong Il as a terrorist mastermind taken down by American counterterrorism fighters.


TIME Music

Madonna Calls New Album Leak ‘A Form of Terrorism’

56th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Singer Madonna arrives at the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer—FilmMagic

The pop star took to social media to blast hackers

Madonna did not respond well to the news that eleven songs from her upcoming album had been leaked. The album, which was still without an official title or release date, was leaked earlier this week, prompting the pop star to vent on social media.

“This is artistic rape!! These are early leaked demos, half of which won’t even make it on my album,” Madonna wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post on Wednesday. “The other half have changed and evolved.” She continued: “This is a form of terrorism. Wtf!!!! Why do people want to destroy artistic process??? Why steal? Why not give me the opportunity to finish and give you my very best?”

She also posted a less angry message to Instagram, thanking fans for their “loyalty”:


TIME Music

Taylor Swift Says Other Artists Thanked Her For Pulling Her Music From Spotify

49th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards - Arrivals
Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift attends the 49th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas. Jason Merritt—Getty Images

The 25-year-old pop star says she made the right decision

Taylor Swift may have caused waves when she pulled her catalogue of music — including this year’s album 1989 — from the streaming service Spotify, but there was one group who applauded the decision: other musicians.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Swift explains that she was surprised by the media-storm over her decision, though she ultimately realized she’d made the right choice. “I didn’t think that it would be shocking to anyone,” Swift told THR. “With as many ways as artists are personalizing their musical distribution, it didn’t occur to me that this would be anything that anyone would talk about. But I could never have expected so many text messages, emails and phone calls from other artists, writers and producers saying thank you.”

She doesn’t elaborate if one of those artists was Kendrick Lamar — whom Swift wishes she “was best friends with” — though their mutual admiration for one another is well-documented.


TIME Television

Offline Viewing Is ‘Never Going to Happen’ Netflix Executive Says

Netflix Illustrations Ahead Of Earnings
The Netflix website and logo are displayed on laptop computers arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2014 Bloomberg/Getty Images


You won’t be able to watch Netflix without an Internet connection. Ever.

“It’s never going to happen,” said Cliff Edwards, the video-streaming site’s director of corporate communications and technology, speaking to TechRadar about the possibility of offline viewing.

A few other streaming services do offer the ability to download shows and then view them without Internet access, but Edwards said Netflix is of the view that downloadable content is “a short-term fix for a bigger problem” of wi-fi access and quality.

The Netflix top brass fully expects both those things to improve significantly in the near future, and Edwards opined that the concept of offline viewing may be a thing of the past as early as five years from now.


TIME White House

Obama Tells America to ‘Go to the Movies’

After Sony pulled The Interview amid threads

In an interview with ABC News that aired Wednesday, President Barack Obama addressed the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. He recognized the severity of the situation, but suggested people still go to the movies.

“Well, the cyber attack is very serious,” Obama said. “We’re investigating it. We’re taking it seriously. You know, we’ll be vigilant. If we see something that we think is serious and credible, then we’ll alert the public. But for now, my recommendation would be that people go to the movies.” Moviegoers, however, won’t be able to see the film believed to be at the center of it all: The Interview.

Unknown hackers recently broke into Sony’s computer system and released sensitive information: emails, Social Security numbers, salary figures, projects in development, etc. It was thought to be a move against Sony’s Kim Jong-un-assassination comedy, The Interview. On Tuesday, that thought was confirmed. The hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack against those going to see the film, prompting Sony tocancel its release. Shortly after, it was revealed that the North Korean government was “centrally involved” in the attack.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME movies

This is President Obama’s Favorite Movie of 2014

President Obama Speaks At White House Hanukkah Reception
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Hanukkak Party, December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

The film has already won lots of awards, but perhaps none so fine as the leader the free world's approval

Like everyone else, the President of the United States of America likes to relax with a movie sometimes. And he has a favorite for 2014: Boyhood.

Boyhood was a great movie,” he told People, in a joint interview with Michelle Obama. “That, I think, was my favorite movie this year.”

The movie has been nominated for five Golden Globes, including best picture, and has so far routed this season’s film awards circuit, picking up all kinds of accolades.

The president also talks to People about his current favorite book, the videos his daughters show him online, and “the most astonishing Vine” he saw this year. It involves, naturally, Michelle — plus, a turnip.

Read more at People

TIME celebrities

Rapper Bobby Shmurda Has Been Arrested in New York City

Bobby Shmurda is seen at Jimmy Kimmel Live on Dec. 8, 2014, in Los Angeles RB—Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

He was picked up while outside a recording studio on Seventh Avenue

Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda was arrested in New York City on Wednesday, in connection with an investigation into street violence and drug trafficking in the city’s outer borough.

Shmurda, whose real name is Ackquille Pollard, was taken into custody by investigators as he sat in his car outside Quad Recording Studios on Seventh Avenue, the New York Times reported.

The 20-year-old rapper has increasingly had run-ins with law enforcement this year, having been arrested for possession of an illegal firearm in June followed by an October arrest for possession of marijuana. Both arrests took place in Brooklyn, where the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City is conducting an investigation along with the New York Police Department’s newly formed Brooklyn South Violence Reduction Task Force.

More than 12 others have been arrested as part of the investigation, and authorities said further details and charges would be unsealed in court on Thursday.


Read next: The 10 Most Surprising Breakout Hits of 2014

TIME movies

See Which 25 Movies Will Be Added to the National Film Registry in 2014

Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi
This handout photo provided by Universal Studios and the Library of Congress shows Jeff Bridges as “The Dude,” left, hanging out at the bowling alley with his buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) in "The Big Lebowski." Associated Press

This year's selection brings the total number of films in the registry to 650

Twenty-five films will be added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress this year.

Titles include Steven Speiberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Ethan Cohen’s The Big Lebowski and the original 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Film Registry chooses movies that are at least 10 years old and which are considered “cultural, historical or aesthetic cinematic treasures.”

“By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history,” said James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress.

For a full list of the films read more at LA Times.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser