'It's one big conversation': The unstoppable rise of the TV podcast

Popular series include the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show Buffering; A Cast of Kings, about Game of Thrones; The West Wing Weekly; Star Trek: The Next Conversation; and the recently launched Fake Doctors, Real Friends, aboutScrubs. The biggest podcasts pull in lucrative sponsorship deals – Talking Sopranos is sponsored by Bose – and often spin off into live events. “So much of our lives have moved online that the whole conversation around the water cooler about last night’s TV doesn’t really happen any more,” explains the journalist and podcaster Joanna Robinson, the co-host of A Cast of Kings and Decoding Westworld. The big perk of rewatch podcasts is that they hark back to that unity.” Some TV recap podcasts engage with shows that are currently airing, although these are less common, with many made directly by broadcasters themselves, such as Netflix of the BBC, or focused on huge TV phenomenons. “Iconic shows become iconic because they stand the test of time and take on new meaning in changing political, cultural, and personal landscapes,” says Russo. Schirripa tells me that he was motivated to start Talking Sopranos because he felt frustrated by the quality of other podcasts dedicated to the show. “People want to feel that they’re friends who are talking with each other, and that we’re all having onebigconversation together.” In the age of coronavirus, TV podcasts about cult, long-running shows are also a powerful form of escapism.