Podsauce MVPs 2021: our favorite pop culture podcasts of the year

round up December 16, 2021

If you’re a pop culture vulture and enjoy catching up on entertainment news as much as we do at Podsauce, this Most Valued Podcasts list is for you. This year, we devoured updates in an engaging music commentary series. We binged a podcast about the life and times of music legend Selena Quintanilla. For candid chats about life and more, we heard insight from a YouTuber and had a front-row seat to comedian Marc Maron’s fascinating conversations with all-star guests.

We learned about the lives of the rich and famous in a series that recently covered the Gucci murder and tuned into a comedic podcast from the hilarious Nicole Byer exploring relationships.

Check out our favorite pop culture shows from 2021:

Anything for Selena

Listen to ‘Anything for Selena’

“Anything for Selena” host Maria Garcia mourned the loss of her idol, Selena Quintanilla, after she was murdered in 1995. At the time of Selena’s death, Maria lived on the Mexican-American border and was swept up in the chaos and anger following the tragedy. WBUR’s podcast is a tale of love, loss, and memory, told from Maria’s perspective. Maria also walks listeners through Selena’s career and the impact she left on the world, breaking barriers, bringing Tejano music to a broad audience, and more. We recommend streaming all 20 episodes from the very beginning. It’s a bingeable series, with each episode under 30 minutes long.

Popcast

Listen to ‘Popcast’

The New York Times presents “Popcast,” a music commentary series hosted by pop music critic Jon Caramanica. Episodes feature guests to share critiques, news updates, releases, and trends. Recent episodes commemorated Stephen Sondheim, explored Taylor Swift‘s re-recordings, Adele’s 30, Ye’s Donda, and the rise of Hyperpop. After the Astroworld tragedy, an episode investigated mosh pits and how “raging” came to Hip-Hop. Since 2006, “Popcast” has released over 300 episodes. Check out episodes under 90 minutes long.

Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain

Listen to ‘Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain’

Emma Chamberlain creates a podcast in addition to YouTubing, social media influencing, and working on other creative projects. In her candid podcast episodes, hear insight on topics like friendships, the holidays, travel tips, mental health, and more. Since 2019, Ramble’s “Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain” has released over 90 episodes and posts weekly updates.

WTF with Marc Maron

Listen to ‘WTF with Marc Maron’

We’ve seen “WTF with Marc Maron” trending most of this year! It’s no wonder comedian Marc Maron is at the top of his podcasting game by interviewing all-star guests like former President Barack Obama, actor/singer Jennifer Hudson, director Ridley Scott, George Clooney, and Dr. Jane Goodall – just to name a few. We were so jazzed about this series, we rounded up several stand-out episodes over the summer. Since 2009, “WTF with Marc Maron” has released over 60 episodes, averaging 80 minutes long. Tune in for new, weekly episodes.

Even the Rich

Listen to ‘Even the Rich’

“Even the Rich” is now in its 21st season, unpacking the lives of the rich and famous with hosts Brooke Siffrinn and Aricia Skidmore-Williams! Last month, we listened to 4 episodes all about the true crime story “Murder in the House of Gucci.” Recent episodes wondered if Pete Davidson can keep up with Kim Kardashian, recapped Britney Spears‘ birthday trip with her fiancé, and shared predictions for Kristen Stewart’s wedding. Last season, listeners heard about the notorious Murdochs. Check out over 90 episodes now streaming, with the average run time under an hour long.

Why Won’t You Date Me? with Nicole Byer

Listen to ‘Why Won’t You Date Me? with Nicole Byer’

We are blessed with Nicole Byer’s three current podcasts, including Team Coco’s “Why Won’t You Date Me? with Nicole Byer.” On this series, Nicole invites fellow comedians, guests, and exes to explore why people won’t date her. Since 2017, Nicole and co. have shared relationship advice and dished on their love lives. Guests have included Raven-Symoné, Tiffany Haddish, Randy Jackson, Bowen Yang, and Conan O’Brien, just to name a few. Tune in for new, weekly episodes, running under 90 minutes long.

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