On this episode of Podsauce, Dax and Alesha are joined by Kate Casey: reality television connoisseur and host of “Reality Life with Kate Casey.”
First, Alesha and Dax have some new podcast picks for the week. Alesha starts it off by blowing our minds with “Son of a Hitman,” a podcast conducting a real-time investigation into the murders, crimes, and conspiracies of Charles Harrelson. That name sound familiar? Well, Charles is the father to actor Woody Harrelson. The podcast digs into his crimes, speaking with actor Brett Harrelson, confronting a man who allegedly hired Harrelson, going through the FBI’s files on Harrelson, and trying to make sense Charles Harrelson’s story. Along the way, the host uncovers new evidence at the risk of Harrelson’s co-conspirators’ wrath.
Dax can’t fully take credit for his pick this week, as it was first suggested by Sidney O’Reilly of the “We Regret To Inform You” podcast. This week, he’s been particularly enamored by Esther Perel once again, specifically in her podcast “How’s Work? with Esther Perel.” Not unlike her other popular podcast “Where Do We Begin? with Esther Perel,” this podcast instead explores coworkers relationships with each other, their bosses, and their jobs.
Kate Casey is thrilled to join Alesha and her old friend Dax, who has actually been featured on “Reality Life with Kate Casey.” As you may have guessed, “Reality Life” is all about unscripted television. From reality television like 90 Day Fiancé to documentaries and docuseries that are sweeping the nation (à la Tiger King). Casey interviews past and current stars, producers, and directors of unscripted television’s greatest shows, and gives us old (but gold) reality shows that should be on our watch list.
Dax and Alesha are quick to point out what a brilliant idea the show is due to the popularity of unscripted shows, and Casey recalls when she first pitched her show to a podcast studio. She told them that she wanted to go out and find past reality television stars and interview them about how their lives were changed because of it. The studio was hesitant and asked her if enough people liked reality TV to give her podcast any audience. Well, now “Reality Life with Kate Casey” is one of the most listened-to and top rated podcasts of all time.
She tells us about one of her all-time favorite reality shows, titled My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé. The show’s premise was that a young woman had a week to convince her family that her fake fiancé was real. If they got to the wedding at the end of the week and the family was convinced that this relationship was legitimate, she would get one million dollars. And the twist? Unbeknownst to the bride-to-be, the fake fiancé was an actor, and he was determined to be the most horrific fiancé the family could possibly come in contact with.
Casey loves to give show recommendations and pull people out of their Bachelor or Real Housewives rut. She recommends the Joe-Schmo Show, which actually starred Kristen Wiig before she was Kristen Wiig, and the early seasons of 90 Day Fiancé.
As for podcasts, Casey is obsessed with Spotify Studios’ “Heavyweight,” a podcast in which host Jonathan Goldstein helps people overcome what’s been weighing on their hearts. She says that every episode is different, but equally hilarious and poignant, ranging from an ex-sorority sister who wants to find out why she was kicked out of her sorority, to a couple tracking down their daughter that they had put up for adoption.
Before she goes, she heavily recommends Alesha, a documentary lover, listen to her episode, “Ep. 254 – The Last Dance Review on ESPN,” about ESPN’s docuseries on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. In the episode, she interviewed Jordan’s biographer, who in turn had interviewed Kobe Bryant about what Jordan had said about him. She also recommends to Alesha “Ep. 228 – Chris Herren, ESPN’s 30 For 30,” about the documentary Unguarded.
To wrap it all up with a nice little bow, Dax shares his Done In A Day podcast pick. “Dolly Parton’s America” is a nine-episode odyssey into the Dollyverse. With intense divisions exposing delicate fissures in America’s foundation, the one thing we can all seem to agree on is Dolly Parton. Her music, her humanitarianism, and her story: from growing up dirt poor in a family of 12 in the Eastern Tennessee mountains to becoming the most beloved and recognizable figure on the planet. Host Jad Abumrad dives into a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of the icon.