Illustration by Isha Khanzode.

Illustration by Isha Khanzode.

Podcast: Cavern of Secrets

Cavern of Secrets is a podcast hosted by comedian Lauren Mitchell for Hazlitt magazine. Thanks to its title, inspired by Carly Rae Jepsen lyrics, I was immediately sold. But it also features a killer roster of guests, including comics artist Jillian Tamaki, musician/actor Carrie Brownstein, writer Kyrell Grant, and other incredible people. The episodes so far have touched on such topics as internet harassment, the brilliance of often under-appreciated Canadian television shows, making art for yourself, and the idea of a VH1 show based on B.o.B’s #FlatEarth tweets. The unifying factor from episode to episode is that they all feature extraordinary women.

Cavern of Secrets feels like having dinner with your coolest, most intelligent friends without the anxiety that often ensues when living it in real-time because of its temporality. While many of the women featured in the podcast are people whose work I have long admired, my interaction with them has existed solely on a page or screen, where I am unable to literally hear them describe their ideas and experiences. It’s refreshing to understand these women through their own voices, rather than filled with my perspective and projections as I read. Being able to access their wisdom and humor on this podcast is a sweet gift. —Rachel Davies

Web Series: Her Story

Her Story is a recently released six-episode web series centered primarily around the lives of two trans women, Violet and Paige, as they navigate life and love in Los Angeles. It follows the triumphs and trials they face on the reg, but it’s also not afraid to open up dialogue about darker realities: prejudice, homelessness, and the experience of being outed against one’s will, to name a few. The show actively focuses on stories that don’t have the level of exposure they deserve, and the supporting characters are almost entirely LGBTQ+. Each episode is wonderfully brief; the entire series, which can be completed in one sitting, crams so much vibrancy into every second. Her Story will break your heart and then tape it back together a million times, in the best possible way. —Victoria Chiu

Podcast: Limetown

If you like the podcast Serial or classic sci-fi like The X-Files—and especially if you love both of them the way I do—then you need to check out Limetown immediately. This fictional podcast follows an investigative reporter named Lia Haddock as she looks into what happened at Limetown, a town/research facility in rural Tennessee where all of the residents COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED. While she searches for clues and speaks with survivors, she begins to piece together exactly what kind of research was going on at Limetown. You learn how it affected the people there; how it could ultimately change the human race as we know it; and what really happened to the hundreds of men, women, and children who vanished. (Fair warning: As Lia gets closer to the truth, she receives scary threats.) Even though the podcast is fictional, the story feels so real that it left my heart pounding. Lia’s paranoia became my paranoia, and I had to know what happened next! I powered through the first season in a week and texted several friends, begging them to listen because I needed to talk about it. Like the best science-fiction stories, it left me with so many questions and theories. I can’t wait for the second season. —Stephanie Kuehnert ♦