Black Frasier With Phoebe Robinson
Phoebe & Hasan Minhaj Got Their Degrees, But Does Anyone Care?
It appears that Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens) is ready to sling some advice with her new podcast, the title of which implies the cocoa-colored equivalent to Kelsey Grammer’s sitcom psychiatrist. (The late comic Patrice O’Neal did a similar stint when he assumed the role of an African-American Dr. Phil on The Black Phillip Show.) In the latest episode, Robinson speaks to Hasan Minhaj, whose Netflix show Patriot Act was unfortunately canceled recently, about the pros and cons of going to college; a recent Patriot Act episode even discussed whether or not college was still worth it in 2020. It’s quite the sobering convo, as Robinson and Minhaj both discuss their college experiences, specifically their post-collegiate experiences (paying off student debt, looking for jobs as degree-holders, etc.) They close the show by answering listeners’ questions about college, reminding people that if you take the plunge — especially during these abysmal, quarantined times—your noggin better be ready for it. [Craig D. Lindsey]
Don’t Ask Tig
In her new podcast, comedian Tig Notaro declares that she is in no way qualified to offer anyone advice about their lives, but she’s going to do it anyway. Every episode features Notaro and a special guest reading listener-submitted queries about everything from work to love and doing their best to answer them without ruining anybody’s life. This week sees fellow comedian and professional cake disparager Nicole Byer stopping by to offer guidance to the lost. Naturally, with the world being what it is, many of the questions deal with the subject of loneliness, and one of the pleasures of this podcast is the contrast between Notaro’s and the guests’ wildly different approaches. Byer attacks things with a proactive pragmatism by offering simple but useful advice like taking up hobbies to meet people. Notaro, on the other hand, can sometimes jump the rails by advising listeners to cut their own hair without a mirror and advocating the adoption of 17 long-haired wiener dogs. Though both approaches are valid, it is Byer who offers the single most important piece of advice in the episode: Always ask for more money. [Anthony D Herrera]
Forties AF, a new sitcom podcast by Tanisha Quilter-Williams, focuses on three Black single women navigating the world of sex and dating, but also navigating the expectations that the world has for women of a certain age. Protagonists Hope, Chanise, and Brianna each live fairly normal lives (though Hope, with a career in entertainment reporting, is perhaps the standout)—they’re all relatable, but also unique and fascinating, as any good sitcom allows. From the first episode, it’s clear that they each have rich histories outside of what the audience hears: Through the series’ delightful combination of narration and diegetic dialogue, we learn the various characters’ perspectives on life and love in a tone that bounces around from sweet and tender to hilarious and raunchy. If you’re looking for something to listen to with the family, this isn’t it. The writing lands joke after joke, and the actors lean in and go goofy whenever it’s called for. Forties AF is unapologetic about being a rom-com. It’s a show that loves its genre and is made for the audience who does too. [Wil Williams]