Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
The U.S. Postal Service is awesome, and <i>Secretly Incredibly Fascinating</i> aims to prove it

The U.S. Postal Service is awesome, and Secretly Incredibly Fascinating aims to prove it

PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Behold Her

Femmes Who Kickstart

Illustration for article titled The U.S. Postal Service is awesome, and iSecretly Incredibly Fascinating/i aims to prove it
Image: Apple Podcasts

With a name referencing the classic Dungeons & Dragons eyeball monster the Beholder, listeners might expect the Behold Her podcast to be particularly D&D-centric. While the main topic of discussion is tabletop role-playing games, or TTRPGs (which D&D is an iconic example of), Behold Her is ultimately about so much more. Host and producer Lysa Penrose created the podcast to showcase the varied experiences of femme TTRPG gamers as well as those who have a hand in creating the games themselves. In this episode, Penrose interviews three different creatives, all of whom independently fund their TTRPG endeavors. Banana Chan is a writer and game designer who co-founded the analog game publishing company Game And A Curry; Annie Norman runs Bad Squiddo Games, a company devoted to creating believable female gaming miniatures; and Sasha Augustine is a master resin dice maker. Listening to these entrepreneurs discuss their work and their passion for TTRPGs serves as an exhilarating reminder that creatives looking for work in the gaming world can go right ahead and build the career paths they wish to see offered within it. [Jose Nateras]


Higher Learning With Van Lathan And Rachel Lindsay 
The “WAP” Video, Dave Chappelle And Louis CK On Stage, And Biden’s Potential Running Mate 

Illustration for article titled The U.S. Postal Service is awesome, and iSecretly Incredibly Fascinating/i aims to prove it
Image: Apple Podcasts

Higher Learning, a bi-weekly pop-culture and current event podcast, is a solid go-to series with a sense of humor and a fuck-ton of candor. Lindsay, the first black lead in The Bachelor franchise, and Lathan, a former TMZ host, meet at the perfect intersection of community, politics, Bachelor Nation gossip, and sport of all sorts. The pair adroitly push and pull one another as they tease out opinions and land somewhere unexpected. This week, for example, they ask: is “WAP” an inherently feminist song? Does cancel culture really exist? Is it reasonable to expect a college football season this year? The podcast has a lot to say about a lot. But what is especially dope about this episode (and show) is its willingness to dig into the hard stuff. In one tender but unsentimental segment, Lathan shares his personal mental health journey amid the pandemic and how the issue of mental health within the black community is often overlooked, but especially now. [Morgan McNaught]


Secretly Incredibly Fascinating
U.S. Post Offices

Illustration for article titled The U.S. Postal Service is awesome, and iSecretly Incredibly Fascinating/i aims to prove it
Image: Apple Podcasts

In these turbulent times where nothing is certain and the world anxiously awaits fresh disaster, what can, say, the color gray offer anyone? According to Jeopardy! champion Alex Schmidt, quite a lot, actually. Schmidt’s new podcast is all about proving that even the most seemingly humdrum aspects of daily life are Secretly Incredibly Fascinating. In the premiere episode, Schmidt fights back against the recent attacks on the United States Postal Service by detailing all the ways in which post offices rule. He is joined by writers Caitlin Gill and Andrew Ti, who both recount their criminal run-ins with the USPS: Ti committed mail fraud to distribute fan zines in high school, while Gill just straight-up stole mail out of mailboxes as a child. Schmidt introduces listeners to unique post offices across the country, including one at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that is only accessible by donkey, as well as a ship in the Great Lakes with its own ZIP code. He also explains how the post office has ended up in its current situation and offers a ray of hope for its future. Secretly Incredibly Fascinating is a geekily fun exploration of the magic within the mundane. [Anthony D Herrera]

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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