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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: Fur and Loathing

An exceptionally named miniseries is the headline act

11:00 AM GMT+1 on May 15, 2024

    Welcome to this week's Recommendation Engine from Podcast Rex, rounding up the week in podcast reviews. Get this in an email each week by signing up to be a supporter of Podcast Rex from £3.99.

    Apple Podcasts New & Noteworthy:

    Spotify New & 🔥

    The week’s most talked about release is Fur and Loathing:

    • James Marriott in the Times - “Nicky Woolf is outraged that so many people failed to see the humanity (animality?) of the victims. Just because you get sexual or nonsexual thrills from dressing up as a kinky purple hedgehog doesn’t mean it’s OK for people to attack you with chlorine gas — which, he reminds listeners, is a terrifyingly dangerous substance. He’s quite right, of course.”
    • Fiona Sturges in the FT - “Woolf and his team unearth police and FBI reports in an attempt to find the culprit of the attack. What becomes apparent is that there was a disinclination at the time to take it seriously, with investigators shrugging it off as a prank. Woolf plays back some of the media reports from 2014; suffice to say, there is a lot of sniggering. Imagine the difference in response, he says, had the target been a Sunday school.”
    • Miranda Sawyer in the Observer - “The 2014 FurFest attack was the biggest chemical weapons attack on US soil in 50 years. And those costumes don’t offer much protection. A strangely gripping show that uncovers more than you might imagine.”

    Patricia Nicol & Clair Woodward in the Sunday Times

    • The Price of Paradise - “What makes this story such a bingeable listen is not only Gaskin’s determinedly selfish naivety, but Alice Levine’s arch narration.”
    • The Bachelor of Buckingham Palace - “The women, who were depicted as airheads, claim they were continually manipulated. This podcast reveals how the women were duped and what happened to the man they thought was Prince Harry.”
    • Split Screen: Kid Nation - “It is the testimonies of the former contestants — who are now adults and still shocked by the fast-and-loose manipulation by the TV execs who were in loco parentis, — that makes this riveting.”
    • Blame it on the Fame: Milli Vanilli - “Another tragic tale of how entertainment can ruin lives.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Happily Never After: Dan and Nancy - “In this dark, juicy series, host Heidi Thretheway – who was in Nancy’s writing club – now asks: were the investigating detectives confusing Nancy’s fiction with reality, or had she acted out her novels in real life?”
    • What Happened in Alabama - “It’s vital to uncover the lasting impact of slavery and segregation, and Hawkins does it powerfully.”
    • Chasing Boaz Manor - “Nobody likes a crypto con merchant, so this tale of hard-working hustler Boaz Manor is particularly delicious.”
    • Everything I Know About Me: Gemma Collins - “This five-part podcast is designed to squeeze out every detail of her life story and Collins delivers in a way that fans will appreciate, tempering heartache with quotability.”
    • Home Sleuth - “True-crime podcasts aren’t in short supply, but what happens when you remove the host and let the amateur sleuths speak for themselves?”

    Highlights from the Radio Times’ ARIAs special

    • How Do You Cope? - “My generation of men did not speak of stress… Elis James and John Robins are cut of a different cloth.”
    • Rob Burrow Seven, Meets… - “Rob Burrow’s comment that ‘having this disease doesn’t mean I don’t have a voice’ rings true”.”
    • The Sisters - “One of the finest audio serials released last year.”

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • American Friction - “From the makers of The Bunker, Oh God, What Now? and the newspaper review podcast Paper Cuts, ‘American Friction’ looks ahead to the US elections with wit and warmth.”
    • It Was What It Was - “Soccer oracles Jonathan Wilson and Rob Draper take a look back at some of the most notable events in football history.”
    • Intrigue: To Catch a Scorpion - “Exploring people smuggling and in particular, the organised crime gangs who earn millions from transporting migrants across the English channel and the implications for those who risk their lives on these journeys.”
    • I'm Not Your Soigneur! - “What is life really like when your partner is a professional athlete? Can home life ever be considered to be normal?”
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