Picks of the week
My 90s Playlist
Another Round’s Tracy Clayton joins Akoto Ofori-Atta to rave about all things 90s, with divas, hip-hop, boybands and a bit of Céline Dion on the menu. Their nostalgia for a glossier time knows no bounds, and they dish up a whole load of music trivia while they enthuse about the classic tracks. First up is TLC’s No Scrubs, a song they decide would wear an oversized hoodie and big hoop earrings, and one that transports Clayton back to her days hanging round the mall. Backstreet Boys, Outkast and – of course – Ginuwine’s Pony follow. Hannah Verdier
Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen
From Dirty John to The Missing Cryptoqueen, scams have proved a rich seam for hit pods. For fans of a good grift tale, Chameleon delivers, with its shocking real-life story – as reported in film industry outlets including Deadline – of a woman skilled in “crushing dreams and draining bank accounts”, and targeting those at the bottom of the showbiz food chain. Just who is the scammer posing as a top film producer, and what is the motivation behind their long, strange con, which has seen victims sent on wild goose chases to Indonesia (yes, really)? Hannah J Davies
The first thing I’ll say about Wondery’s Bunga Bunga is that no matter how many times I hear it, the theme tune has never stopped morphing into the Jungle Book song I Wan’na Be Like You. I can’t help it.
That aside: after eight weeks of ludicrous stories pertaining to the infamous former Italian prime minister, I’m left wondering why on earth the country allowed Silvio Berlusconi to stay in power for as long as he did. With the odd wink and nod to the fact that Americans have also voted in a similar character, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Italians could probably have found someone else who might have provided a little less drama.
The choice of comic Whitney Cummings as host was a bizarre one that kind of worked in the end. A debate rages in the podcast community about the benefit of having a celebrity, with no connection to a story – or in this case even the country – host a narrative series. With Bunga Bunga, though, the benefit is clear. Cummings is engaging and hits the right notes when she needs to. As a producer, it’s positive to see that a host who had nothing to do with writing the script, could present it in such a natural fashion. That said, I will always question why she presented in the first place. Overall, it’s salacious listen, with good sound design – and incredible facts.
Remember Fyre Festival? The influencer-endorsed party, which turned out to be a more than apocalyptic experience for its attendees, remains one of the most brazen grifts of recent years. Founder Billy McFarland continues to capitalise on the public’s appetite for schadenfreude with a new podcast, Dumpster Fyre.