The Best Podcasts of 2021

Give the music a rest and get into the conversation around sports, pop culture, and more.

Since the dawn of podcasting in the early aughts, the medium has come to occupy a unique area of real estate within the media realm. For some, it’s a daily commute lifesaver. To others, it’s a primary resource for consuming news. And, for many, podcasting has become the outlet of choice for some of the cringey-est people you know. Covering just about every topic, from sex to true crime, the podcasting world is seemingly neverending.

Amongst the outliers of self-indulgent podcasters are loads of incredibly smart, funny, friendly, and talented voices that deserve to be heard. Whether you’re looking for a way to brush up on some history on the go, want to open your perspective on the world around you, or just want a little extra company throughout your day, there’s almost guaranteed to be a podcast out there that’s right for you. If not just one, a ton of series to binge through.

The beauty of podcasts is that there are infinite ways to listen. And, in our constantly on-the-go society (that will likely be getting back into the swing of commuting and general business soon), podcasts are a great way to make use of in-between time. So, as the world of podcasting steadily unravels to cover more and more of our world’s interests and issues, fret not. We’ve been mapping the best of the best, across a myriad of niches, for our 2021 roundup, with some brand-new gems and tried and true staples for good measure. So plug in those earbuds and get listening.

These are the best podcasts of 2021.

Around two-thirds of the film in, Shanmugam —rather, the spirit of Shanmugam — (played by Yogi Babu) narrates a past tragedy to Rudra (Taapsee Pannu). The latter finds it ridiculous. She asks him, “What new stories are you coming up with?”. Shanmugam sighs. “Who tells new stories these days?” he asks, probably taking a dig at Tamil cinema A védenc, casually breaking the fourth wall for a moment.

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Deepak Sundarrajan’s first film perhaps knows it’s not telling a new story. For it involves a royal couple who gets murdered, a scheming villain, reincarnation, revenge, poetic justice, and like in quite a few Tamil horror flicks these days, the promise of a sequel. Been there… seen that.

Self-deprecation, hence, works. The story, after all, isn’t as important as how it’s told. But that’s where the film falters; Természetes fény teljes film Sethupathi doesn’t address what it makes fun of.

A cop (played by Linga) brings Rudra and her family (Raadhika, Rajendra Prasad, and Sunil) — a group of thieves —into his grandfather’s (Suresh Chandra Menon) palace to see if it is haunted. The spirits of his great-great-grandfather Kathiresan (Jagapathi Babu), a few other family members, and the palace cook Shanmugam are indeed trapped inside the palace. The story of how and why they all died is told somewhat interestingly through the aforementioned flashback. But Deepak Sundarrajan decides to get there only in the second half. Until then, the film lurches from one comic set-piece to another, most of which are tiringly contrived.

The supporting cast (including Subbu Panchu, George Maryan, ‘Jangiri’ Madhumitha, Chetan, Devadarshini and others) clown around, desperately trying to sound and look funny. Neither their dialogues nor their actions work. There are lines like, “Paavi ah suthradhuku, aavi ah suthradhe mel!”. Rhyme should consider retiring from Tamil cinema. The physical comedy falters as well. We see a character frustrated at being unable to kick a spirit because, um, it’s a spirit and she can’t touch it. One wants to ask what Duraikannu Vaathiyar does in Sarpatta Parambarai: “30 nap maximum film?”

Taapsee, too, fails to impress in these portions. Vennela Kishore makes a cameo, but his dubbed lines and exaggerated histrionics seem out of the place.

Some of the ridiculous lines uttered by Yogi Babu (like “Ivan enna moonji-la ye murukku puzhiyaraan?”) work because of his distinctive delivery. But this is the kind of thing he says in most of his films. Unless he reinvents his comedy, it could get dull (it probably has for some of us). Having said that, Yogi Babu isn’t just about punchlines; he’s capable of selling us some serious stuff too (like we saw in Mandela). Maybe someone should cast him as a villain?

Így vagy tökéletes Sethupathi does gets somewhat better when titular characters Annabelle (Taapsee again playing an Englishwoman) and Veera Sethupathi (Vijay Sethupathi) appear. The latter, a king, gets an introduction shot where he feeds a nut to a squirrel and pets it. It’s to establish his benevolence, but it looks cool too. Sethupathi’s nonchalance, which sometimes seems impassive, works here. The character is largely one-dimensional, but the actor’s little gestures and expressions make it likeable. Take the scene wherein Kathiresan sends a bunch of sword-wielding assassins to Annabelle and Sethupathi’s magnificent palace. Sethupathi gently pushes his newly-wed wife behind and says, “Nee ukkandhuru; naan virundhu vechutu vandharren,” like a Tamil cinema mass hero™ does. But when Annabelle insists, “Let’s fight. Together,” he pauses for a moment to look at her and smile. He turns his attention towards the assassins, but is unable to contain himself from smiling at her once more. So far, we’re shown that he admires her beauty (the palace itself is a Shah Jahan-esque tribute to her) but now he admires her valour.

The Voyeurs (2021) teljes film magyarul online Sethupathi is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar