WHO DOES IT:
Hosted and produced by Jonathan Goldstein, a humourist, journalist and experienced broadcaster who is also a This American Life alum. Heavyweight comes from the podcast stable of Gimlet Media, home of other hits such as Reply All, Crimetown and Mogul – all of which are must-listen shows!
WHAT’S IT ABOUT
Goldstein uses his smart, funny, self-deprecating style of sensitive intrusion to act as a kind of time-travelling (slightly bumbling) therapist, helping people repair or confront a troubling aspect of their past – often his subjects are from his own family or friendship circle.
Put this one in the ‘bingeworthy box’ as every episode is astonishingly well written and constructed, taking you on each journey with the same wonder and trepidation that the subjects must have experienced. You’ll bear witness to those interactions that are almost too uncomfortable to stand, as well as disclosures and resolutions that will bring you to tears (if you’re the cryin’ kind). In saying that, it’s the snort-with-laughter moments that are the take-homes here. Goldstein’s comic timing and deadpan delivery is genius.
A favourite device is how each episode begins with Goldstein making a phone call to an old, long-suffering friend and fellow comic Jackie Cohen. She’s invariably busy or not in the mood for his goofery and reluctantly banters with him while he tries to make her laugh, then she hangs up on him – every time. It’s somehow comforting.
YOU’LL LOVE THIS PODCAST IF YOU…
have ever lain awake at night lingering over a regret, wondering about a turning point in your life, seething over a slight. The courage of Goldstein and his subjects to confront and resolve is somehow made into something heartwarming and at times hilarious.
If you’re new to Heavyweight, Goldstein helpfully recommends you start at the beginning – there are 15 episodes running over two seasons, with season three set to drop soon. He also suggests fan favourites: #7 Julia (a girl bullied so badly she changed schools without telling anyone. Then the girls from her old school turned up…); #12 Jesse (Four years ago, Jesse was hit by a car and nearly died. Now he wants to find the driver. And thank him); #2 Gregor (20 years ago, Gregor lent some CDs to a musician friend. The CDs helped make his friend a mega-famous musician called Moby. Now, Gregor yearns for some sort of recognition. But mostly, he wants his CDs back); #1 Buzz (Goldstein’s dad, Buzz, and his brother Sheldon are in their 80s and have been estranged for decades. Buzz visits Sheldon to see if there’s still a relationship left to salvage.)
FIND IT AT:
Subscribe, stream or download via your favourite podcast app or listen via the Website.