Strangers is the true stories of real people and each episode is “an empathy shot in your arm.” Though I’ve only been a listener for about a month now, Strangers has quickly become a light in my life.
I’m not quite sure where to begin with Strangers. I first started listening to the podcast after learning about it from my pal and podcast pro Allison. I was instantly enamored.
As someone who has never listened to This American Life (gasps heard around the world), I’m not used to hearing stories about real people (is that even what This American Life is about or am I imagining things) so Strangers is definitely something completely new to me.
There are so many things that I love about Strangers. Firstly, and simply, Lea Thau has a great voice. She has the kind of voice you want to listen to when you’re hearing these touching stories from strangers. Her voice is calming and whisper-y and reassuring in a way. Am I going into too much detail over her voice here? Is this coming off as creepy? It really is something I love about the show.
Another thing I love about Lea Thau is her unrelenting passion for what she does. Each episode always, always feels full. I finish an episode thinking about her dedication to each and every story. She often looks at many sides of a story or examines over a great span of time. Every episode is made all the more interesting simply because you as the listener are already so aware of how much the story has intrigued Lea.
Recently, even, Lea has taken this dedication to her craft to an entirely new level with her series entitled “Love Hurts.” Through these specific episodes, she has examined herself through a new lens. She has put herself (and her past relationships) out into the world in an extremely self-reflective (yet vulnerable) way that I have never encountered – though any medium. It is especially through the Love Hurts episodes that it is more apparent than ever how much Lea Thau puts into Strangers.
Each episode (other than the “Love Hurts” series of episodes) is very different from the last, which is partly why it does seem that lovers of this podcast seemingly form some sort of “bond” with Lea. She is our constant – along with our promise for an emotional ride.
I know I have not even begun to do Strangers justice. I feel that, instead, you just owe it to yourself to check out a few episodes (/all of them) to truly understand.
I thought I’d include my favorite episode as a sort of primer. This episode is three “love stories”…kind of. As mentioned, each episode is completely different than the others, so if this one doesn’t strike your fancy then there’s probably a ton of others that would.
If you do check out Strangers, let me know what you think of it. If you know of any other podcasts you think I may be interested in, let me know that, too!