Since my commute is between 20 and 45 minutes, we travel a lot and I am driving the 20 minutes to meet Val for lunch every afternoon, I could listen to music (that's so 20th century) or listen to people talking about anything and everything. These are the five that I download and enjoy the most:
1. Filmspotting - A movie review podcast done by two guys in Chicago. Adam and Sam have a typical format, usually 15 minutes off the top for a review of a new movie, then either interviews with directors or actors, feedback from listeners, and a top five every week, with categories ranging from best movies of the year to the top five movies about prostitutes. Regular features include "massacre theater," where they read a script from a scene and listeners guess the movie for a prize. I've enjoyed this one so much that I got Val interested. It's our favorite for long trips, since most episodes are over an hour and take up a big chunk of drive time.
2. Battlestar Galactica - This is actually a commentary done by producer Ronald D. Moore for every episode, but you can follow along without watching at the same time, provided you've seen it already. He's very good about discussing the hows and whys of the script, letting us know what was cut, and what to look for in coming weeks.
3. The Diner - A half-hour bit by one of my favorite bloggers, James Lileks, whose Daily Bleat is a staple of my Internet reading. It's a bit odd, and many may not get his sense of humor, but if you do then you'll be entertained. I've yet to pop one of his on while Val's in the car with me, since I'm 99 percent sure she'll look at me with that look of "Yeah, I married you, and yeah, you have a great sense of humor, but you sure do have weird taste."
4. Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me - I recently discovered this gem on NPR (I know, I know, but surprisingly my conservative ears didn't catch fire listening to it). The show is billed as a weekly news quiz, taped in front of an audience each week and with a few sort-of well-known figures participating, from Mo Rocca to P.J. O'Rourke to Tom Bodett. The host is quick-witted and the format provides for some unexpected laughs on all kinds of topics and news, from the political to the odd.
5. The Onion Radio News - Short, less than a minute and daily, The Onion hits sometimes, misses others, but there's most always a smile.
Honorable Mention - Project Runway. It would be No. 5 except that the show is off the air right now, so listening to Tim Gunn's show reviews will have to wait until the new season.