How do you find a good podcast? It seems like an unimaginable feat given that there were over 500,000 podcasts produced on Spotify last year: but take it from me, it is possible!
Whenever Spotify recommends something, I usually decline and resume what I was doing before the interruption. However, when I was recommended the podcast Keep It!, for some unknown reason, I decided to give it a try- and I am so happy I did.
Keep It! is a podcast hosted by Daily Beast writer Ira Madison III. Madison describes the podcast by comparing it to “Pop culture, politics, and what happens when they smack into each other at alarming speed.” This statement perfectly sums up the podcast.
Ira Madison III, Louis Virtel, and Kara Brown masterfully tackle everything from government to celebrity feuds in this entertaining and thought-provoking program. From TV shows to cinema, or a new topic trending on Twitter, these three friends candidly debate these topics and give insightful opinions. Their discussions on each topic are always spot-on and amusing.
Each episode of the podcast features a thoughtful, in-depth interview with celebrity guests, while the titular Keep It! segment finds them hilariously examining one questionable/cringe-worthy pop culture moment each week. In every episode, Ira and his co-hosts find themselves discussing the “latest ways pop culture and entertainment are intersecting with politics and society.”
What makes this podcast refreshing is that it reminds the audience that pop culture is not a concept or phenomenon to be dismissed as frivolous or unimportant. Social media affects all sectors of society and affects our perception of the world and ourselves. In the social media age, current events unfold at record speed, forcing our attention spans to diminish, making it difficult for us to observe and understand the world around us. The breaking news headline during the weekend will not matter by Monday. Madison sincerely believes that a platform like Keep It! allows people to process the news and make meaningful connections. He states, “there is this idea that when you just read something, you can take it in—but you really need to have a dialogue. Unfortunately, with the landscape we are in now, there is a glut of media, people only read headlines, and there is all this content you are forced to push out…Keep It! allows us to talk about what we actually want to, and distill something into a conversation.” Keep It! strategically chooses the perfect topics that allow for a one-stop source for audiences to hear the news for the week and present genuine discussions that evaluate the meaning beneath entertainment and pop culture.
A great podcast can discuss a concept you never had any knowledge of or interest in before and make it fascinating. One of my favorite discussions that the hosts had was about the dilemma of “nostalgia culture.” They talked about how the fast-paced media of today keeps people from staying up-to-date on entertainment. The multitude of options stresses people, and the public reverts to familiar, nostalgic media. The hosts argued that there is a repetitiveness to nostalgia and that only a few memories control the perception of an old show or movie. The publics’ memory forms a misconception of what time was like, and that now defines pop culture and society during that time period. They transitioned this idea to the current matter of Disney remakes of princess classics and why this nostalgic approach is tired and overused. They argue that less familiar titles from the same time-period can convey the same nostalgic feel along with a new, fresh take on something old.
This review would not be complete without mentioning the fact that recently that one of the hosts, Kara Brown, left Keep It! Following her exit, Aida Osman was introduced as the new host. The podcast is still interesting, but Aida Osman lacks the chemistry with Madison and Virtel that made this podcast so appealing to me.
Madison, Virtel, and Brown interpret stories with a simultaneously clever and serious perspective that keeps the podcast exciting and humorous. The segments transition seamlessly and cover a wide variety of subjects. This group seems to have an innate sense of what the world wants to obsess over every week! Discussing pop culture with your friends is effortless and fun; however, making it entertaining for an audience is not easy. Keep It! does just that. With top-level guests and humorous takes on that week’s top stories, these hosts successfully created an informative and fun place for open discussion and learning!