Sometimes it’s not enough to just watch TV. For devoted fans of a series — whether it be a comedy, drama, or reality show — each new episode prompts tweets that need to be sent, takes that need to be read, and discussions that need to be had about every detail of every scene just witnessed. For such fans, there’s no shortage of rewatch podcasts picking everything apart and keeping the conversation going.
The concept has been embraced by programmers, stars, and fans alike over the last few years. Max is now offering Talking Sopranos and Truest Blood: A True Blood Podcast in its streaming library alongside their respective series, and HBO produces a number of podcasts breaking down its original programming. Actors are taking to the medium to look back on their own shows — most recently, Eric McCormak and Sean Hayes announced the forthcoming release of Just Jack & Will, in which the former co-stars will rewatch and dissect episodes of Will & Grace. They join the ranks of countless stars who are revisiting their own work (or in some cases, really watching it for the first time), as well as fans who are trying to get new audiences to watch their favorite shows. We’re in the midst of a TV podcast boom.
With so many options out there, it can seem daunting to find an entry point — some shows even have multiple podcast options to choose from. That’s why Primetimer’s put together this guide to the best TV rewatch podcasts, which you can start right now.
Podcasting itself is nothing new, and there are some more established rewatch podcasts that have already made it through every episode of the series they’re covering. One of the most tedious parts of keeping up with a rewatch podcast can be waiting a week in between episodes of the series being discussed to keep up with the hosts instead of binging. With these shows, binging is encouraged.
Comedian April Richardson was on the forefront of the genre when she released Go Bayside!, a Saved By the Bell rewatch podcast back in February 2013 (and she has obviously since made it through all 86 episodes of the series plus two made-for-TV movies). She would bring on a guest to watch that week’s episode, whether they watched anything else in the series or not, then proceed to talk about it for nearly twice as long as the episode’s original run-time. That became the norm for all shows that followed.
Of course, the best shows put their own twist on things. Buffering: A Rewatch Adventure (fka Buffering the Vampire Slayer) included an original song by host and musician Jenny Owen Youngs detailing the plot of each episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer covered — the discussion of Season 6’s musical episode, “Once More With Feeling,” was done entirely in song. Once Youngs and her co-host Kristin Russo finished every episode of Buffy, they changed the podcast’s name to go on to cover other shows, like Yellowjackets and The X-Files.
Similarly, Gilmore Guys, hosted by comedians Kevin T. Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe evolved over time to cover more of Amy Sherman Palladino’s work, like Bunheads and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (episodes covering the latter will wrap up at the end of June, making it a completist podcast for three separate series).
Joshua Malina’s West Wing Weekly may have been the first star-driven recap podcast out there when it premiered in 2014. Malina and his co-host, musician Hrishikesh Hirway, brought on other stars of the Aaron Sorkin drama to discuss not only the episode but share behind-the-scenes tidbits throughout their podcast’s six-year run, starting a trend.
Other noteworthy bingeable podcasts:
Despite the recent deluge of celebrity-hosted podcasts, some of the people most equipped to passionately dissect shows are the fans. In the case of That’s Messed Up: An SVU Podcast, hosts Liza Treyger and Kara Klenk are hoping and praying to make an appearance on the series they’re covering one day, but so far no luck.
They do, however, rub elbows with plenty of Law & Order: SVU stars due to the format of their show, which is a little different from a straight rewatch. Instead of moving chronologically through the series, Treyger and Klenk choose their favorite episodes, first pick apart the episode itself, then dive into the real-life crime that inspired it, and finally interview someone who was involved with the episode to get even more insight.
Sometimes, fans of specific shows are born before our very ears — XOXO, Gossip Kings replicates a formula put in place by Gilmore Guys before it, with one host who is a superfan guiding another host through their first watch of the series. In this case, Lamar Woods leads newbie Carl Tart through Gossip Girl, making sure every episode is free of spoilers about the series’s ending.
Other noteworthy fan-driven podcasts:
This has become the most crowded subgenre of rewatch podcasts, in which one or multiple former co-stars pore over the shows they once led. There are some tweaks to that set up here and there. In the case of It’s Not Only Football (one of two star-hosted Friday Night Lights podcasts), celebrity fan Mae Whitman joins Scott Porter and Zach Gilford to maintain a similar level of passion and excitement palpable in the fan-driven podcasts. And in the case of ReWives with Bethany Frankel, the Real Housewives of New York star digs into all of the Bravo franchise’s most memorable episodes, not just the ones she starred in.
But most of these podcasts look back at episodes through the stars' own eyes, standing in as the modern version of an audio commentary track. Often, the show itself goes by the wayside as longtime friends — like Office Ladies hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey; Fake Doctors, Real Friends hosts Donald Faison and Zach Braff; or The Always Sunny Podcast hosts Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney — spend their time on mic together catching up, bantering, and reliving memories that have nothing to do with their project. For fans of those series, it hardly matters whether it's completely related to the show or not — any behind-the-scenes tidbits are worth it.
Other noteworthy celebrity-hosted podcasts:
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.
TOPICS: Podcasts, The Always Sunny Podcast,, Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach + Donald , Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl (2007 Series), It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Office Ladies, Saved by the Bell, Scrubs, The Sopranos, The West Wing, The West Wing Weekly, Will & Grace, Bethenny Frankel, Carl Tart, Joshua Malina, Mae Whitman, Scott Porter, Zach Gilford, Talking Sopranos