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May 29, 2017 | by  | in Podcasts |
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Death, Sex, and Money

For the podcast Death, Sex, and Money, distributed by the reputable WYNC Studios (also responsible for 2 Dope Queens and Crybabies) the premise is simple: “Things we think about a lot, and need to talk about more.” Host Anna Sale invites her guests to openly and frankly discuss the “taboo” topics that have challenged them, and the great thing about this show is that it’s challenging for the listener too, subverting our expectations about the human experience.

Host Sale is a superb interviewer and her warmth, wit, and compassion prompts her guests to be totally honest. The interviewees are, more often than not, ordinary people with extraordinary stories, which is a refreshing change from the podcasting world’s love of long-form celebrity interviews. However, sometimes the guests are famous, with Sale interviewing the likes of Brooke Shields, Alec Baldwin, and Anna Chlumsky.

The memorable part of this podcast is that it focuses on the personal experience of the “taboo” topic, not the topic itself. Instead of a general exploration of gender transition, or undocumented immigration, Death, Sex, and Money delves into genuine and specific moments in a person’s life: what is it like to transition while working as a prison guard? What is it like to return to an empty home because your parents have been deported?

Death, Sex, and Money frames vulnerability as strength. Take guest Rashema Melson, for example. In 2015, Sale interviewed Melson after she shot to fame as the “Homeless Valedictorian”. Despite growing up in a homeless shelter, Melson was dux of her high school and had been awarded a full scholarship to the prestigious Georgetown University. Yet by 2017, when Sale checked back in, Melson had left Georgetown and was getting divorced after a brief marriage. Melson’s challenges were depicted as a core part of life: getting a little lost, and figuring it out.

Tune in to Death, Sex, and Money for inspiring, funny, heart-breaking, and humane interviews about people doing the best they can.

 

Episode to start with: “Orange Is The New Black’s Diane Guerrero on Debt and Deportation”.

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