Decoder Ring

Decoder Ring

Published by: Slate
18 Episodes | First Released: Apr 30 '18 | 🇺🇸
Decoder Ring is the show about cracking cultural mysteries. In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit; examines its history; and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters.
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Emily PoLo
Dec 9
Rating:   6
Great topics, but hard to listen to

Love the topics discussed in this podcast, but find the host voice hard to listen to after awhile.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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TwilyghtSansSparkles
Nov 12
Rating:   2
Was Fun, Got Smug

The first season or so, where the host simply looked into cultural phenomena and got to the bottom of them, was fun and fascinating. Then she started letting her liberal smugness creep in more and more, which dampened the show’s appeal as a bit of educational escapism. By the time I got halfway through the episode on gender reveal parties (where she ironically uses the regressive splitting of the world into male and female to present an equally rigid worldview with enlightened liberals on one side and backwards conservatives on the other) I just couldn’t take it anymore. Sadly, I know this review will likely be ignored. It won’t be taken as a legitimate criticism of a show that could have maintained its broad appeal, but as the complaint of someone stuck in the past who doesn’t want to hear the word of truth.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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Vern O
Nov 11
Rating:   10
10/10

A friend recommended this podcast to me a few weeks ago, and it’s quickly become one of my favorites! The content is quirky, bizarre, riveting, and totally original. Willa’s mix of humor and curiosity makes for A+ host material.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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Four2Go
Nov 8
Rating:   2
Host takes Superior Tone

Great topics, but host is shameless is her bragging of her progressive beliefs and constant put downs of those she sees as “conservative”, her personal word for backwards, inferior humans. Annoying. Just cover the topic and stop with your self aggrandizing.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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Parker0615
Nov 7
Rating:   2
Great Up Until It Tackled Gender Fluidity

I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast for a long time. Especially the early, light-hearted episodes about “sad Jen” and “videomate.” However, the most recent episode regarding gender reveal parties crossed a line that felt forced, accusatory, and inappropriate. To summarize: the rise in popularity of gender reveal parties is positioned as a conservative means for fighting back against the rise in gender fluidity and transgenderism. Willa begins the episode with a disgusted tone as she introduces the topic of gender reveal parties and quickly spirals into mean-spirited dialogue as she attempts to admonish the the unification of “biological sex” and gender through these parties. The line “society made my daughter like pink,” is actually said in this podcast which is a laughably “woke” view of how gender reveal parties are a source of larger societal problems. The episode is a bizarrely tone deaf way of shaming people who are simply excited about having a baby. There’s plenty of material to cover around gender reveal parties without dipping a toe into the political discourse. Decoder Ring, in my mind, succeeded as result of being a form of escapism from the political discourse in our country. This is a great example of how a great show will swerve out of its lane in an attempt to collect new listeners. Maybe it will work in this case. I, however, hear enough gender politics in every other avenue of my daily life to say that I won’t voluntarily subscribe to another.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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olditaliansandwich
Nov 6
Rating:   10
One of the most versatile, interesting podcasts out there

Decoder Ring’s varying topics, in-depth investigating, and often humorous presentation make it one of the greatest podcasts being made today (IMHO). You will never end an episode not having learned something.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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BluntfistNova
Oct 28
Rating:   8
Great content marred by vocal fry

I love the content of the episodes but vocal fry makes it hard to listen to. It can be solved with light vocal training and would make this podcast extremely recommendable!

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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beta1097
Oct 11
Rating:   10
One of the best listens out there

I really enjoy this pod. Willa is entertaining and engaging speaker and speaks on topics I could listen to for hours (and do!). Thanks for the great show!

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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andreWhitmire
Oct 10
Rating:   10
My favorite podcast

Willa Paskin is absolutely excellent! The team that produces this podcast does such a great job at digging into such bizarrely fascinating cultural moments and trends. I’m hooked and need this podcast like a teenager needs Juul. *stands on soapbox*To the people that complain about the ads — did you pay for this? No. No you didn’t. Ads allow you to listen to this for free. If you don’t like them, there’s this fab tool called fast forward. Have a blessed day.*steps off soapbox*

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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Dropsofjooniper
Oct 8
Rating:   10
Fascinating. Weird. Good.

One of my favorite podcasts

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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Bjartur108
Oct 7
Rating:   10
Always interesting

Pop/fan culture is not a big interest of mine, but this podcast is consistently fascinating.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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luciagalen
Sep 27
Rating:   10
David Rickert...

Watch the unsubtle sexism!

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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rmrinnc
Sep 5
Rating:   10
Baby shark!!!!!!

That episode is one of my fav podcast episodes of all time. Always love this show.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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DominoDC
Sep 4
Rating:   10
Enjoyable deep dive into cultural objects

Thoughtful, entertaining, unexpected. Great show.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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Geo_
Aug 30
Rating:   10
Great program 😃

Great program. What more can I say? 😀

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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Treebyleaf
Aug 25
Rating:   10
Where has this show been all my life

Amazing!!!! So deep and well researched. The one on pillows has seriously caused me to re-examine my consumer preferences with new eyes.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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David Rickert
Aug 25
Rating:   8
Interesting podcast

I really like this podcast. Fun interesting topics. I think they should do one on the origins of the "na na na na boo boo" taunt.Watch the vocal fry, Willa!

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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s-j-e-s-s
Aug 12
Rating:   10
a must listen

I don’t know why some ridiculous reviewers have given this show fewer stars because they don’t like the ads — no different /worse than any other podcast...this is a FIVE STAR show! Willa Paskins is an amazing cultural critic who does detailed research on every topic covered. This podcast will teach you about the history of so many fascinating topics that you never knew about or never knew could be so interesting. My only complaint is that it comes out once a month but it is always worth the wait! Keep up the good work 💜

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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HannahDoubleU
Aug 12
Rating:   4
Schedule is a nightmare

The show is good but the production schedule is kind of bananas. Every episode she says the solve a culture mystery once a month but it’s not consistent. It usually comes at the end of the month but frequently it comes out a the beginning of the next month. They’re always taking production breaks too! Either commit and do this interesting, fairly unique podcast weekly like everyone else or just stop.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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Tomok97
Aug 3
Rating:   10
Love This Show

I wish this show was more frequent than once a month. Don't let an episode about something you don't care about scare you off. Those have been some of the most interesting.

Reviewed on Apple Podcasts
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