Instead of spending time with your own family this holiday season, find your little headphones, grab your phone, and retreat into the comforting space of British singer Jessie Ware’s podcast “Table Manners.” It’s the best thing I’ve listened to all year.
Podcasts are either not your thing or very much Your Shit; either way, there really isn’t a podcast that feels universal. One person’s favorite show is another person’s worst nightmare, but something about “Table Manners” feels like there might be something for everyone. The premise is simple: Jessie Ware and her mother Lennie sit down and make dinner for one of Jessie’s famous-ish friends; they talk about stuff like food and fame and Glastonbury, but it’s charming and pleasant and everyone has a nice British accent. The best podcasts are not over-produced and slick and jangly with music and interludes; the medium works best when the conversation and the people having it are engaging. You could put this on and make dinner yourself and feel like you’re eavesdropping on someone else’s pleasant, intelligent conversation. How nice!
Ware, a pop singer with a liquid honey voice, has a pleasant rapport with her mother—she also seems like a lot of fun. For example: I do not care a wit about Sam Smith, the doe-eyed sad man singer, but when he was on the podcast talking to his good friend Jessie, I realized that maybe Sam Smith and I could eat a vegan scone and a pot of white tea and it wouldn’t be a terrible experience. Such is the power of podcasts.