Red Scare Podcast
The Red Scare podcast is an American cultural and humor podcast hosted by a Belarusian American actress Dasha Nekrasova accompanied by Russian-American critic and writer Anna Kachiyan.
The show covers numerous topics in a comic and humorous way, ranging from neoliberalism, feminism and capitalism.
Mainly it discusses themes very close to the personal lives and daily experiences of women, like #Metoo and Russiagate topics. The tagline of the show reflects this as well, which goes – “The ladies make a podcast”
The hosts are deeply influenced by works of Mark Fisher and American feminist Camille Paglia which is evident in the show.
“Red Scare” started in 2018 and has aired more than 300 episodes in a relatively short span of time.
The Creator Behind the Podcast
In 2018, the Belarusian-born Dasha Nekrasova had an interview with a representative of Infowars that went viral for her prompt support of Socialist Bernie Sanders and earned her the title “Sailor Socialism”.
Anna Kachiyan, a writer and art critic born in Moscow shared similar thoughts and opinions on the cultural and social issues and was also from the same region.
The two of them connected on Twitter and decided to start the podcast in 2018.
Dasha moved to New York city from Las Vegas – because the majority of the episodes were scheduled to be recorded there.
In the beginning, the Red Scare podcast had Meg Murnane as its producer and third co-host. However, in October 2018 she made her final appearance before leaving the show.
Since then, the episodes have been produced independently by Dasha and Anna, regularly featuring a lot of popular writers and film stars.
Themes and Topics Covered
The Red Scare podcast covers trending political, cultural and social issues mostly centered on women.
The hosts do a good job at maintaining a humorous tone throughout the episodes even while discussing important yet controversial stories and happenings.
Identically the episodes are given humorous titles.
For instance, the episode aired on 25th January 2023 is titled: I Have a Nightmare which discusses dating in the age of TikTok and the war on gas stoves.
The conversation circles around the importance of gas stoves for women, how they provide a surreal feeling for them while cooking, and its eradication due to electric stoves.
Sometimes, before moving on to the main topic, Anna and Dasha discuss some ideas of philosophy, psychology and desire, along with how even the rich in New York live in shabby conditions.
An episode called The Podsurrection has the hosts discuss Andrew Tate VS Greta Thunberg and Nassim Nicholas Taleb VS Jordan Peterson.
On the contrary, some episodes like The Whole Yale Thing are random ramblings in which the hosts discuss their personal and professional lives.
In the above linked episode, they discuss how college is always about making connections and friends.
Episodes like these are appealing to listeners because they are personal yet informative, providing some good life hacks.
The USP of the podcasts remains on how the hosts manage to keep the show funny and continuously discuss contemporary issues considered taboo, provoking thousands of audiences to tune-in every week.
Reach of the Red Scare Podcast
The host of the Red Scare podcast Dasha Nekrasova has 129,000 followers on Instagram and 104,500 followers on Twitter.
The second host of the show, Anna Kachiyan, has 68,100 followers on Instagram and 128,100 followers on Twitter.
On YouTube, where some episodes of the podcast are available and where statistics are readily accessible, it appears that the average podcast receives between 24,000 views and 26,000 views per episode.
As of January 2023, Red Scare Podcast was ranked as 146 on Apple podcasts in the United States under the “Society & Culture” theme.
Based on this analysis we estimate that the Red Scare podcast receives a hundred thousand views each time an episode goes out across Apple, Google, Youtube and Spotify podcast networks.
Reception and Impact
In 2022 a Vanity Fair article portrays the show as a philosophical dialogue on the concept of “live-and-let-live”.
Check out another article by the New York Times, on how the show affected Eugene Rabkin, titled “Podcast Overload – How I kicked the “Red Scare” habit.”
The podcast consistently attracts thousands of listeners every week on multiple streaming services and is very popular especially with the net-generation.
Check out one of the reviews below:
“As a millennial my opinion is that Ana is very SMART and well read, and Dasha is thoughtful and interesting to listen to. Bring on the Hegelian dialectic.” kddo14 – (source)
Red Scare has also been the inspiration for the characters played in “White Lotus” an HBO Originals satirical comedy series. Check out these lines from Sydney Sweeney’s interview:
“Mike White referenced the Red Scare podcast, two girls talking to one another about anything and everything. He loved the timing and how they spoke to one another, and he really wanted Olivia [and Paula] to play off of that in their most sarcastic moments.” (source)
However the explicit language and mature themes gives the podcast some mixed reviews as well.
One critic on Podcast Review describes the show as slander and lacking factual evidence.
Another person calls the show “haggard and malnourished”, where people are mad because curves and colors are trending.
While some may not be comfortable with the show’s subject matter, there is a vast majority of people who listen to the show exactly for what it is.
The Format of the Podcast
A single episode of the Red Scare podcast is typically between 50 to 90 minutes long.
It has an exciting intro, where the song All the Things She Said by a Russian pop duo called t.A.T.u is played.
After the intro, the show’s two hosts speak to each other about the current political trends and feminist theories.
After that short segment, the hosts introduce their latest guest to the listeners and begin conversing.
Both are very natural and talk to each other as well to the guests as if gossipping.
Michel Houellebecq was one such guest whom the co-hosts had a conversation with on a Zoom call while they were drunk.
The episode was to discuss his new article Euthanasia and assisted suicide.
That’s not the only weird episode: they hosted another episode a few weeks earlier called AIDS Lang Syne w/ Niccolo Soldo.
In these 90 minutes, Anna and Dasha, along with Substack creator Niccolo Soldo, discuss the history of AIDS, the American empire, and try to dispel gay rumors about Soldo.
These witty yet seemingly non scripted episodes are what fuel the success of this podcast. Needless to say, Dasha and Anna have a fantastic sense of humor.
The Red Scare podcast is a cultural commentary highlighting some of the most prevalent societal issues, hosted by a very interesting crew.
It is a great hit especially in generation Y and has influenced a lot of online dramas and series.
Listen to it for yourself.
To listen to the show on Apple Podcasts, click here. If you are an Android user and want to access it on Google Podcasts, click here.
Other platforms where you can enjoy the show include the Red Scare podcast official website and Spotify. For comedy podcasts like “The always Sunny Podcast” and a wide collection of talk shows visit us here.