At times, it feels like Meghan Markle has led a very circuitous life. Just a few years ago, she was an actress that was also trying to make her own lifestyle brand happen. Then, she married into British royalty…only to return to America after she and Prince Harry stepped back from royal responsibilities. And now, it looks like she’s making that lifestyle brand happen after all!
That’s because Meghan Markle’s long-awaited podcast “Archetypes” finally dropped on Spotify. But what is this podcast all about? What are the critics saying, and what does this mean for future media from Meghan? Let’s find out!
What is Meghan Markle’s podcast about?
Meghan Markle’s podcast “Archetypes” is about exploring the stereotypes that have served to repress women over the years. As part of this exploration, Meghan interviews strong women who have broken through cultural stereotypes and achieved success on their own terms.
As People reports, a press release for the podcast described it as a chance for Meghan to “investigate the labels that try to hold women back.” According to the release, Meghan will focus on her quest to “uncover the origin of these stereotypes and have uncensored conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape narratives.”
This is a very lofty goal for Meghan and her podcast. But how well did the first episode really go?
Meghan’s first episode
In the first episode of Meghan Markle’s podcast, she interviewed tennis superstar Serena Williams. This was a special episode because Williams is more than a strong and successful woman. She has also been a close friend of Meghan’s for many years, and the two have a chemistry together that really helps their conversation sparkle.
As for Williams, she seemed very excited about the opportunity to join Meghan for the first episode. She took to Instagram to help promote the show. There, she wrote, “I loved talking about so many important topics with my dear friend Meghan as her first guest on #archetypes for @spotify. It’s out now and worth the listen, especially if you’re ambitious ❤️.”
The episode itself was very informal. Basically, it sounded like what it was: two old friends having a fun time talking together for about an hour. The jury is out on just how helpful this will be the “ambitious” people. Of course, if you look at the critical reception to the podcast, the jury is still out on whether Meghan makes for a very good host or not.
What the positive reviews are saying
Meghan Markle’s first podcast episode received many positive reviews from critics, friends, and colleagues alike. For example, the Los Angeles Times praised how the episode “shared their personal experiences as friends, celebrities and moms” and how it invited listeners to “consider…what people don’t see” when it comes to the life and careers of famous, ambitious women.
According to People, the show also received praise from those close to Meghan. Her fellow Suits star Abigail Spencer gushed that Meghan was “continuing to break barriers and pave the way for all women everywhere.” And TV production and writing guru Lindsay Jill Roth praised the “courage” and “vulnerability” Meghan displayed.
All of these reviews are quite positive. But many critics around the world, and especially those in the UK, were not nearly as impressed by Meghan’s podcast efforts.
What the negative reviews are saying
One of the reasons that Harry and Meghan left England is because so many media forces in the country seem to dislike Meghan. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that most of the tabloid response to her podcast has been overwhelmingly negative.
For example, when writing for The Times, James Marriott claimed that “The podcast is a tastefully soundtracked parade of banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes. The effect of all the tinkly music and vapid conversation is to make you feel you’ve been locked in the relaxation room of a wellness spa with an unusually self-involved yoga instructor.”
Writing for the Daily Mail, Bel Mooney didn’t hold back in criticizing the podcast. “Since Serena is one of the most successful and fearless players in the history of her sport, I was keen to hear her analyze her ambition and desire to win, and to reflect on the personal cost of her dazzling triumphs; to find out what originally put the steel in her spine and to hear her serve up some devastating backhand shots against male put-downs,” he wrote.
“This bizarre, saccharine and faintly queasy schmooze-fest between Meghan and ‘my dear friend Serena’ (as we hear over and over again) tells us next to nothing at all about the making of Serena Williams’s towering ambition.”
Harsh words indeed! However, given Meghan’s general popularity outside of the UK, we’re pretty sure this podcast is going to continue for a good, long time. And with Meghan’s ability to draw big-name interviews (Mariah Carey is the guest for the second episode), we’re sure Spotify is “royally” pleased to have “Archetypes” on the platform.