David has been trying to get me to listen to podcasts for some time. And for years we’ve been listening, pretty avidly, to Stuff You Should Know which is one of my favorites. It helps that Josh and Chuck are from ATL, so we love that. And then the main other things that David’s really into are football podcasts which just don’t interest me. And then trolling the internet this past weekend, I found like 3 or 4 people who I take trusted advice from talking about the pocast Serial. What is Serial?
According to their site,
WHAT IS SERIAL?
Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial will follow one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. We’ll follow the plot and characters wherever they take us and we won’t know what happens at the end of the story until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we’ll bring you the latest chapter, so it’s important to listen in order, starting with Episode 1.
This season, (NOT A SPOILER…)
On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.
Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she’s been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators’ notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence – all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.
So needless to say, I’m totally hooked. I love crime anything, and I was just looking for a good audio book for my commute and dog walks, when I stumbled across Serial. I found a podcast I love that isn’t sports! (Sorry, David). And I’m 5 episodes in and I love it. You get to kind of BE a detective alongside Sarah which is pretty fun and exciting. I’d encourage you to not only listen to the Podcast, but to follow along weekly on the Serial website, where there are photos, letters, and maps…things like that that continue to help the story unfold. Sarah Koenig does an amazing job of “setting the scene” and making it picture-able in my mind, but for those of us that were most definitely detectives in another life, it’s fun to “play along” online.
So c’mon, other people have to be listening. Since it’s been out for 8 or 9 weeks now. Who is listening? What do you think? Let me know (without spoilers–I’m in Episode 5).