For most of the people who are podcast fans or up on the times with the latest stuff on the internet, I’m late to the party. For the rest of the more casual people out there, you may have not yet heard about Serial. Its the most popular podcast on the planet right now. Its been dubbed as “True Detective for your ears.” Its an enthralling account of the real life murder of a girl in Baltimore back in 1999 and her ex-boyfriend who was convicted of the crime. Its narrated by a former Baltimore Sun reporter as she re-investigates the 15 year old murder. She incorporates real testimonies, interviews, and depositions from the original investigation as she explores whether or not the right man was put behind bars for the murder. And I’m telling you man, its fucking addicting. Its fast paced, easy to listen to, and easy to follow. The audio of real life phone calls from prison and real life interrogations by lawyers and law enforcement is fascinating. There are so many weird characters, stories, lies, and holes in the original case that you really don’t know what to think. Did he do it? Did he not do it? Am I getting played right now? Is he just a really manipulative, intelligent murderer or is he telling the truth? Why did the lawyers not explore that alibi and why would that witness lie? Its a genuinely entertaining podcast.
Which is part of the phenomenon for me, as well. The show is unlike any other podcast that I know of. Its basically like an audio book broken down into weekly episodes. Its the fastest podcast to ever reach 5 million downloads. Each episode averages 1.2 million downloads a week. That is WILDLY popular for a podcast. And more importantly, the fact that it has such a buzz on the internet is equally as astounding. Its got people tweeting left and right. Its got blogs writing articles about it. Reddit pages devoted to the show and the mystery. There are entire other podcasts devoted to talking about this podcast. Its like the best new television show is a podcast. I’d imagine most people listen on their commutes but I pop my headphones in and sit on the couch, staring at the wall, listening to Sarah Koenig narrate. That is an incredible accomplishment for a podcast to have people captivated like that. In the age of on demand TV and Netflix and internet entertainment, the fact that millions of people are just listening to good old fashioned story telling is remarkable.
So give Serial a listen. Not only for the fact that its a great story that will undoubtedly have you theorizing and hypothesizing, but also because its really interesting to experience the latest phenomenon in entertainment which is so different from what most of us are used to.
Oh and also after you explore the murder of Hae and the guilt of Adnan, head on over the Mailtime! The Laziest Hour of Your Day! Just a tadddd bit more light hearted than Serial but you’ll enjoy it nonetheless!