I’ll admit it: sometimes I’m a hipster. I hear about trends and books and TV shows that everyone is raving about and I refuse to get involved. There’s just something about doing what everyone else is doing that rubs me the wrong way sometimes and I push to be different. And yet, I pick up that book that everyone’s reading or click on that show that everyone is watching, and I’m hooked. It happens every time. It happened three years ago with the Hunger Games books, it happened with House of Cards, and it happened with my latest obsession: Serial.
Serial is a podcast produced by NPR’s This American Life with the amazing Sarah Koenig at the helm. Over the course of twelve episodes, Koenig unravels a murder case that happened over fifteen years ago in Baltimore, Maryland. The victim, 17 year-old Hae Min Lee was tragically strangled and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Sayed, was convicted of the crime. It’s a true story, which I thought would make it gruesome and unpleasant, but it’s absolutely fascinating while still remaining tragic.
Ms. Koenig takes investigative journalism and storytelling to an entirely new level in Serial. She tracks down the individuals involved in the trial, including Adnan who is currently serving a life sentence for Hae’s murder, and interviews them about what happened on that day in 1999. She consults former detectives to analyse the timeline of the case, looks through cell phone records and discusses their validity in criminal investigations, and even reenacts the timelines given by some of the witnesses to see if they are plausible. I was skeptical about the lack of visual aids — I used to love shows like CSI when I was younger — but the way Ms. Koenig tells the story and the way each character’s voice is distinguishable leaves you wanting nothing.
I started Serial on the Stansted Express when I was coming home from Ireland (more about that soon!) on Tuesday and I’m already on episode 8! It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have classes right now, or else this would be a problem, but I love listening to it when I’m getting dressed in the morning, or when I have a few minutes and don’t feel like looking at a computer screen.
If you’re looking for something new to shake up your old Netflix routine and are as fascinated by stories as I am, definitely give Serial a listen!
Inspired to be,