Serial Podcast

I’m always wary of creating threads, but I did my due diligence and did a few searches before posting this, so, if there is already a thread out there about Serial, please point me in the right direction ; )

I’m not exactly sure where this should go, since it’s a podcast and not a book/comic/tv/music, but it didn’t feel right to put it in “everything else.”

Anyway, Serial is a new podcast from the folks at This American Life. It’s hosted by Sarah Koenig and investigates one story, episode by episode, over the course of a “season.” The first story is about a 1999 murder in Baltimore of a teenage girl by her ex-boyfriend. The kid got life in prison but always maintained his innocence.

Here’s a link to the show’s website; here’s a link to a recent new yorker piece about it.

It’s an amazing show and has me absolutely hooked. It’s also a fantastic use of the podcast format. Anyone else out there enjoying this?

How long is each piece?

I usually listen to Mike Duncan’s History of Romewhich are about 12-15 minutes each episode and covers the origins of Rome, the Republic and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. I think there are close to 200 podcasts so far and they are very good.

The first episode is 53 minutes, but 2 and 3 are around a half hour (36 min, 28 min). They go up every Thursday morning.

Episode 1 isn’t in my feed, so I don’t know – it doubled as a standard episode of TAL, so… 45ish minutes?

Episode 2 was 36:28.

Episode 3 was 27:34.

So far it’s very interesting, although I’m not sure they’ll be able to sustain it for an entire “season.”

I subscribed after it got a glowing write-up at the AV Club, but I haven’t started it yet. I was planning to binge listen to it during an EUIV session when the new expansion comes out.

From what I read they’re thinking a season will be about a dozen episodes. So, we’re already a fourth of the way through.

I think it is fantastic. I have already gone back and forth a half dozen times on whether or not I think the kid is guilty. I love it. But as I said in the audiobook thread, I think they lucked upon a murder mystery that can actually be sustained over 12 episodes. I really doubt we’ll ever hear a murder mystery on the podcast again.

After this last episode (Leaking park?), I’m actually thinking the kid is guilty again. What about you Aleck and Scott? Where do you stand given the things we know up to this point? Are you leaning towards guilty as well?

I honestly don’t know. The kid doesn’t seem to have a motive, unless it’s a crime of passion. The timing (and events in the interim) don’t seem to support the crime of passion theory. The prosecution’s theory around “he gave up everything for this girl” doesn’t seem to make sense, given that he apparently dated other girls, smoked, and did a whole range of other things that were “un-muslim” (but very American teenager appropriate). The only way it makes sense, to me, is if Hae(sp?) had something else on Adnan(sp?), but I don’t see that playing out, either.

I wish we could learn more about Jay, the drug dealing friend who turned Adnan in. What’s his alibi? Did I miss that somehow? He is admitting to an accomplice role in hiding the body and whatnot, so who’s to say he didn’t do the deed?

EDIT: I should say I go to Adnan as the culprit only when it seems there are no other culprits. Again, where’s the motive?!?

Damn, sorry about pushing History of Rome in this thread. I thought your thread was about serial podcasts, not from something CALLED Serial. My apologies!

You and me both! The whole thing hangs on Jay’s testimony. Like, what makes his testimony more compelling than Adnan’s story? Also, why wasn’t he put in prison as an accomplice like you suggested. I have a feeling they’ll have a whole episode devoted to Jay. And I hope that episode comes soon, because it’s a huge question hanging over the whole thing.

I go back and forth on the guilty thing. For about 3/4’s of the first episode I figured the kid was innocent. But then after hearing that teaser bit at the end…I wasn’t so sure. And then hearing the alibi story about Asia in the library…I mean, if her story is to be trusted, and it seemed pretty solid, then either the police timeline is off, or Adnan has a credible alibi.

But then, the host mentions the detectives in the case wouldn’t talk to her for the podcast, but they were convinced Adnan was the murderer. So yeah, I go back and forth, back and forth.

It’s great, great stuff.

That alibi story is just scary to me if he really is innocent. That’s the kind of thing I have nightmares about as an innocent person just going about his day. The fact that she wanted nothing to do with the case once he was found guilty, thinking, hey the police looked into it and the justice system found him guilty so he must be guilty, my own part of it must not be all that important. The fact that neither the police nor the defense attorney looked into it? Scary.

I’m also looking forward to finding out more about Jay. After the initial episode, I was also looking forward to hearing about Don, her new boyfriend after Adnan, but after the second episode, apparently there was nothing there worth pursuing.

And how weird is the streaker dude?

This case is nuts.

EDIT: It’s also pretty weird for me because I grew up in Pasadena MD, in Anne Arundel County, which is very close to both Baltimore City and B’more County. My dad was a baltimore city cop. Which also makes the wire totally crazy for me too, but that’s another story.

Leakin park (yes the terrible band took their name from it) is a totally weird, serene, and sinister place. It blows my mind the kids in that area didn’t really know anything about it. I guess they didn’t go into the city much.

I am enjoying the podcast so far. TAL has produced some excellent shows dealing with a single subject/story. This is the natural extension of that style of podcasting. I look forward to this one coming out every week. Excellent stuff as always.

I listened again to the last minute or so of the first episode, the “coming up this season,” segment, and there is a dude that says:

“jay told me he was being blackmailed by adnon cuz adnon knew jay couldn’t go to the police”

Somehow missed that the first time!

Anonymous caller! Jay’s story all over the place! And wait, there was a mistrial?

Spoilers!?!?!? :)

More spoilers for this episode Aleck, get out of this thread until you listen to it.

So Jay took the cops to the victim’s car. That does lend credibility to his story, right? He can’t just be making the whole thing up to get Adnan in trouble.

Let’s say for a second that Adnan is not the murderer. Then what has to be true? That the anonymous caller had to have it in for Adnan? That Jay had to be making up all the shit about what Adnan said and meeting at Best Buy and driving around smoking joints afterward. But Jay also has to at least know where the victim’s car was. Maybe he or someone he knew found it and then concocted this whole story to get Adnan in trouble? But wasn’t one of inconsistencies when he told his girlfriend Jen about assisting with disposing the body? If he just found the car afterward, he would have to find it that same day to concoct the story to frame Adnan.

So that just leads me to the conclusion that either Adnan really did it, or if he didn’t, then Jay probably knows who did, which is why he knew where the victim’s car was. Is it possible that Jay is the murderer? I see no motive there though, so I don’t like that possibility.

I gotta say, this is not looking good for Adnan. With the lack of any other viable suspect, it always comes back to him.

One other thing: didn’t they say in the first episode that the key time Adnan had to account for was like 33 minutes or something? And that the alibi in the library possibly accounted for that time? But even if it didn’t, Jay’s story seems to be a whole lot longer than an hour or so. Adnan had to meet her, strangle her, put her in the trunk, have Jay show up, show him her body in the trunk, drive to leakin’ park, take her body to the spot by the tree trunk, dig a shallow grave, bury the body, go back to the car, hang out and drive around smoking weed, and then get dropped off. Sounds like he would have to have much more than an hour unaccounted for if Jay’s story is to be believed.

Jay is definitely the person of interest here. If Adnan didn’t do it, then Jay is responsible for all of the focus being on him. So what was Jay’s involvement?

I’ve been one of those people who mocks the media for always giving obvious and clear answers, but I know I’m going to be supremely frustrated when this series ends and we still have doubtsl

Also been enjoying this a lot! Really interesting variation on the usual This American Life theme.

Rather than trying to predict what will happen, I’m more curious about the impact this show might have on the actual case. Is it possible that Serial discovered more about the case than anyone else ever has? If so, could they legally cause the whole thing to be re-tried in court?

Are the producers ethically in the right to withhold episodes like this when they could be sitting on something that no one had previously discovered? Or, contrarily, does the fact that they’re withholding episodes reasonably mean that they did not discover anything new of note, implying that the story will end with just as much uncertainty as it started with?

I am absolutely hooked on this series.