We’ve all been guilty of spending a day (or even a week) binge-watching television shows, but last week I spent and entire day binge-listening to a pod cast - something I never thought I would say. Don’t get me wrong, I love podcasts and I am a devoted NPR listener, but I never really had the urge to sit down and spend an entire day listening to 6 hours of This American Life. So what made me keep clicking "next," anxiously awaiting the following episode of this podcast?
Serial podcast, from the creators of This American Life, follows an investigation of a crime that occurred 15 years ago, in which a Maryland high school student, Adnan, was found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend. Adnan maintains that he is innocent and claims he was basically put away based on one other person’s word vs. his, plus a few incriminating cell phone calls, but no real physical pieces of evidence ever linked him to the crime. Each episode the host, Sarah Koenig, takes you through the investigation, the evidence, interviews of friends and Adnan himself from archived cop interviews and present day feelings. It twists and turns like an episode of Law and Order, and you don’t know who to believe. Sarah checks in with Adnan from jail weekly, and like Sarah, you really become connected to him - you start to feel like you know him, but also like Sarah, you still can’t figure out if you are connecting with an innocent man or a murderer. It’s amazing the ups and downs and twists and turns the podcasts takes. If you have a sure feeling and idea in one episode, it's turned on its head the next episode and you start to question everything. I've listened while working from home, which is a great way to make the day go by quickly, but I occasionally find myself having to stop the podcast and rewind it a few times to really soak it all in.
Now that I’ve barreled through all the backdated podcasts, I have to wait the excruciating week-long wait until a new episode comes out every Thursday. I think about it constantly and want to talk about it all the time. I haven’t found anyone who is caught up yet, so I’m perpetually biting my tongue and begging my friends to dedicate a day, so we can talk ad nauseam about all our theories and feelings on the characters involved in this crime. You can even go on the podcast’s website and see some of the evidence, transcripts and maps to get a clearer picture of the investigation. One of my friends told me about a Reddit board dedicated to discussing and dissecting all the evidence, but I haven’t gotten that obsessed...yet. Plus, I like trying to figure it out on my own.
Meanwhile, I’m dying for Thursday's episode after this weeks twist that made me rethink everything! Joanna Goddard started an "articles club," a brilliant idea, but I think a Serial podcast club would be fun as well! I totally want to gather each Thursday night with friends to talk about the episode over wine and snacks.
Please start tuning in so we can discuss it together and let me know what you think!
Start binging here for free.
(headphones and laptop photo, Jamie Grill photography)