Serial

Last week WBW posted a Dinner Table topic about Serial. I had never heard of it, but thought, “If WBW writes about it, I want to know more”. I heeded the post’s warning “Spoilers abound” and skipped reading anything about it.

Serial is a podcast. It tells the story about a murder of a teenage girl in Baltimore over 12 episodes. Since I was unaware of it until it was over, I didn’t have to wait week-to-week for each episode. I got to download all 12 and banged them out over 5 days. It was great…I was hooked after one episode and knew I’d enjoy the entire series. I’m glad I had faith in WBW.

But there was another major difference between me and the weekly listeners. Well…either I’m an idiot or I just missed it, but I listed to the whole thing thinking it was fiction – like a mockumentary. I kept thinking, these writers are incredible! To have this much detail, this much expertise, this much minutia, and actors that can come across as if they are really speaking without the precision of delivering a script is amazing. This is a new frontier in podcasting, and I really like it.

Well, now I know – holy crap – that was a real murder! …no wonder it was “written” and “acted” so well. Amazingly, my overall thoughts on the show itself don’t really change – this is a new frontier in podcasting, and I really like it. Maybe even more so (I’m not a huge fiction guy). Plus, it makes the ending more satisfying and easier to understand why they didn’t wrap up the “script” with a solid conclusion. (The butler did it!)

I’m not sure why, but somehow I had a feeling it was going to end without a solid conclusion even if it was fiction. It don’t know what it is, but something in the story felt like it was less about the particulars and more a commentary on the judicial system. WBW commenter PJ’s first bullet point does a great job laying this out.

So I’m not going to add any additional speculation on who did it. As listeners we would just be guessing. But I will say I agree with host/journalist Sarah Koenig – I don’t think there was enough proof, so as a juror I would’ve voted not guilty.

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