There is a new boom in the world of podcasts, and that is “Serial.”
Released in October 2014, “Serial” follows host Sarah Koenig as she investigates the long lost murder case of Hae Min Lee from 1999 for one year.
When I first started listening to Serial, I was deeply intrigued and entertained. I thought the narration from Sarah Koenig flowed nicely and the story of this murder was interesting.
Koenig’s use of natural sound was clear and added to the flow of the story. Her phone calls to Adnan Syed while he is imprisoned gave the story a sense of realism. As a listener, I saw a picture paint in my head as she uncovered new details about the case. Heck, even the theme song is catchy and was stuck in my head at times.
The series was spanned for 12 episodes, revealing new findings and clues along the way. I followed along closely, not missing any detail so I wouldn’t get lost. Usually I’d play two episodes at a time since I found myself so fascinated. While driving, cooking in the kitchen or cleaning my room, I played Serial as it gave me something to listen to rather than music and also made time pass quicker.
While Koenig was investigating throughout Baltimore, Maryland, more people and stories were coming to light. It was getting hard to remember who was who and what happened when.
Finally I was up to episode six. This is where my opinion about the series changed. I was simply bored and was starting to find myself in confusion when the story started discussing the issues with the cell phone calls. After finishing the episode, i was exhausted. It was like i had no energy left since i was so focus on trying to keep up with all this information at once. I strongly believe this episode should have been simplified or divided into another episode.
Although we are left with an unknown answer, the length Koenig went to while reporting this story was admirable. She kept a tight script, shows the importance of natural sound and let’s the listener see how and why she is telling this story.
With 68 million downloads, I believe the season one of “Serial” has sparked a new interest in audio journalism. “Serial” has gotten picked up for another season, which is set to release in 2015.