Mini review: Serial (Series 1)… so far


I came across this because it was a recommended podcast in my favourite podcast app, Overcast.  I had no idea what it was about so I looked it up.

Holy shit – there’s a lot of Serial about…

Serial Podcast

• Twitter: Serial

• Soundcloud:  Serial podcast’s stream on Soundcloud

• YouTube:  Serial podcast playlist

• Wikipedia: Serial (podcast)

• Bandcamp: Original music from Serial

• The Verge:  Why you need to listen to ‘Serial’ and what to read once you start

• Vulture:  Talking to ‘Serial’s Sarah Koenig About Her Hit Podcast and Whether There Will Ever Be an Answer

• The Guardian:  Serial review – a riveting 10-part investigation into a Baltimore homicide

• The Guardian:  Serial review – the greatest murder mystery you will ever hear

• The New Yorker:  “Serial”: The Podcast We’ve Been Waiting For

• BBC:  Serial: True-life crime podcast grips audiences

The idea of this programme is that it looks into the same story over several weeks.  This first series takes a deep dive into the real-life murder of a schoolgirl in Baltimore, USA in 1999.  At this point episode 7 has just been released, with 10 episodes planned (or whatever it takes to finish telling the story).  I caught up in under 5 hours.

It is riveting listening.  It works well as a high quality long form piece of investigative journalism.  The host is good at keeping your attention, leaving you on a bit of a cliffhanger, eager for the next episode.  It should be interesting from this point on when I have to wait a week for the new episode – I suppose it will change the dynamic of the show (for the better…).

This seems to be getting some attention because it is a podcast.  Podcasting for me is just a way by which audio is delivered, so I don’t see this as special.  It is the quality that counts.  Still, if it opens people’s eyes to the great radio shows that are easily available then it could be beneficial to all podcasters, from Leo LaporteRadiotopia and newer, smaller entrants to the scene.

UPDATE (December 2014):

The first series of Serial has now finished.  The next series will deal with a different story and I will leave my subscription to the podcast active so I get the next episodes when they do appear.

This was a good series and as I said before it is a high quality long form piece of investigative journalism.  I won’t give any details about the conclusion, only to say that the whole series is worth checking out even if I do not really understand why people got so passionate about it.

I will finish with the Guardian’s compendium of Serial content


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