I always love a good crime story.
Maybe it was something about the intense, life-like situation at hand, gripping me and bringing me into the life of the victim. Keeping me on the edge of my seat, intently watching as the dramatic reenactment of the less dramatic crime is replayed by actors.
The difference with “Serial”, is that these are not actors, this is a real-life, up close and personal story of a boy, just like myself, who has his life ripped away from him, just because his lawyer didn’t take the time to look a little deeper into why and how a kid would do this.
Despite this being such a personally similar story, I felt much less towards this as I did a completely made up hollywood thriller.
I am all for easy listens when I do not have the option of watching a show or movie, but if I was going to listen to something, it would not be a journalist trying to rediscover a case that is 15 years old.
I understand that Sarah works very hard to make these an entertaining experience, but without visual enhancement, I felt much less connected to the characters and story line.
I connect well with the victim, which allows me to being partially intrigued, but a crime show on a podcast – not for me.
Despite my lack of interest, I picked out a few things while I was listening to Sarah interview different people about something they had forgotten:
The podcast author, Sarah Koenig, digs deeper into the life of this convicted boy, bringing her listeners with her as she attempts to find the truth behind Adnan’s conviction.
Episode 1 of “Serial” was a beginning episode, and it was difficult to make a stand on if the boy, Adnan Syed, was guilty or not. Adnan is made out to seem like an innocent character, as the writer describes him a smart kind boy, and just a typical high school honorary student. Sarah’s description of Adnan as this kind of a person, does make one feel sorry for him, but this is just about all the innocent evidence we get, and our feeling’s do not influence law as much as we hope it would.
The other piece of evidence the author gives us to hint at Adnan’s innocence, is by what she says at the beginning of the podcast. Sarah begins the podcast by explaining her theory that if someone does something important, they not only remember that important or controversial thing they did, but also remember everything else that happened that day. And, of course, Adnan seemingly remembers nothing the day that the victim was murdered. Allowing you to unconsciously assume that Adnan is innocent.
Over the course of the episode, Sarah goes to interview several of Adnan’s old friends, the first of which explains to detectives the detailed story of exactly what happened the day that Hae, the victim, was killed. This story, is what Sarah says to be the story that the court based their entire case against Adnan on, and had virtually nothing else. The reason they based their entire case on this, was because it was the only plausible explanation for Sarah’s death at the time.
You see, Adnan’s lawyer had presented barely any case against his friend’s testimony, and the judge had no other choice. Sarah believes the lawyer to have done this because the lawyer made more money if Adnan went to jail.
The funny thing is, is that in episode 1, Sarah spends most of her time working on a lead that leads nowhere, and ends the episode with no good basis to change our minds on Adnan’s innocence. The lead she so passionately follows, were from a girl who wrote letters to Adnan, letters containing references to them being together in the library at the same time Adnan was supposed to be murdering his girlfriend. At the end of the episode, we find out that the person she was trying to track down made up the information in those letters, and admits she never did talk to Adnan on the day he supposedly murdered Hae.
This ends the episode on a very low note, intriguing the listener to hear more.
But not me, I prefer to look up the end on google:)