I’ve always wanted to be a podcast or books-on-tape person. I’ve tried to find programs and become a regular listener, but they don’t keep my attention for long periods of time like a physical book does (I’d love to discuss that, but that’s another post for another day!) When I listen to music, I’m usually writing, reading or working on homework. But with spoken word, I tend to zone in and out and miss huge chunks of story.
But now, I’ve found Serial.
Serial is a new podcast from the people who produce This American Life, which is also a very good program on NPR. Serial takes one nonfiction story and unravels it over a whole season. I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but if you love a novel like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or a show like “True Detective,” this is the podcast for you. The basic plot is that a man is accused of a murder he says he didn’t commit, but it’s so much more intricate than that. I hesitate to discuss the details because a) you might not have listened to it yet and b) I didn’t know anything about it before I read the podcast description and that made it so much better. In a world where something new is being published every day, whether it’s a television show or a book or a blog post, spoiler-free zones are rare.
Sarah Koenig has the best voice, and I’m going to have to take a pointer or two from her on interview technique. But what really grabbed me was how fantastic the writing is. In just the first few minutes of the premiere episode, I was instantly hooked. The first episode opens with this great postmodern commentary on the relationship between time and memory, and how it’s impossible to account for every single minute of the day. That relationship heavily factors into this season’s story, and I think you all know by now how much I love postmodernism and exploring postmodernity.
And for all of that, I’m giving Serial the biggest gold star you can imagine.
As of tonight, there are five episodes available. New episodes come out every Thursday, and I’m expecting 10-15 episodes in total. There’s even a Podcast app for iPhone, so you can listen to it wherever.
Let me know in the comments when you’ve listened to the first few episodes, and if you want, we can talk about it over email. No spoilers, of course.