It’s the podcast that’s gripped the world – Serial has topped download charts since it was first released in October 2014 and its investigation into the real-life 1999 murder of high school student Hae Min Lee has kept us gripped. Centre to the weekly episodes are journalist Sarah Koenig, who is leading the quest for truth, and Adnan Syed, Hae’s ex-boyfriend who was jailed for her murder in 2000.
Chances are you’ve listened to the podcast – but we thought we’d bring you a few little snippets about the series to seperate the fact from the fiction…
#1 The podcast’s producer, Ira Glass, has described the weekly show as comparable to a must-watch TV show. Speaking about the creative process behind the program, he said. “We want to give you the same experience you get from a great HBO or Netflix series, where you get caught up with the characters and the thing unfolds week after week, but with a true story, and no pictures. Like House of Cards, but you can enjoy it while you’re driving.” (Or in our case, walking the dog. Or hoovering. Or eating breakfast. You get the jist.)
#2 According to Apple, the podcast is the fastest to ever reach five million downloads. Despite the modernity of the podcast, the idea of a weekly serial is by no means an original one. “This is not an original idea,” Sarah Koenig told the Guardian shortly after the show hit the mainstream. “Maybe in podcast form it is, and trying to do it as a documentary story is really, really hard. But trying to do it as a serial, this is as old as Dickens.” The whodunnit is also a tale-as-old-as-time…
#3 …Although in the case of Serial, there’s no final resolution. Adnan Syed has recently been granted the right to appeal, in summer 2015, and has always maintained his innocence. The inclusion of interviews with Syed, as well as a catalogue of other real-life ‘characters’, adds to Koenig and her team’s richly-detailed combing through of the case’s evidence. It’s the first podcast of its kind: bringing world-wide awareness to a random crime.
#4 Fancy some detective-y music in your life? The soundtrack to the podcast – 15 short instrumental pieces – was created by Nicholas Thorburn and released in October 2014.
#5 A second season of Serial has been confirmed – it will focus on a different, as yet undecided, story, and will be released later in 2015.