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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Getting serious about Serial

THE PODCAST SWEEPING THE NATION—

You may have heard of the popular podcast Serial but been unsure of exactly what it is or why it is worth your time. If you have some free time at the start of this semester, or maybe you’re trying to keep your New Year’s resolution to go to the gym and need something to listen to, look no farther than this true story told in 12 episodes by Sarah Koenig. The best part is — it is free on iTunes.

The basic story line of Serial revolves around a murder of a student from Baltimore in 1999. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted of the murder. It seems like a clean-cut case from the outside, but the details of the story are interesting. More than interesting really — they are cause for high speculation. There is no DNA evidence that he committed the murder, and the case presented by the state against Adnan has holes throughout. Moreover, to this day, Syed claims fervently and unwaveringly his innocence.

Serial has developed a craze among its followers, with multiple Buzzfeed links about it, discussion boards on Reddit, articles written on it, an SNL skit, and even Wikipedia descriptions of the podcast. The Wall Street Journal released an article titled “‘Serial’ Podcast Catches Fire: In the sleepy world of podcasts, ‘Serial’ has emerged as a global phenomenon,” and the Huffington Post released an article titled “Serial: Why is it so poplar?”

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The article suggests that it captures a sense of suspense unparalleled in our “digital culture.” Perhaps the success of Serial is partly because it satiates our desire for suspense and partly because of the pure ambiguity of what truly happened in Baltimore in 1999.

In any case, it is worth joining the conversation. Decide for yourself if you are Team Adnan or Team Jay, or just find out what that even means.

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