OP-ED: ‘Serial’ more junk food than balanced listening

Editor’s Note: This piece may contain spoilers.  But since no questions are answered over the course of 12 episodes, go ahead and read it anyway.

INTERNET—After months of gossip, spoofs and overheard conversations, I’ve finally decided to check out Serial for myself.  First step: figure out what the hell everyone is talking about.  A new breakfast cereal?  No.  Oh.  Like a serial killer?  No.  OH!  A story told in a series of installments like in old-time radio days?  Gotcha!  Now what’s an Adnan?

Time to jump in.  I figure since this is a podcast, I can multi-task while I listen.  Except I keep missing parts of the story.  This will require my undivided attention. But why do I feel like instead of listening to a polished radio professional, this series is being narrated by my drunk sister at a family dinner?

I’ll admit that once Serial gains momentum, the story grabs my attention.  As in, who the hell are these people?  Jay is spinning quite a yarn that seems to have no corroboration via evidence or witnesses.  And Adnan seems awfully relaxed for being wrongly convicted of murder and having spent 15 years in prison. I soldier on because now I am in it.

I rejoice to find that some episodes are a mere half hour!  Others drag on much longer.  New evidence comes to light…and is eventually dismissed because ultimately it never convinces the listener, or narrator/reporter, of Adnan’s guilt or innocence.  Then after episode ten, there is nothing new.  As in, the last two episodes are rife with repetition and speculation, while also being devoid of any actual new material.  It would be less painful to endure two episode’s worth of the MailChimp ad.

In conclusion, here’s what I have learned listening to the inaugural season of Serial: Leakin Park is pronounced “Lincoln Park” by everyone in Baltimore.  This park was also featured on the television show The Wire, but did not inspire the band named Linkin Park.

Molly Donovan

Molly Donovan

I grew up in the USA, but don’t hold that against me because I’m also Canadian.

Just think of me as the mole.

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