Review on “Serial”

This first episode within the “Serial” podcast series, by Sarah Koenig, discusses the death that took part in Baltimore, Maryland on January 13, 1999 (Koenig). Her body was retrieved on Feb 9, 1999, and it was explained that she had been murdered by being strangled (Chaudry 1). After this, her ex boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted of first degree on his ex girlfriend and suffered a sentence of more than thirty years (Chaudry 1). In this podcast, Koenig interviews numerous amounts of people including Syed’s friends and family.

Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee

Koenig opens the podcast in an intriguing wayby interviewing her nephew, and some other teens. She proposes the exact same question to each of them, “[w]hat did you do last Friday” (Koenig). Most of the teens respond stuttering because they truly do not know where they had been. Only one seemed to have exactly remembered what he did. If this question was ever raised upon me I would find it truly difficult to remember what I did last Friday, because I would not be phased by it since it was a normal day of working. Pam Wilson, of ABC Health and Wellbeing explains, “forgetfulness is very common. We tend to remember things that are out of the ordinary,or things that satisfy us” (Wilson). This was a very intriguing way to open up the podcast because it gives the reader a little more insight on what is to come. This also allows the listener’s brain to start working in full power mode. The listener can begin to ask themselves what the point of that question was, which draws them in to listen to more of the podcast. I believe Syed’s family gains an advantage from Koenig and her podcasts because it raises awareness to their son’s case which was dropped almost a decade ago. I think they would be truly delighted too because, this podcast gives their son another chance. Before this, no one wanted to listen to this case, but Koenig is the one that picks it up because as she explains it was “something brought to me” (Koenig). Then,digging into all the information she finds that Syed could be innocent after all (Koenig)

Sarah Koenig spreading awareness of the case at Boston University

Using a podcast to discuss this case can be a little difficult to follow. Different accents of the different people involved in the podcast can make it extremely difficult to understand. On the other hand, if it was just written out on a newspaper or novel, it would be far more easier to understand because we read in a voice which ourselves comprehend. Although, this type of journalism does allow you to broadly imagine what is going on, when books on the other hand, can be limited to that fact as the details of characters are so precise. I would rather listen to something like this because it allows me to broaden my mind to far lengths. I can imagine what each different character looks like, and the podcast continuously leaves you hanging, always wanting to listen to more. I think it is also a great idea for journalism to be presented in this way because it is available to almost everyone. There is no need to purchase a thing, as long as you have WiFi, you can listen to the podcast for free, which is a bonus for the listener.

In the end, I can truly say I really enjoyed this podcast. As an individual I love crime stories. What really got me addicted was the fact that a random journalist picked up this case. Sarah Koenig does a great job as acting as a detective to really uncover the truth behind the death of Hae Min Lee. She provides the podcast with so many elements like the interrogation audio of Jay, and the suspenseful phone call she has with Asia McClain. This gives the audience a deep look into the details we would never have our hands on. In the end, we finally learn that in fact, Adnan Syed could be innocent, which leaves us viewers with a suspenseful cliffhanger as all good shows do (Koenig).


Works Cited

Chaudry, Rabia. “Adnan Syed Is Innocent. Now Find Hae Min Lee’s Real Killer | Rabia Chaudry.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 July 2016, Accessed 21 July 2017.

“Judge Orders New Trial for Adnan Syed.” Serial, Accessed 21 July 2017.

Laskowski, Amy. “Serial Host Talks Shop at BU | BU Today | Boston University.” BU Today, Accessed 21 July 2017.

Corporation, Australian Broadcasting. “ABC Health & Wellbeing.” Memory and Forgetting – Health & Wellbeing, 2 June 2010, Accessed 21 July 2017.