Serial Season 2 : Return Of the Podcast

This past week saw the debut of Season 2 of the critically acclaimed Serial podcast following the initial set of podcasts finishing around 12 months ago. For those of...

This past week saw the debut of Season 2 of the critically acclaimed Serial podcast following the initial set of podcasts finishing around 12 months ago. For those of you unaware (because you have been living under a rock) Serial rose to fame with its progressive story telling of the murder of High School student Hae Min Lee in February of 1999. The podcast centres around her ex-boyfriend Adnan Masud Syed who was arrested for the murder a month after Lee’s death.

Week by week, host Sarah Koenig and her support team began to investigate the case; including lengthy conversations with Syed himself, friends, ex-police men and many more as they try to unravel the story. From re-evaluating evidence to even visiting the scene of where Lee’s body was found, the weekly chapters left me scrambling for tidbits of information in every nanosecond. To say the podcast was a success would be an understatement with one of the episodes being downloaded over 68 million times. In my opinion the draw to the Serial Season 1 podcast was that it was ‘current’. The story and its elements were all tangible; I felt like I was swept away into a world of investigation and analysis- like I personally was revisiting the case. I found myself replaying parts of episodes to eek out slithers of information which might help me better understand the allegead narrative of that fateful day.

Sarah Koenig, American journalist

Opinions aside, 3 weeks following the culmination of Serial Season 1 the Maryland Court of Special Appeals filed papers allowing Syed to appeal the conviction of the grounds of ineffective counsel. Is there a direct connection? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

SO WHAT DOES SEASON 2 HAVE IN STORE FOR US?

The second instalment by Koenig and her team focuses on the story of Saergant Bowe Bergdahl who was an American soldier held captive by the Taliban for 5 years. His disappearance is deemed as controversial as it is revealed in the first episode that Bergdahl actually deserted his post (for reasons he explains) therefore setting up the modern day implications. Teaming up with Mark Boal who is the award winning writer for the modern day war titles of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty I’m intrigued to see how this story will unfold. The collaboration reportedly came about through Boal using interviews with Bergdahl as a part of a film he was working on and offered to share these with Serial; although it must be noted the two will not be mutually related in any way.

Bowe Bergdahl in a video published by the Taliban

Bowe Bergdahl in a video published by the Taliban

The premise of this Season’s Serial was a little confusing at first. I questioned how this story could be as captivating as its predecessor but this could be down to my personal interest in crime stories. Having listened to the first episode however I am itching to find out more about the story and see how this develops. Having not heard or seen anything about Bergdahl prior to this point, I find myself strangely drawn towards digging around for articles or clips about the story. I did however question how the synopsis would be relevant- Season 1 analysed a case which was active and in due course has seemed to actually prompt the respective authorities to act. But this story seemed like it was over and dealt with. Until just four days after the release of the debut episode of Season 2, General Robert B. Abrams of the US Army Forces Command ordered Bergdahl face a court martial charge on charges of desertion.

Traitor or not? We will find out over the coming weeks; one thing is for sure though- things just got a little bit more interesting…

Have you listened to Serial before or currently listening? Let me know what you think with a tweet to @MeteCritic and please don’t forget to read and support the other blogs on the Out Of Lives website; some truly wonderful pieces of work on there!

If you are open to auditory pleasure we also have a number of podcasts which may tickle your fancy. Check out the list below:

@Outoflivespod

@Outofxfire

@OutofNowherePod

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Mete Redif, Mete Calls himself a critic, which is a lot nicer than what we call him. Wasn't happy to discover a site using a similar name to his articles.
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