Serial Podcast-Breaking Down The First Episode

Serial Podcast Poster

In the Serial Podcast, Sarah Koenig narrates about a murder that took place in high school 1999. Long story short, the murder is about a Korean girl Hae Min Lee, who is thought to be killed by her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. 15 years later, the narrator (Koenig) brings up the case again to investigate the truth behind it. In the 1st episode, Koenig interviews Adnan’s family and friends and other people that she thinks are involved in the case. Of course, this is not an easy job since, the murder took place 15 years ago, and whats left of it, it’s probably gone by now.

Adnan Syed on the left, Hae Min Lee on the right

I really liked the Serial Podcast. In fact, I am listening to it right now as I’m writing this blog. Sarah Konieg does a very good job of narrating the situation that happened 15 years ago. You would think that she would’ve given up by now since most of the evidences are vague and limited. One of the reasons why I enjoy this podcast is that Sarah does not sound biased at all. She doesn’t make any assumptions unless it was based on a solid evidence. Other than that, she tries to stay in the middle of everything collecting any and as much evidence as she can. Second, she uses multiple voices in her recording which I really enjoy. Hearing only one voice for an entire hour can get pretty boring, but by using multiple voices, it allows me to listen to what other people have to say about the murder and keeps the podcast entertaining at the same time. Third, the informative tone of Koenig is astonishing. It is so descriptive to a point where I didn’t have any questions throughout the whole podcast. Usually, when I watch a show, I have to rewind some scene to fully understand what happened.


Sarah Koenig on Adnan Syed’s New Trial


However, I’m still really sceptical about this podcast going viral. Think of it this way. If one of your kid(s) got murdered and it got viral to a point where “40 million people”(CNN) downloads and listens to it, would you be happy? I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be. Imagine the pain Lee’s parents went through when they first found out that their beloved daughter got murdered let alone the story going viral. Obviously, there is a side that supports Adnan and another side that supports Hae Min. Lee’s parents stated that “It remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime, who destroyed our family, who refuses to accept responsibility, when so few are willing to speak up for Hae,”(Mail Online). You can probably sense by now that Lee’s parents are pissed about the story going viral and people who are taking Adnan’s side. Lee’s parents also added that  “Unlike those who learn about this case on the Internet, we sat and watched every day of both trials — so many witnesses, so much evidence,” basically explaining that listeners will never have a fair say simply because they don’t know about the murder as much as they do.


Hae Min Lee’s Parents being Interviewed


At the beginning of the second paragraph, I said that most of the evidences are probably vague and limited by now after 15 years. I feel like this is the biggest challenge that Koenig has to overcome in her podcast. I don’t have a brain damage of anything, but I can barely remember what I did last week. Now, take that into account and try to explain something that happened 15 years ago. 15 years. Like Konieg said, it is impossible to remember and try to explain what happened on that specific day unless something significant happened. She already stated that there is a lack of physical evidence on the crime scene such as hair, shoe print, any other evidence that could effectively announce that Adnan was actually there. With the lack of physical evidence, you are left with one option. That option is to talk to others who are involved in the case and make them try to recall anything they can remember on that day 15 years ago. As you already know, Koenig’s effort to recall the memories are very futile and often frustrating because either the story doesn’t make sense or changes every time.

Perhaps Koenig never should have brought up the murder case. But if internets good at one thing, it brings people together from all corners of the world to help each other. Maybe someday, somehow, someone will find a solid evidence to whether Adnan is actually guilty or not. As of now, I suppose we should not make any assumptions based on vague evidences.

Work Cited, Wills Robinson For. “Family of ‘Serial’ victim Hae Min Lee say her convicted killer Adnan Syed ‘destroyed our family’ in emotional letter that slams the podcast’s fans for running to defend him.” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 08 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 July 2017.
Roberts, Amy. “The ‘Serial’ podcast: By the numbers.” CNN. Cable News Network, 23 Dec. 2014. Web. 22 July 2017.
Links to pictures are already linked right above each picture.



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