Podcast series ‘Serial’ is captivating

Alex Dapp

In December, I found myself repeatedly hearing on KCUR of a gathering held at the Westport Flea Market. Every so often, when I would hear the advertisement during breaks of “NPR’s Fresh Air,” the commercial would remind listeners of the “Serial” discussion group that was, at the time, held once a week after the new podcast aired.

At first, I found myself wondering what people could possibly have to discuss about a delicious breakfast alternative. I have never been so pleased to be wrong. Turns out, “Serial” isn’t a sugar coated, whole grain delight, it is something even more addictive and satisfying.

I am almost embarrassed, but still slightly impressed with myself, that after downloading the first podcast episode, I made it through the next four episodes within the same night. I was hooked.

“Serial” investigates the mysterious murder of Hae Min Lee, a senior at a Baltimore high school in 1999. The podcast is hosted by Sarah Koenig, a journalist and producer of “This American Life” on NPR. Koenig invites listeners to follow along as she takes on the task of trying to uncover the real truth of the enigmatic case that eventually landed Adnan Syed, Lee’s ex-boyfriend, a lifelong sentence in prison.

Throughout the podcast series, a new person is introduced each episode who has some involvement with the case. The listeners follow along as Koenig reveals what information she has discovered, creating a sort of “choose your own adventure” experience. Listeners are left hanging at the end of each episode as Koenig teases with the information that she will reveal next time.

So whether you are a murder mystery fan or simply like the thrill of the chase, “Serial” is the podcast for you. Listen online at serialpodcast.org.