Michael: Wire

Michael has grasped my attention the most in these episodes of the Wire. Unlike the other kids he hangs with he has grown up a lot with the fact that his mother is a drug addict who doesn’t seem to provide for ethier him or his much younger brother Bug. The way he reacts around older men suggests he doesn’t trust them. We notice this based on his reaction to the boxing gym coach Cutty, who has his flaws with the women and mothers of the children who work out in the gym. But we can tell Cutty just wants to really train Michael into becoming a boxer and Michael just thinks its weird that Cutty has taken an interest in him. Which leads me to believe that maybe he was molested by his father at an earlier point and thats what drives him to ask Chris and Snoop to kill his father. Michael shows them where his father is and Snoop asks  “What he do to you?” Michael doesn’t answer back and Chris just looks at him and understands . Though we didn’t get to see the brutal killing of his father in class, the way in which Chris kills Michael’s father wasn’t just about him being a junkie father to his kids. We also see how this pleased Michael afterwards when he tells his mother who had just returned from looking for the father ” Told you so”. It was a jab to her that he wasn’t ever coming back, and he would just let her think he had abandoned them again.

I feel Michael is very smart as he has obtained the interest of Marlo, Chris and Snoop’s gang leader, and has used that to his advantage to have them kill his father. Michael would have every reason to hate drug dealers for the fact that his mother is addicted to drugs and neglects her duties as a mother to him and his brother. But yet he uses the drug dealers to do justice on his father. Michael has this cool calculating dynamic to his very quiet, polite nice kid, big brother side.

Serial: Given the subject matter…

Serial is definitely exciting, the way Sarah Koenig narrates her story about Adnan Syed’s case are full of surprises, confusion and murder. Which is usually the cornerstone to any great detective story.

Due to fact that Serial is based on a real crime, Hae Minh Lee’s murder, one may ask if Serial is appropriate given the subject matter. I feel that Serial is in fact appropriate despite this. Early on in the podcast and sometime later Sarah explains how she made several attempts via letters to contact Hae Minh Lee’s family for a response on the podcast and received no word back, she assumed they did not want to be contacted. We never get to hear a sorrowful mother and father mourning the death of their child, which helps make it appropriate due to the context. Serial is not exciting because it’s based on an innocent girl’s life being taken. I found Serial to be exciting due to Sarah’s story telling and decisions on where and when to give the facts. For example we don’t even know what Jay looks like until almost halfway through the podcast, this shrouded him in mystery even though his testimony is a huge part of what lands Adnan in prison. The shady conversations between the detectives and  Jay are interesting.

Throughout the podcast, especially when Sarah reached out to “professionals” was very exciting and appropriate in it’s educational form. There is so much to learn from Serial about how a defense attorney can be over worked and screw up someones case and how detectives interest may be solely on getting the case closed rather than getting to the truth of the matter. How and where Hae’s body was found by that alcoholic streaker janitor was particularly exciting for story purposes, Sarah didn’t have to share his past time hobbies but it drew me in as a listener in a way took away form sadness of the overall situation.

A Nice Guy

Serial is a podcast by Sarah Koenig, where the audience is given a weekly episode into the events that led to Adnan Syed, the main character, left to carry out a sentence in prison for the murder of his then ex-girlfriend Hae Minh Lee. Throughout the podcast Adnan is potrayed by many as a nice kid whom would never be capable of such an act like murder. Sarah, a journalist has taken interest in the case and aims to help the audience understand the inconsistencies with the case that was made against Adnan 16 years ago. Sarah and Adnan have logged many hours over the phone in the course of her story and when we hear Adnan speak, he sounds very comfortable and relaxed speaking about his past life and the events that led up to his incarceration. It isn’t until about halfway through the  season we hear a different Adan when he asks Sarah why she is doing this story about him and Sarah responds, “My interest in it honestly has been you, like you’re a really nice guy. Like I like talking to you, you know” Adnan’s response is, “I just, yeah, oh, I mean, you don’t even really know me though uh Koenig. I’m, you don’t. I- I- maybe you do. Maybe, I don’t- we only talk on the phone, I don’t understand what you mean. I’m not- I mean, it’s-it’s-it’s just weird to hear you say that, because, I don’t even really know you–

Sarah is shocked to hear Adnan saying she doesn’t really know after speaking to him for so long in person and over the phone, and asks him to explain what he meant and what does she not know about him the next day. Adnan responds ” To be honest with you, it kinda- I feel like I want to shoot myself, if I hear someone else say, I don’t think he did it cause you’re a nice guy, Adnan. So I guess kinda, you know, cause you wouldn’t know that, but I hear people say that to me over the years and it just drives me crazy. I would love someone to hear, I would to hear love someone to say, I don’t think that you did it because I looked at the case and it looks kind of flimsy. I would rather someone say, Adnan, I think you’re a jerk, you’re selfish, you know, you’re a crazy SOB, you should just stay in there for the rest of your life except that I looked at your case and it looks, you know, like a little off. You know like something’s not right.

Though this part of the podcast may seem  very out of character of what their conversations have been like prior to this, I feel this is important in the fact that Sarah decided to share this and make it a part of her story for the audience to hear. It goes with the melodramatic style of Serial and shows us even though Sarah does in fact care for Adnan she is writer before anything else. We have to remind ourselves there is obviously many hours of other conversation between Sarah and Adnan that she specifically does not include in her story because it is not relevant to what she wants to portray to us as listeners and it doesn’t fit the conventional murder mystery style of this story. Everything up to this point and this particular conversation especially continues to grasp our attention and makes us question our previous thoughts on whether Adnan is innocent or not. Sarah is a great writer and knows how to spread the facts to give her audience just enough to keep them coming back weekly.