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.

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7 comments

  1. Jonathan Brody · November 21, 2015

    I understand that Koening tried to get ahold of Lee’s family which is nice, but I don’t necessarily think that it is appropriate since they never actually heard back from them. I just think it is a very sensitive subject that would need to be not taken lightly.

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    • cjvjj5 · November 22, 2015

      Yeah, I feel had Hae’s family participated it would have changed the podcast a great deal.

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  2. 4guysandagirlblog · November 21, 2015

    It’s interesting to me that Hae’s family did not want to participate in the podcast. Sure their participation would have added something extra to the story, but it also would have helped listeners understand who Hae was as a person. Their participation would have helped us understand more about Hae’s likes, dislikes, views, emotions, and much more. I wonder if her family regrets not participating now that the podcast has become so popular.

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  3. Tara · November 21, 2015

    I like the fact that you brought up Mr. S.. I think that it was a crucial key for Koenig to distract the audience into thinking that she was really going to solve this case by bringing in the unexpected witness. I was waiting for the big finger point to Mr. S. and that we would be all happy that Hae Minh Lee’s murder was solved! But it’s like the news today- we are told about dumb celebrities or irrelevant news stories when there are many more incredibly important events going on.

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  4. Noal Murphy · November 21, 2015

    I agree with your idea that having perspective from Hae’s family might have made the podcast more real and appropriate even in its entertaining form (although, as you say, they didn’t offer it). However, I disagree that “Serial is not exciting because it’s based on an innocent girl’s life being taken.” I think that that reality makes serial more exciting, if anything.

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  5. Doemonique · November 28, 2015

    Nice job on your note about Jay. It was a good move on Sarah’s behalf to hold off on describing the physical appearance of Jay until after the audience had already created their own image of him, based on his actions up to that point .

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  6. Matthew Fosse · November 28, 2015

    I for one also believe that having Hae’s family perspective may have given the podcast more appeal but I do agree that the podcast may not be all that exciting at times because it is based on an innocent girl’s life being taken. Don’t get me wrong, the podcast is entertaining, but remembering that fact at random times of the podcast throws me off just a little bit.

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