This morning as I left my house, I put in my earbuds and tapped the “Podcasts” app on my iPhone screen, just as I always do when I’m walking to the subway. But this morning, something different happened....because....
SERIAL IS BACK!!!
I squealed out loud, downloaded it immediately and was humming along to the plinky theme music by the time I reached the G train. Do, do, do, do, do-do, do, do, do. The goofy MailChimp ad is also back, and I never really realized how much I missed it. “Mail....kimp?”
After almost a full year off air, Serial has a new story. Season two will investigate the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked away from his military outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban. When Bergdahl returned to the US after Obama traded him for five Taliban prisoners in 2014, the Army charged Bergdahl with desertion.
The first episode of season two introduces us to Bergdahl with selections of recorded conversation between Bergdahl and journalist and screenwriter Mark Boal. A teaser at the end of the episode promises more in-depth reporting from Sarah Koenig - we won’t spoil it for you, but prepare to be shocked by a certain phone call.
The first season of Serial was a full-blown cultural phenomenon. It’s been downloaded more than 68 MILLION times. It got many people - including me - interested in podcasts, giving the whole genre a boost. It’s been credited with inspiring everything from the popular podcast Mystery Show, which solves lighthearted mysteries like Jake Gyllenhaal’s height, to the upcoming Netflix true crime series Making A Murderer. There was even a hilarious SNL parody.
Maybe even more importantly, Serial’s coverage of the first season’s story - 17-year-old Hae Min Lee’s murder and Adnan Syed’s conviction on first degree murder charges - led to a new hearing for Syed.
To put it lightly, Serial season two has a lot to live up to...but the first episode is off to a strong start. We’ll be listening, and you should be, too.
Do do do do do-do do do do.
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