Friday, December 19, 2014

Serial (contains spoilers)

 Did you get hooked? I did. But like a lot of things, I was late to the game. Someone told me about it in the beginning and I kept thinking about tuning in and catching up. In the end, I didn't get around to it until it was nearly over. So, just like what we sometimes do with TV seasons when we watch an entire season at in a weekend, for about three days, I" binge listened" to Serial. I alternated between listening on my ipad and my phone. I took notes. I can't help it. I am a note taker. It helps me both remember and process what I'm hearing. And still, I want to go back and listen to the entire series again. Don't you?
 I loved the way Sarah Koenig talked to us. She seemed honest and open. There was talk about how journalists shouldn't have feelings about what they are reporting on and Sarah's response was something like "we'll, we aren't machines." Sarah investigated this murder case, but also allowed us to experience how she felt along the way. And then, if you weren't getting how she felt, she would sum it up in the next sentence for us. We were literally, along for the ride. In episode five when Sarah and Dana start out at the school and drove to the Best Buy - in twenty minutes - we were along. Kind of like "isn't this fun?" And the phone calls to Adnan - I loved those. My favorite part of the intro every episode was "this is a call from Adnan Sayed, an inmate at a Maryland correctional facility."
The other player I really loved was Deidre Enright - I know someone whose voice sounds like Deidre (and, amazingly, she is an attorney, too). I loved how Deidre spoke - I love the last time we heard from her how when Sarah called her Deidre sang out "Sarah!" Isn't it great that her students (the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law) are going to get some DNA testing, FINALLY?
I have family in Maryland who live very near to where many places were referenced in the story. I've passed Patapsco State Park many times. (Was there really a trip to Patapsco/the cliffs?)
Many act as if this serial storytelling is a new concept. Isn't that what was going on when our parents and grandparents gathered around the radio to listen to stories in the days before t.v.? But even Sarah admitted this idea is not novel and as she said "as old as Dickens."
Listening to a story is comforting when we are children and I don't know that it ever ends. Doesn't everyone love to be read to? I remember when my children were small and I would take them to story hour at the library in their pajamas. I was a stressed out single mama and I would sit with them - my little one on my lap and my older one cuddled next to me and it was such a soothing time for all of us. When I was a child, they would read about Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat and film turning the pages of the book and it was restful.
Were you disappointed in the end? I was a bit, but not surprised. I figured we wouldn't get real closure - that we would be left hanging. I mean, this is real life - not a work of fiction.  I wouldn't have convicted Sayed, either. There wasn't enough evidence. Was it just me or was there a lot of confusion over who had the car and the cell phone when? This is a reason I need to go back to listen again.
In episode twelve: what was with this dude named Josh? Where did he come from? The entire country, millions of people are listening to this podcast and Josh just suddenly learns of it and has all of this information and answers? I thought he sounded like an actor whose responses were rehearsed. It was all a little too perfect for me.
The question in my mind which begs to be answered is Where Is Jay? Because IF Sayed is innocent, that means a killer is out there. Jay knew a little bit too much about it. He was terrified. Sayed wasn't terrified because (in my humble opinion) he was innocent. When he was first arrested, he kept wondering when they were going to let him go home. If he was a killer, he would have known the jig was up.
Jay never took a polygraph, there was no search of Jay's house and what was with that long pause every time they asked Jay a question? Because he was making up his answer! The man was lying out his patootie!
Everyone is saying this podcast series will change the way of journalism. What do you think? Yesterday, there was a Ted talk about reporting via cell phones - I have to say, I've given thought to verbal blogging. Aren't you dying to hear what my voice sounds like?

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