“Serial”, “Undisclosed”, And a Brand New Cincinnati Moms’ Podcast Club!



Yes, hi. You, out there. You with the baby, or maybe even toddler. You on the couch. You who used to talk to other adults. Real, breathing, human beings who acknowledged you and actually talked back. But here you are. With a beautiful child who communicates in shrills and smiles.

So recently, you find yourself binge-watching ridiculous reality television with the gusto of a middle school student  faking a sick day. In fact, you’ve gotten so good at switching between cable, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Go, that your little, darling baby has started grabbing the remote, looking at the television, and pressing buttons. Oops.

Feeling guilty? Feeling like you need something intellectual, but something that doesn’t require much movement off the nursing couch where you currently live survive?

I’ve got something for that.

Podcasts1For those of you who haven’t tuned in, the podcast “Serial”, a spinoff of “This American Life”, might provide you with what you’re seeking. The first season, hosted by political reporter Sarah Koenig, is a factual re-investigation of a murder that happened in Baltimore in 1999. There are currently 12 episodes of the first season, which started airing in October of 2014, with another season, based on a different true story, coming in 2015.  It is provocative, well-researched, and extremely engaging. There are so many nuances, so many places to find information, so much available on-line for you to explore. And the best part? If you haven’t already tuned in, you can binge-listen! All of the episodes are available for streaming. *Scroll to the bottom for more information.

Serial’s first season re-examines the case of then high school senior, Adnan Syed, who is convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Koenig pieces together tidbits from the case, revisiting key witnesses, and adding new evidence. Because of some of her findings, Adnan Syed received the right to appeal this past February.

It’s a fabulous conversation starter with friends, even if you’re only speaking via group text these days, because it is filled with twists and turns. Similar to the dress debacle of 2015 (is it blue and black? white and gold?: The Dress ), it is easy to find yourself shocked by all of the differing opinions, especially those of friends and family. Koenig masterfully takes the listener on an emotional roller coaster, where she is also a passenger. As she discovers, you discover. Think one thing, and the next chapter will have you questioning what you thought you knew. As a reporter, she attempts to stay neutral, and constantly self-examines her role, her thoughts, and her beliefs. Plus, it offers intriguing insight into the American court system.

Although Serial has moved on to another topic for 2015 (not yet announced), the case goes on. And so do the Podcasts. On April 13, a new Podcast was released, which will continue this fascinating saga. It’s called “Undisclosed”, and is not associated with “Serial” or “This American Life.” It is brought to us bi-weekly care of three attorneys, including Rabia Chaudry who first introduced this case to Sarah Koenig. The other two attorneys are Colin Miller, known for his EvidenceProf Blog, and Susan Simpson known for her blog The View From LL2. (See below for links.) This podcast is less about storytelling and investigative journalism and more about the legal aspects of the case. It is also admittedly biased, as Chaudry is a childhood friend of Adnan Syed. The podcast is sponsored by the Adnan Syed Legal Trust, which raised over $94,500 through crowd funding at LaunchGood–and that number continues to rise.  The podcasts will run at least into June, as that is the time Adnan’s appeal is scheduled to be heard.

Have you tuned in? Do you think Adnan is guilty? Innocent? I have my own theories, but I would love to hear yours and get a conversation going! We have launched a new Podcast Club to discuss each episode of Serial LIVE on Facebook!  Similar to a book club, we will discuss the first episode next Monday, May 4th at 9:00PM EST. Join the group here, and don’t forget to log in Monday night!

Cincy Podcast Club

Can’t get enough? Gearing up for our live chat? Check out these resources:

Find out more about “Serial”: http://serialpodcast.org/

Documents, Maps, Evidence, Etc.: http://serialpodcast.org/maps

The Innocence Project: http://www.innocenceproject.org/

LaunchGood’s Fund Raising for Adnan Syed: https://www.launchgood.com/project/the_adnan_syed_trust

The “Undisclosed” Website: http://www.undisclosed-podcast.com/

Susan Simpson’s Blog: http://viewfromll2.com/

Colin Miller’s EvidenceProf Blog–Colin Miller is http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/

Rabia Chaudry’s Blog: http://www.splitthemoon.com/


Also Recommended:

“This American Life” Podcast: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

SNL’s Christmas Spoof of Serial: https://screen.yahoo.com/christmas-serial-112236849.html




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