11.20.2014

I Don't Listen to Serial


I tried. I did. When the umpty-millionth person gushed about how addictive and compelling the Serial podcast is, I tuned in. I listened to two episodes, and even though Sarah Koenig is a fantastic reporter and engaging narrator, I could not past the horror that this is a thing that really happened. This is, of course, the whole point of True Crime. True Crime is bested only by Horror in the contest of genres I can't handle.

Hae Min Lee was a girl who was murdered. Hae Min Lee was a girl who was murdered and who had parents who grieve her loss. Inasmuch as Serial is investigative reporting, demonstrating the vicissitudes about how crimes are solved and unearthing weaknesses in the criminal justice system, okay. Inasmuch as Serial might actually crack (or re-crack) the case, even better. But inasmuch as Serial is entertainment - addictive and compelling and so loaded with suspense that the listeners can't wait until Thursday - nope. Can't go there.

I was recently called insufferably sanctimonious by an anonymous person on the internet. It was about something else, and I was heartened that plenty of people said that this was not in fact a true assessment of me. But maybe it is. Surely, being a Debbie Downer about Serial doesn't help my defense against the "insufferably sanctimonious" claim. So if you concur with that description, I get it. I only ask that you trust me when I say that it's an insufferable sanctimoniousness borne out of an earnest instinct to honor human life.

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