If you are someone that enjoys true crime, then Serial is a great option. It is unlike other podcasts as it tells one true story throughout the podcast series.
It comes into much detail about the cases and what happened. Serial is a podcast by the creators of This American Life and has won many broadcasting awards.
We have discussed the five best Serial podcast episodes, so if you want to dip your toes into this podcast but are unsure of where to start. These are particularly popular and are worth a listen.
Table of Contents
S1E1: The Alibi
One of the best places to begin is right at the beginning, and the first episode of season two is one of the best overall.
The Alibi follows the case of Hae Min Lee, a senior that disappeared one day after high school. After several weeks, her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, is arrested for her murder, but is he guilty of the murder or not?
What is great about this podcast is the amount of detail it goes into. It is interesting how Sarah Koenig, the host, and producer, backtracks on what happened and talks through the events in more detail to eventually determine whether the high schooler’s ex-boyfriend did commit the murder. Sarah Koening covers all the bases.
This episode focuses on finding answers to what happened and how this case began. It sets up the series nicely and draws the listener from the get-go. It was produced by Sarah Koenig, Julie Snyder, and Dana Chivvis.
S2E2: The Golden Chicken
The Golden Chicken is the second episode in the second podcast series and explains the case in more detail. While the first episode outlines what happens well, this goes into the logistics of what has happened.
This episode focuses specifically on the weeks of searching for Bowe Bergdahl after he decides to walk away from the US army base in Eastern Afghanistan. It is interesting because it discusses how valuable a member of the US Army is to both the US Army and the Taliban when it comes to negotiations.
This episode was directed and narrated by Sarah Koenig. She provides a detailed insight into this unusual case and unpacks all the events that unfold with the court-martial charges and trial.
S3E2: You’ve Got Some Gauls
The third series of Serial was eye-opening on the whole, as it discusses a case of a young woman slapped inappropriately, but instead of the person to do this ending up in jail, she does. It unpacks all the events that happened and what led to this happening.
This episode certainly makes the listener have a lot of thoughts about what has happened. There is a lot to unpack, and Sarah Koenig, the narrator, does a great job explaining the events.
What is frightening about this case is how the justice system is corrupt. System corruption is discussed a significant amount in the podcast and how human error and incorrect decisions can have devastating effects.
S3E7: The Snowball Effect
Jumping from episode two of the third series, episode seven was interesting to listen to. This episode focuses in more detail on Jesse Nickerson and how he feels harassed by the police after the events.
It talks in more detail about the lawsuit and the case as a whole. There were a lot of questions left after the end of the episode. However, there are suggestions of victim-blaming, which did not sit right with many listeners.
This is why this is an important one to listen to because it will help you form your own opinion on the events. This episode again is narrated by Sarah Koenig.
S1E2: The Break-up
The last episode that we are going to discuss is The Break-Up. This is another interesting episode because there was so much to unpack. What is excellent about these podcast series is that you are often left with more questions than answers until the final episode.
The break-up was no different from this. As the title suggests, this episode focuses on the break-up of Adnan and Hae. This is an interesting episode because it gives the listeners a better idea of their relationship.
As the first episode sets up what happens well, this one provides a better overview of the events leading up to the murder. Sarah Koenig, again, does a fantastic job at narrating and providing the listener with a lot of information needed to have a better understanding of what happened.