Podcasts, an audible series streamed through the internet, are becoming more and more popular in the modern entertainment world. Some, like the National Public Radio’s “Serial”, are becoming particularly popular among Granite Bay High School students and teachers.
“Serial” is an intense unraveled murder case that follows the real-life conviction of a high school teenager, Adnan Syed, who was convicted for the supposed murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in January of 1999. Adnan has been serving his life sentence in prison ever since.
The podcast untwists the complicated case, and even makes listeners doubt the conviction of Adnan. The podcast pinpoints all possible theories and re-interviews all sources to find out what really happened on January 13th, 1999 – the day Hae’s body was found.
Sarah Koenig is the voice of this podcast and, according to some GBHS students, does an exemplary job at hooking the listeners into this story. Sarah Koenig is an American journalist and public radio personality. She is not a detective or a cop, just a woman with a genuine interest in this case.
Erica Lucia, a junior at GBHS said that Sarah Koenig’s voice really makes the podcast great.
“There is something about the quality of her voice where it’s not monotone and it’s not too inflected where you get tired of hearing it.” Lucia said.
Lucia also said that the podcast draws people in and really gets you hooked.
“It’s the audio quality where you want to sink into it and you want to hear what she has to say.” Lucia said.
Lucia also said that the podcast was so much more than just a voice recording.
“It’s like a performance,” Lucia said. “(And it) combines so many elements of intrigue and entertainment. It evokes human curiosity. ”
Lucia said that Kyle Holmes, GBHS Drama teacher, got her and several other students hooked into this podcast.
“He played the first episode (after school) and we were hooked.” Lucia said.
Kyle Holmes said that he was fascinated and intrigued by “Serial” because of its relatability. He said that he enjoyed watching Law and Order SVU, so “Serial” for him was like Law and Order, but, in actuality, reality.
“What’s super intriguing about it is getting this up close look at (what) they were investigating.” Holmes said.
Holmes also said that by around the second episode you realize that Sarah Koenig has already done a better job of putting together evidence for Adnan Syed than his attorney had.
Holmes said that Koenig is great.
“I think what I like about Koenig is she does what I would want a real person to do.” Holmes said.
Holmes also said that Koenig is very humane during the recording, and throughout the recording changes her mind about what really happened, just like an average listener would be.
“She flip flops back and forth, which I think (is) a human thing to do.” Holmes said.
Holmes also said that what he loved about “Serial” was its comprehensibility.
“There is something about the production of it that is accessible to average listeners.” Holmes said. “You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the evidence and make sense of it. I think that that is one of the reasons it is so successful.”
Holmes also said that he appreciated the podcast phenomenon and how it would distance us from technology and allow us to just sit in silence and listen.
“The level of production quality is such that it can get us to put our phones down and put our computers down, and just have this shared experience.” Holmes said. “I think to an extent it is art.”
When Holmes introduced “Serial” to his students after school one day, he said that it was a performance and that they would finish the podcast with a “heightened sense of awareness”.
Alee Yap, a GBHS junior, also joins in on the phenomenon that is “Serial”.
“I like how it makes you think, and you get to say if you think he is innocent or not.” Yap said
Yap also said Sarah Koenig is a great asset to “Serial” and keeps it interesting.
Yap said she too, like Lucia, learned about it because of Holmes.
Micky Frank, a GBHS senior, said that she also enjoyed the podcast a lot.
“I really liked the story,” Frank said. “The mystery was what intrigued me the most.”
Frank also said that Sarah Koenig’s voice was very intriguing and enthralling and kept her interested in the story. Mr. Holmes also got Frank interested in the podcasts.
Kelli McTague, a GBHS senior, said she too was interested in “Serial”.
“I think the whole story and the progression of evidence just keeps you hooked in the story.” McTague said.
McTague said that Sarah Koenig has a voice that is very interesting to hear, and that she was very relatable.
“She would change her opinion on the case when the evidence changed and it made it seem very realistic.” McTague said.
The phenomenon of “Serial” has spread all over the nation and, specifically, at GBHS.
“It was so cool that the level of the production quality was such that (you) can sit in a room with people, or sit in a quiet car with people, and just have this shared experience,” Holmes said. “Where you and the other people are immersed in the same story and are experiencing the same emotions.”