The only thing wrong with Serial is that there's no new episode out today, right now, this very second. Other than that, it is perfect, and engaging and, seriously, what is up with Jay?!
Okay, calm down. By this time of week, you're probably twitching in anticipation for the next episode. The This American Life team clearly knew what they were doing when they created a tantalizing podcast series, and then made it virtually impossible to binge. In the age of Netflix, audiences are accustomed to consuming content on demand. But, with Serial, we're forced to watch the clock until Thursday when Sarah Koenig drops the next installment.
But, just because Ira Glass is a sadistic maniac bent on tormenting us with weekly doses of audio heroin, that doesn't mean you can't get your Serial fix somewhere else. The Internet, in its great benevolence, has given us a wealth of websites, parodies, and products based on the mega-hit podcast.
We've rounded up the best binge-able Serial resources out there so you never have to sweat through anticipatory Wednesdays, dreary post-episode Fridays, or any of those other dumb-ass days that aren't Thursday.
Your move, Ira.
First and foremost is Rabia Chaudry's blog, Split The Moon. You (obviously) remember Rabia as Adnan's family friend, interviewed in the first two episodes of Serial. Now an activist and attorney, she began simultaneously blogging along when the podcast began, sharing her own memories and experiences around the case.
Rabia is not only an intimate and impassioned writer, she is a necessary reminder that this story is real, and not just a juicy series we're all hooked on. It's easy to get lost in our own speculation (see: some of the not-so-thoughtful comments on the #FreeAdnan hashtag), but Rabia's blog adds a vital new layer to the story. As a longtime defender of Adnan, she's thrilled that the podcast has brought so much attention to his case, but she's also a voice of reason and reality. Whether you think he did it or not, this was still a murder case involving real people — not characters.
Rabia fills in a lot of details and perspective. And, she promises: no spoilers.
The Serial subreddit is ground zero for conspiracy theorists, supporting materials, and lively debate. It's currently the world's biggest water cooler and a great place to go if no one else in your office cares where the hell Jay is.
Here, you can dive into details you may have missed on the most recent episode. This is a story with many players and a lot of changing information (The neighbor kid? WHAT?), so it's easy to get lost. This is where you can find all the answers — plus, a zillion new questions. If you fall down this rabbit hole, good luck getting out.
Woodlawn Location Tour
Yesterday, the AV Club posted possibly the greatest gem to come out of the Serial subreddit: a video tour of all the locations discussed in the series. Of course, we know from Sarah's descriptions that this suburban Baltimore neighborhood looks like any generic American town. But, through the lens of this story, it feels like Dickensian London — cloaked in fog and long-held secrets.
Drive by Leakin Park, Woodlawn High School, and that poor, unfortunate Best Buy location that suddenly got dragged into a murder investigation. Seriously, how PO'd is Best Buy these days?
This YouTube parody series created by Zach Cherry, Paul Laudiero, and Will Stephen is almost as good as the real thing. It picks up on all the tropes and hallmarks that Serial fans love. As with the actual show, it is virtually impossible to explain what makes this parody so great and so you just HAVE to listen.
It's engaging, mysterious, and as with Serial, it doesn't release new episodes fast enough. Other than that, we love it.
Die-hard fans know that the real star of the show is Mail Chimp (Mail Kimp?), the email marketing company that provides financial support. This piece from Vocativ explores the Serial sub-fandom growing around Mail Chimp and all the new, important questions it raises:
Who is the girl who can't pronounce the word "chimp?" Is this a reading issue, or a speech impediment? Is she unfamiliar with primates?
Does that lady at the end actually use Mail Chimp? Really? Okay, so what's her business? When did she sign up for the service. Where are the receipts? This just doesn't add up.
Sarah Koenig, we demand answers.
If you're still not satisfied with all the outlets to express your devotion to Serial, then SerialTalk.com is your resource. Apparently run by professional listeners, this website sorts answers to all your burning questions in categories: Open, Answered, Resolved, and Closed.
There is nothing so wonderful as hearing the light, percussive notes of the Serial theme music every Thursday morning. If you have a newfound Pavlovian response to the eerie music of Serial, then check out all the original scoring from Nick Thorburn right here.
It's not as amazing without, y'know, the words. But, it'll add a spooky score to your whole day (or your own Serial parody).
The next natural step when you find a hit podcast is to create a podcast about that podcast. That's exactly what Slate did with its Serial Spoilers series. The free show includes a weekly recap and discussion of each new episode.
Slate's coverage of the show is already great, but the fact that this meta podcast exists serves both as entertainment and total validation of our obsession with the show. Get on it.
I mean, of course there's a T-shirt. Run out of binge-reading, listening, and watching? Maybe some retail therapy will help.
How People Obsess Over Serial
Sick of obsessing over your obsession? Too bad, because UCB created an entire video titled, "How People Obsess Over Serial." You are not alone.