I had the pleasure of interviewing Rabia Chaudry a few weeks ago, the woman who first approached NPR’s Sarah Koenig with the case that went on to be investigated for the now famous Serial podcast. It’s a series that I have been addicted to since one long road trip in November.
The last episode of the series was last night and the response from listeners on social media has been everything from nasty and name-calling to supportive and insightful.
So where do I fall on this spectrum?
Each week, I sat with my husband next to the speaker as if we had traveled back in time to the era of the Fireside Chats. We huddled together without a sound except Sarah Koenig’s voice, or the occasional painful screeching of the defense attorney. We shut off the television, we took a break from our busy lives, and we spent time listening. Then talking. Then listening again.
And on the day of the last episode, I went rouge and off plan and listened all by myself in the car after preschool drop off. I couldn’t wait, I was too eager.
And I was disappointed.
But not in the podcast.
I was disappointed in myself.
I was disappointed because the whole allure of the experience was listening with my husband and dissecting it together.
See that’s what I think the whole point in the series was.
To create a narrative. To get people talking. Not staring at a television screen or getting consumed in their own day to day routines. But stopping, listening and then talking. Each week, I loved that. I loved pouring that glass of wine and picking apart each detail, each witness and laying them out as if we were detectives on Law & Order.
I was disappointed I didn’t have that for the finale. However, I did own up to it and had to kiss his ass for the next four hours after admission. Finally, he asked if I would listen again and we were back on track.
So what did I think of the ending?
I loved it.
I loved it because it was true, it was honest, and it was what storytelling should be.
It was impossible to have a wrapped-up-like-a-bow ending. That isn’t real life and the entire point of the series was the reality of it. Not like “reality tv” reality, but real reality. Real people in real time.
Not all stories have a happy ending. Some are on-going. Some are heartbreaking. But what the ending of Serial did was leave us wanting more. Which, in my opinion, is the always the mark of a wonderful storyteller.2 Comments