Serial is one among many great podcasts that keep me from going slowly insane during my daily commute. If you enjoyed season one, you’ll be happy to hear that more heavy material is ready for listening. The acclaimed investigative podcast released the first episode of its second season today, which means we’ll all have plenty of “I heard ___ on Serial” moments to share. Season two covers the high-profile case of soldier Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who faces charges from the US government of desertion and misbehavior following his release after 5 years of Taliban captivity.
Spanning 12 episodes, the first season of Serial covered the case of Adnan Syed, who is imprisoned for life for the 1999 murder of his girlfriend Hae Min Lee. It was hugely popular and made Syed’s imprisonment a national conversation. It won the first Peabody award for the new podcast category; turned its host Sarah Koenig, into a media superstar; and played a huge role in getting Syed on the path to a retrial.
Unlike season one, season two of Serial is covering a topic that is not just super political but which has also been exhaustively covered in all forms of media. Bergdahl’s release polarized Americans, many see him as nothing more than a deserter criminal responisble for the death of 6 soldiers who died trying to save him from his captors. Others criticise the Obama administration for the exchange which brought him home and simultaneously released five Taliban captives.
Koenig has criticized some of the media coverage surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl’s captivity in the past; hopefully, Serial’s format help us all explore some of the mysteries surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance, captivity and rescue.