There were some old standbys that have tapered off like Hollywood Babble-on, but there are some that have become such favorites that we don't talk to each other until the end of each episode like The Moth or WTF.
There's only been one podcast that has us hooking the phone up to to speakers while we sit around, staring at the radio like kids waiting for an Ovaltine advertisement between the Lone Ranger episodes.
That podcast is Serial. You've probably heard of it. It's the number one podcast in the world right now. It's a story, told weekly, much inspired by famous documentaries like Thin Blue Line and pulp stories of the 50s.
It's a look at a crime that took place in 1999, a teenager that might have been wrongly convicted, and all of the witnesses, jurors, and evidence (sometimes lack thereof) that lead to Adnan Syed being imprisoned.
I love mysteries. And in an increasing environment where half the country doesn't trust the justice, this podcast was due to catch fire.
I started listening to Serial without Sal. But after six or so episodes, I needed a ringer. Sal has this annoying ability (she gets it from her mother) to solve a mystery within 15 minutes of starting the movie. I thought for sure, she would hear a piece of evidence I missed and Sal and Dan would be famous detectives, doing the talk show circuit with Sarah Koenig, because we had solved the case much of the world could not.
Over the past 13 weeks, we've listened to the weekly episode. Discussed in depth the topic of the episode. We changed our opinion multiple times. I've re-listened to every episode 3 times. Scoured Reddit and Facebook for more information and fan theories, always wanting more.
Around week 8, I realized since Adnan was still in jail and no retrial had happened. We weren't going to find out the solution to this mystery. I was worried that I had dedicated all of this time to this story and there wouldn't be a satisfying conclusion.
The final episode was this week, and surprisingly it was a satisfying conclusion. No, we did not find out who actually committed the murder, but what we did find out was significant evidence went un-used, Adnan's lawyer might have been losing it a little, and the jurors seemed significantly misinformed.
If nothing else, Adnan was not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he committed a murder, and thus, we hope this goes to retrial.
We donated a few dollars to have season 2 created. This podcast has pulled us in far more than any television show or film or videogame has since we've been married. I cannot wait to see what topic they tackle next year.