Because we’re just as hooked as the rest of you…
Stage 1: Sweet oblivion
Have they brought out a new type of Rice Krispies or what?
Stage 2: Curiosity
Ok, you’re vaguely interested. You’ve heard people mention Cereal eight times in the last half hour and been too embarrassed to admit you’ve no idea what they’re talking about… so you just nodded.
Stage 3: Realisation
It’s Serial with an ‘S’.
Stage 4: Even more curiosity
Right, enough lagging behind the zeitgeist! You resisted long enough. You’re going in.
Stage 5: Scepticism
Sure, it sounds interesting. But can a podcast about a crime from 15 years ago really be that addictive? Like, addictive compared to Netflix? People are bizarre.
Stage 6: Submission
No, wait – PEOPLE ARE RIGHT.
That’s what people are: right!
Stage 7: Moderation
Fine, you’ll admit how great Serial is. But you’re just going to listen to one podcast a week, so that you can fully enjoy the suspense between each episode as intended.
Stage 8: Less moderation
Ok, maybe one more. You have spare time to kill in between waking, eating and sleeping, after all.
You start to look on Sarah Koenig’s voice as a kind of soothing lullaby. Sometimes you dream the two of you are real-life friends.
Stage 9: Obsession
You’re five episodes in and suddenly nothing else is as important as finding out who killed Hae Min Lee. Why did you ever think sleeping was such a priority? Or showering, for that matter.
Stage 10: Evangelism
You need everyone else to listen to Serial too. Not for their own enjoyment, but so they can listen to your theories and tell them how wise and brilliant you are.
Stage 11: Paranoia
You’re listening in the bath. In bed. At work. On the loo. Silence begins to unnerve you – not least because you’re spending the majority of your day thinking about murder.
Stage 12: Moral uncertainty
You begin to wonder if it’s wrong to derive so much entertainment out of a real crime. After all, Hae wasn’t a character in a TV drama – she was a real teenage girl who was horribly murdered.
Then you decide it’s almost definitely wrong and wish the thought had never occurred to you.
Stage 13: Justification
But… it’s still raising everyone’s awareness of violence against women though, which is incredibly important. And if the crime is more thoroughly investigated as a result of the podcast, can that be bad? Particularly if it turns out Adnan didn’t do it after all… right?
Stage 14: Confusion
You try focus on the facts, and how important it is for justice to be done. What about Jay? And the Nisha call? And all that stuff about the flasher in the woods? To be honest, you were hoping for some kind of clarity to emerge as the episodes went on.
You hoped wrong.
Stage 15: Full immersion
You read around the case. A lot. In fact, you’re so busy sending everyone links to interesting blogs that you find yourself wondering if you ought to start using Mail Chimp.
Stage 16: Cold turkey
Without noticing, you’ve caught up with the episodes. You must wait. And wait. And oh, there’s a Thanksgiving break!
Wait some more.
Stage 17: Frustration
Thursday feels like years away. YEARS. ‘Helpful’ people suggest other things you could listen to instead.
18. What happens next?
We don’t know. THAT’S THE POINT.