The 17 stages of Serial addiction

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.

Seinfeld cereal gif


Stage 3: Realisation

It’s Serial with an ‘S’.

Emma Watson realisation gif


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


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.

Moss IT Crowd gif


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.

Parka and Recreation headphones gif


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.

Oh my god I need help gif


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.

Dowager Countess never wrong gif


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.

Gollum listening gif


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.

Everything was making sense gif


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.

Tom Hanks gif


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.

Please come back Gloria gif


Stage 17: Frustration

Thursday feels like years away. YEARS. ‘Helpful’ people suggest other things you could listen to instead.

Parks and Recreation no gif


18. What happens next?

We don’t know. THAT’S THE POINT.

Listen to Serial here.


Lauren Bravo

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