Just over a year ago, the much beloved This American Life radio program produced by WBEZ in Chicago introduced their massively popular and award winning spinoff podcast, Serial. The show’s first season chronicled host Sarah Koenig’s investigation into the 1999 murder of a Baltimore high school student, and the bizarre details of the trial of the man who was ultimately found guilty and given a life sentence. The incredibly intimate and compelling story made the podcast into a massive phenomenon, remaining in the top five podcasts on iTunes since 2014, and helped push the podcast medium into the mainstream.
The final episode was released on Dec. 18 of last year, leaving the horde of rabid fans in the lurch. Until now. Today, This American Life released the first episode of the second season of Serial. It’s an all new story, and this time Sarah Koenig is investigating Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a United States Army soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban. Along with the release of the episode, Koenig released a written introduction to the second season of Serial:
“Our first season was about a murder case few people had heard about. Season Two is a story a gazillion people have heard about: the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years. It’s been in the newspapers and on TV; it’s been the subject of congressional investigations (in fact, this very day, the House Armed Services Committee is releasing a report on the Bergdahl trade)—and it’s an active case in military court.”
“Unlike our story in Season One, this one extends far out into the world. It reaches into swaths of the military, the peace talks to end the war, attempts to rescue other hostages, our Guantanamo policy. What Bergdahl did made me wrestle with things I’d thought I more or less understood, but really didn’t: what it means to be loyal, to be resilient, to be used, to be punished.”
Listen to a preview of the first episode right here:
Head over to serialpodcast.org or your favourite podcasting app and start your Serial addiction anew.