If the soundtrack to your Thursday is "Mail...kimp?", the sight of a Best Buy makes you check for a payphone, or your week revolves around that little red dot telling you the latest ep of Serial is up, welcome, my friend, to the Serial obsessive's club. I have been listening from week one and have loved every frustrating minute. I'm not going to spoil anything for those of you who haven't listened, or haven't caught the final episode released today, other than to say that as a journalist and a listener I think Sarah Koenig and the team did a great job. And if anyone wants to get a wine and hash through why I am convinced Jen Pusatero was in on it, let me know.
In the meantime, though, we have more pressing matters to attend to and that is: WHAT THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW SERIAL IS OVER?! I, unlike Serial, have all the answers.
May I suggest...
The inspiration behind Serial:
The Staircase is a French doco series that the creators of Serial have named as a model for the podcast. It's another did-he-do-it case - involving a husband who claimed he found his wife dead at the bottom of a staircase - that had real-life knock on effects. Watch it on YouTube.
A ghost story - or is it?
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters is one of my favourite novels of all time, and part of that is because it makes the unanswered questions so delicious. It's about the mysterious happenings in an old manor house in post-war England and what it means to be haunted. Sleepless nights are guaranteed.
A classic legal drama on the power of juries:
Imagine if just one of the jurors on Adnan Syed's trial was convinced he was innocent - and set out to prove it the other people deciding his fate. This is what happens in 12 Angry Men, a 1957 classic film starring Henry Fonda. It's so good, you guys.
A tale of a serial murderer and how the internet might help catch him:
This great piece about the LA Night Stalker - and how solving the case took over one reporter's life - appeared in the Los Angeles magazine last year. Full of fascinating detail, it's less about the answer and more about the process of digging up clues from long-ago murders.
A twisty-turny mystery with an awesome woman at its heart:
Serial reminded me so much of The Killing, a US crime series that follows the investigations of homicide detective Sarah Linden, a complicated and flawed woman, and her partner, Holder. It's not your average cop drama, and I was kept guessing until the end of every season. Well worth a watch.
A legal drama where the lawyers actually do their effing jobs:
Reversal of Fortune is a recommendation from Michael, who loved this inspired-by-true-events film about an unlikeable aristocrat on trial (Jeremy Irons) for the attempted murder of his wife (Glenn Close). He hires a shit-hot lawyer who can't decide whether to believe his client or not - but the public has already made up their mind.
A hilarious take on what could have happened in the Serial finale:
But thank goodness it didn't. Were YOU. STEPPING OUT. On STEPHANIE?!
What other books, films, series or podcasts have you gotten obsessed with? I'd love to know!