"Serial" is one of the most successful podcasts in the world, and HBO Go has brought what you can listen to in your ears to something you can see with your eyes. The podcast is about a 20-year-old murder of an 18-year-old girl as it goes through the appeal stages.
While the story is basically the same as the podcast, the audience can get a new look at Adnan's trial. There are photos, videos of the courtroom and more clips of the investigation. The most grueling difference is the photos of Hae Min Lee's body when they found her. While the podcast author, Sarah Koenig, explains what was found, seeing the photos brings a whole new light to the case and everything you listened to on the podcast.
The biggest difference between the original podcast and the new show is that there are new evidence and new appeal trials taking place while the original story is still being told. There is also new information about Adnan and the victim, Hae Min Lee, in regards to their personal life and the last year before Hae Min Lee died.
The school, Woodlawn High School, is shown and clips of the memorial service that was held for Hae Min Lee is shown. The memorial service brings to life how terrifying the death of a high schooler was for the community.
There will continue to be more information as the show goes on, including new knowledge about the victim's ex-boyfriend, who was ruled out as a possible suspect for reasons that are now seen to be invalid.
The show, however, could do a better job of differing from the podcast. Yes, it is great to have these news clips and be able to see what the people involved look like.
However, since the audience that is probably most interested is the same as the podcast, it is extremely difficult to trudge through hours of the same narration people have already listened to. I am sure it is very difficult to turn podcasts into tv shows while still respecting the original content. It is almost like when you make a book into a movie and follow every detail of the book, it is almost too familiar to want to care.
While I do believe it is beneficial to have the maps and animation, I almost feel as though HBO has let down the podcast by not adding even more information to every episode.
With all of those opinions being stated, I also know this is an ongoing investigation and the part that is the most frustrating with both the podcast and tv show is that no one has proved whether or not Adnan is guilty of murder. It is utterly obvious he should not be jailed because most evidence is circumstantial, and he cannot be proven without a reasonable doubt that he did murder Hae Min.
I have very mixed feelings about the tv show, but I hope it will continue to grow into something that can prove whether or not Adnan is truly guilty.
If you want to follow the story, go back to the beginning and listen to the Serial Podcast. So far, there are only four episodes in the series "The Case Against Adnan Syed," and it is only available on HBO Go.