After 12 much-discussed episodes, the This American Life spin-off Serial closed its first season on a note of uncertainty. Sarah Koenig and her crew tirelessly dug into the Hae Min Lee murder case, and found no clear answer as to whether or not it was the convicted Adnan Syed that killed his ex-girlfriend. For many, this ambiguity was a major letdown. And now one of those deeply disappointed listeners has an ax to grind with a podcast of her own.
PBS reports Undisclosed: The State v. Adnan Syed will pick up the investigation where Serial left us hanging. However, this is no official Serial spinoff. While that show attempted to explore the facts and claims of the Lee case with an open mind, this new podcast has a firm agenda: proving Syed innocent.
Undisclosed is being produced by a familiar name to Serial fans, Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and outspoken advocate for Syed, who believes he was falsely convicted. With help of fellow attorneys, Susan Simpson and Colin Miller, Chaudry hopes to give audiences still interested in the case new information and insights that Serial excluded. This includes an alternate take on what those cell phone records mean, and how the zeitgeist of Baltimore at the time may have impacted the court case. And with Syed waiting on word for his latest appeal, the timing here could be crucial.
She tells PBS:
“[People are] still intrigued, they still want to know more. They want Serial to do updates, and Serial isn’t. So we will…The more public support we have in terms of skepticism toward the case, I think it has an impact on the case itself. That’s my goal.”
Surely there are some Serial fans who will jump at the chance to hear this case further explored. But Chaudry’s telegraphing of her motive for Undisclosed could scare off fans who admired Koenig’s open-minded approach. Undisclosed: The State v. Adnan Syed will kick off April 13th. Will you listen?