It was just a few years ago that Serial became the podcast that everyone was talking about. It included murder, a trial, and serious questions as to whether or not justice had been served, so of course the podcast went beyond viral. When we found out that the folks behind-the-scenes were getting ready to release a brand new, bone-chilling series, we knew it would be awesome, but you need to check out these five reasons why S-Town will be even bigger than Serial.
First, be warned that there are potential spoilers ahead, though we’ve done our best not to reveal anything that would ruin your listening experience.
Now, to set the sitch: S-Town tells the story of a man named John B. McLemore, who asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who had “allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder.” However, while the entire ruckus may at first be based on mere rumors, things take a turn for the worse when someone ends up dead.
Sparking “a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life,” this series is seriously intense. And frankly, the people behind the S-Town podcast have managed to make this retelling and investigation so interesting, it could end up being even bigger than Serial. Here’s why.
1. A+ Reporting: Not content to merely retell a few rumors, host Brian Reed often mentions the countless hours that went into piecing this project together, and the result is an impressively thorough examination of a twisted situation.
2. Deadly Turn of Events: While Serial focused on a past crime that was still having current-day consequences, S-Town begins with investigative interviews and very quickly takes a deadly turn. Forcing Reed to adapt to the unexpected twists, we’re taken along as even the host is trying to figure out what exactly has occurred and what will happen next.
3. Sizzling Political Subtext: Focusing on a figure who’s not only atheist but also believes in climate change, there’s an obvious friction between McLemore and the Republican-leaning town in Alabama where he lives. With host Brian Reed hailing from NYC, one interview subject illustrates the sitch clearly by accusing Reed of being “one of these left-wingers that we upset in the election.”
4. McLemore Wooing Any Steampunk Lover: Stepping into John B. McLemore’s world is like stepping into a steampunk dream. Antique clocks, miniature gilded trains, and even hedge mazes make McLemore seem like someone who might have been brought up in England instead of Alabama.
5. Characters As Familiar Figures: Just like Serial, listeners are not only drawn into the story, but they also become familiar with each of the intriguing figures involved. S-Town couldn’t have found a better group of characters if they’d done Hollywood-level castings of professional performers. Beyond that, the people in the story could be folks we all know from back home (ya know, depending on where “back home” actually is). Plenty of fans will also relate to the main figure: A man who never really fit in with those around him and did his best to find ways to be happy.
If this has piqued your interest, you should definitely start listening to S-Town ASAP.
Have you been listening to S-Town? Do you think it’s even better than Serial? Let us know @BritandCo!
(h/t CNET; photo via Terry Wyatt/Getty)