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If You Like Serial

March 13, 2015 at 9:00 AM

It’s been two months since the Serial podcast ended, and there’s no date in sight for season two. If you have a Serial-shaped hole in your life, here are a few podcasts, movies, television shows, and books that might fill the space.


Love + Radio
“From PRX’s Radiotopia, Nick van der Kolk’s Love + Radio features in-depth, otherworldly-produced interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime.”

“Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.”

“Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.”

“A series about what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one.”

“Featuring true stories about people we meet, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that WE aren't even who we thought we were.”



“When the body of eleven-year-old Danny Latimer is found on the beach in Broadchurch on the Dorset coast, Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller and her newly-appointed boss, Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, are called to investigate. As suspicions mount and the mystery deepens, a national spotlight descends upon Broadchurch, threatening to pull the town, its residents and their secrets apart.”

The Wire
“Follows a single sprawling drug and murder investigation in Baltimore. Told from the point of view of both the police and their targets, where easy distinctions between good and evil are challenged at every turn.”

“Staten Island filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio reveal how an urban legend conjured up to keep kids from exploring abandoned buildings became a horrifying reality when a mysterious drifter began abducting children in their tight-knit urban neighborhood.”

Murder on a Sunday Morning
“The genesis of this Oscar-winning documentary feature was one of the more appalling miscarriages of justice in recent American history.”

True Detective: Season One
“In 2012, Louisiana State Police Detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart are brought in to revisit a homicide case they worked in 1995.”

Top of the Lake
“A pregnant 12 year-old girl who won't reveal who the father is, walks chest deep into the freezing waters of a New Zealand lake and disappears. Robin Griffin is called in to investigate and becomes more and more obsessed.”


The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, Wes Moore
“Rhodes scholar, army captain, White House Fellow, one of Crain's "Top Young Business Leaders," and one of People's "Most Eligible Bachelors," Moore also shares a name with a man born in his Baltimore neighborhood in the same year and now serving a life sentence in prison. He uses their dual stories to explain the difficulties facing young men, particularly young African American men.”

Fatal Vision, Joe McGinness
“True story of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, the handsome, Princeton-educated physician convicted of savagely slaying his young pregnant wife and two small children, murders he vehemently denies committing.”

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Mary Roach
“An oddly compelling, often hilarious forensic exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem.”

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, Jon Krakauer
“At the core of his book is an appalling double murder committed by a pair of Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims.”

God'll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi, John Safran
“After interviewing infamous white supremacist Richard Barrett in Mississippi for a film on race, Safran, a white Jewish Australian documentarian born in that state, learned that Barrett had been murdered by a young black man named Vincent McGee. He returned to investigate.”

Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade, Walter Kirn
“The true story of a young novelist who meets and befriends an eccentric, privileged New Yorker when he delivers a crippled hunting dog to him from an animal shelter, and later discovers that his friend was a serial imposter and brutal double-murderer.”

In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences, Truman Capote
“On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.”

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
, Erik Larson
“Intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death.”

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
“Doctors retrieved cells from Henrietta Lacks, the descendants of freed slaves, and used them to create the first immortal human cell line grown in culture-with important consequences for cancer research, in vitro developments, gene mapping, and more. But they never told her or her family.”

photo credit: Patrick Breitenbach 


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