Happy New Year, one and all!
I had a lovely holiday filled with gifts, cake, cookies, extra poundage on my ass thanks to the two aforementioned items and joy. Leaving YOPOE (for the last damn time!) was almost as over-the-top as it was when I left in 2012. It’s nice to be so loved and despite all my complaints about being there, most of the people were awesome and it was their company I regretted leaving.
As you know, I’m a pop-culture maven and pretty much know everything (uh, about pop culture) even at my advanced age. Although I am sometimes late to the party, I get there eventually.
Case in point: Breaking Bad
I missed the hysteria about this show when it was on network television, watched the first episode on Netflix about 4 years ago and decided it was too depressing and never went back. Somewhere recently I decided to check it out again and that’s all it took to hook me into watching all five seasons in one fell swoop. (I have five eps left to go to the end.) Great, great show with layers upon layers of complexity, misplaced loyalty, and weird-ass pathology. Every single award this show has won has been earned. Bryan Cranston was magnificent in the role of Walter White with counterpoint done to perfection by Aaron Paul as Jessie (who is truly the heart of the show). It’s not a cheerful time, no. But if you’re looking for some depth and connection in your stories, this is the place to go. Five stars from this Snarkela
Fascination numero duo: Serial / Podcast from This American Life
I caught up with this one about three weeks into it and even more than the podcast itself, I enjoy all the speculation about it from the Facebook Group to the Serial Spoiler Special to the crazy Reddit discussion group. Lord have mercy, can these people go into the minutiae machine! If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the deal (from the website):
On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.
Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she’s been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators’ notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence – all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.
The crux of a lot of the discussion is whether there was reasonable doubt about Adnan’s guilt – the evidence provided did not conclusively point to him and the one witness they had (Jay) seem to have lied his ass off on the stand and even in a recent interview, created a completely different scenario for all of it.
The podcast is worth your time if you like true-crime stuff and radio programs. That it happened in my backyard and I know all the places of which they speak only added to my interest in the story.
My opinion based on what makes sense to me? I cannot say with any surety that Adnan did or did not kill Hae Min Lee. It’s my feeling that there was not enough evidence to prove (to me) beyond a reasonable doubt that he did. Were I a juror, I’d have to opt to acquit him.
After listening to the podcast and reading a good bit of the material, I suspect neither Adnan nor Jay killed her but know who did and are being threatened in some fashion. Something is not right here but no clue what.
I’ll be listening to Serial whenever the next season starts up (sometime this year).
What’s your current fascination? Spill it, people!