Nice White Parents is baaaaasically Serial Season Four, coproduced by the New York Times. It follows the model of Season Three, focusing on a single institution enmeshed in a larger system, instead of an individual case. In this case, the past, present and future of a single Brooklyn school's history of failed integration attempts. [more inside]
The Case Against Adnan Syed: Parts 1-4 Season 1, Ep 0
Directed by Academy Award-nominee Amy Berg, four-part documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed explores the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed — a case brought to global attention by the hugely popular Serial podcast.
Where is Cleo? Taken by child welfare workers in the 1970’s and adopted in the U.S., the young Cree girl’s family believes she was raped and murdered while hitchhiking back home to Saskatchewan. CBC news investigative reporter Connie Walker joins the search to find out what really happened to Cleo. [more inside]
The state of Ohio decides where Joshua belongs. [more inside]
A teenager decides to cooperate.
The highest homicide and hates crime rate in the country. A mayor charged with extortion. A police chief who faced trial for obstruction of justice. Nine tragic deaths of Indigenous high schoolers. Why does it all happen here? [more inside]
"If you listen closely to the trash-talking, you start to get the message." Follow up on the cases of Jesse Nickerson, who feels he's continually harassed by police after winning a lawsuit against them, and Erimius Spencer, beaten by a cop subsequently fired for excessive force. [more inside]
This episode deals with two separate murders of young children in Cleveland. It’s not an easy listen. [more inside]
The smell of raw marijuana + acting nervous + hands in pockets = ? [more inside]
When a judge believes he knows you better than you know yourself. [more inside]
A young woman at a bar is slapped on the butt. So why's she the one in jail? [more inside]
Salvador activates a protocol to have Julián detained and returned to the Ministry. Meanwhile, a cop from 1981 arrives in the present chasing a murderer who fled through a closet that turns out to have been a time door. His name is Jesús Méndez, nicknamed "Pacino" for his resemblance to the actor. In 2016, Pacino discovers that the he was declared guilty in absentia of the murders he was investigating. [more inside]
When the class troublemaker is blamed for the spraypainting of dicks on every car in the faculty parking lot, two intrepid reporters from the school's morning announcement program tear apart the case against him in this eight part mockumentary. Produced for Netflix and very reminiscent of it's Making a Murderer, this spot on parody of long form investigative docmunetaries distinguishes itself by allowing its characters to grow beyond the stereotypes of nerds, jocks, and burnouts. At some point after the first few episodes you realize it stopped being just a comedy and has become as complex and asorbing a mystery as the documentaries its meant to mock. [more inside]
"Since everyone around here thinks I'm a queer anyway."
"Nobody'll ever change my mind about it."
"If anybody could find it, it would be me."
"Tedious and brief." [more inside]
Brian Reed's novelistic reportage/show was released in full from the get-go. It's a tightly woven tale, with one chapter flowing into the next - here's where to discuss it as a whole. (Ep 1 thread here, ep 2 thread here.)
"Has anybody called you?" [more inside]
"If you keep your mouth shut, you'll be surprised what you can learn." From Serial and This American Life comes S•Town, narrated by Brian Reed. Meet John B McLemore, he has some stories to tell... [more inside]
The boys celebrate one year of Chapo by revisiting great past moments on the show with History of the World: Part I-style reenactments. Then they go on and reenact moments from The Ricky Gervase Show, WTF with Marc Maron, Serial, HBO's The Jinx, and more.
Paul Modrowski is in prison for a murder he claims he didn't commit, and he says he's been misunderstood because of his autism. This week, we bring you the conclusion of our story.
What's Bowe's fault, and what isn't? [more inside]
Are you hearing what I'm hearing?
Alex uncovers more connections between the mysterious grimoire and the Order of the Ceonophus, and discovers that there might be more to her insomnia than meets the eye. [more inside]
Woulda, coulda, shoulda...
It makes sense if you're Bowe Bergdahl.
This week, Sarah Koenig ducks back into the Adnan Syed case for a few days. There's a hearing in Baltimore—a court proceeding that's been nearly sixteen years in the making. Syed's attorney will introduce new evidence, and present a case for why his conviction should be overturned. Sarah and producer Dana Chivvis will discuss what happens, day by day. [more inside]
Sarah and Dana discuss Day 2 of Adnan's post-conviction hearing. We learn about how the prosecutor cross-examined Asia McClain, and how the cell phone data might not hold up.
Why did Bowe Bergdahl walk off?
Serial is going back to the Adnan Syed case for a few short daily episodes about a new hearing focusing on whether his trial lawyer was negligent. In this first episode, Asia McClain takes the stand.
CIA, FBI, YouTube, the Portland PD? There was no handbook for getting Bergdahl back. [more inside]
What's happening on the other side of the door? [more inside]
Bergdahl's first year in captivity starts with an escape and ends with an escape. In between, he learns necessary, twisted lessons of survival.
On the move with Bergdahl, the Taliban slip past the U.S. Army's massive effort to find him. During those days and weeks, each side is asking, what is Bergdahl worth to us?
In the middle of the night, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl grabs a notebook, snacks, water, some cash. Then he quietly slips off a remote U.S. Army outpost in eastern Afghanistan and into the dark, open desert. About 20 minutes later, it occurs to him: he's in over his head.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE INDESTRUCTABLE MAN Season 4, Ep 9
"Inhuman! Invincible! Inescapable!" Lon Cheney Jr. lumbers around the screen as a criminal executed by, then revived by,
magic fairies electricity, and in the process somehow made "indestructable," demonstrating the principle that, in movies, anything even vaguely scientific can attain infinite potency, given the right circumstances. With short Undersea Kingdom, Part 2: Our heroes continue to gad about Atlantis. While the series went to 12 chapters in theaters, this is the last we see of it on MST3K. Great host segments highlight a pretty good episode. YouTube (1h32m) Premiered August 15, 1992. [more inside]
South Park: Season 19 Season 19, Ep 0
SP Season 19 has a unique story structure. Full season discussion is better than a Yelp review. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, with short UNDERSEA KINGDOM, part one Season 4, Ep 6
"Crawling Horror...Rising from the Depths of Hell to Kill and Conquer!" Rednecks are disappearing and the sheriff won't listen that they've been caught giant leeches living in caves beneath the swamp. Oh well, it isn't anything a bunch of dynamite can't handle. With short UNDERSEA KINGDOM, Part 1: In this first episode of a 1936 serial, "Crash" Corrigan and friends (including a Professor, a Kid, and a Woman) dive beneath the sea in their rocket sub to the lost city of Atlantis. Everyday-wear in Atlantis is, shall we say, flamboyant. The short is the oldest thing ever riffed by MST3K. I find the conclusion of the movie particularly hilarious. Although they know that the leeches may be keeping their victims alive in underswamp caverns, the "good guys" still throw in bundles of explosive, killing leeches and victims alike. The movie was remade in 2008! Executive Produced by Roger Corman, and Regular Produced by his brother Gene. YouTube (1h31m) Premiered July 18, 1992. [more inside]
Rabia Choudry, Collin Miller (EvidenceProf), and Susan Simpson (The View From LL2) attempt to reassemble Jay's path on the day Hae Min Lee died. The episode draws heavily on Simpson's research from last November, but also builds on it and alleges that the Baltimore Police illegally coached Jay to develop his story to frame Adnan.
The Blacklist: The Deer Hunter (No. 93) Season 2, Ep 13
Agent Keen investigates a cannibalistic serial killer, but encounters heat from the detective investigating the murder of the DC harbormaster. Red follows up with Fitch's contact from the safe.
Nate takes a look at a cold case. [more inside]
Lessons on building an audience. [more inside]
In this Pop Culture Happy Hour extra, Linda Holmes talks with Gene Demby about the podcast Serial, a spin-off of This American Life. They'll discuss the podcasts created to discuss Serial and why listeners are picking apart episodes as if it's True Detective.
On January 13, 1999, Adnan Syed was a hurt and vengeful ex-boyfriend who carried out a premeditated murder. Or he was a bewildered bystander, framed for a crime he could never have committed. After 15 months of reporting, we take out everything we've got - interviews and documents and police reports - we shake it all out, and we see what sticks.
Almost everyone describes the 17-year-old Adnan the same way: good kid, helpful at the mosque, respectful to his elders. But a couple of months ago, Sarah started getting phone calls from people who knew Adnan back then, and told her stories of a different kind of boy. [more inside]
Adnan's trial lawyer was M. Cristina Gutierrez, a renowned defense attorney in Maryland – tough and savvy and smart. Other lawyers said she was exactly the kind of person you'd want defending you on a first-degree murder charge. But Adnan was convicted, and a year later, Gutierrez was disbarred. What happened?
Anybody interested in doing a FanFare for serial? We can pretend that it's a TV Show.
The Mad Monster (1942, B&W, Sci-fi, Horror, Wolfman) - Dr. Cameron wishes ill on his former colleagues for throwing him out of Science, and so gives his simple-minded handyman a wolf transfusion in order to get REVENGE. Also: Radar Men From The Moon, Part 2 - On the Moon, Cody and colleagues try to steal an atomic ray from Retik's base. YouTube - Amazon (Volume 14) If you think Dr. Cameron's plan for revenge is kind of stupid, well, they don't call him a mad scientist for nothing. First season warning, yadda yadda. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY, with RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON, part 1 Season 1, Ep 2
The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy - (1958, B&W, Mexican, Sci-Fi, Horror) It turns out this is actually the third Aztec Mummy movie. All are originally from Mexico. Mad scientist Dr. Krupp builds a robot to defeat a tomb's mummy guardian so he can steal its treasure. Also: Radar Men From The Moon, Part 1: AKA Commando Cody. A classic serial in which moon people come to Earth and team up with organized crime to sabotage Earth civilization. The MST treatment of the Cody shorts overall are pretty good, but the movie is a struggle. Again, this is a first season episode, not for new guests of the Satellite Of Love. [more inside]