S-Town is a podcast hosted by Brian Reed from Serial Productions, a New York Times company. The story follows a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who's allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man's life.

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Recent Reviews
  • Kris9122
    Feels forced and exploitative because the journalist had no actual story
    The production and pacing was great and the story interesting enough despite just being about the life of a man. However, there are consent issues and the overstepping into a dead person’s personal life, which made me feel icky because ultimately nothing was gained by creating this podcast. The journalist also regularly sounds like he runs out of breath or is suppressing a burp or something mid sentence and I could not ignore that once I noticed it.
  • Glitter&Dirt
    Excellent job by the host: deceit, disgust, hate, hopelessness, sad & funny-go figure
    Brian is a great journalist. I appreciate his authenticity and ability to remain neutral in situations that should easily cause “normal” people to completely lose it!!! I do NOT waste a second of my life listening to anything with the n word however I managed to get above my disgust and hear the hatred and vitriol that some folks wear like a badge of honor. I find it satirical that John B.‘s intention was to expose S-Town and the flip was that he himself is the main subject exposed.
  • Ceissyyy
    Just Excellent
    This was a well written podcast.
  • Sank's Review
    An incredible story of an unforgettable character, beautifully told. Bravo.
  • Dlsaund
    What a podcast
    Over the last three years I’ve listened to this podcast over 6-7 times! The most beautiful story told!
  • Joe Kocher
    Incredible story
    This story captivated me from the start. 6 years later, I find myself re-listening to this podcast annually. The characters are incredible and the narration is top-notch. Can’t wait to re-listen again in 2024.
  • ane03q
    I’m enthralled!
    A friend recommended and I can’t stop listening. This story is entirely captivating!
  • jaxdonna
    One of My Absolute Favorites
    I LOVE this story. I listen to it about once a year. So interesting & I just love where it takes you. I go into deep thought about all kinds of things every time I listen and I enjoy every minute of it. Also, Brian is fantastic ♥️
  • 453286594
    Beats the test of time
    My dad played this podcast for me for the first time on bike ride when i was in 6th grade, didn’t really get it but super interesting story. second listen through i understood a bit more being in 9th grade at the time and getting the jokes and references. I’m now eighteen and this podcast still hits me so hard. I cant even start to describe how great this story is. It’s a great podcast to forget about and then rediscover and dig into it, you find you’ll pick up things you didn’t previously. Just amazing.
  • SamTamTheMaam
    Amazingly done!
    I listened to this when it first came out and it is just as compelling and well put-together as I remember it.
  • pitateet66
    The people in this story are tRump voters.
    Sadly the host won’t be honest and tell you that the “tattoo artists”, just apply ink. Also these racist hicks are the base of the tRump cult.
  • MD Lisa B
    Fascinating, and you truly must listen to the end
    I will start by saying I am a diehard podcast fan, a Southerner, and a neurologist. John’s story, his struggles with life in the rural South, as well as his brilliant and eclectic nature, would have made for an interesting story. The twist at the end was one admittedly I had already suspected, and I am so glad it came up. I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not listened and plan to, but as someone with a background in this topic, I absolutely agree with the suspicion that this contributed to John’s early demise.
  • Stacefacee2
    Can’t stop thinking about John, such a great podcast!
    Can’t stop thinking about this story, John has a permanent spot in my brain now 💕
  • Maxcraft430
    True crime
    fans make me sick. Murder isn't supposed to make anyone money or be for entertainment. Do any of you listeners ever imagine it happened to you or your families? There are funny episodic serials that talk about all the absurdity of life like the podcast Community News with Pail and Sasha or listen to Dana Carvey tell SNL stories on Fly on the podcast.
  • alexmunse
    Life changer
    I listened to this show when it first came out. Then I listened to it again. I don’t know why it struck such a chord with me, but it did. I’ve listened to it five or six times, all the way through, by myself. I have also put it on during long road trips with my wife. Another trip I took with my son, as well. I have a sundial and roses tattooed on my arm because of this show. I am probably going to keep a downloaded copy, just in case the RSS feed goes down for some reason. Just such a powerful story and a powerful message.
  • a10555
    Great podcast
    Brian is my favorite person to listen to. Can’t wait for more.
  • AliciaB-Larkfield
    So sad it ended…..
    I could listen to John’s stories forever…thank you for this story.
  • LoMarieMac
    So unique
    This podcast is so unique in that it goes in a direction you will never see coming. Amazing story telling & a view into small town life in the south. Loved every moment of this podcast.
  • facebookcm
    Unlike anything I’ve every experienced
    I have listen to this podcast over 5 times now. The storytelling is phenomenal and I get something different from the show each time I listen. To understand and be apart of this story in even such a small way, is such an amazing feeling. And that’s what Brain Reed does; makes you feel like you are right there, discovering and dissecting John’s life. Highly, highly recommend the show. It will forever be a podcast that I can turn on when I’m feeling lonely or just need the company of familiar friends.
  • bubbas.girl.forever
    My comfort podcast
    I know that my title is strange if you’re familiar with this podcast, but as someone from the rural south, I relate to John so very much. IYKYK, I suppose. I’ve listened to this podcast probably six times, and I always weep and laugh. This is an amazing story about a fascinating and interesting man and community.
  • suckmezbag
    Great but you didn’t get justice!
    Clearly they killed the guy. Did he have gold? you wonder?? He gilded a quarter right in front of you!! You were amazing (like human sodium pentathol good) at getting people to talk but YOU DID NOT FIGURE OUT WHO KILLED HIM. (????) I call for a new investigation into the murder.
  • Friend control
    I’m not really sure what the story is here or why Brian choose to make a podcast about John. I kept listening waiting for something important.. some conclusion.
  • ShelbyisFresh
    I first listened to this pod at the beginning of my pod journey. I have listened to it at least 7 times, I recommend it to everyone who asks about good podcasts to listen to, and I wish there were more like it. Phenomenal, to say the least.
  • Pod Fan 17
    Don't waste your time
    This podcast was just a train wreck. Brian put resources into researching a story and when nothing came out of it, he decided to make a podcast anyway. 1. The preview misleads you completely about what kind of story you’re getting yourself into. 2. Outing someone's sexual orientation (even postmortem) is not acceptable. 3. Wandering. Brian won't draw a conclusion or provide the context of his thoughts surrounding the events that he's talking about. More narration might have helped the story but as there's not much of a story in the first place I wonder if that would have even helped. 4. Going into the depths of John B's private life after his death and sharing it without his consent so you can make a living is skeevy in the least and grave robbing in the worst. This crossed the line from reporting to profiteering.
  • KelbellMo
    Beautifully Told
    The host, Brian Reed, was captivating. I loved his voice and the way he told the story. I’ve shared this podcast with many of my friends. The heartfelt interviews, the music, the beautifully told story…I loved this so much!
  • MylissaR
    I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts. This is my favorite podcast ever! I was hesitant to listen to anything from the NYT. Most of their podcasts have a predictable agenda. But it didn’t look like this one did, so I looked it up. I’ve never done that before listening to a podcast, but I did not want to get sucked into a good story (as noted in the reviews) and have to endure the NYT far left nonsense. I was still skeptical, but binged this in one day, so glad I gave it a chance. I’m blown away by the story, and have so much respect for the host and production team. Thank you! No underlying political slant, no digs or subliminal judgments, no use of the story to make a point. This is the story of an eccentric, brilliant man, tortured by his worst enemy: himself. Though he be cranky, he was beloved. Funny, witty, endearing…and impossibly self destructive. He just never learns how to get out of his own way. It’s the story of hidden treasure, a story about time, a story about love and friendship, and a story about the psyche of people from all walks of life interacting at the intersection of a common event. Mostly, it’s the story about the parts of ourselves we leave behind; how our lives effect the lives we cross. And, how they effect us. It’s brilliantly told, masterfully edited, and artfully framed by a song from The Zombies, A Rose For Emily. I was left with questions regarding the money, the fate of people and court cases, his mom, and honestly Woodstock itself and how the town reacted, and hopefully reflected. Maybe there will be an update, but either way I’m sure these answers can be found online. It’s hard to review this podcast without giving spoilers. But the bottom line is, it’s an amazing podcast. I’ve listened to every episode of dozens of podcasts. This is my favorite podcast ever. Absolutely #1!
  • Slugger13214
    Very great
    I love this podcast. From Brian Reed’s investigative skills, to music selection to the characters involved. I don’t think I’ll ever find a podcast as good as this one. But that’s okay I am due to listen to the whole series again 😁 Very much recommend
  • jmg11111111
    The best podcast I’ve ever heard.
    Beautiful and weird. It’s heartbreaking and hopeful. I love the host and his connection to his subject. A MUST for any podcast fans.
  • leahpeg
    Laughs and tears, thank you for this story ❤️
  • baileybaileybaileybaileybailey
    This is without a doubt the best podcast series ever made.
  • ShannonW93
    Best Podcast
    I’m an avid podcast listener and this one will probably always be my favorite. It’s so well done.
  • Modern Whimsy
    I’m normally a true crime fan. This was a pleasant surprise and nice break from TC. Brian Reed is articulate with a calming voice. Incredible writing and production. Intriguing story about interesting people. ❤️
  • Lindyoppa
    Can’t recall a better audio experience
    Incredibly well done. Will re-hear many times.
  • CBMPhoto
    Number 1
    I truly believe that this is the best podcast that’s ever been made. A masterpiece.
  • Barbara Pennington
    This podcast is amazing
    I love this podcast. I’ve listened to it several times. I find myself thinking of the characters often,john B even more of course. He was an intriguing man who was overqualified for this world. I do wonder if there would have been a podcast if not for his death,sadly. Brian,thank you so much for sharing your time with John B, I will forever be grateful for this podcast as I’ve not only enjoyed it but learned from it as well.
  • bluebutterflysg
    Heartbreaking story seasoned with tears and sprinkled with laughter
    Thank you for bringing a brilliant, funny, troubled self professed redneck from Alabama and allowing him to touch my heart and mind half way across this “blue orb”. I was laughing 10 minutes into the podcast and realized that tears were streaming down my face…it was a foretelling of what was in store for the remaining episodes. This story helped me confront my prejudices and have oddly enough renewed my hope in humanity. John’s life was not in vain.
  • DrCrystalleeCrain
    One of my favorites
    This podcast is about people and places. The things that we love about where we might be from and the ways we’re impacted by the world. I love it. I share it often.
  • riotrocker
    This is an amazing journey
    I have listened to the whole thing at least once a year since it began.
  • raemoondoe
    What a show!
    I’ve never cried or laughed harder while listening to a podcast. I am truly in awe.
  • dasusmack
    So Much More Than Expected
    Incredibly well told by Brian, produced, and edited to make what quickly becomes what some may see as “a story about nothing” turn into a collection of insights and eye-opening revelations into real life issues. This podcast grew roots in so many directions and pulled at my emotions. Well done!
  • RoCkInG HoT Grl
    Roller Coaster
    That is how I can best describe this podcast. The ups and downs were an adventure of emotions. Brian you are a kind soul. Thank you for telling this story.
  • Jennylovesthegiants
    Can’t stop listening
    I’ve listen to this podcast probably 4 times now. Each time, I can’t stop. It is such a GREAT show! Great storytelling. John McLemore was such a character, it was a true loss when he passed
  • headincloudsfeetonground
    Third listen
    This was the second or third podcast I ever heard. It set the bar for excellence in this modality. It’s the combination of Brian’s narrating, the extraordinary character John and, the brilliant audio editing. I would listen to this team do anything. But, I’ll miss John. He was one in a billion. It inspired me to join the podcasting world myself (Significant Mother). I decided to listen again and it doesn’t disappoint. I’m sure I’ll listen again.
  • Shav11111111
    I was all in from first episode
    Such great storytelling. One episode I went from cackling so hard to seconds later feeling like my heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach and holding back tears but crying just enough to blur my vision. I had to pull over and gather myself. I kept thinking … okay I’m going to lose interest now. Instead I finished it in a 25 hour period.
  • TheScutter
    A respectful story of a tragic yet beautiful life
    This podcast touched me and left me feeling empty, yet somehow full. I can’t put into words how wonderful and beautiful this podcast is. Highly recommend
  • TracyMccl
    Where is the plot?
    Nothing ever happened. No resolution. We don’t know if Tyler went to jail. What happened to the house he was building? Did Ma move to Florida. Half way through the first episode I said nope! And cut it off. Waited a few hours and went back. Over the course of a few days I kept waiting around for the gossip or for at least some progress or movement in the story. Then in the end they made John out to be a suicidal lunatic. If you want to listen to the whisper lips tell a story with no point. Other than the fact that it’s a very dark story about mental health and doing absolutely nothing about it when the signs hit you in the face. Then Brian is the guy for you.
    The further in you go, the bigger it gets
    Like the other reviewer, this is the first podcast I’ve listened to as such. Until the last sentence, I thought the first two episodes stood alone as a meditation on so much… I am grateful for the respectful persistence of the narrator John found for his life - and to the team who helped restore its dazzling wonder and intricate grace.
  • Gfthyvcfhi435890;:/
    Simply amazing
    I started this podcast thinking it would be true crime, and instead found a podcast that is oftentimes funny, along with being intriguing, sad, and compelling. You won’t be disappointed.
  • sass_sa_frass
    My second listen
    One of the first podcasts I listened to and still one of the best/my favorites.
  • AniejayandMei
    What an amazing podcast -one I will never forget. This story unfolds gently and then grabs your heart and does not let go. A powerhouse story told with grace and beauty - thank you for this gift to your listeners!
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