All Genres #71News #8

Serial returns with a history of Guantánamo told by people who lived through key moments in Guantánamo’s evolution, who know things the rest of us don’t about what it’s like to be caught inside an improvised justice system.Serial Productions makes narrative podcasts whose quality and innovation transformed the medium. “Serial” began in 2014 as a spinoff of the public radio show “This American Life.” In 2020, we joined the New York Times Company. Our shows have reached many millions of listeners and have won nearly every major journalism award for audio, including the first-ever Peabody Award given to a podcast.Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest Serial Productions news: thoughts or feedback on our shows? Email us at

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Recent Reviews
  • Jack 204
    Extremely biased
    Cut a little slack for the people trying to protect you.
  • Annieisokaymmkay
    Just Stop
    With every season we get more and more of the biased anti-American agenda. We can make up our own mind, tell both sides. It feels like they had to edit it that way to make it “more exciting” because they knew the truth would never be as captivating as the ever elusive season one. Sigh. Time to finally unsubscribe.
  • ben_jammin99
    Serial season 4
    I love to detail and bravery of this exceptional coverage. But I don’t know why there is no discussion of the us govt employing these interpreters who they then persecuted as enemies of the state. They aren’t vetting or making sure they aren’t bad. It all seems like they did it on purpose just to trap them and try to make them out to be monsters that THEY employed. I really don’t get it and I hope this is explored going forward with this story.
  • Brooke6:7(@6;
    Meh… Not Concerned
    Loved all of Koenig’s prior work, but this falls flat. Subject matter is uninteresting to me, I find it difficult to be concerned about the feelings of terrorist murdering criminals. Also the production here is disjointed and tough to follow.
  • RJ/Toothpick
    Liberal propaganda
    A super interesting concept. If only it was told as a reporter and not in bias, political view. I tried so hard to enjoy it, but couldn’t get beyond the bleeding heart liberal agenda.
  • erinberby
    For real
    I’m grateful a mainstream podcast is willing to speak about injustices that are still relevant, still disrupting peoples lives, and still influencing and reinforcing people’s racist capitalist worldview. It’s a strange perspective giving the same platform to US government interrogators and torturers as well as people wrongly held captive at the illegal prison, Guantánamo Bay. I’m looking forward to see where it goes, and happy it’s reaching so many ears who (judging from the reviews) haven’t ever considered how casually corrupt the empire USA is, in fact.
  • asmaita
    Jay successfully framed Adnan.
    Jay is very intelligent and familiar with the justice is that knowledge, coupled with the botched investigation that allowed him to put up a great act, and the officers with tunnel vision and no interest in the truth,helped him lie with no particular skills. When I take everything into consideration I strongly believe that Jay is more than likely the one responsible for the crime. I like the podcast but the investigative skills are lacking. At one point she calls some of the points as having the advantage of being the truth, apparently because they are coming from the prosecution side, but in reality they are based only on Jay’s claims. Sometimes she seems to cast doubts about things that don’t really prove or disprove anything, they’re just opinions formed while under the influence of marijuana, I understand taking all Adnan says with a grain of salt, but she seems struggling with being unbiased. What I don’t get is why the police didn’t look more at Jay as a suspect, maybe because he was smart enough to admit playing a part in it, however small, kept him from being looked for the more serious charges. He knew that just pointing his finger at someone else would make them more suspicious towards him. Also if I would be trying to frame someone, what better way to make random calls from the phone of the person I’m wanna frame. The other piece is that people from minority or immigrant communities tend to over explain themselves because of how society views the people in those communities and the stereotyping and whatnot. It’s not that unique to Adnan. Adnan was naive and Jay was smart enough to tell the story he wanted to anyone who willing to listen. A teenager with no criminal background pull off a bloody murder without leaving any trace or dna but be stupid enough to ask help to an acquaintance? Jay, in his own words, is the only one with full knowledge of the crime and all the details.
  • K-Mannn
    Love the series. Love the presentation style. Love how she sequenced the history and follows one path, then back to the returns to ground zero and continues on the other path. Not one story from beginning to end that would be so boring that it wouldn’t hold interest. Reading the reviews, many many are ok until it comes to gitmo. Then, the series is “biased” for revealing the sad failure in history. Review Comments (defensive) like ‘we just wanted to do our jobs’ and ‘immediate post 9/11 we don’t know’, does not make history not worth telling and it does not disparage those who followed orders. It just uncovers ugly facts that those folks apparently believe are better left hidden because they turned out extremely bad. That’s not an excuse for wearing blinders, it’s a REASON for taking them off. The review comment about the reaction to the first thing encountered being a GIFT SHOP is ridiculous. The story says (unsaid) the absurdity of a gift shop at what was turned into a military torture island with illegally held prisoners, even if post 9/11 the intention was good and just. I suspect those right wingers would think it’s also perfectly normal to have gift shop ar San Quentin or Alcatraz.
  • K891638271
    Not the same
    I guess I’m asking too much, but going from a true crime murder story to a few stories about Guantanamo is odd. I keep waiting for their to be a thread I’m supposed to be following or a reveal… but I’m starting to think there isn’t one. Season 4 is a snooze.
  • Jj191919911
    Monday Morning QB
    Sarah and the team do an excellent job. This podcast is a great listen and highlights the issues our nation faced post 9/11. However, it’s ironic the NEW YORK Times forgot what those days were like in the early years of GWOT. Paranoia? Or maybe the kid taking letters from “honey salesmen” should have been highly vetted before his release. In war there is collateral damage, easy to poke everyone in the eye now.
  • bg observation
    Interesting but quite condescending
    I really like this podcast, at least season four which is what I listened to. At times, though, it makes me a little bit embarrassed to be very liberal in this country. The tone of this podcast is very condescending at times, as if the hosts are asking us to be indignant when there are probably lots of other things going on that they could seek to understand better. I think the tone matters in a piece like this. You don’t win friends by mocking a host of people as incompetent. It’s important to call things out, but it is also important to do so while showing that humans do bad things. As in we are all capable of doing them.As a scholar of transitional justice and all too many atrocities, I understand that humans can easily be pulled into doing very dark things. Call them out, but explain a bit more why this happens. Not to excuse them, but to show that nobody is necessarily above these things, sadly, and look for institutional answers.Saying, “these guys are so dumb, “does not do that.
  • podcast listener guy
    Seems there is a real story here. But this show takes a MASSIVE rabbit trail following a semi-interesting someone underwhelming tale of one person’s battle with the government over alleged espionage charges. Yeah, of course military law and brass are unfair, racist, and weird. But that’s not about Guantanamo… Maybe they couldn’t find enough to do a show on Guantanamo and had to take what they could get. Idk.
  • Dr. IBG
    Good season, a bit biased. Sarah, you were duped.
    Sarah— Years ago I listened to you on the first season of Serial. Wow! I have flashbulb memories of that season. It was sooo good because it was balanced in opinions/views. We could create our own opinion with evidence presented. Good journalism My whole world change in consuming media at that time. Anyway, Season 4 is good. But Sarah, you are biased and it shows. The two episodes on the iguana feeder shows who you got duped. He is deceptive, a rule breaker, and guilty. Take your blinder off Sarah.
  • Knot$ure
    Hopelessly biased
    I’ll make it short and sweet: don’t waste your time on this.
  • dvargas21
    I really enjoyed season one. It seems to be more biased with every season. I have been hopeful they will go back to season one’s two sides of the story, but it doesn’t seem like it. They are few points were they criticize the military for being open minded and then in the next few show their lack of understanding of military culture and customs. Something as simple as not understanding what a debrief is or what a “bad conduct discharge” is (calling it a “bad behavior discharge”). For me, the smugness of their tone takes away from their credibility. A couple of the people they interview were held accountable for misconduct or bad choices, but the show passes it off as the military punishing them because of who they believed they were. Again , it’s unfortunate how this podcast has turned into biased opinion report.
  • Bold & Brazen
    Sarah’s delivery style
    Great content, unexpectedly gripping and I love Sarah’s speaking style! Thanks for another terrific season. Anne Marie Devon, PA
  • hogiutduordpuf
    Hogiutdordpuf will copy this.
  • Ttarasado
    Just don’t feed the iguanas
    I don’t know? I’m thru 4 episodes of this one and it feels like the hosts are reaching. What is the controversy? That government employees shouldn’t have to follow the rules? Especially ones investigating an attack on the US? Or that they’ll still get their paycheck for months while they’re being investigated? It sounds to me like everyone was doing their job. You should be inconvenienced for months if you’re snapping photos and stealing documents from a government installation interrogating terrorists. At one point the host laughs at an honest answer from her interviewee which was so disrespectful. And it seems the strongest word she could come up with to describe what happened was “weird” which made me think her heart was not into this topic either.
  • ChiefDlock
    Best show ever next to the OG This American Life!
    If you are an OG you will recognize that This American Life started Podcast 30 years ago and Serial has taken it to a WHOLE NEVER LEVEL!!! Thanks guys I love it all!!!
  • Kellyck888
    I was with you until…
    I was all in on this podcast until episode 4. Minimizing him sending a document with detainees names on them as “sticky fingers” is ridiculous. Sending classified docs in the mail is so reckless and insane. Why would he need names of prisoners? I will still listen because I love Serial but I’m sad to finally get why people think this podcast is so biased.
  • TeresaV
    Great content but Sarah’s delivery… ugh!!!!
    Am I the only one bothered at the way Sarah Koenig speaks every line as though she’s reading off a list? It’s so distracting!! It’s like a SNL parody of an affected NPR reporter. If Serial wasn’t so interesting I’d stop listening.
  • Luke Robert B
    Not relevant and snarky
    Not a fan of this season. It was a swing and a miss in terms of bias.
  • Pat Reven
    Fallen off
    The first season was excellent. However by season 4 it is a reporter playing “holier than thou”.
  • lowcountyr letgo
    Great podcast
    Season 1 of Serial was the very first podcast I really got into. So far, season 4 does not disappoint!
  • Mhamil12
    Extremely biased
    Very much a one sided story. Very disappointed in this kind of journalism.
  • JDM74
    Sarah’s back!
    It’s been a long time, Sarah. So nice to hear your voice again.
  • JonathanAlan721
    Wow… the reviews!
    It's a controversial podcast. The reviews alone will tell you that. But, is it good? To me, yes, it is - 👍. Ads are skippable and I enjoy the format of their storytelling. Just finished Season 2 and will continue on... If my feelings change - so will my review.
  • Donnaaaag
    I was very hopeful!
    I was very thrilled when I came across a podcast which would be focused on Guantanamo Bay. A few minutes in, I decided this was not the podcast for me. The host got offended a few minutes in, when the what seemed polite driver, kindly asked them if they wanted to stop at the gift shop to get snacks.. she was bothered because at the end he said there were ‘souvenirs’…. Sadly, I felt because of that, the podcast was going to be misconstrued from the reporter based on feelings not factual information. Maybe it’s a great podcast but I was really hoping to get a history lesson but because of this simple thing that bothered the reporter (when the driver was simply being polite) I didn’t know what else would be based on feeling not facts.
  • ram0513
    This podcast is a joke
  • SamJ1680
    Only on episode 3 but very disappointed in this season so far. There agenda is not what I was hoping for but it’s clear. I expected more from this Franchise.
  • One Street Over
    Stellar podcast, every season!
    Totally engrossed in this one. Great narration, interviews, and overall framing.
  • Neltanta
    An eye opening podcast & great journalism
    From some of the reviews, it’s obvious that some people don’t want to hear the ugly truth of the unfairness & brutality we committed in Guantanamo. But it’s a necessary story that has to be told to uncover the ugliness and to ensure that we do not repeat these horrible mistakes again. Well done Sarah & the Serial podcast team!
  • leessel
    season 4 - Content, narration. production are all excellent. And it’s so nice to hear Sarah again!!
  • K01102
    Didn’t realize how I felt about my time in GTMO. Listening to it is giving me anxiety. If you didn’t have a drinking problem before you got there you’re probably leaving with one.
    Keeps getting worse
    This podcast just keeps getting worse. Should have known. Serial is nothing but a one hit wonder. Should have stopped with Season 1.
  • Jmweez
    Interesting but severely biased
    I don’t feel like this is at all an objective podcast. There’s clearly an agenda from journalists with zero credibility that don’t understand the context of immediate post 9/11 military. Most of us just wanted to do the right thing, but nobody knew what the right thing was. We just wanted to protect America and our democracy. I know that’s not the cool thing anymore so it’s easy to look back and criticize everyone. I’m listening because I always want to hear every perspective, but it’s hard to take this serious when there’s a clear and hard lopsided agenda. This is a confirmation bias story.
  • Andi400
    Biased and Smug
    Despite the reporters best attempt to be neutral, their infinite smugness and bias is obvious within five minutes.
  • Chelle Maggie
    Obvious bias
    This isnt even about those that did wrong things at GB. This is a clear push to disparage military and America. Used to like this podcast but I can’t with the over the top one sided reporting. Haven’t you learned? People want facts and is tired of the media and reporters putting their bias in to manipulate their story.
  • Ricky R Richard
    Season 4 slips off
    Sarah Koenig is great at what she does and knows how to make a podcast. I thought the first three seasons were wonderful. Unfortunately the forth one seems hellbent on drilling a narrative. One of the subjects interviewed has already done extensive interviews, speeches, and already written a book on his experiences so this story feels a bit unnecessary for a podcast. And another one is excused for stealing documents (well, he just wanted a souvenir…) for it to support the “US Govt = the enemy” position. I have worked in secure government areas and the rules are THOROUGHLY drilled into you as far as what you can and can’t record or take from the secure area. If you break well established rules you agreed to, you get in trouble. Who knew? It feels as if this season regularly gives the benefit of the doubt to one side when they screw up but not the other. Every mistake from an anti-Gitmo guard is laughed off while every mistake from the pro-Gitmo side is seen as unacceptable. I expected more objectivity.
  • Rahwood
    Disgusting snarky
    Sounds like a child narrating how awful you are disgusting!
  • N2theGruv
    Loved seasons 1-3, season 4 lost me from the get-go with misleading “facts”
    As a listener to Serial since the beginning, I was looking forward to season 4. But I didn’t make it past the first episode. The reason? Right up front the narrative is about how terrible it is that we took almost 800 people and locked them up. And then IMMEDIATELY a figure of $13M dollars per prisoner per year is referenced as the cost for the operation. Which is a figure based on all of Guantanamo Bay’s costs (regardless if there are prisoners there or not), and uses a figure of 40 prisoners as the denominator for the equation. But it wouldn’t sound as “evil” or “wasteful” if they were consistent with their measurements, now would it? Either it is a case of lack of integrity for actual reporting and storytelling, or it is a laziness to just grab information that supports one side that the storyteller wishes to tell. Either way is an automatic pass and unsubscribe from future Serial content. And yes, armchair hindsight criticism 20 years after 9/11 had better damned well be accurate and fairly represented. FAIL.
  • Meg Reynolds1983
    Yay Sarah is back!!!
    Love hearing Sarah’s voice! Loving the 4th season!!! Sarah is the best narrator!
  • victoriacap
    Excellent, Timely Journalism
    I’ve enjoyed every season of this podcast and really appreciate the decision to cover Guantanamo in season 4. Important content, compelling interviews and charming delivery, as always. To other listeners thinking about leaving a negative review because of the show’s “anti-american” or “liberal agenda”, nobody needs to hear this story more than you.
  • Just Mary too
    Required listening
    Should be required listening for the world. Enough said.
  • Goncalvm
    Season 4 is a total miss
    I enjoyed prior seasons but season 4 really let me down. I don’t appreciate the snarky tone about our military and think the hosts are twisting the facts to meet their preconceived notions.
  • C Standerfer
    Great podcast that isn’t afraid to call out the injustice of the US justice/political machine
    I find it very interesting to see reviews claiming this is “liberal drivel” and reprimanding the hosts to “keep an open mind” as if they haven’t been to these places and interviewed countless people as first hand sources. Especially for season 4, I understand there are a myriad of reasons people join the military and you don’t get to choose your posts, but pretending that the US does everything right and we need to torture people to “protect our land” is not a good faith argument. Just say you hate that the industrial complex you love so much is being exposed for its crimes.
  • Nostroto
    Hard to know if it’s honest with Sarah’s track record
    This is definitely an important story/issue that needs to be talked about and we know that no one tells a “radio“ story better than anyone associated with This American Life, but it’s hard to trust Sarah anymore after she has behaved so irresponsibly with the follow up to the Adnan Syed case. Whiile of course she deserves the credit for us all knowing about the case and ultimately his resulting release, there is lots of information in her initial podcast that has been proven demonstrably false, and she has not issued any corrections or directed listeners to the new information. Makes it hard to trust her regarding any story she reports on going forward. I would rate it five stars if I could trust her, but I just can’t anymore.
  • pillowman3:16
    I can’t
    I can’t with serial anymore. This latest season is so heavy handed and biased I cannot get passed the first episode.
  • NewYorker1988
    For someone who actually lost my dad in 9/11 and not after the fact, has been to gtmo. This podcast is dangerous to the case that we are currently trying to achieve to hold the mastermind accountable for. It’s a mockery to what is really going on and this podcast is nothing more than an attempt for clout. If you want to know the real gtmo, ask a 9/11 family member or a prosecutor not some podcaster who wants listeners. And any 9/11 family that participated in her podcast are for the peaceful tomorrows. We are the victims.
  • Nicksfan88
    Good as it ever was
    Serial was my gateway to podcasts and now I’m hopelessly addicted to this type of story telling. There are many good ones, but no one does it better than this team. As good as it ever was.
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