New popcorn murder cannot live on old merits

After the success of “Serial”, we are drowning in crime reviews

This is a cultural article which is part of Aftonbladet’s opinion journalism.

“It’s a solid job… which unfortunately leads nowhere – neither in terms of investigation nor in terms of entertainment,” writes Stefan Sköld about the new murder podcast “The coldest case in Laramie”.

Sometimes you can wonder how many little dens there are for award-winning journalists to return to, to solve old murders mishandled by the nosy local police. If “The coldest case in Laramie” is the last to try, I won’t be sad. But first let’s rewind the tape.

When “Serial” was released in 2014, it was the starting point for the entire true crime wave that washed over the world. The following year, the TV documentaries “Making a Murderer” and “The Jinx” took over the baton as the major worldwide murder talk shows of the moment. Since then, the genre has gone through industrialization and mass-produced to the point that it is impossible to distinguish the talkies among all the rubble.

The huge number of murder podcasts and TV documentaries has made the genre stand on its own. “Serial” was a sensation. That the murder suspect main character Adnan Syed a few months ago, eight years after the podcast’s finale, released from prison somehow tied together a bag of genres that maybe should be kept tied together.

The success has, however made “Serial”, which was previously a spinoff to the popular “This American life”, now become the company Serial productions, which was bought by the New York Times and became a podcast factory. It is quite obvious that with “The coldest case in Laramie” they are aiming at previously successful hunting grounds. The journalist Kim Barker returns to her self-professed hellish hometown in Wyoming, where she begins to root for the college student’s murder Shelley Wiley which occurred in 1985.

It’s a journey of shoddy interrogations, racist cops and victim blaming. It’s a solid job… which unfortunately leads nowhere – neither in terms of investigation nor in terms of entertainment. The podcasters don’t seem to care much about the final product – they are content to show off the production – which is also rather slow-paced.

It is of course good to have quality journalism and that resources are put into elaborate crime reviews, but as a popcorn genre it has unfortunately killed itself. Let it rest until there is actually a snack worth your time.

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more

Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

Leave a Reply