Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Serial Podcast: Part 2


Yesterday, I shared my thoughts about Season 1 of Serial.

Today, it's on to Season 2: The Bowe Bergdahl Story

I'm going to just come right out and say what everyone is I'm thinking: Season 2 sucked.  And it was kind of a weird thing for me.  I kept listening because I wanted something to listen to.  I was kind of bummed when I listened to the most recent episode and Sarah said it was the last, but at the same time, I was glad it was over.

I'm a very complicated person.

With that being said, here are some of my thoughts on why this season was less than enjoyable:

For starters, Adnon's story in season 1 leaned more toward investigative reporting.  There was a real question to be answered: Is Adnon Syed guilty?  Many people still aren't sure.  Others have made up their minds one way or another.  Either way, I feel that people still want to know what's going to come next for Adnon.  Will he get a new trial?  Will his conviction be upheld?

Season 2 really didn't seem to lend itself to investigative reporting.  Sure, there were some questionable things that Sarah Koenig looked into, but ultimately, there's no pressing question here.  Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his Army unit.  The end.  You can question his motives.  You can look into why this happened, but in the end, the outcome is still the same.  He deserted.

Throughout this season, it's mentioned that Bowe was trying to make a statement that he felt his commanding officers were deliberately sending men into danger.  I honestly can say that I don't think walking off in the middle of Afghanistan is the best way to make your point.  Most of us who are pissed off with our bosses or colleagues at work just simply whine about it to a trusted friend then suck it up and deal.

In Bowe's defense, after learning that he was discharged from the Coast Guard, I do not understand how he was allowed to join the Army or why the Army did not take this discharge more seriously.  It does seem that this situation could have been avoided had Bowe not been allowed in the armed forces.  But alas, it did happen.

I just don't feel like Season 2 really brought any sort of new or interesting information to the table.  It just seemed to explain why some people are pissed off at Bowe and why other people aren't.  The only truly unanswered question was whether or not men and women were killed in the line of duty while specifically searching for Sgt. Bergdahl.

What it comes down to for me is this: Season 1 made me feel sympathy for Adnon Syed.  Season 2 failed to make me have any sympathy whatsoever for Bowe Bergdahl.  Was it awful that he was a prisoner of the Taliban for 5 years?  Absolutely.  I would not wish that sort of situation on anyone.  BUT he walked off.  He knew the risk he was taking.  He did not take the appropriate routes to present his problems to those in authority.  There are consequences for our actions, and those were Bowe's.  I am glad that we were able to bring him home safely to his family because no one deserves to lose their son or daughter.

To me, though, there's no case here.  He walked off.  There's nothing to look into.

What are your thoughts on Season 2?


Kristin said...

The fact that I stopped listening after episode 4 says a lot. I don't care. SK's talent and time was completely wasted on this. Blah.

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