Resembling television studios scrambling to produce sitcoms in the 1990’s, the podcast industry is scrambling to find the newest True Crime Podcast. The True Crime Genre has grown into a powerhouse following the successes of shows like Serial. The podcast series “Serial” is synonymous with the podcast genre, it was so popular that HBO is making a documentary series on the exact case covered in Season One. Serial opened the door for shows like My Favorite Murder, S-Town, and the Crime Junkie podcast.
What exactly is a “true crime podcast?”
True Crime Podcasts can follow a few different formats, but have a few key elements in common. The true crime genre revolves around discussing the details of crimes that occur in real life in great detail. These podcasts may be hosted by investigative journalists with full access to the court system or it can be done in the form of storytelling by Average Joe’s. Over the course of one episode you may cover one minor aspect of a crime or you could cover the entire case! There is a ton of flexibility within the podcast medium. You can listen to three different productions about the same case that all sound different from one another.
Why are they so popular?
It’s not much of a surprise that the same people who kept Law & Order SVU on for 21 Seasons had interest in furthering their infatuation with crime. America has been hyper injecting crime-based content since before I was born, NBC’s Wednesday night lineup is literally Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med. All it took was an extremely well-done podcast like Serial to show how captivating true crime podcasts can be.
What True Crime Podcasts should I listen too?
Serial is everyone’s gateway to the True Crime genre. It’s the first, it’s the best, and it may never be done again. In Serial the hosts are granted an unprecedented amount of access to the judge, lawyers, and the accused. Real phone calls to prisons, deceit, and various different lenses to see the crime through. Then if you’re looking for something lighter try out the True Crime Comedy Podcast My Favorite Murder, but if you’re looking for something a little more serious try out Crimetown. In Crimetown, the hosts analyze the crime problems of Providence, Rhode Island.
True Crime Podcasts are not for the faint of heart, hearing hosts describe gruesome crimes is about as palatable as the dialogue of any standard Law & Order SVU episode. I’d always say to take the content of the True Crime genre with a grain of salt. The genre has been subjected to lawsuits and claims of plagiarism, like any emerging medium the rules are not yet defined. The subjects and participants of these series are often still alive, having their lives shaped by the very entertainment we enjoy. When well done, true crime content is riveting and groundbreaking. However, as the genre grows more and more content is going to come out of various levels of quality, so be careful.