The upcoming second season of the incredibly popular podcast Serial will try out a different game-plan this time around. While the first season found success with an obscure case about a small-town murder, the second season will cover the very high-profile military case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. It’s a very complicated case about a young soldier suddenly leaving his base, being abducted by the Taliban and held for five years, then found only to be charged with desertion and endangering his fellow troops.
Not only is this a sharp left turn from the first Serial podcast that captivated a huge audience last fall, but it also has a Hollywood connection. Mark Boal, the screenwriter of Zero Dark Thirty, is attached to Serial as a narrator this season and is developing a project based on the case; he has apparently shared some of his research material on Bergdahl with Serial. Boal, Serial host Sarah Koenig and other podcast producers were seen in Bergdahl’s latest court hearing, so something is clearly cooking down to the wire.
But not everyone is thrilled about this case being in the spotlight. According to New York Magazine, two members of the unit that Bergdahl is alleged to have deserted were interviewed for the podcast, but didn’t have very positive things to say about it:
“I get it that Boal wants to make a movie and ‘Serial’ is trying to make a nifty diorama for hipsters to marvel at, but I think it’s the height of crassness for them to do this when it could potentially affect the legal proceedings,” said one soldier. “I assume it will be a great way to paint us as kooks and sore losers.”
One of the reasons Bergdahl gave for leaving his unit was that he was heading to another unit 18 miles away to report “serious leadership problems in his unit” when he was captured by the Taliban. After five years of being held by them, he was famously traded for five Taliban prisoners being held by the U.S. But since he went missing and resources were used trying to find him, he was charged with desertion for leaving intentionally and now faces either a court martial or a life sentence for endangering troops.
The Bergdahl case will be just one of the two upcoming new seasons of Serial, so there will be twice the fun for conspiracy theorists and podcast junkies everywhere.
Source: NY Mag