Strangers is the true stories of real people and each episode is “an empathy shot in your arm.” Though I’ve only been a listener for about a month now, Strangers has quickly become a light in my life.

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Since listening to Serial, I’ve spent a lot of time looking for more podcasts that are even slightly in the same vein. Throughout my search, I was continually hearing about Criminal, a monthly podcast that tells the stories of “off-beat” crimes, and I knew I had to check it out.

I definitely enjoyed Criminal. The episodes were the perfect length to listen to while I prepared coffee and breakfast (my favorite time to listen to podcasts). Of course, part of the reason why Serial is so loved is because it is groundbreaking and is doing this anthology story-telling that hasn’t been done before. Criminal does this on an episode to episode basis rather than a season run. Each episode of Criminal is a stand alone and can be listened to without relation to the others, which I liked, and obviously provides you with more of a sense of closure unlike Serial. 

My favorite episode was probably episode 7, entitled J.R.R. Ziemba. I think these episodes (especially this one) are a great accompaniment when thinking about the way we’re currently observing our criminal and law systems.

As I said, if you’re into Serial, give Criminal a shot. Don’t expect the same sort of thing, but yes, it is definitely similar – hopefully enough to slightly alleviate the pain of waiting forever for the next season of Serial.

All 12 episodes of Criminal are currently available on iTunes.