Podcast of the Month: S-Town
The crime, the intrigue, the storytelling—there’s just something about murder mysteries that’s perfect for podcasts, and we can’t get enough of this one! From the creative minds behind Serial comes S-Town, a seven part podcast series about a death (or two!) in a seemingly tame Alabama town. Hosted by Brian Reed, a producer on This American Life, S-Town takes a few episodes to unveil itself through a collection of connected mini-stories centered around John B. McLemore, the eccentric character who set the podcast in motion.
The driving force behind S-Town is an email McLemore sent to Reed in 2014, asking him to come to Alabama and investigate the son of a wealthy family who has been bragging about getting away with murder. The plot gets increasingly more complex as another murder takes place, and themes like untreated mental health, the plight of rural communities and the study of clocks—yes, clocks—make for a suspenseful, fascinating story.
Reed’s reporting is thorough and thoughtful. The narrative twists and turns as he reveals different pieces of the story, with a crucial turning point finally emerging around episode four. Hunker down and start listening on iHeartRadio—once you start, you’ll want to binge the entire podcast!
Episode Highlight: “Chapter I: If You Keep Your Mouth Shut, You’ll Be Surprised What You Can Learn”
Told as a progressive series, you’ll have to start at the beginning with S-Town. In the first episode, Reed sets up the premise of the story he’s about to tell, and takes listeners on a journey to Sh*t-town, Alabama, dubbed so by its resident John B. McLemore, who hates living there. Fasten your seatbelts and get ready—this story is one bumpy ride.