Listeners to the "Serial" podcast, where "This American Life" producer Sarah Koenig obsessed over the guilt or innocence of convict Adnan Syed, poked fun at Koenig for her deeply personal investment in the case. Now some Los Angeles sketch comedians have taken that to another level with "Serial Dating."
The impressive thing about the video is that all of the dialogue used to turn "Serial" into a romantic comedy comes straight from the show itself. Add a romantic comedy narrator, jaunty music and actors setting these lines in a different context, and you've got a whole new piece of "Serial" fan fiction.
The video comes from Honora Talbott, who also received some attention for a video making fun of Los Angeles's broken sidewalks to the tune of Pharrell's "Happy."
As Talbott describes it in an email, "First there was Ross and Rachel. Then there was Sarah and Adnan." She adds that they're taking a "did he or didn't he? story and making it a "will they or won't they" story.
The show's been much-parodied, with the obsession of fans and the show's precise details proving comedy fodder. "Fresh Air's" Terry Gross asked the real-life Koenig what she thought about the parodies, noting that they were funny but also ultimately based on a tragic real-life murder, as well as someone who may be serving a life sentence for a crime he may not have committed.
"If I had my druthers, you know, I wish they didn't exist for that reason," Koenig told "Fresh Air." "But I know it makes me sound like a real, like, fuddy-duddy, party-pooper kind of person. ... It's not funny in any way. It's not only the subject matter, but it's my integrity as a reporter."
Still, Koenig says that she can't entirely blame others for these parodies.
"I mean, I think in a way, the parody is of the popularity," Koenig said. "You know, I can't not take responsibility for that as well. It's like, well, we brought it into the world. And so I can't complain with how the world is interacting with it."
Will the next season of "Serial" be so fascinating and complicated? Clever comedians and video editors are likely hoping so.