Episode 339: Serial: Are You Allowed to be Entertained?

The Overthinkers tackle the ethics of storytelling in “Serial” and “Into The Woods.”

Ben Adams, Peter Fenzel, Shana Mlawski, and Matthew Wrather overthink the end of the Overthinking Cowboy Bebop series and the ethics of storytelling in Serial and Into The Woods.


→ Download Episode 339 (MP3)

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10 Comments on “Episode 339: Serial: Are You Allowed to be Entertained?”

  1. Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

    It’s probably clear to everyone that given my druthers I would have hijacked the whole show to talk about Into the Woods. Who’s with me? Let’s head over to the OTI forum and talk there.


  2. Redem #

    Will we get a podcast on Serie 2 of Black Mirror or it’s Christmas special?


  3. Lothen #

    Hold on, there’s a Snooki podcast? How have I not been told of this hidden American treasure already?


  4. Lemur #

    Cowboy Bebop: music, space/scifi, anime
    Into the Woods: music, fairy tales, film adaptations
    Serial: spoken word, criminal justice, podcasting

    Music is missing from the third topic, or else it would have been a neat unifying element. Instead, there are a couple little hidden musical references sprinkled throughout the conversation. Was Wrather saying “odds and sods” instead of “odds and ends” an intentional reference to the The Who album, for example? We may never know the truth, if there even is such a thing.


  5. Chimalpahin #

    I’m out of my depth with this one, didn’t watch Into the Woods or hear Serial but I did read the Cowboy Bebop finale for X-Mas! :)

    Well we’ll be sure to send all the hatemail to Wrather now XD


  6. Jasin #

    Congratulations on moving on to the big boy podcast network!


  7. Mike #

    No, you don’t have a right to be entertained by it. No one can stop you, but you don’t have the right.

    A real world case of murder and incompetence is taken and made into a side show for entertainment. Delegitimizing the horror and dehumanizing the victims.

    And you don’t weight life, let alone education and crime by how “entertaining” it is. Are you going to give less weight to a crime or educational field because it’s “less entertaining”? How about you condition towards ignoring “entertainment” and focus on what matters. We’re not animals or machines that just “fall” in what ever direction we’re innately pointing at. Yeah it might be “hard” but it’s “right”.

    I’d rather have people approach the nitty gritty of child rape out of despair than say someone who is entertained by little girl diddling.

    I’m writing some time later, and so this is just what stuck with me. Not representative of the entire podcast.


    • Rambler #

      Obviously you’re invested in this on an emotional level, so I don’t want to insult that right by being too callous and intellectual.

      But I feel that saying “we don’t weight life, education, and crime by how entertaining it is” risks misjudging a lot of human nature. Despair only collapses, it does not strive. We are driven either for or against anything by the degree to which we are engaged, fascinated, provoked, or obsessed.

      The extent to which the “entertained” question was asked had full and appropriate context, by questioning whether our obsessive provoked engagement with reality can be seperated from our obsessive provoked engagement with fiction.

      Dispassionately and objectively, those seperations have never existed. Personally and subjectively I hope you read this in peace and goodwill.


  8. cat #

    You make me so happy when you talk about musicals. You could have gone on as long as you wanted to. I would have been here. ;)


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