Podcast Review: S-Town / Chapter 1

S-Town, a new podcast by the creators of Serial and This American Life, debuted today with all seven chapters released simultaneously.



Chapter 1 introduces us to the host, Brian Reed, and the man who was the basis for the podcast, John McLemore. John called Brian in 2013 to share a story about a potential murder in his small Alabama town (or “Shit Town”) and convinced Brian to dive into it.

Brian ends up visiting John in Chapter 1, learning about his quirks (and there are a ton) and discovering his “hatred” for his hometown. John is a quotable man, referring to his high school as “Auschwitz”, a building that “looks like Nosferatu”, and much more. He lives with his elderly mother and speaks like the free-spirit-stuck-in-a-small-town that he is.

We learn that John believes a murder was committed by a member of a prominent local family and ultimately covered up. He hopes that Brian, with his investigative reporting skills, can unearth the true story.

However in this episode, Brian begins to question if there’s really a story to dig up. John – between all of his unique traits and talents (like building an elaborate garden maze), is surprisingly noncommittal when they get down to scrubbing for details.

Maze Google Maps
John’s Garden Maze in Alabama

We meet Skylar, the wife of a man with potential information about the murder. Brian asks if she has any information.

“He straight up told us that he killed him – cold blooded murdered him!” Skylar said. The accused murderer claimed self-defense and chargers were dropped, according to her.

“This town has a way of forgetting information and hiding information. If somebody don’t want people to know about it, then it won’t be there,” says Skylar, when Brian asks why none of the events made it into the newspapers.

Brian finally feels that he has a lead. The episode ends, ultimately serving as the background for the entire series, our launching point into the rest of the investigation.

Read our Chapter 2 Review & Recap Here: http://wp.me/p8xFU3-23


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