You certainly can’t accuse Showmax of being lazy during this lockdown season, shortly after alerting us of this one, they followed it up with yet another piece of content (The Case Against Adnan Syed) which should also make for intriguing watching. Mystery surrounds this one with the leading premise being based on…
A young woman brutally murdered. A killer brought to justice. Or was he?
In 2014, hit podcast series Serial captured global media attention with its investigation into the 1999 murder of US high school student Hae Min Lee. Now a compelling true-crime docuseries picks up where Serial left off. The Case Against Adnan Syed, now streaming on Showmax, will have you trying to solve the case from your living room as the facts unfold – and some don’t.
Almost two decades after he was sentenced to life plus 30 years in jail, this true-crime investigation takes a fresh look into the case against Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.
The 18-year-old Baltimore high school student was last seen alive on the afternoon of 13 January 1999. It would be four weeks before her body was discovered in a local park, and a homicide investigation opened. Following an anonymous tip-off that identified Syed as a suspect, he was arrested on 28 February and charged with first-degree murder.
But this was only the beginning of the story. From the get-go, Syed pleaded his innocence. After his first trial ended in a mistrial, a second trial led to his conviction in 2000, and a sentence that would put him behind bars for life.
14 years later, break-out podcast series Serial brought renewed interest to Syed’s case, and in 2016 he was granted a new trial. But that decision was overturned in 2019, and, now 20 years into his sentence, Syed remains in prison, still claiming he is innocent.
The Case Against Adnan Syed, a four-part HBO docuseries from Oscar, Emmy and Bafta-nominated director Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil, West of Memphis), takes an in-depth look at Lee’s murder and the trial that followed.
The podcast’s popularity led to it having its own dedicated subreddit site, where debates raged among obsessed fans. Even Hollywood was hooked, with celebs from Brie Larson to Sarah Silverman, Chiwetel Ejiofor to Ewan McGregor speaking about their Serial addiction in a Vanity Fair celeb round-up.
The docuseries has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was nominated for a 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program, and earlier this year Berg was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Series for Broadcast at the Cinema Eye Honors Awards.
The series is also a compelling mystery that will have you too trying to figure it out, as questions pile up faster than answers. Is there enough reasonable doubt that Syed should at least get the retrial he was denied? Almost certainly. But does that mean he is innocent? Make sure to watch it here and decide for yourself.
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