As fans continue deconstructing facts and timelines to piece together an ending for Serial, comedy writer and performer Honora Talbott has taken a far more light-hearted approach. The Serial fan has chopped real soundbites from the podcast and skewered them together to form Serial: The Rom Com.
The video cleverly pairs key soundbites with the tropes and themes of a romcom, and the results are darkly funny.
Are you a big fan of Serial?
I was definitely a huge fan of Serial—not listening-party level, but still, “put it on first thing in my car every Thursday morning” kind of thing.
Can you tell me a little about what inspired you to create the video?
I wasn’t planning on making a parody in advance; then I saw Funny or Die‘s, and they so brilliantly nailed it that I thought making one myself was out of the question. But after listening to the final episode, the idea just casually struck me. I couldn’t get over how much Sarah Koenig talked about how charming Adnan was, how nice he seemed to be, throughout the entire podcast. I was left with this impression that beyond the lack of hard evidence, Sarah had a hard time believing he could be guilty for the very simple reason that she liked the guy, that they became friends.
There were also times when it seemed like she had a bit of a crush on him or something—nothing serious like what is portrayed in my video—but in that innocent teenage way you’d have a crush on the cool guy in school. So I thought, ‘How funny would it be to showcase that relationship in a romcom trailer format?’ I didn’t know if I was alone in that feeling, and I didn’t know if I’d have the quotes to back it up, so the next day I basically relistened to and re-read transcripts of the entire podcast. I compiled quotes I thought would work and wrote the script from there.
The ending gets quite dark—how did you decide how far to push the jokes in this video?
It’s funny you mention the ending because I actually changed the ending at about 11pm the night before we shot.
Jay wasn’t in it at all, but I wanted him to be and a few other friends who I pitched the idea to or read the script felt the same. What’s a Serial parody without the second most important character? Yes, it’s dark, but that’s just my sense of humor. It’s in no way meant as an indictment. My hope is that it’s a funny surprise and a little nod to those listeners who had conspiracy theories they committed the crime as a team.
You can find more of Talbott’s witty, pop-culture-inspired videos on her YouTube channel.
Screengrab via Honora Talbott/YouTube