‘The Case Against Adnan Syed’ review: HBO docu-series continues ‘Serial’ mystery




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As a consequence, this new four-part enterprise ends up rehashing a number of the case, whereas selecting up the place “Serial” left off in a technique that weaves the media consideration the distinctive generated into the story, in so much one of the best ways that the second season of “Making a Murderer” did.

It is, for primarily essentially the most half, an engrossing account, although the filmmakers make use of 1 terribly questionable machine to help illustrate what had solely been heard, not seen, using animation as a visual help all through voiceover excerpts study from murder sufferer Hae Min Lee’s diary.

“Serial” producer Sarah Koenig is confirmed accepting a prestigious Peabody Award for the podcast, marveling that she may very well be honored for devoting so much time to “an old murder that I did not solve.”

As dense as “Serial” was, there’s ample supplies for filmmaker Amy Berg to sift via, tied to the 1999 disappearance and murder of the 18-year-old Lee, and the eventual arrest and conviction of her former boyfriend, Adnan Syed.

For starters, their hidden relationship speaks to cultural strictures — she was Korean-American, he the son of Pakistani immigrants — that created impediments to their relationship, factors that Lee addresses at some dimension inside the diary entries.

Mostly, though, “The Case Against Adnan Syed” operates as a mystery, elevating the question of what occurred to Lee, potential missteps by the Baltimore police and who — if not Syed — may want killed her, inside the midst of an appeals course of that gained him the suitable to a model new trial sooner than bogging down inside the courts.

Like “Making a Murderer,” there’s quite a lot of time devoted to forensic minutia, like analyzing the grass on the situation the place Lee’s automotive was found. The search moreover comprises returning to interview high-school buddies, and looking out down one different of Lee’s former boyfriends, whereas retaining a private investigator to help reexamine the proof.

One of the high-school contemporaries, Krista Meyers, expresses concern that “Hae gets lost” inside the give consideration to Adnan and whether or not or not he was wrongly convicted, an inevitable byproduct when filtering such fact-based tales via the demanding prism of an leisure custom weaned on “Law & Order” and “CSI.”

Once as soon as extra, “The Case Against Adnan Syed” raises troubling questions regarding the justice system, along with the questionable conduct of police amid stress to close high-profile circumstances. (It’s moreover worth noting that Syed family pal and advocate Rabia Chaudry is credited among the many many producers.)

The docu-series is not going to be, perhaps, as compelling — or positively as distinctive — as a result of the podcast was. Three of the 4 installments had been made obtainable, so it is usually to be determined how properly the producers do in bringing this installment of the story to a conclusion, given the standing of the case.

Even so, for a lot of who tuned into “Serial,” the model new documentary makes a convincing argument for its private existence, in what has turn into, for greater or worse, thought of one in all TV’s most crowded genres.

“The Case Against Adnan Syed” premieres March 10 at 9 p.m. on HBO. Like CNN, the neighborhood is a unit of WarnerMedia.

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