Syed's story became a worldwide sensation in 2014 when NPR's podcast Serial first launched. It picked apart the evidence that landed Syed in prison for live after he was convicted of the 1999 kidnap and murder of his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. The exposure earned Syed a retrial, and the new documentary series follows that process from where Serial left off.
The docuseries is called The Case Against Adnan Syed, and it premieres on HBO on March 10. The story is split into four 1-hour parts, examining the effect of the podcast, the evidence in the case and the inner workings of Syed's trial.
The timing of the documentary is impeccable, as Syed was granted a new trial last year. A panel of seven Maryland judges heard the appeal for Syed in November, and is expected to render a decision by the end of this summer.
According to HBO, the documentary has been in production since 2015, shortly after Serial became a global sensation. It organizes new information from fresh voices into the familiar story. As the trailer shows, Syed's family features heavily in the series, as does family friend and lawyer Rabia Chaudry.
The Case Against Adnan Syed is directed by Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg. It utilizes archival footage and recordings from Syed's initial trial, animated excerpts from Lee's high school diary and, of course, interviews with Syed himself.
The first hour of the docuseries, titled "Forbidden Love," offers a fresh summary of the case for newcomers or those who may have forgotten details. It goes from the murder itself straight to the appeal in 2016, and the global sensation of Serial.
After that, fans will have to wait a week for the the next episode as the series plays out over a month. The second episode — airing on March 17 — the documentary looks at the evidence against him and the holes in it, as well as the alibi Syed offers with the help of his friend, Asia McClain.0comments
In the third part, the documentary will look at the cultural forces at work, including Syed and Lee's generally conservative immigrant communities and the Lee family's demand for a conviction. The family has spoken out against Serial and maintains Syed's guilt to this day.
The Case Against Adnan Syed premieres on Sunday, March 10 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.