S-Town host  Brian Reed

S-Town host Brian Reed

(Handout via The New York Times) 

(Handout via The New York Times) 

First we were obsessing over the morally dubious but engrossing podcast Missing Richard Simmons. (Spoiler alert: The flamboyant fitness guru is not being held captive by his domineering housekeeper.) Now we're binge-listening the new series from Serial and This American Life called S-Town — you can guess what the S stands for.

The show is ostensibly about host Brian Reed  unpacking a mystery in a "redneck" Alabama town involving a rich kid who maybe got away with murder. Events unfold like a Faulkner novel and soon someone else ends up dead, lives are shattered and, oh yes, there's a hunt for hidden treasure. S-Town's colorful voices and Southern-squalor setting give this show a texture unlike anything else you've heard. It's electrifying. The atmospheric music was composed by Dallas' Daniel Hart.

Taking a cue from Netflix, all seven hourlong chapters were released at once on March 28. The series was downloaded more than 10 million times in just four days, according to Entertainment Weekly, a feat that took Serial Season 1 seven weeks to achieve. 

Listen to the show at stownpodcast.org and through podcast apps such as iTunes. 

Editor's note: You can listen to Christopher Wynn's own podcast, Strange, on iTunes

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