2022 consolidates the wave of “pod series”: series that are born from podcasts

Gone are the days when a successfully written biography was the right material for a movie or series. Today we don’t even need that much research time.

The wave of bioseries, biographical content that retells a story from a new perspective is at its peak in 2022 and far from passing. The trend was already clear and growing a few years ago, but between 2020 and 2022 it became the rule. Superheroes in cinemas, crimes, and biographies on Streaming and realities on TVS. And the source of inspiration? podcasts. In particular, podcasts about scandals or crimes (or both).

As a result, it is difficult today not to have a major Hollywood star cast in a biographical series or movie. Would it be a consequence of more than 20 years of an audience increasingly adept at “reality shows”, programs that make strangers famous, and billionaires? Certainly.

It seems like the current path to stardom: through social media or reality shows, strangers become celebrities. They are adored for 15 minutes but are usually also canceled by exactly what made them famous in the first place, so they return to anonymity until a podcast rediscovers them. That’s right, the natural path to the success of podcasts – which have multiplied in the last 5 years, especially those that have a crime as their theme – is precisely to become a series on a streaming platform. The hilarious Only Murders in the Building nudges this new fad with jokes and intelligence.

In less than five months, check out the names that have already passed through the platforms and that came from podcasts: Julia Roberts and Sean Penn in Gaslit; Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto in WeCrashed; Amanda Seyfried in Dropout; Julia Garner in Inventing Anna; Lily James and Sebastian Stan in Pam & Tommy and Colin Firth in The Staircase, without mentioning the series about historical characters already shown and/or still in production. Does anyone else know how to invent an original story to tell? Is it now only about cine-reality-fictional?

And we are far from changing course. It’s time for yet another Oscar-winning actress to star in a series inspired by a true story about an absurd crime: The Thing About Pam, with Renée Zellwegger, which will premiere on May 20 in Brazil, on Starplus. The origin? Yes, a podcast. Thus, in the 2022 Emmys and even in 2023, all fiction series could be documentaries. Even more, they confirm the wave of the pod-series, which are born as radio and extrapolate to screens. That’s right, everything has changed and nothing has changed. Isn’t it lazy?

I can’t comment on Renée’s series yet because of the embargo, next week I’ll go into more detail, but here’s an issue that I already addressed in CLAUDIA‘s column in April: the danger of “new narratives”. All this reality-inspired content challenges us to research more, reflect, and question. Of course, fiction also has this role, but when we approach stories of real people, skepticism is expected as a base and, to really buy the version that we are given, you cannot have a passive audience. Even because, all biographical content is more interesting when we know what they are talking about. I always look for more than one documentary on the subject, I read more than one article on the theme to dare to put my thoughts here on the blog. I invite everyone to do the same, including the incredible story that Renée Zellwegger will show us soon. She underwent a new physical transformation for the role, she is excellent as Pam Hupp and will indeed fight for one of the most disputed five spots for an Emmy nomination. The awards promise to be (artfully) more lively than the Oscars. And it’s hard to beat the Oscars 2022, huh?


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