Conviction – Podcast Review

In this Episode I talk about my experience with Gimlet’s Conviction. The podcast has finished its first season of 7 episodes so far. This season focused in on renegade private eye Manuel Gomez.

PodApplaud-Conviction

Welcome to PodApplaud, the Monday through Friday podcast that aims to enable your Podcast habit. I’m your host Seb, and today we are going to talk about Gimlet’s Podcast Conviction.

Conviction is an investigative true crime podcast that looks into the balance of law and lawlessness in The Bronx area of New York. The show’s first season has been completed with 7 episodes that are between 35 and 45 minutes long. The show has explicit content so listening discretion is advised.

The show has an informative description so I will share that now, “Manuel Gomez is a detective straight out of a detective novel. He carries a pen that’s a knife, wears a watch that’s really a camera, adores Sherlock Holmes and Miami Vice. But the cases Gomez takes on are all too real: case of young men in New York City who say they’ve been arrested for crimes they didn’t commit. In the first season of Conviction, reporter Saki Knafo follows Gomez as he tackles the biggest case of his career –and along the way, Saki explores big questions about criminal justice in America.

Conviction falls in a weird place among the investigative podcasts for me. Everything is here to make the show extremely compelling among the best investigative shows. We have lots of interviews, on the scene reporting, and a delivery that puts you right in the middle of the action. But, the ending of  the show has a disconnect from the beginning of the show. I had a similar problem with the first season of Serial. The drama was built up to make the show a real mystery, but then at the end of the show it feels almost so black and white that you wonder how they even made the tale seem so contestable.

The show is a really interesting character study of Manuel Gomez. Although the show was likely named conviction in regards to the law-related definition, Gomez is the living definition of having conviction. The guy is really a character, he almost seems like he is out of time and place truly unreal in his overconfidence and self belief. Our reporter, Saki, takes the back seat, following along, recording, questioning Gomez, and a few of the other people involved in the drama.His reporting is solid, but I do think he could have asked some more hard hitting questions. Either he had to throw softballs in a lot of situations to earn trust and cooperation, or the questions that made things more clear were cut from the show to fill the show with more intrigue and obscurity. I liked the pace of the show, that we got to hear from the wide array of real people, and the raw insight we get into the relationship between people in the Bronx, law enforcement, and the legal system.

Ok so here on PodApplaud I rate shows on a 1-5 scale, 1 is silence, 2 is a slow clap, 3 is applause, 4 is a round of applause, and 5 of course is a standing ovation! I want to give Conviction a 4, a round of applause. Listening to show, most of the way it was a 5/5 for me, but the ending fell short. I would recommend that most people interested in true crime and investigation podcasts listen to this show, or maybe if you want to get some insight into how people can be trapped into the legal system it would be helpful too.


So that’s been the show for today I hope you found it valuable If you wish to reach out to me you can find me on twitter @podapplaud or send an email to podapplaud@gmail.com Thank you for listening, and please tune in again.