‘Criminal’ Launches ‘This is Love’

Today, Criminal dropped the first episode of a brand-new podcast that the team has been working on for months: This is Love, investigating life’s most persistent mystery.

The show features love stories of sacrifice, obsession and the ways we bet everything on each other.

Lauren Spohrer, Phoebe Judge and producer Nadia Wilson started working on the series as a way to expand their approach to storytelling beyond the crime genre.

“All the stories focus on the wide-ranging meaning of the word love,” Phoebe said. “And while all the stories are very different, they all provide hope.”

“When we started Criminal four years ago, we were excited to create a show that took a broad, humane and curious look at an overexposed and sometimes sensationalized thing. Criminal covers crime from A to Z. Sometimes scary and heartbreaking, and sometimes quirky and off-the-wall,” Phoebe said.
“We’re not doing pretty love or easy love, but stories of quiet love and sacrifice, and the odd things that delight us.”
Photo by Juli Leonard

Criminal itself is packed with themes of love and friendship, events that pull people together — and the team thought that could translate well into an entirely different show.

The stories in This is Love will be as multifaceted as Criminal, and they’ll approach the word “love” just as broadly.

The trailer, which dropped last month, kicked off the show with a description of a spider being eaten by its young, a lighter approach to the complexities of love that emerge throughout the series.

The first episode of This is Love dropped today, on Valentine’s Day.

Episode one, “The Run,” tells the story of a man who still only has eyes for his late wife, 25 years after her death, and is deeply, hilariously devoted to their two daughters.

Future episodes of This is Love will look at a woman whose obsession with the TV show Outlander changes her life; a teenage girl trying to save a baby whale; and a Laotian boy who is separated from his family, and finds fame in his attempt to recreate home.

The team says they’ve — ahem — loved working on the stories featured in the six-episode series.

“It’s made us very happy to work on these stories — it’s nice to remember that at the end of day we’re in this together,” Phoebe said. “We hope that this is just the start and that we will be able to continue exploring new topics. Who knows what will happen next, but it sure has been exciting to venture into new territory.”

Subscribe to This is Love in Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic or wherever you listen.

Episodes will drop weekly, on Wednesdays, from today through mid-March.

To show solidarity with love’s various and fascinating ways, This is Love encourages listeners to share their unique, surprising or perplexing love stories throughout the season. Tweet to @ThisisLoveShow or share with them on Facebook.

P.S. Although Phoebe and Lauren wanted to expand outside of the crime world, you’ll still get regular stories from Criminal every other Friday.