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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Show Review: Stream Episode One

I've been fascinated by the push for web-based television shows (not web-extensions of TV shows, but original works placed on the web in small 3-5 minute episodes). The recent incarnation is Whoopi Goldberg vehicle Stream. The show has only one episode up at the moment, which is the one I'm reviewing, but the description of the show is quite intriguing:
Thanks to a drug she took when she was seventeen, moments from various points in Jodi's life become intertwined, effectively letting her experience two moments at once.
Jodi has spoken with her future husband; she's visited the psychiatric ward where she will reside in her twenties, and she has come face to face with a vision that will haunt her throughout her life.
Ultimately, Stream is about a woman who spends a lifetime wrestling with her personal demons, and gathering the strength to face her worst fears.
Stream snaps back and forth through three phases of Jodi's life: her past as an intelligent but headstrong teen; her present in a psychiatric facility, and her future as an adult clinging to a normal life after years of tribulation.
The story unfolds in and around New York City, as we travel with Jodi from the wealthy suburban home of her youth to the nebulous world of an institution, and the unforgiving streets of the South Bronx.
The first episode of this mind-bending psycho-thriller clocks in at three minutes and thirty seconds, but immediately establishes, or tries to at least, the basic premise: that Jodi can experience time as if it were stationary; she can experience her past and her future together.
The production quality is decent and thankfully aims for a more minimalist approach than a clouded CG-infested approach. It also seems like this is a series that is well cast, what with Whoopi Goldberg at the head and a collection of unknown, but seemingly capable actors and actresses supporting her.
I should say that I'm a Whoopi fan. I don't know why, but I enjoy Goldberg's movies. Stream is, for me, another of her projects I intend to stick with. It's hard to judge this series effectively on one episode, but after seeing it I can say that I am interested. I want to know more about Jodi, about how she ended up the way she is, and where she will end up when this is all over.
Give the first episode a look and let me know what you think. It's only a few minutes out of your day and you might find yourself as interested as I am in the end.

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