New York Times: Our Extinction, via the Internet

August 8th, 2012

New York Times
Published: August 7, 2012


The future according to Tom Hanks: post-apocalyptic, with electricity rationed and rebels communicating via antique radios. The future according to the “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker: tenuous, with the world about to fall victim to a vast online fraud.

Could it be that men with deep roots in old media, like movies and television, are more likely to be cybercontrarians when they produce for the Web? To Mr. Hanks’s “Electric City” and Mr. Zuiker’s coming “Cybergeddon” we can now add “H+,” an online series whose producers include the Hollywood veteran Bryan Singer (“The Usual Suspects,” “X-Men”). In “H+” death comes not with a bang but with an error message: the Internet literally makes our brains shut down.

Written by John Cabrera (known primarily as an actor in “Gilmore Girls”) and Cosimo De Tommaso, and directed by Stewart Hendler (“Sorority Row”), it’s an ambitious project, consisting of 48 three-to-six-minute episodes with reasonably solid production values and competent acting, at least for an online series.

Unfortunately, based on 20 episodes made available for review (the series begins on Wednesday on YouTube and will conclude in January), that ambition doesn’t carry through to the storytelling, which has the dull familiarity and repetitiveness of low-grade cable-TV science fiction. It’s possible that by Episode 48 a big idea or some intriguing twists will emerge, but they may not warrant three or four hours of staring into your laptop or phone.

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