As I briefly discussed here, kosmos is a 5-Part free to watch SF webseries with the twist that enough registered viewers must watch each episode to unlock the next. After a significant delay gathering enough viewers, the first episode has finally unlocked and is available now.
I still think the marketing idea is brilliant, a creative way to get your independently funded TV series to a wide enough audience that you might garner enough interest to be picked up by a network. It’s a shame it is wasted in the service of such a weak product. Nothing about it is exactly bad per se (and the opening credit sequence is beautiful enough to watch for its own sake), but it’s not particularly engaging either. The direction is very stiff, as is the acting. And hiring a musician, with no acting experience to speak of, as your emotionally tormented lead leads to less empathy with his grief and more “Is this guy ever going to express an appropriate emotional response to anything that is going on?”
The biggest weakness is this. Here is the official website’s description of the show:
“Kosmos Season One is a free-to-view, 5 part web series about a research scientist, working in the field of human genetics, who has to enter his wife’s dreams and memories to find out why she is in a coma.”
But after watching the entire first episode of the show, absolutely none of that has been made clear. Not even the part about “research scientist in the field of genetics”. I suppose a conversation at the beginning may be intended to imply that part, but as Mitochondrial Eve has been the subject of plenty of pop-culture science for a number of years now, it tells me nothing except that perhaps the lead character was reading a really outdated National Geographic in the waiting room before going in to see his comatose wife. It’s a major failing in television writing if the first episode fails to set up the premise successfully, particularly if you only have 5 episodes to make your point.
Will I give Episode Two a shot? Probably, but more because I still admire, and like to support, creative marketing than because I’m particularly interested in the story so far. I only became interested in this in the first place because Terry Molloy, Doctor Who‘s Davros himself, was involved in the project and I was hoping to be able to discuss it favorably with him during April’s Sci-Fi Sea Cruise, which he’s attending as a guest. As it turns out that this is the only episode he appears in, even that incentive to continue watching is gone.
Judge for yourself at http://enterkosmos.com/referral/656e7880 (registration is required, but is free) then come back here to discuss it in the comments.
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