Where were you on April 23rd, 2005? I don’t remember where I was. Hell, I don’t remember what I was doing yesterday, much less seven and a half years ago.
Thankfully we do know where this guy was.
Jawed Karim was uploading the first ever video on YouTube.
Since that day YouTube has become an ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. According to Alexa, YouTube is the third most visited site on the internet. Not hard to see why, as not a single day passes where I don’t look something up on the site. It can range everywhere from the completely absurd, to the extremely useful. A good amount of the time it is for either a music video or web series. In the past year or so, YouTube has made a conscious move from being a bastion of baby crying videos to being a viable entertainment option. With everything from live streamed concerts to “web tv” style channels, they’ve started their march, and with big names coming to play, the future is looking bright.
One of those potential bright stars is a new offering from director/producer extraordinaire Bryan Singer and his production company, Bad Hat Harry.
Welcome to H+, The Digital Series. It is directed by Stewart Hendler of Sorority Row fame. Okay if Sorority Row doesn’t blow your skirt up, he is also the director of the upcoming Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.
The premise? Well it’s simple- an implant is developed and released to the public that enables them to turn their brains into computers with a heads up display. The idea is based on the transhumanism ideology that man is in a constant move forward and that in the not too distant future, technology will play an even larger role in that evolutionary move. Played Deus Ex? It’s sort of like that, but not really.
So pretty much everyone has these implants and they can bring up their iTunes library while walking down the street, or watch a football game while driving, although this is dangerous and apparently illegal. Their vital organs are being constantly monitored which conceivably stave off preventable diseases such as diabetes.
Sounds great. It is great. It’s great until “The Event”.
And that’s all I’m telling you. Mainly because I don’t know much beyond that myself. The series debuted on August 8th and has put up an episode, each roughly 4-6 minutes long, every Wednesday since then. I sat and watched them in sequence and truthfully, was sort of frustrated because I so badly wanted to like it. Each episode was of a different time and different place, and different people. Then it jumps back to the original group/time. The disjointed storytelling just wasn’t doing it for me.
Then I watched this vlog from John Cabrerra, one of the creators and writers of the series (who also was on Gilmore Girls which I could not place for hours until it finally came to me as I ate a bowl of peas- and there’s a glimpse into my daily life, welcome) and after a few tweaks, I was really enjoying the series.
See, H+ is not your normal web series in which you sit down and watch episode a through z and it all forms a nice, compact, linear story. Instead, this series is composed of “moments of time and space” that you can move around to however you desire. I set up a playlist for myself where it was linear and each location told it’s story at one time. However, no one is forcing you to make your own playlist- if you want to watch them as they air, have at it. Whatever floats your boat.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! You can head over to hplusdigitalseries.com and see pictures, short bios, and an interactive map which did clue me in that the locations we’ve already seen, are not all there are. Something to look forward to.
I know another thing I am looking forward to seeing is fellow St. Louis native, Sean Gunn, (I’m not really a native but I did graduate from high school there, same as Mr. Gunn) also a Gilmore Girls alum. As far as I can tell so far, he plays some sort of technology hating man who has to rely on some sort of technology to get around. Yay conflict!
Check out the existing episodes on their YouTube page and tune in on Wednesdays for new episodes.
And let us know what you think- are the transhumanists right and we are headed for an inevitable takeover by technology in our day-to-day lives? Or is the iPhone5 about as far as we are going to get?
Either way, it’s an interesting conversation to have and an entertaining series to watch.