Whoopi Goldberg is both producing and headlining in the new sci-fi web series Stream, which premiered Jan. 15 on FEARNet. While the Oscar/Golden Globe/Grammy/Emmy/Tony award-winning actress had all but retired from acting to focus on her participation in daytime coffee klatch The View, the chance to traverse the final frontier of online entertainment and revisit her favorite genre proved too enticing to pass up.
Goldberg, a self-proclaimed Trekkie and sci-fi/horror fan since childhood, says she was lured out of her self-imposed semi-exile by the prospect of both the new-ish medium and the return to sci-fi. In a story on the New York Post, Goldberg described herself as “desperate to get back into the sci-fi waters,” though her iconic status as a habit-clad stand-up funnywoman has left her stuck in a stereotype that even her stint on Star Trek: The Next Generation could not fully obliterate. As for the appeal of online entertainment, in an interview with the LA Times, she cited the medium’s resemblance to “guerrilla theater” as being a huge draw, along with the less-grueling schedule compared to that of traditional serialized drama: “I think it’s fantastic that you can do a five-minute episode and you’re good.”
In Stream, Goldberg plays Jodi, a mentally troubled woman who’s tripping (big time) as she experiences moments from her past, present and future — all simultaneously. Her attempts to distinguish between reality and hallucination form the crux of the plot.
Fearnet, a joint venture between Sony, Comcast and Lionsgate, experienced phenomenal growth in 2008, and reportedly boasts over 700,000 monthly visitors – which certainly bodes well for Whoopi’s anticipated return to her supernatural stomping grounds. Fingers crossed for high hits, because, with all due respect to Elizabeth Hasslebeck and company (or not, depending on your point of view), it’s been far too long since we’ve had an opportunity to watch the incomparable Whoopi doing what she does best.