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TheWB’s Exposed Uneven But Intriguing

Tuesday’s relaunch included four different web series, including Exposed, the newest web offering from Streamy Award-winning director Blake Calhoun. It took me close to three years to review Calhoun’s previous web series, Pink, so I decided not to let that happen again this time.

Exposed‘s pitch is a pretty simple one — Henry (Chase Jeffery), a good-looking medical student with a hot fiancee and a secret past, tries to keep the latter from destroying his relationship with the former. And while the stakes could be set slightly higher, the way the mystery builds and expands during the eight episodes released this week (the remaining eight will go online next Tuesday) is plenty intriguing.

However, there are some awkward moments of plotting that might raise the eyebrows of anyone feeling nitpicky: A medical student has the time to take a drawing and photography class that uses nude models? Henry tries to dial *69 on an iPhone to call a number that’s been texting him? Also, sometimes people speak with Russian accents and sometimes they don’t, and sometimes those people are the same people at different ages.

If you can look past those details, there are some strong performances at work here. I found myself missing Julio Cedillo, who plays Henry’s finacee’s father, in later episodes — he was a powerful force in his first appearances. And Kimberly Matula (who also played the college-aged Pink in Pink) as the temptress Gail Fox is another standout — she feels natural on camera in a way many other actors can only envy. And while she’s not given a lot of room to play with her character within the show, a series of auxiliary video diaries puts her front and center. Interestingly, the link to these video diaries from goes directly to YouTube, (s GOOG) showing some flexibility on TheWB’s part towards additional platforms.

The opening sequence includes a punny hint about how the show might resolve itself, ending as it does on a shot of Henry’s student ID, which shows his full name as C. Henry Dye (sound it out if you’re feeling slow). I’ll be frank and say that I don’t know how much I really care about Henry’s ultimate fate — the character isn’t that compelling. But in comparison to past TheWB dramas, such as last summer’s tragically unwatchable Pushed or the decent enough but web-ignorant The Lake, Exposed stands as a real step forward for the network.

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): Why Viacom’s Fight With YouTube Threatens Web Innovation

6 Responses to “TheWB’s Exposed Uneven But Intriguing”

  1. We’re just as interested to see how the approach works too!

    With PINK we did one a week for 10 weeks (for season one), then the same for seasons two and three (with 35 episodes total now). My belief was having that New content out each week helped create buzz and thus help build an audience over time (although today I think I’d do at least two a week or maybe even two at a time).

    With The WB’s approach it reminds me more of a “day and date” idea from the film world. One marketing push to promote all the content (including btw, the other 3 shows that launched along with Exposed). All online releases are still really just big experiments (I think at least), so we’ll see if this one works. Btw, I’m told via the studio that Exposed will likely be on Hulu sometime in the near future. I definitely hope so.

  2. Are there any numbers on how well this batch approach works. As I said before it probably does have its uses and it probably works for a more “on demand audience”.

    I do not find any show on “easy to watch”, which is a shame because I was a huge fan of Pink. Hopefully Blake Calhoun will eventually put Exposed on YouTube …… but then again this is the WB we are dealing with. I believe I tried to set up an RSS feed for exposed and it worked on my back up reader but not on the one I normally use. Then again creating an RSS for a show on Koldcast is not easy either….. or did i miss the button?