Tuesday’s TheWB.com 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 TheWB.com goes directly to YouTube, 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.
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