We're keeping a close eye on Current TV's innovative new series Bar Karma. After debuting Feb. 11, Bar Karma currently has just two episodes under its belt, but these two episodes seem to paint a confusing direction for the future of the series.
Bar Karma is the first community-developed television series, calling upon its viewers to submit original storylines and vote for their favorite outcomes to help shape the future of the show. Of course we don't want to make strong judgements or assumptions this early in the game, but after only two episodes, we're left wondering: where is this going? While the community involvement makes this project fresh and innovative, is the episode-by-episode barrage of differing opinions actually detrimental to the clarity and quality of the storyline as a whole? Are we even meant to consider the storyline as a whole, or is the series intended to be a collection of one-off stories that related little to each other?
Episode two, Once Upon a Timeline, aired Feb. 18, with a much different flavor than episode one. Now, we seem to be getting into the actual goingson at Bar Karma; the struggles three bar workers face while trying to explain who they are to any unsuspecting individual who enters their establishment -- and why this person absolutely MUST change the direction of his or her life. Episode two brings a downtrodden author to Bar Karma, whose latest story has just rewarded him with a large cash advance, and his life seems to be turning upward. Upon a visit to Bar Karma, however, this author learns that his current endeavors are actually leading toward future acts of terrorism in which countless lives are lost and national landmarks destroyed. We can tell you that the author's reaction is typical, but you'll have to tune in if you want to know the real outcome -- we're not giving out spoilers here!
While we continue to appreciate the innovation of this television show, the community involvement, the karmic spin -- we're starting to think this whole concept seems a little too easy so far. Each episode ties up nicely, wrapped up perfectly in the prettiest paper with a nice fluffy bow without the characters questioning much when suddenly faced with this outlandish, otherworldly intervention. Yes, the characters show some confusion and resistance and no, we can't expect each episode to delve into five hours of karmic concepts and questions, but we also don't want to feel as if we're supposed to just go along with it, accepting anything that is thrust upon as we stare mindlessly into our television screens...
One thing's for sure: we DO have a lot of unanswered questions. But we're only on episode two! We'll keep an open mind as we continue to track this intriguing concept. Do your part by tuning in to Current TV Fridays at 10:00 pm, or checking out past episodes on Comcast's On Demand or online.
For now, we really want to know -- who out there has tuned in so far? What are your opinions, two episodes in?