The last couple of days I have been watching a show that has me obsessed. It premieres on HBO this week, but you can watch it for free now, with a twist.
Sharon Stone– OMG, remember that powerhouse?– is back as the centerpiece of a murder mystery set in a stunning snow-covered Utah town. Stone plays a famous children’s author who has a constellation of con-men and users orbiting around her. She is a deeply insecure, narcissistic woman with a lot of complicated relationships– relationships you get to explore by navigating the story map on the Mosaic app. Instead of presenting you with a strictly linear story, the app allows you to watch chapters based on what you think is important or what interests you about the story, revolving around what happened in this snowy resort town on New Year’s Eve. In addition to choosing the storytelling path, you also uncover clues– newspaper clippings, voicemails, and other tidbits that help you form your conclusion, or maybe distract you from the real truth…
While the app does not allow you to alter the ending, it does allow you to see the story from a different perspective depending on which paths you choose. When the show airs on HBO, it will be preassembled in the order chosen by the creator, and I am interested to see how that’s done versus how I chose to watch it.
This branching-path storytelling might just be just gimmicky if the show were not satisfying in its own right. Luckily, it is. The acting is really solid, the characters are complex, and it’s shot from a lot of interesting angles. I haven’t completed it yet (it’s several hours altogether) but so far I am finding it very engrossing and intense and I can’t wait to see what happens next, and it’s kind of cool that in a way I get to decide what that is.