The first season of “The Beam” posits a future that isn’t too far fetched. The narrators do a fantastic job creating three-dimensional characters which jump off the page, and the technology created is both cool and scary at the same time.
At the heart of the story, “The Beam” is a cautionary tale about humanities tendency to overuse technology. One thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t your typical cyberpunk genre trope where all technology is evil. Rather it adds depth to the trope, making it part of the world rather than a construct of it. In fact most of the people in the story have become Beam addicts, as it were.
The Beam is basically the internet on steroids. If there was one complaint to give, it would be that The Beam is too powerful, acting as a “get out of jail free” card for when characters find themselves in difficult situations, instead of serving the story. It doesn’t quite reach deus ex machina territory, but there were more than a few times where the convenience of the beam did not go unnoticed.
Perhaps the strongest selling point is how much thought and creativity went into building this world; especially the politics, which take something as familiar as the democratic and republican parties and extrapolate it to a point that is cynical, but believable.
Despite the one complaint mentioned above, this story is really worth checking out. Especially for one of its endings and the political intrigue of the season. Keep in mind, this is a serialized story, which means a cliffhanger is inevitable. That being said, the story does have a moment of closure for one of the storylines. It’s that the new information revealed near the end makes you want to pick up season 2, rather than forces you with cheap gimmicks.