Review: 'The Lost Room' Creators Return to TV with 'Bar Karma'

Will Wright's Bar Karma

Five years after the now-cult miniseries The Lost Room premiered on Sci-Fi (now Syfy), two of the series' genius creators, Christopher Leone and Laura Harkcom, are returning to television in tonight’s episode of Current TV’s community-developed series Bar Karma.

With a script based loosely on a pitch by Bar Karma community member “Giroro” (Scott Comber), Leone and Harkcom were able to craft a story that was not only compelling and fascinating in its own right, but one that served to elevate the quality and depth of the series, as well as prove that Bar Karma is much more than a socio-entertainment experiment from creators Will Wright and Albie Hecht.

The story of tonight’s episode, entitled “Hack Job,” centers around a hacker from the year 2020 who, after creating a virus able to take down the entire Internet, finds his way into the illusive Bar Karma before being able to release it.

While Hollywood has embarrassed themselves enough with poor attempts at presenting anything “hacker” related on film and television, Leone and Harkcom were able to succeed in forgo the normal tech-heavy dialogue that can alienate viewers who only have a rudimentary knowledge of computers. Instead, the entire “hacker” milieu was beautifully created by providing the unnamed hacker with astute observations and skeptical reasoning.

This element, combined with Leone’s vision as the episode's director and a spectacular performance by Peter Anthony Tambakis as the hacker, provides viewers with more than enough of a logical base to instantly make any included technology and terminology believable, within the given confines of the presented surroundings.

As a fan of science fiction series that create a world of rules and fantastical ideas, I’ve made sure to keep an eye on Bar Karma. Since the series premiere in February, the regular patrons of this mythological watering hole, Doug Jones (Matthew Humphreys), James Anon (William Sanderson) and Dayna Rollins (Cassie Howarth), have consistently provided Bar Karma with a strong enough foundation of talent to elevate the show above any notions that the series is simply a television programming stunt.

While many of the Bar Karma episodes are enjoyable, I have been patiently waiting for the series to somehow find itself and take full advantage of the wonderful cast on-hand. Tonight’s installment by Leone and Harkcom was the answer to my proverbial prayers. Outside of the fantastic story surrounding the hacker from the future, Leone and Harkcom also ripped open the mythos and created enough intriguing story-arcs to easily satisfy even the nerdiest of the science-fiction elite - and allow the show to easily progress into a second season.

Without giving anything away, it’s safe to say that Bar Kara has gone from a series you should keep an eye on, to one that you should watch each week.


Bar Karma airs Fridays @10pm on Current TV

To jump in on the community involvement and pitch your own story ideas, visit the Bar Karma website.To keep up-to-date with The Lost Room: Season 2, visit Red 5 Comics.For fans of The Lost Room, visit The Collectors.

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