Teen TV Critic

The Net gives you the creeps--which is why it's a great new show.

By Vivian Rose

Computer users beware: if you watch USA's new series The Net you may be afraid to go near your PC for a while. After viewing the premiere episode--which airs Sunday, July 19--I had to consider whether it was safe to write this review on my computer, or whether my identity would immediately be stolen if I so much as clicked the mouse.

Okay, I'm exaggerating. The Net wasn't scary enough to make me that paranoid. But it's a thrilling hour-long drama, and it does get you thinking about how much of your life is controlled by our friend the computer.

If The Net sounds familiar, that's because it's based on the feature film of the same name. In the movie, Sandra Bullock starred as lonely computer hacker Angela Bennett; in the television series, Brooke Langton (Melrose Place) marvelously portrays Angela Bennett. The movie was complicated and difficult to understand cramming a lot of details into a couple short hours; the TV series is more simplified, giving many details and explanations, so the viewer won't be confused.

As the series opens, Bennett has been conversing with Sorcerer, the chat nickname for a stranger she's never met. Fortunately, she has the intelligence not to arrange a meeting with somebody who, for all she knows, could be an ax murderer. However, it seems that even chatting and e-mailing is no longer safe; she accidentally gets an e-mail from Sorcerer that wasn't meant for her. After erasing it and shrugging it off, Angela is soon arrested by the FBI and told that she is the wanted criminal Elizabeth Marx. Unbelievably, her identity has been stolen because she received a highly personal e-mail that she hardly bothered to skim, let alone read and draw conclusions about.

After a day or two, she is "rescued" by people claiming to be from the NSA, but whom Sorcerer says are planning to kill her. Making a daring escape in an action-packed scene, Angela goes in search of one Dr. Wayland. It seems Dr. Wayland, Sorcerer, and Angela's deadbeat dad were all previously involved in a top secret project, although they weren't allowed to discuss what they were working on with each other, or others in the project. Now, it's Angela's mission to find out who these people are, expose them, and reclaim her identity.

I loved The Net and expect this to be a big hit for USA Network. It has everything: suspense, action, drama and the latest high tech gear. Anyone who knows her way around a modem will delight in this spooky series about--shall we call it computer warfare?

'The Net' premieres Sunday, July 19 at 9 pm. ET on USA before moving to its permanent time slot, Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET.

Totally Teen TV! is delighted to welcome Vivian Rose as a regular contributor. Best known for her daily film reviews on the popular Teen Movie Critic website, the Winslow, Arkansas native began her career at the age of 9 on a local radio show. Now 15, Vivian has been writing celebrity interviews for the Tampa Tribune for the past three years. She also reviews movies with adult anchor Steve Voorhies on the local CBS affiliate KFSM-TV in Fayetteville-Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

To write Vivian about this site,
contact vivianrose@ipa.net (Vivian Rose)

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