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Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Ed, Downloaded"

Posted by on Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 1:28 PM

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Part cautionary tale for snoops and part advertisement for polyamory, Ed, Downloaded takes place in a nearish future where daily life looks almost exactly the same as ours, but death is a little different. Selene (Gin Hammond) is a rational and uptight technician who works at a "forevertery"—a service that can, for a large fee, download your consciousness, extract happy memories, and keep them digitally "alive" for you to relive in eternity after your physical death. She is a kind of metaphysical insurance agent, selling peace of mind and certainty about the afterlife.

Selene's adorably nerdy geologist boyfriend, Ed (Noah Benezra), is terminally ill and will soon be one of her digital undead, an endless loop of pleasant reminiscences inside a "ForeverBox." Her attitude toward Ed seems more like an indulgent nurse (with a dash of the curious researcher) than a woman about to lose the love of her life. To top it off, Selene's previous husband is also deceased. Death, it seems, becomes her, raising the intriguing possibility of a black widow subplot, but playwright Michael Mitnick doesn't go anywhere with that.

Along comes Ruby (Adria LaMorticella), a flirtatious young street performer who approaches Ed at the geological museum where he works and coaxes him out to lunch. From there, they coax each other into a full-blown affair. Vivacious and playful, Ruby is the Eros to Selene's Thanatos, brightening—and complicating—Ed's final days.

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