Electric City, Tom Hanks’s post-apocalyptic-steampunk-spy-thriller animated web series, premiered yesterday on Yahoo! Screen. In the 10-episode debut (don’t worry, each episode is only five minutes or so), Hanks voices Cleveland Carr, a “grid operative” in Electric City—a place devastated by an unknown disaster. The animation looks similar to that of FX’s spy spoof Archer, and the plot seems to be holding its own, despite the confusion a dystopic universe can cause.
To balance the potential mediocrity of the plot, the voice talent is superb. The cast sounds like the beginning of a bad joke—a comedian, a reformed criminal, and two sister-wives walk into a post-apocalyptic world—it’s anything but. You might recognize a few of the voices of the supporting characters: Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men) as the senior-citizen leader of the knitting group-cum-spy syndicate; Chad Coleman (The Wire) as Manny, the superintendent of Cleveland Carr’s building; Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love) as the “voice” of Electric City and her Big Love costar Ginnifer Goodwin round out the motley crew of voice talent.
At Crime HQ, we’re interested to see where the series goes, although other reviewers aren’t holding their p’s and q’s, despite mega-star Tom Hanks’s name literally plastered all over the series. Reviews in the New York Times paint the show as a vague attempt at melding steampunk, spy-thriller, and dystopia; Time magazine and USA Today reviewers are thinking it’s the web’s version of a blockbuster. But what do you think? Have you watched the show yet?