Thursday, January 19, 2012


When I heard that J.J. Abrams, creator of LOST, was executive producing this new series, I immediately scheduled it on my DVR. Of course, there will be many drawing parallels to the intensely-dissected cult favorite--after all, the show is also set on an island, operating under mysterious circumstances including possible time travel and features Jorges Garcia (formerly "Hugo/Hurley") as one of its stars. But so far the new series appears to be a fairly standard crime procedural drama with the mysterious underpinnings as an overarching theme.

The show seems to take notes more from The X-Files and Fringe with the plot following one person each episode. In the case of Alcatraz, that person is one of 260-some prisoners who poof! disappeared when they were due to be transferred to other facilities after Alcatraz was shut down in 1963. 260 prisoners divided by a standard 22-24 episodes per season equals 10+ years to tell all their stories.

I think J.J. may be a little overly optimistic here, don't you?

Apparently these prisoners disappeared and have been in some sort of suspended animation for 40 years. There's a whole secret FBI operation dedicated to tracking down these prisoners and, more importantly, finding out who or what took them and why. It's headed by one of the former guards tasked with transporting the prisoners to their new residences by the name of Emerson Hauser, played by Sam Neill.

The problem is that when these vanished prisoners pop up again, they tend to go on murder sprees. Some are motivated by past grudges, some are motivated by psychotic tendencies, some are motivated by both. But some are apparently motivated by whatever forces abducted and held them for the past decades.

I'll keep watching to see if the series lives up to the promise of LOST (without devolving into a clusterfuck of a unsatisfying finale), but I hope the series gets more Fringe-y and less Law & Order.

We already have four Dick Wolf shows on TV--there's no need for another!

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