Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Mid-Season Shows - Alcatraz

Who’s ready for all of the exciting new mid-season shows?! Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!

Okay, confession time: I stopped watching Person of Interest. I know, I know, it really is a good show, I will not deny that, but I just could not get hooked.

Luckily, it was J.J. Abrams' mid-season show that I was more excited about seeing, when he announced his newest projects, than Person of Interest.


But, it may have had a little something to do with this guy:

Seriously, name one LOST fan who did not love Hurley!

But the premise sounded pretty fine and dandy too!

"From executive producer J.J. Abrams comes ALCATRAZ, a thrilling new series that follows a unique trio investigating the mystifying reappearance of 302 of Alcatraz’s most notorious prisoners and guards, 50 years after they vanished.

When San Francisco Police Department DET. REBECCA MADSEN (Sarah Jones) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a seemingly impossible suspect: JACK SYLVANE (guest star Jeffrey Pierce), an Alcatraz inmate who died over 30 years ago. Given her family history – both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, RAY ARCHER (Robert Forster), were guards at the prison – Madsen’s interest is immediately piqued. When the enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent EMERSON HAUSER (Sam Neill) tries to impede her investigation, she becomes doggedly committed to it.

Madsen finds herself working with an unlikely partner, Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast DR. DIEGO “DOC” SOTO (Jorge Garcia), to help piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The two discover that Sylvane is not only alive, but he’s loose on the streets of San Francisco, exacting decades-old revenge and leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he hasn’t aged a day since 1963, when Alcatraz was ruled by the iron-fisted WARDEN EDWIN JAMES (Jonny Coyne) and the sadistic ASSOCIATE WARDEN E.B. TILLER (Jason Butler Harner).

Detective Madsen and Soto must team with Hauser and his associate, LUCY BANERJEE (Parminder Nagra), to stop Sylvane’s vengeful killing spree. By delving into Alcatraz history, government cover-ups and Rebecca’s own heritage, the team will ultimately discover that Sylvane is only a small part of a much larger, more sinister present-day threat. Because even though he may be the first, it quickly becomes clear that Sylvane won’t be the last to reappear from Alcatraz.

During the course of the investigation, Madsen and Soto will learn that Hauser has been awaiting the prisoners’ return for nearly 50 years. Soto will witness his life’s work – the history of Alcatraz – come alive, while he and Madsen fight to keep the country safe from history’s most dangerous criminals."

Alcatraz premiered this past Monday (taking Terra Nova's slot ironically enough) with a double episode, and I must say that I was hooked right away. Yes, I admit that I am a bit biased being a Abrams' fan and Jorge Garcia admirer (my brother actually met him in a bar in New York City one time!), but I think that this show has a lot more staying power than shows such as The Event and Terra Nova.

Why? Well, I shall tell you why.

Alcatraz certainly carries a lot of the same hallmarks as past Abrams' series, particularly Alias, but with some LOST thrown in for good measure. The main character is a bad-ass, independent woman who is dead set on finding out the truth about her past and the criminals who threaten her city, and there are also elements of FBI conspiracy (Alias). There are elements of mysterious time-travel that is not completely explained but that occur on an island (LOST).

While there is a strong main storyline thread that keeps you guessing (although the creators promise answers in the not too distant future as many people complained was the problem with LOST), each episode focuses on a different prisoner...similar to crime shows, but a really really cool crime show with criminals that are from a different era!

It is for these reasons, that I think the show has staying power...each new episode has its own interesting story that eventually all add together into a one main interesting story. I just hope this pattern continues...I need J.J. Abrams and Hurley in my life...

You can see if I'm wrong or right by watching Alcatraz on Fox, Monday nights at 9:00.

Photos courtesy of

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