Finally got a chance to watch Alcatraz last night. I’ve been seeing all kinds of hype about it, and it was on my list, so I was going to give it a shot. Turns out I may actually be the only person who isn’t incredibly thrilled with this show. Now, before you think I’m crazy, I should probably defend myself… and state the things I DO like. I do enjoy the premise, and although not incredibly original (4400 anyone?), it is definitely engaging. It also allows for sustainability in its very series style contained plots perpetuated by the nature of the show itself, while simultaneously bringing in such a strong mystery and back story of a serial to draw in susceptible viewers who were drawn to it because of the fantastic name dropping of J. J. Abrams. And in this day and age, it’s the combination of the two that makes for successful television. So I’m not going to condemn them for just doing what they need to do to be successful. I have a more lasting issue with it.
This is definitely not the cast that I would choose for this show. While the bad guys (that we can comfortably say for sure are bad) are pretty well cast, I have some serious problems with the main characters. Poor casting is simply putting it mildly. Sarah Jones is definitely not who I would have cast for the lead, despite her pretty good background. Her face does not do the emotions necessary for her character well enough. Someone recently tweeted that Katee Sackhoff should have played Detective Rebecca Madsen, and I would probably maybe agree with them. This is looking to hopefully be a very damaged character who’s going to need to go through some serious soul searching. I’m just not getting that vibe from Ms. Jones.
I could maybe learn to love Jorge Garcia, but I’m not entirely convinced on him either. He might just be a bit too cuddly. However, at the same time, this might just work for him. Nor do I believe him as a scholarly individual. I spend far too much time with those folks (being as I’m still in college and all for a bit longer), and they are far more quirky in an “I’m not entirely convinced in your sanity, but we can ignore it because you are just too smart for your own good” kind of way. Yep. Not convinced in his casting either. Unfortunately, I am strapped to come up with a good substitute at the moment.
Now, I try to be an equal opportunity viewer and give everything a fair shot, so I will continue to watch for at least six total episodes, but if I’m still not feeling it at that point, we are just going to have to chalk it up as a loss and move on.
Interesting enough, FOX has been going for the more Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Supernatural shows recently (continuing Fringe for a full season, Terra Nova, Touch), despite their not always being very successful. I had before considered this firm NBC territory (as far as broadcast television goes), but if they can resist the urge to can everything that’s not an instant success, than they will do very well in this regard. And running most of them as limited-runs might even work for their penchant for those air time hogs that are singing contest shows. Hmm…
On a slightly side note, I’m going to be working on a paper on webseries for my New Media course, and it will have a corresponding blog in which I review and comment on a different webseries or two every week. This is something new for me, and I would greatly appreciate any and all recommendations, good and bad alike.