Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some thoughts on Alcatraz

We are three hours into the new Fox TV series Alcatraz. So far, I'm a fan. I like the show. I'm enjoying the action. The acting's not bad. I actually like Jorge Garcia as Dr. Diego Soto, and I was concerned about seeing him as anyone other than Hurley.

The third hour devoted to inmate Kit Carson had a pretty creepy moment in a prison exchange between Carson and the warden.

This is a good show. Worth the time investment. But I do have concerns. Two, actually.

The premise of the show has all of the inmates held at Alcatraz disappearing in 1963. Now they are coming back to present day the same age they were when they disappeared. And this is where my first concern comes in. I posted it on Twitter the other night. None of these guys are freaked out or baffled by the new technology they're seeing. No one is baffled by the way things look. Not the fashion. Not the cars. Not the TVs. Not people around them looking at their cell phones.

My cousin says he noticed the same thing, but he feels confident that there is a logical explanation for it, and that it will be explained in the end. I'm not so sure.

And that brings me to the second concern. I want to say again that I like the show. I'm a fan. But I'm afraid that with the pedigree this show has we won't get the explanation. Or at least one that's satisfactory. This is a JJ Abrams show. He's not a creator, but he is a producer. I've liked other Abrams shows. I really liked Alias. I was a fan of Lost. But there was a problem with each of the shows. The big mystery overtook the story. I'm afraid that's what could happen here.

It's natural. It's understandable. It's the way of TV. You have these stories planned. You can have explanations. You can have endings. But if your show is a success then all of that likely goes out the window. You have to stretch the story out longer than you planned. On the creative end things get forgotten. Not everything gets explained. And that's my worry. Too much here will go unexplained if the show runs for a few years.

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