Monday, September 24, 2007


When PRISON BREAK premiered two years ago, I wondered how they could possibly sustain the series past two seasons. It took the entire first season for the inmates to break out, and all of last year to escape the authorities and clear their names (some of them, anyway). If you're in charge of PRISON BREAK, what do you do in Season Three? You put the stars back behind bars. But instead of a maximum security penitentiary in Joliet, it's Terminal Island basically--a sun-cooked Panamanian prison with no guards, where the inmates are on their own. And that's where Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) is, smack dab in the middle of another political conspiracy. He was placed in Sona prison intentionally by some mysterious consortium and is being pressured into breaking out of Sona an Australian named Whistler (Chris Vance). Oh, and he has one week to pull off the prison break, or else his nephew and his new gal pal are going to be killed. Meanwhile, brother Linc (Dominic Purcell) is on the outside, bantering with tough-talking Susan B. Anthony (a poorly performing Jodi Lyn O'Keefe from NASH BRIDGES), liaison to whomever holds the sibs' loved ones captive. PRISON BREAK is pure comic-book plotting that could have come straight out of a 1960s "mens sweat" magazine like FOR MEN ONLY or STAG. Come on--you knew Linc had a second book in his pocket, didn't you? I've never seen another show quite like PRISON BREAK, and those critics who rip it for being something less than plausible are joylessly missing the point. Its arch plotting is clearly intended to be taken less than seriously, and as long as the writers continue to play by the rules of the artificial universe they've created, I'm willing to go along for the ride.

I missed the pilot, but I caught the second episode of K-VILLE tonight. It's saddled with a dumb title and less than stellar plotting, but there's still a sliver of something here. Cole Hauser has the potential to be a potent TV leading man (I've thought so ever since PAPARAZZI), and Anthony Anderson is a skilled actor, but they don't have much chemistry together. They ain't exactly Starsky and Hutch, and they ain't gonna stay on their air as long as S&H if this show's fun factor doesn't pick up. I'm already skeptical that America is ready for a weekly reminder of the Katrina tragedy, and treating plots like tonight's, which could have easily come from ROBERT TAYLOR'S THE DETECTIVES forty years ago, so seriously is asking for trouble. If K-VILLE wants to show off New Orleans to its best advantage, it needs to pump up the action and the banter. And shoot better action too--the normally reliable Bryan Spicer, who directed tonight's episode, left me dizzy with his cruddy camera movement.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'll have to agree with you on K-ville. I watched the first episode and I thought it was okay. From the promo spots, it made me think it was going to be a little more "Freebie and the Bean" type cop show (which would kick a lot of ass) but it turned out to be a little too serious for my taste. And the constant 'Katrina was a huge disaster' reminders don't make the show any more entertaining, just sad.