Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Alcatraz - Do you smellllllllll what The Rock is cooking?


Great premise!  When Alcatraz closed, the guards and the inmates disappeared. They have recently started reappearing and, apparently, were not rehabilitated at Alcatraz or wherever they’ve been for the last 50 plus years, because they go back to committing the crimes that sent them to prison in the first place.

Decent acting, except for Sarah Jones, which is a shame, since she’s the protagonist. She needs to tone it down a bit. Show, don’t tell, woman. They way her character, a member of the San Francisco Police Department, was allowed in on the FBI’s investigation was so easy, it was ridiculous. Her “uncle” was a correctional officer who allegedly worked with her grandfather on the rock, but it’s later revealed her grandfather was really an inmate. One that has reappeared and killed her partner. Can you say issues?

Jorge Garcia is a civilian brought into the fray due to his encyclopedic knowledge of Alcatraz, its inmates, and guards. He has two Ph.D.s and owns a comic bookstore. Detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) chooses him as her partner. He’s squeamish at first, but learns how to deal with dead bodies. He’s got his secrets and jacked up background, too. I like him and his character, but I’ve always been partial to nerds.

Sam Neill plays Emerson Hauser, the fed in charge of the whole investigation. It’s kind of weird, because with each new episode, he appears less and less. He was one of the guards that discovered Alcatraz empty, so he’s been in on it since the beginning and seemingly knows everything. I like Sam Neill in everything. He’s like a nice a villain or dick hero. Annoying, but comforting at the same time.

Parminder Nagra plays Lucy Banerjee, Hauser’s assistant. She gets shot in the chest early on and falls into a coma, but at the end of that episode, she’s alive and well. Or her clone is. Or something. Subsequent episode reveals that she was present back in the 60s. She has a medical degree and a Ph.D. in Chemical Psychology. Her cup of tea is using chemicals to adjust behavior. Hmmmm . . . .

The doctor from Alcatraz also works in the modern day lab. Spooky.

The show is like a beautiful piece of Waterford crystal and the mystery is like that price tag sticker you try so hard to remove. That ish ain’t coming off and the teeny, tiny bits that do leave behind that nasty residue.  However, I’m hooked. In my defense, I never watched Lost. But don’t worry: I won’t be doing a weekly review of this show, because it’s just the same storyline repeated.

*Brought to you by J.J. Abrams. 

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