While I filled the void between Falling Skies episodes with writing about, well, Falling Skies (over at fallingskiesblog), I also needed something to watch. Damn you, summer hiatus, by the way, the options aren’t that great as usual.
I read around on IMDB what might be entertaining enough as a snack and ended up with the first season of Alcatraz. And boy, am I struggling to make it through. I’ve seen the pilot and 3 episodes, and so far, it can pretty much be summarized as “Starbuck and that fat guy from LOST meet the Freak of the Week”. It’s possibly my ADD kicking in, but I have a hard time to focus on the episodes without thinking “hm, maybe I should watch BSG/LOST instead” and running down all the reasons why I’m not doing it though.
So, in 1962, all prisoners and guards of Alcatraz vanished into thin air, it was covered up by the government and now, in present day America, a secret FBI branch consisting of FBI Boss, Starbuck and Fat Lost Guy are hunting down the re-appearing convicts. Who, for some reason, just show up and repeat their crimes, or similar crimes. It takes 4 episodes to give the viewer at least some hint – the mysterious keys the convicts seem to be after without knowing why, and that the boss of said FBI task force has no idea what they are for either.
Yes, we get a bit backstory with each of the convicts. About their original crime, about the inhuman conditions in Alcatraz, the cruelty of the wardens, a secret experiment or something… But all that happens in the end is: They get captured and locked up in a secret prison, with no memories where they’ve been for 50 years, who is behind it and why they want the key. And nothing else to say either. At least, we just see them being brought to their cells, the already locked up ones watching and not reacting to them in any way.
I have a damn hard time to like or just not outright hate the main characters. The mysterious FBI unit boss seems to be the most likable so far, but there are basically just 4 main characters (of which one is in a coma since episode 2), so it’s more a lesser evil case than anything. Ah well, it’s Friday already, in 2 days, I have my Falling Skies back. Because when it comes to lesser evils, Spielberg always wins over Abrams in my book. Always.