There is no denying that J.J. Abrams’ smash hit Lost was a television phenomenon. Whether you loved it, hated it or simply didn’t watch it, Lost has seeped its way into the very foundation of television pop culture. Since the show’s finale in 2010, the television world has been searching for the next lost. In my opinion, the next Lost is already on the air, a show called Fringe created by J.J. Abrams himself. A number of people don’t agree with me so the frantic search to find the next Lost is on. Commercials and ads for new shows plaster themselves with sayings like “from the makers of Lost” or “by the creators of Lost.” The show most guilty of jumping on the next Lost bandwagon is Once Upon a Time, which somehow cnetered and entire commercial around the word Lost. Now, J.J. Abrams, writer/director/creator of Lost, has put his name on a new show that premiered last week; a show called Alcatraz.
Before I even new that Abrams was the executive prodcucer of the show (and that’s his only attatchment), the show’s content intrigued me. In 1963, the prison on Alkatraz shut down and all of its prisoners were moved to other prisons across the nation. According to the show, this accepted fact is not a reality. In 1963, the prisoners were not moved; one day everybody in the prisn, workers and prisoners alike, completely dcissapeared. Now, in present day, they are coming back. The show’s two hour premiere begins with the first, returned prisoner, a man by thed name of Jack Sylvan (Jeffrey Pierce). Sylvane goes on a rampage, killing at least two people which pulls the main characters into the story. Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) is a young, experienced police officer who begins to hunt Sylvane down. Her investigation is taken over by Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) who runs a secret task force dedicated to find and recapture the prisoners that disappeared. Hauser, though begrudgingly, allows Madsen to help with the reappearing prisoners along with her new partner, Alcatraz expert Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia). The rest of show deals with the characters accepting their new roles and starting to build upon the mysteries of the missing prisoners.
Perhaps the best part of the premiere was the second prisoner who reappeared in the second hour of the show. A twisted, loner of a man, Ernest Cobb was originally locked up for a number of shooting sprees. Cobb would travel from city to city, attacking three times in each. In each of the three attacks, three people were shot and now Cobb is picking up where he left off. Hopefully, as the prisoners begin to appear, each one will be as twisted, quirky and memorable as Cobb. Overall, I was underwhelmed by the show. There was nothing bad about it but there was also nothing all that special about it. The characters were some what generic but, in all fairness, they6 haven’t had that much time to develop. The show does use flashbacks brilliantly, jumping back and forth from present day, with the prisoners reappearing, backk to the 1950’s and 1960’s, when the prisoners were originally incarcerated.
The show has a lot of potential but could easily fall apart. I believe that it is impossible to truly judge a show based on one episode so I am certainly going to watch it for a few more weeks. I give the first episode a 6 out of 10. As of right now, this most certainly is not the next Lost. The show did drop a couple of cliffhangers to keep me thinking about it until the next new episode, which is a good sign. Hopefully, by capitalizing on the twisted prisoners and developing existing characters, the show can become a smash hit.