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Alcatraz: Is the FOX TV Series Worth Watching?

Alcatraz TV seriesJ.J. Abrams, one of the creative minds behind Lost, is heading to another mysterious island. This time though it’s not remote, it’s San Francisco’s Alcatraz.

Five decades ago, some event caused 302 of the prisoners and guards in the prison to disappear. Now, they’re reappeared and have started committing crimes across the city. Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), one of the two guards who didn’t vanish, heads up a special task force to investigate and to try to figure out what’s going on.

Lost ran for six seasons and viewers had to really pay attention to understand what was going on. Abrams insists that this new show won’t be as hard to follow. But, will you want to even start? Here’s what the critics are saying:

Washington Post: “There is something to like in Alcatraz’s smooth momentum. The show has a spirit that comes through in spite of the flavorless cheese crumbles piled atop it. As Rebecca, Jones is an intriguing discovery, and Neill classes up the joint. But overall, the script has some of the sparkless blah that has plagued Fox’s other big-name sci-fi show this season, Terra Nova.”

NY Daily News: “Happily, there are reasons to watch Alcatraz, starting with an appealing cast and a premise that really does not require a college degree in the mythology of other worlds.”

Hollywood Reporter: “The writing if flat and expository-laden. The drama – outside of the mystery of how it all happened – is saddled to predictable plots. The exterior shots (and some location shooting) in San Francisco look beautiful. But it might be easier just to buy a postcard and save yourself the time of investing in Alcatraz, another series that can’t seem to do much with what it’s given.”

LA Times: “Undoubtedly Alcatraz is among the best the midseason has to offer, and though it may whip like the TARDIS through the outer reaches of time and believability, Abrams wisely included a procedural element to sustain it; Alcatraz is, after all, built upon a rock.”

TIME: “For now, I’ll put this prison drama on probation. I don’t expect to watch Alcatraz every week, but I’ll check back. later. If it’s not the next Fringe, much less the next Lost, I at least want to know what it will be when it finally becomes Alcatraz.”

TV show supportUSA Today: “And of course, there’s another problem: that inchoate, TV-watcher fear that the show may become too interesting, as Abrams’ shows tend to do. Alcatraz is easy enough to follow tonight, with twists and surprises that are enjoyable and not enervating. But you still may leave it wondering how long it will be before there are eight timelines and six universes. That’s the thing with islands. They can be easier to get on than get off.”

So, what do you think? Will you watch Alcatraz tonight? If you’ve already seen it, will you tune in again next week?

 

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{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan March 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Personally, I enjoyed the “V” series MUCH more than Alcatraz. I wont be
real disappointed to see this show cancelled, because I do expect it.

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Laura April 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Alcatraz is so much better than V tbh

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Jan March 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I watch this show every week on tv, however, I have to say that it would
have been alot easier to follow from the beginning had the writers bothered
to give more of a prelude; more information about the plot. Beginning with the
first show, my friends and I were wondering what the heck this show was
about. Our questions were answered only after we obtained info off the internet.
TV shows shouldnt be this difficult to follow.

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kat March 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm

i love Alcatraz and am surprised at hownegative the comments are! it’s incredibly interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat.plus the jack sylvane is hot!!

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Gil and Nicki March 22, 2012 at 5:48 am

Please don’t cancel Alcatraz. It’s one of the best on tv. Please take a survey so that you can see how many people watch and love it!

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Polly March 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

love this show… am tired of new ones coming on and then yanked off just because it doesn’t have a million watchers all the time… great show, just give it more time and stop even thinking about cancelling…

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MLO March 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

The show is ok at best. The female character is just not believable to me as a cop. It’s like Hollywood tried to pull a fast one with the cuteness and thought no one would notice how lame her portrayal is.

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Fivish March 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

11 episodes and Madson has only just found out that the lady doctor is a returnee!
I am bored with the returnee of the week murder(s) then capture. I am only interested in the meat, not the bun! I want more of the 50 year gap, the gold, the keys, the silver in the blood and the geek squad.
I suppose none of this will ever be revealed as it will be cancelled at the end of series 1.
Its just another FlashForward/The Event/Terra Nova.
Why bother to start reading a book if the last page is missing?

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southpaw March 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm

My husband and I have watched it hoping it would improve. Very little redeeming value. Too slow to give clues as to what supposedly happened . I guess if you enjoy pointless murders– with a young cop that is gutless and her seriously gross ‘partner’ it fills time.

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Sharon March 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I really enjoy the show! I think the acting is great and the show’s concept is unique and intriuqing! I will be very upset if it is cancelled! Please give it a chance.

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Vickie W March 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Wow, what is wrong with the people that rate these shows. Alcatraz if an AWESOME show. We look forward to Monday night TV and also have all of the episodes on the DVR. We like it because it seems to flow fairly easy, is mysterious and continually drops little of what might have happened. We watch it a second time, just to make sure we didn’t miss any clues. We like to speculate what might have happened and tune in every time it is on, to see who is right. Hope they don’t cancel!

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eastbay_vic February 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Of the many ‘Family’ or ‘Life/friendship’ or ‘Medical’ shows that are available for viewing on t.v. these days…I dare say that Not many of them provide the same level of *intrigue, genuine ‘spooky/mysterious’ & contrast between 2 worlds (high-tech meets steel & concrete) than Alcatraz. This show not only has an interesting cast, which seems to have been *actually given some thought, but it’s centered in one of America’s most vibrant & cosmopolitan cities, the writing would have to be *really bad for this show to fall away.
There is a good sense of *chemistry between the characters…& the humanity (in some) of the ‘con’s’ is a nice touch that helps us be mindful that everyone can do good.

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Barb February 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Alcatraz is one awesome show. I can hardly wait for each new episode to come on. Last week when the NASCAR race was on I was SO disappointed! Can’t wait for Monday!

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Oldtimer February 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I like the show very much! I hope it stays on as long as lost did.

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Lisa February 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Wow!!! I am shocked to see all these negative posts about the show!!! My husband and I are really into it and are very excited to watch it each week. We like the intrigue it has with a little bit of strangeness like Lost and it keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering when they are going to give you more clues as to how the prisoners got off the island and haven’t aged etc. It is really a neat show and the character development is taking shape. Sometimes great shows take a while to develop into their own. All too often they get cancelled before they have time to really take off. FOX is really good for that. If they pull the plug on this show we will be highly disappointed.

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laura February 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I really like the show. I only get to watch it on the internet though as I am in bed by 8:30 everynight. I hope they continue .

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