Monday, July 18, 2011

Alphas -- Syfy's Newest Original Series

I really wanted to be blown away by this new series.  That didn't happen.  The show is associated with Gail Berman, who is known for the X-Men franchise as well as other pop culture television shows.  The advertising led me to believe that I was going to be treated with something like the X-Men.

I watched the pilot episode and kept expecting it to get better.  I love David Straithairn.  The guy can do anything in my opinion, but only if you give him something worthwhile to do.  He plays the Professor X to this little team of misfits.  But he's more guidance counselor than general, and his need to placate and protect his team comes across as a little...well, obsessive.

I watch the show and I still don't know exactly how the Alphas got together, and we don't get much of their back stories either.  I guess that's some of what is going to be built into this first season.

Malik Yoba plays Bill Harken, the brute of the team.  If you need doors knocked down, he's your guy.  He's also an FBI agent but I'm not sure what capacity that is in now.  He has the ability to trigger a fight-or-flight reaction in his body that gives some super strength, super speed, and some resistance to pain.  He's also not very likable.  Part of that is supposed to be the character, but the pilot episode gave no real reason to like him at all.

Laura Mennell plays Nina Theroux, the former bad girl with mind control abilities who hasn't quite abandoned all of her bad girl ways.  She could be interesting as the series progresses, but I didn't really see it in this first episode.  I have hopes.

Ryan Cartwright plays Gary Bell, a twentysomething with Asperger's Syndrome who is able to tap into electromagnetic fields (television, the internet, etc) with just his mind.  The power seems kind of cool but it's also kind of a one trick pony.  Once you've seen it, you've seen it.  He's another character that I really don't care for.  He's just a likable.  There's nothing in him to cling to or root for.

Azita Ghanizada stars as Rachel Pirzad, a young woman who is able to hyper-accentuate one sense at a time.  So if she is using her sense of smell, she is deaf and blind, as well as possibly numb and unable to taste anything she eats.  Of course, in this first episode she is sent into an apartment by herself to get clues and the bad guy doubles back.  Since she's using one of her other senses, she can't hear her phone ring to warn her.  Let me offer some advice: don't have her alone, EVER, while she's using her powers.  Everyone else was sitting back in the van.  Didn't make sense to me.  And again, there's nothing in her character that makes me want to get to know her better.  At this point she's a doormat for her father and other people around her.

Warren Christie plays Cameron Hicks, a guy with uncanny aiming ability.  But he's something of a loose cannon.  He can bounce bullets around to hit his targets, and probably throw things with unerring accuracy as well, but that's going to get old fast.

The first episode revealed that there is a group of evil Alphas out there lurking around.  Kind of like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from the X-Men.  But that's about all.  I don't know what they're going to do for further development in the series, and if all these guys do is ride around in a van together to fight some kind of crime, the series is going to get tedious.  There were no laughs, and there should have been.  There is no real amazement, and there should have been.

I'm going to tune into the next episode to see what happens and hope for the best.

1 comment:

Kelli McBride said...

I totally agree. I was underwhelmed by the first two episodes. For me, the problem is too much talking and explaining. David Strathairn's character goes on and on. And the constant bickering and griping on the team is too much. Bill's bullying and total lack of respect of other's property - like their freaking lunches - should not be tolerated, but everyone just gives in and is expected by the Dr. to let Bill do as he pleases. What's with that?

The only interesting character is the young woman with synaesthesia, but why they would let her go into a potential enemy's apartment by herself knowing how vulnerable she is when she's doing her thing is totally bad writing and trying to create a really lame sense of suspense.