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Breakout Kings

Posted by The TV Critic on 9 March 2011 | 6 Comments

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Breakout Kings - 101 - Pilot

My time is becoming increasingly pressured this year so I don't have a huge amount of time to spend on Breakout Kings. But as I was a Prison Break fan and this show is from some of the same team I feel the need to say a few things.

To be fair I have only seen the pilot episode and so the show may change a little as it goes along (including recasting Philly which on this evidence might be a shame). But from what other TV critics are saying and the way the pilot came across this looks very much like a procedural cop drama dressed up as something else.

All I want from my TV shows is a little character development, the possibility of change and clear motivations for characters. I don't need things to be more complicated than that. Breakout Kings looks like a fun caper show, a bit like Prison Break's final season turned out to be. However you need characters to care about and I'm not sure any of those on display will turn into that.

The standout was Lloyd Lowery the child-prodigy psychologist with a gambling addiction. He also seems to be a bit racist, useless around women, tied to his mother's apron and capable of being a good guy. It's that last part that kind of ruins it. Lowery has a lot of fun with the role, supplying plenty of humour and whipping out the old dead-on psychological analysis along the way. But by episodes end he has already displayed the "heart of gold" which will doubtless drive his character to discover how much more fun it is to be nice to people than to think only of himself. If that development had been saved for say episode fifteen rather than a rushed pilot I would be more intrigued.

Similarly the entrepreneur Shea and Ray the cop are both have families they are doing this work to support which is a cliché any Prison Break viewer will be very familiar with. Marshall Charlie showed fairly little personality throughout as the gang pursued the entirely colourless villain.  

So my initial impression is that the Prison Break team are a bit like the 24 team. They only understand one form of motivation for characters (family) and they are sticking to it. I will continue watching on the off chance that it turns into a fun episodic show which is certainly possible. However if you don't hear from me again on the subject then you know I don't think the show is good enough to write about.

For those who were wondering that is the reason I haven't written any more about Mad Love, Traffic Light, Perfect Couples or Mr Sunshine. Seriously Matthew Perry? What are you thinking?

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  • Yeah we are all waiting for Surprise and then we won't be able to stop talking.

    Will definitely give the Borgia's a look and I've still got to see Shameless...

    Posted by The TV Critic, 31/03/2011 11:37pm (8 years ago)

  • Hey, no problem. I've been meaning to comment or even *gasp* leave a voicemail on the Buffy rewatch but what is there to really say about early season 2? I can't wait to see 'Surprise' and 'Innocence' again. And then I feel 'Passion' will really suck me back in.

    Yeah I was just reading how The Borgia's was similar to The Tudors. I guess instead of a political show The Borgia's focuses on Religion around the time Rodrigo becomes pope. Not sure if I'll like it.

    I've really been liking Shameless. Almost done with season 1. I'd imagine you've at least seen some of the British version. I was surprised by how much heart it has because all I heard prior to watching was it was just some trashy show about a poor family. It's so much more than that.

    Posted by Joe, 31/03/2011 5:57pm (8 years ago)

  • Hey Joe,

    I was slightly worried about you when you said you killed them! But yeah it's nice when pop culture can make you more interested in a period of history.

    I will certainly give the Borgia's a try. I will be watching a bunch of new shows launching now including The Killing and Camelot.

    I only saw a little bit of the Tudors and wasn't impressed. I am told that the Borgia's is following that path but we shall see.

    Thanks for staying in touch, it is much appreciated.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 29/03/2011 11:35pm (8 years ago)

  • Hey Robin, I was just wondering if you were planning on checking out The Borgias? It's a new historical show about the Borgia dynasty in Italy and premieres on Showtime on the third of April. With the success of Rome and judging how amazing Spartacus is, I think this show has the potential to be really good.
    What I find funny is I remember assassinating the entire Borgia family in another semi historically accurate medium - the Assassin's Creed video game series. The protagonists father is hanged due to a political conspiracy and is from a long line of assassins. What I find interesting is I'm curious to see how this new TV series will make me care for antagonists I've grown to hate over the course of two lengthy narratives.

    Posted by Joe, 29/03/2011 2:01am (8 years ago)

  • I'm afraid not. I have had to be disciplined and give up watching shows that I deemed unlikely to change :-) So I haven't watched The Event or V since their returns. How have you found it?

    Posted by The TV Critic, 15/03/2011 11:57pm (8 years ago)

  • just wondering if you may have checked in on the Event's return?

    Posted by Yogabon, 15/03/2011 4:13pm (8 years ago)

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