Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Breakout Kings

With the first season of Breakout Kings finished, I thought now would be the best time to discuss the series.

From the minds that developed Prison Break, Breakout Kings follows the exploits of a special US Marshall task force which captures prison escapees. The gimmick is the team utilizes the talents of 3 convicts to accomplish this goal: the daughter of a bounty hunter, a convicted gang leader and a psychiatric genius. In addition, the taskforce is headed by a former desk jockey which a heart problem and a disgraced former Marshall who was convicted for stealing a little money from a drug bust to buy his daughter a used car.

And the thing about the series is, I am not so much enthralled by the escapes, since we've been spoiled by the delightful engineering plans of Michael Scofield on Prison Break. I mean, no matter how elaborate or spectacular the escapes are on this show, we've seen better. But that aspect of the show is the least important part, because it is the catch afterward that drives the story.

The part that I've really enjoyed is the slow revelation of each of the characters' flaws week after week, both to the audience and eventually to the other members of the team. At the beginning, there seemed to be so many questions about who these people were and how they got where they were. The question that really had my interest was what did the goofy Lloyd Lowery, the team's brilliant psychiatric mind, do to earn 25 years of hard time in maximum security. And every episode has had some form of reveal, so I feel like I am watching this show for the characters rather than each individual plot, which is a good place to start from, since I am sure there are only so many variations they can do in terms of escaped criminals. I would say that the series is very much about the dynamics of the team and its individuals first, and

I was sort of miffed that the series brought out Prison Break's eminently watchable monster, Theodore Bagwell, for an episode early in the run. If it was me, I would have introduced him a little later in the season for the sake of anticipation, but other than that, I don't really have any complaints. At no point did I find myself saying "Oh, come on!" which given the tough sell premise, is a good thing. While not the most riveting television ever, the writers and actors understand the material and have crafted a compelling show that I've enjoyed watching the past 13 weeks.

I am glad I decided to start watching the series now, and I will certainly be tuning in next season to see how things develop.


Arjan said...

I've left this one alone till now because I thought it would be a PB all over again. I'm not looking forward to Bagwell too much since it seems like a plan to score easily on PB popularity. But I'll give this a chance.

MC said...

Prison Break was all conspiratorial and dark, while this series is quite a bit lighter (though there are sometimes relatively high body counts too).

Semaj said...

I wouldn't call it lighter, but it is more grounded than Prison Break. The Bagwell episode is actually very good, Arjan. You'd like it.

I'm still not completely sold on the show yet, but it is certainly better than most Network shows.

Maybe it is just me, but Serinda Swan is looking very good in last few episodes.

MC said...

See, I am more into Brooke Nevin's Julianne Simms myself.

Semaj said...

Serinda Swan kind of grew on me in those last few eps. She looked a little different, but Brooke Nevin is nothing to look down at to me. I wouldn't kick her out of bed.

MC said...

I sort of want to know who your favorite Prison Break gal was now.

Arjan said...

@MC, I don't know about Semaj, but I'd go for the girl Sucre gets to have a go with for money. There was this rich guy who asks him to sleep with his wife - she turns out to be really hot :)