Can 'Alcatraz' keep viewers coming back?
January 17th, 2012
09:44 AM ET

Can 'Alcatraz' keep viewers coming back?

Editor's note: Do not read any further if you didn't watch Monday night's episodes of "Alcatraz."

Thinking back to the first episode of "Fringe," I remember being interested but not overly impressed, especially considering that co-creator J.J. Abrams had given us "Alias" and "Lost," which were two of the best pilots of the past decade or so.

"Fringe" has since gone on to be one of the best series on television.

So, that's how I approached Monday night's two-episode premiere of "Alcatraz." Executive produced by Abrams (who recently spoke to CNN about "course correcting" the show prior to its premiere), it stars a former "Lost" cast member and has a concept that immediately hooks you, not unlike "Person of Interest."

That concept – the return of hundreds of prisoners from the infamous Alcatraz prison, not having aged a day, but as dangerous as ever – certainly sounds like a show that could work long-term.

But the first episode didn't grab me right away, with the exception of a few scenes. Detective Rebecca Madsen, who was taking on the case, was not terribly interesting (but then again, neither was Olivia Dunham at first). On the other hand, Sam Neill's Emerson Hauser – who seems to know everything about what is going on here (but, of course, won't tell) – has the potential to be another Benjamin Linus or Richard Alpert-esque character.

In a scenario similar to "Castle," Rebecca brings on Dr. Diego Soto ("Lost's" Jorge Garcia), an expert in all things Alcatraz, to work on the case (which, there being hundreds of inmates, and this being a TV series, soon becomes a long-term project).

The second episode had Rebecca in more of a take-charge role – investigating a second escaped inmate, a sniper – and "Doc" Soto turning out to be a bit more of a tentative character than Garcia's Hurley. (On the other hand, Neill's Hauser didn't have nearly enough screen time).

Then in the very last flashback of the episode (what appears to be a regular feature of the show), Hauser's assistant Lucy shows up in the past looking exactly the same. It's a classic Abrams "Wait, what just happened?" moment, and was a great example of the show's potential.

It would seem that every episode will feature a different inmate being sought out by Rebecca and "Doc" (though some might work in pairs, or larger groups), with some tiny hints as to what is really going on here. Obviously, there is some form of time travel involved. The more important question is, "Why?"

It was a good pair of episodes overall, even if it was not quite on par with what we've come to expect from Abrams.

My main worry is that audiences won't give this show time to develop, but I plan (and hope) to see the entire first season to see what happens. Abrams' track record (the end of "Fringe's" first season, anyone?) is reason enough.

Will you continue watching "Alcatraz"? Share your iReport, as Al Mealey did, giving the show an "A minus," or comment below.

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soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Louboutin en Ligne

    I have no idea how you do this but I’m completely fond of this blog.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Melanieb Follisw

    Thanks for your text. I would like to say that a health insurance agent also works well with the benefit of the coordinators of your group insurance. The health insurance professional is given an index of benefits needed by somebody or a group coordinator. Such a broker will is try to find individuals as well as coordinators which will best match up those wants. Then he offers his recommendations and if each party agree, the actual broker formulates an agreement between the 2 parties.

    July 13, 2012 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kari

    I liked what I saw so far. Will def tune in again on Monday.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Suzi

    I like Alcatraz so far...I will watch Monday to see if it gets better!

    January 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mario L

    The plot was very interesting. Why not show how they got to the future? We already know this will be kepted until all inmates are captured. I liked it. As other shows I will watch five episodes then decide to drop it or not. If the same old plot of a past criminal showing up and captured and put into the replica of a modern Alcatraz cell jail, goes on. I will lose interest.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. azjoe

    Recorded the show and just finished watching both episodes. Enjoyed the concept and the acting. Looking forward to what they continue to develop for the actors. Somewhat a typical cop drama with a little twist or two but the ratings are the name of the game. Wonder who does the ratings cause we have lost some other shows and kept some that I thought really smelled. It is free and there are other channels and there is even an off and on bbutton so everyone can make their own decision.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rache

    I didn't watch the show but the premise sounds like the UPN show the 4400 from about 6 years ago. I am still so teed off at LOST that I am unwilling to get sucked into a JJ Abrams show, again. I may watch but never be hooked.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Leucadia Bob

    Mike Rudolph – Top Notch

    January 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dawn

    This show is great.!! I love it and cant wait to see what happens next.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. wr

    This entire review just points out how this show is lifted in bits and pieces from other shows - yet that's supposed to be a good thing?
    I saw the pilot. It was predictable, dumb, and horribly cliched.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tigergal75

    The casting of a nubile, young thing as a veteran detective in a major city is more unbelievable than any scenario from J.J. Abrams and a detriment to the show, but the wonderful Sam Neill (is he a good guy or a bad guy?) almost makes up for the silly blonde. I have almost given up on network dramas as they just cannot compete with the long-term character development and complex storylines on the show on cable channels. But, the commercials were intriguing, and I enjoyed "Alcatraz." Will definitely watch again if only to find out what Sam is up to!

    January 18, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jane

    Well, I just saw the news that is the best and most effective senior dating site for senior singles over 50! Many of our members are well-educated, successful, and fresh in mind.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff

    January 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. starrfire

    Finally finished watching the show. It was okay and I will give it another chance and watch it again next week.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Maybe it's them not me...

    ...But CNN seems to be s ucking today a little more than usual,Alcatraz?BORING.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. @2:43

    Sarcasm dork.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  17. @@1:59

    opps, they dropped the z. and then you say, and the"z" is no silent. no silent? ha, & your point was?

    January 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  18. @@seed

    he's richard foreskin. mad doesn't post like that.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  19. @1:59

    That b**ch is closed,maybe you dumb a** should disappear and the 'z' is no silent.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  20. @seed

    U r mad raper.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  21. @seed

    yeah, what seed was that. u r the only 1 trolling. most still commenting on topic. nice try with that one. maybe we could just drop u at alcatra, & u might just disappear!

    January 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  22. @Ty

    Uncle Sam,we same thing in this case lol maybe you should go back on me or Uncle Sam.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Billy S

    Didn't find either show that appealing but I could lose myself forever in Sarah Jone's eyes

    January 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Sherrie O

    Loved it..

    January 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Seed

    All one has to do is plant a seed, sit back and watch the madness. Doesn't take

    January 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  26. @@wyww nut jobs

    You're the one who seems to not have a job,why are you here and on wyww complaining?If you have a job it must be mid-managenent because apparently it doesn't pay well 'cause you would have a boy or girlfriend and you would be so uptight and this bs wouldn't bother you in the least lmao.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  27. @ty

    & your comment on topic was?

    January 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. I have a job

    @Ty,but it's a lot of other ways to make a living than a job or Uncle Sam.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Ty

    Maybe if people didn't comment every 5 mins about stupiness the blogs would be nice. You "regulars" comment every 5 mins- 1/2 hour. If you're not on all day you won't get so annoyed by the trolls. Do you ppl work or just living off of Uncle Sam while we support you?

    January 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  30. @11:49,rofl

    At least tv's not my life,and rofl don't worry about how my food is provided,at least it's healthier than those two seater cows.And to you maybe you can type with one hand and make a mess 'on the other hand'lol.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave in Portland

      TV is not your life and yet you will post repeatedly on a blog while all the while commenting on other people's lifestyles. You are a sad, sad little troll.

      January 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Peace

    I watched Alcatraz last pm, also. It has my attn. & I will tune in for next epi.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Can't u people leave your crap on wyww blog? Must the rest of us bloggers have to put up with your childish games?

    January 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  33. @@Trolls

    See it's already started. Sit back and watch more drama take place. these people crave drama. When the trolls are laying low. they come out and start sh!t just to get the drama started. YEA. NO LIFE FOR SURE. COME ON MARQUEE AND FIGHT WITH TROLLS THAT DON'T CARE.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  34. carrieanne

    Its kind of like a train, takes a bit to get going but looks like it will generate enough interest to be around for a while. At least I hope so!

    January 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  35. @love meeee

    You don't need your right hand. You have a wh-ore right under you. Sly sadia the wh0re

    January 17, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  36. @@trolls

    If the dumba55e5 would ignore the trolls they won't get trolled all the time. Watch and learn and you'll see what i'm talking about..

    January 17, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  37. @

    @oswald a thing called freedom of speech.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  38. 11:17

    Tonight eat another bucket of fried chicken skins and gravy and watch all that dumb sh!t on that screen that's the size of your a**.I'm not a simpleton but if I was at least i'm not a farm animal.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • @ 11:42

      If that's your only response, you truly are a simpleton.

      Namecalling doesn't make you look any brighter than the idiots you complain about on television. I don't even watch these shows but at least I don't sit here on Marquee Blogs blasting them for wanting to enjoy some down time at home at night.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • rofl

      LOL, at least those people paid for their fried chicken to eat.

      You, on the other hand, probably need to ask your parents for food and allowance first.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  39. Mary

    great show, will continue to watch and see how the saga unfolds. I loved the cast of characters.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  40. @trolls

    r your lives so empty that you have to rag on alecia & starrfire constantly? r u so perfect that u can tear somebody down every time u post? i honestly doubt it. small minds with no lives, so sad to be u!

    January 17, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  41. brokeactor

    I LOVED it. I've been a fan of Abrams in the past and this latest show rates right up there! I will definitely keep watching. This may be one of the best shows so far of the 2011 / 2012 TV season!!

    January 17, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  42. cubicle desk

    I should have watched it, but instead saw fridays Supernatural, then the republican debate. Im sure not a Mitt Romney fan. His shyster smile and slicked back hair make gim look like a crook.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  43. Ted

    if the chick takes off her clothes in the next episode, i'll definitely keep watching the show

    January 17, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  44. Sly Sadie

    I watched Alcatraz last night. I thought it was a little slow moving. I can see where there will be twists & turns coming. I like the fact that they have Jorge Garcia on this show. I liked him in Lost. I think this is another show that you have to watch as it develops. Time will tell.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  45. @No Life Starrfire

    Ha!Dude I was thinkkig the same thing,it's one to come on a blog and comment on the subject matter or even holla back at others.This is it,BUT when you start talking about stuff on tv,did you watch this,who do you think killed the pool boy,did Mrs.Nedehmyer boink her plastic surgeon,did Mike The Situation get ot crack and is living in the basement of a 'real'New Jersey housewife Aaaaay like ppl.have stated to you get a job,get a guy get a LIFE.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • @@ No Life Starrfire

      That's because they want to share about the stuff they've seen... if I'm not mistaken that's what these blogs are for... discussing the topics. So what if she asks if someone saw the pool boy or whatnot, it's still on topic. Just because people have half an hour to an hour to watch TV doesn't mean they have no life... it's on in the nighttime for a reason, simpleton.

      Stay in school.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • trix are for kids

      I just scroll past their comments without reading them. I guess for some people it's just too hard to do.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  46. T-Rex

    Stupid show for stupid people.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  47. Man W-hore Charlie Crack

    Crack and Mad Raper's a55 are my friends

    January 17, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  48. Alecia The Fat Hog

    Food is my friend

    January 17, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  49. No Life Starrfire

    Tv is my friend.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  50. The Måd Råp3r

    "Editor's note: Do not read any further if you didn't watch Monday night's episodes of "Alcatraz."

    Don't tell me how to live my life.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • MBR

      umm that's what they call a "spoiler alert" so folks who may not have seen the show on Monday won't know what happened.(perhaps they recorded it or will watch On Demand)

      January 17, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Cap'n

      Don't be derpy.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • oswald

      for gods sake! why isn't there a downvote/upvote system so stupid comments can be hidden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 17, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • The Måd Råp3r

      Because this isn't Reddit?

      January 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Al

    I enjoyed it enough to stick with it. I never saw Fringe or Lost so I have nothing to compare it to, Abrams wise, which may be good. I read Grisham religiously but I won't watch The Firm. It's just wrong. Alcatraz, though, so far has my vote

    January 17, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  52. Leo

    Why is it Fringe is often said to be one of the best series on television, yet it's always in danger of being canceled? Haven't watched Alcatraz; I prefer the more sci-fi angle of Fringe.

    January 17, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • popn

      Because most people want to watch mind-numbing trash, not good storytelling.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mavent

      ...because the people who say "Fringe" is a good show are idiots.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • @Mavent

      I know you are but what am I? Deeerrrrrp!

      January 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      I really enjoyed it and hope it continues

      January 19, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Mauricio Dela Cruz

      That is because idiots such as yourself don't watch the good shows. You guys watch Jersey Shore and the CS Chronicles.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |

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