Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Prison Break

Taken from Polls Boutique
In Tamale (and all other major cities in Ghana as far as I know) you can buy DVDs on every corner of the street. Last week I bumped into the complete series of Prison Break, per season they charged the unbelievably low amount of GHc 3.00 .


Once at home, I gave the first season a try. All 22 episodes fit nicely on one disc, it is clearly ripped from television but the image is very clean and you can choose between English or Chinese subtitles (seriously).

Personally, I am not somebody who follows trends, especially not the "you must see this on television"-kind, so it will not be a surprise to read that I hadn't seen anything of the show before.

Of course, I am not a hermit, the plot is familiar: guy tattoos blue prints on his body to help his brother, who is sentenced to death but innocent, escape from prison. The tattoo-part is very original, I have to admit and made me look forward to a masterly escape plan.

I am now up to episode 16 and the show is indeed entertaining, but... slow... I will keep on watching, but I got to get this of my (un-tattooed) chest
  • it takes too long,
  • several parts are too unrealistic 
  • and every time a guard threatens to detect that a convict is missing, he magically appears.
Especially that last trick, I am extremely tired off it. Do the directors really think that low of their viewers that they try to get away with that same kind of 'tension'-creator every episode?
Take chapter 14 for example: the guard knows that five convicts should be working in that room but he sees only four (as number five is in a tunnel underground). When he realises this, he is already out of the door, so he turns back to ask questions, and exactly at that moment (surprise surprise) number five appears as nothing had happened (cue thriller-music), he gestures that he was just tieing his shoes and therefore was nowhere to be seen. 
AAaarrrrghhhhh, I wanted to smash the screen because the story could be so good if it wasn't for this childish play.

And then the rest of those forty minutes was pure sentimentality, a clear attempt to tear jerking and I was not amused. Episode 16, only flashbacks, normally used to give more depth to the different chapters, but this really felt like a cheap directors trick of filling all 22 episodes, it had no extra value at all.

Finally: Lincoln is sentenced to be executed on the 11th May. Then why does it start to snow when that date has been reached? Normally I am quite forgiving in small mistakes, but hello: inconsistency?

So some small advice to the makers: re-shoot the first season in half the number of episodes, remove that recurrent 'hahaaa, here I am'-silliness and we are all friends again.

There are really good actors on the show, Robert Knepper does a great performance portraying one sick psycho called T-Bag, he was also brilliant in the final season of Heroes. And I like Peter Stormare as the mafiosi boss Abruzzi. For me, they really carry the show.

Verdict: entertaining, no way close to Mad Men or The Wire, but thank God not as lame as The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Now, if you don't mind, episode number 17 is on, I'll catch you later.

1 comment:

  1. Question: does anybody know who plays the "Sick Puppy" who provides T-Bag with a blade in episode three of the first season?

    I thought I recognized Todd Lowe, the guy who plays Terry Bellefleur in True Blood, the cook with posttraumatic stress disorder,



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