Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pilot Watch: Kidnapped

Solo entry this time, as I'm basically done with all the pilots except for ABC's, which haven't shown up yet. (Because, of course, when you're premiering, like 37 new shows, you want to make people wait as long as possible to see them.) Thoughts on our season's second serialized abduction drama -- as always, this is not a review, since too many things can change between now and September -- after the jump...

Who's In It: Jeremy Sisto, Delroy Lindo, Timothy Hutton, Dana Delany, Mykelti Williamson
What It's About: When the son of a Manhattan millionaire is abducted, a kidnap-and-rescue specialist comes in to help and butts heads with the FBI
Pluses: Great cast: an Oscar winner (Hutton), a multiple Emmy winner (Delany), a guy who should have been nominated for at least one Oscar (Lindo), Bubba and Jesus. Sisto, like Kiefer Sutherland, is more intense than your average action hero type, so you believe that he'll do any kind of crazy stuff to get the job done and keep the plot moving, and Williamson has a nice Denzel circa "Man on Fire" quality. Nice use of New York locations (Hutton has an apartment overlooking Central Park, and there's a confrontation in a subway tunnel). All around, a much more interesting pilot than "Vanished."
Minuses: On the other hand, much as conspiracy stories bore me, the underlying conspiracy plot on "Vanished" has the potential to fuel 22 episodes worth of story; I'm not sure this does. And with everything seemingly riding on the kidnapping, just like "Prison Break" rode on the escape, will it be obvious that every time Sisto and Lindo get close to finding the kid before the finale, it'll be a fake-out? I could also do with Sisto having a less obvious name; the character is called Knapp. (Get it?)

And that's it until ABC shows up. Maybe today the angels will smile upon us.


GMMR said...

Hey Alan..
I know you are a "legit" journalist so you have your connections, but do you have any thoughts on how a struggling TV blogger like myself might be able to get screeners and the like?

Love your blog & your column!!!

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't know how much luck you'd have at that, gmmr. The networks have been even slower than newspapers to recognize the importance of the Web, plus they're paranoid about screeners turning up on eBay or BitTorrent. They've even started individually watermarking the screeners and, in the case of Fox, sending threatening letters about what might happen if a screener with your watermark turns up in an inappropriate place. I'm not exactly worried about that, but at the same time, it's a sign of how uncomfortable the networks are getting about sending these things out. If they could make the distribution list smaller, they probably would.

But it never hurts to try. Just call the main switchboard at each network and ask for the Media Relations department.