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Alphas: Painkiller Jane Just Needed a Little More Strathairn


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#31

cutecouple

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Posted Jul 11, 2011 @ 10:56 PM

Well, it didn't suck. Not the greatest, not the worst, but at a level where they can continually improve. A bit low key compared to some other shows.
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#32

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Posted Jul 11, 2011 @ 10:59 PM

I didn't read anything about this show in the press and never watched Heroes or No Ordinary Family, but saw a preview and decided to give it a shot. I really liked it -- there was humor, the characters were interesting and well played by everyone, and the future arc has lots of potential. It probably would have been better (less stereotypical) had, say, Nina been the one with super strength and Bill the willpower king, but I'm in anyway.
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#33

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Posted Jul 11, 2011 @ 10:59 PM

Better than The Cape ever was. And it has Callum Keith Rennie so that's a plus.
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#34

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:06 AM

Only starting now in San Francisco...like it so far, FWIW.
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#35

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:26 AM

This has a lot of potential. The pilot was kind of slow, and they really need to tone down Bill's arrogance/sarcasm and Gary's Asperger's-ness. But the acting was surprisingly excellent, it seems like there might be an intriguing myth-arc, and I liked the tone and feel. I'm definitely in for a few weeks, and I think that now that the exposition is out of the way, it should improve.
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#36

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:57 AM

I was glad they didn't really have the rape-y stuff mentioned earlier in the thread even though there seems to be an abuse of power with the "eat the ticket" thing. I liked it though. It was fun seeing super power people working together with their own drawbacks. The guy they helped was sort of blackmailed in which is a dark twist I sort of like for the moment. The guy who had you kill someone says you're on the wrong side, you may not believe him. After you have to join a team you don't want to, there could be second thoughts there.
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#37

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 1:30 AM

After you have to join a team you don't want to, there could be second thoughts there

But then again if the Ghost hadn't made him kill someone in the first place, he wouldn't have been forced to join their group.

I like the fact that all of their superpowers have drawbaks, although I'm not sure what Nina's is.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Jul 12, 2011 @ 1:32 AM.

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#38

Irish Wolf

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 1:52 AM

Well, one of Nina's drawbacks seems to be a tendency toward abuse of her power, but that might just be an expression of the saying that "power tends to corrupt". It is nice, however, to see a story with an autistic hero (sorry, but Dr. Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory has Asperger's; Gary has full-blown Kanner's autism, possibly related to the sensory overload caused by his power).

The reveal in the hotel room might have been more of a surprise if we didn't know the Ghost had an almost debilitating level of OCD. There was no way he was running out of the room in a robe - that would have been worse, from his POV, than being killed or arrested.
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#39

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 2:41 AM

Not compelling but interesting enough.

I came in late and missed the prologue with Cameron, so as the episode progressed, the reveal of how the shooting happened was a surprise. I watched the first part on the second airing and I think that it actually worked better the way I saw it initially.

It probably would have been better (less stereotypical) had, say, Nina been the one with super strength and Bill the willpower king

Plus Nina just had to be gorgeous -- she could probably talk her way out of a few traffic tickets or find a "benefactor' without resorting to the Force.

I could not get over how much the actress portraying Rachel resembles Sarah Michelle Gellar. Even her girlyness echoed very early Buffy.

The guy they helped was sort of blackmailed in which is a dark twist I sort of like for the moment. The guy who had you kill someone says you're on the wrong side, you may not believe him. After you have to join a team you don't want to, there could be second thoughts there.


Yes, that oh-so-compassionate doctor showed an equal amount of ruthlessness, didn't he?

Edited by gwen owen, Jul 12, 2011 @ 2:45 AM.

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#40

olvidado

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 3:20 AM

I think all of the above critiques can be easily tweaked/fine-tuned/whatever the proper terminology is.

This was a pleasant surprise.
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#41

Sandman

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 8:00 AM

Plus Nina just had to be gorgeous -- she could probably talk her way out of a few traffic tickets or find a "benefactor' without resorting to the Force.

Not that there isn't sexism involved, I guess, but this is more of a minimum standard for television, isn't it? It's not as if the rest of the cast are uggoes.

The "weaknesses" in their powers have a certain logic, but there's a certain "for game balance" artificiality involved, for me. (Granted, there's more thought involved than was put into The Cape, but that ... can't have been very hard.) I wish they hadn't tried quite so hard to give a pseudo-scientific basis for the Alpha abilities. That threw me out of the story. The terminology was either a misuse of an existing term (synaesthesia is a real thing, but it doesn't work the way Rachel's ability works) or didn't make any sense (hyper-induction, hyperkinetics? Bah. I think Bill should look up "hypertension"; buddy's going around working himself into a rage all the time. He's going to stroke out at some point.) Those parts of the dialogue made my inner Inigo Montoya sit up and take notice. Also, both Gary and Rachel must be able to handle and process truly staggering amounts of detail. I'm not sure how much differentiation there will be between them in how their powers shape their behaviour.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised. It held my interest, and I actually thought the pace was okay. David Strathairn has enough gravitas to counteract some of the innate silliness of the material, and in theory I like that kindly Doc Rosen is morally kind of iffy, but I think the dark tone could wear me down after a while. I reserve the right to be annoyed by Zak the Hak.

I actually thought that Gary's weakness was the silliest.

It's funny; it didn't occur to me that Gary's being unable to read the signal from a Nokia cellphone was his weakness. I thought that fact that it's actually quite difficult to communicate with him on a social level because of his Autism-spectrum nature (or maybe just the effect of his Alpha-ness, which looks like Autism?) was his drawback. (The Nokia thing does fit as a specific "gap" in his powers, though. Nokia is Gary's version of the colour yellow, I guess. And Bill's his own Kryptonite.)

Edited by Sandman, Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:27 AM.

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#42

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 8:35 AM

I like the fact that all of their superpowers have drawbaks, although I'm not sure what Nina's is.

Nina's drawback is that her powers won't work on everyone; the target's brain has to be sufficiently "plastic." It won't work on Gary, for example.

I actually thought that Gary's weakness was the silliest. I hope it's not just a way to get in regular product placement for Nokia.
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#43

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 8:45 AM

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this, so I am fully expecting the cancellation announcement any day now! ;)
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#44

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:01 AM

I liked it. Granted, the premise (Professor X clone leads his band of "ordinary" but good mutants against evil mutants) is sort of X-Men meets Heroes. And Nina's persuasion scene with the cop was lifted directly from Heroes. But as others have said, I like that their powers have limitations, and that they're putting a twisty mythology in place. Although the antagonistic Government agent is already annoying.

Glad to see Malik Yoba, but I really don't need to see him sweating and panting uncontrollably every times he accesses his powers. Yes, I get that he's hyperadrenal and utilizes the fight-or-flight response, but I can't enjoy his hyper-strength if I think he's stroking out every time he uses it. PTB, please find another "weakness" for him. Also was happy to see Mr. Nigel-Murray in the cast (after he "died" over at Bones). How old is he supposed to be here?

It's always a let-down to see Toronto stand-in for NYC, but I get that they have a Siffy budget...
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#45

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:22 AM

I liked it. From the beginning, I liked the fact that the characters and their abilities are heavily flawed, and I enjoyed the way they were portrayed. The pilot started off kind of slow, but got better towards the middle. They've started a good mythology.
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#46

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:29 AM

The Alphas just didn't seem special enough. Hypersense girl just seemed like one of the many CSIs on CBS. Internet and TV guy could had been Abbie/Eric of the JAG/NCIS franchise, tech support with the super computer laptops. Strong guy pretty much just kicked in doors which every other TV cop does and for all his strength he wasn't so special at kicking ass. The super hypnosis was no more then any short con grifter used when cops go undercover for no apparent reason. And Bullseye who can't miss is a work in progress because at this point he does not have control and can miss.
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#47

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:34 AM

Eruantien: That's revolting. In what universe is mind-controlling a dude into sleeping with you not rape? Why not just go ahead and roofie him while you're at it? So the so-called good guys have a rapist on their team who may have even raped the leader of the group. And we're supposed to what, empathize with her issues or whatever? Screw that.


I'm with you, and I hope the absence of this scene means it was a bad idea which was discarded completely. I didn't even like the mind control of the traffic cop - fine, make him tear up the ticket, or even give the ticket and the carbon to her, so that there's no proof or whatever, but making him eat them? That's just a sick power game.

I didn't like the whole distribution of powers, which as usual was done on gender lines - and the whole sweating like mad before the super-strength was poorly thought out, IMO. You get all suited up and shit for work and then you sweat like crazy.

I hated the fact that all the touchy feely emotions stuff was given to the women; tech stuff was for the teenage boy, and precision and strength for the guys. Great. Then, one woman has to be rescued by a guy, and the other woman stops Harken by kissing him? COME ON.

Also, the writing was a bit iffy in parts, especially that bit at the end with Hicks saying, "I've always done better on my own".

Really? Really? Your amazing job as a shelf-loader or whatever in a grocery store, which, newsflash, you just got fired from because you walked off in the middle of shift to, by the way, shoot someone in the head? That's 'doing better'? I'd hate to know what 'worse' is for him.

I'll probably watch a few more episodes, though if the whole gender issues fail is already bugging me in the first episode . . . David Strathairn can only do so much to make me watch it.

Hypersense girl just seemed like one of the many CSIs on CBS. Internet and TV guy could had been Abbie/Eric of the JAG/NCIS franchise, tech support with the super computer laptops. Strong guy pretty much just kicked in doors which every other TV cop does and for all his strength he wasn't so special at kicking ass. The super hypnosis was no more then any short con grifter used when cops go undercover for no apparent reason. And Bullseye who can't miss is a work in progress because at this point he does not have control and can miss.


This is so true - especially about the similarities with the CSIs and their TMI cam (the super special zoom in which I always close my eyes for: watching a bone break close-up is kinda disturbing).
And Bullseye, who never misses, except when he totally does, lol. I giggled at that.

And another thing which bugged me, which always bugs me: Alphas is not the only culprit here. Guy gets stabbed in shoulder, guy pulls out knife. WHY? Why do they do this? Does anyone honestly think you can think/react faster when you're bleeding out? Ok, I did a first aid course, but I've known about this since an episode of Casualty in 1991, for fuck's sake. Just leave it there.

Edited by Arjumand, Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:41 AM.

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#48

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:35 AM

The Alphas just didn't seem special enough.


I think that's what makes the story work. They still have to do "regular cop stuff," and they run into a lot of obstacles when they are doing investigations. That presents a bigger challenge for the character, and writers, than just having everyone have awesome powers that always work and overwhelm any foe. They still have to actually work to get the job done.
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#49

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:36 AM

Didn't blow me away with awesomeness, but definitely good enough for me to keep watching.

There needs to be some sort of experiment on Gary to try to cure his autism, but it ends up forcing him to speak with a British accent, forever.
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#50

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:54 AM

That was pleasant enough that I set up a series recording on my VCR. Straitharn's probably the MVP, but the mix of personalities works for me. I also want to commend the stuntwork for Hyperkinesia Guy.
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#51

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 9:58 AM

Missed the first part, but watched the last hour. I liked it, but that's because I like David Straitharn, Ryan Cartwright and Callum Keith Rennie, who I figure they'll kill off because while some may think his character is sleazy, at least he's a "good" guy and he was funny at times. Love me some not-evil, funny CKR. Of course that means his character is doomed.

Oh, forgot to say that Rachel looked like Eliza Dushku, complete with furrowed brow. I don't even know what her power is.

Edited by kkowalski, Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:01 AM.

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#52

Sandman

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:09 AM

Nina's Backup Superpower of Kissing, I'll grant you, stinks of cliché - hopefully that'll be the only time that happens - but I don't see Rachel's power as based on emotion. (On the other hand, it probably wouldn't have killed anybody to give Electromagnetic Spectrum Nerd powers to Rachel, and make the boy the Human Trace Evidence Lab. Or would that have been too passive, too "telephone operator" to avoid a different cliché?)
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#53

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:18 AM

They're toeing a fine line between tolerable and annoying with Gary and his Ausberger's/Autism or whatever his deal is. I just hope they don't make him too much like teenage "Rain Man." They came close with "heh...bird fart..." but he still had a few good moments, like at the end.
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#54

bbell

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:49 AM

My major problem with this show is the same one I have had with most mutant superpower shows. That being that they never train these people to work as an enforcement team. Superpowers aside, to stop bad guys, you need training in. Self defense(hand to hand), surveillance, weapons training. But most of all teamwork training in fluid dangerous situations. Which would mean detailed briefing before going into the field.

However if all the those things were in effect. The writing would require much more thought.
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#55

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 11:27 AM

Actually, Bill's lack of expertise at fighting makes perfect sense to me. Most of the strong guys I know rely on their strength to give them an edge when they get into fights; it never seems to occur to them that agility (or a knife) might make up for their muscle. That's why what's-his-face, the "hyperkinetic", was able to kick his feet out from under him and jump over his body. OTOH, should he decide to undertake some study of the martial arts, that could make him unstoppable - except that one of the things you're taught is how to stay calm, and his strength is dependent on his inducing a state of panic...
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#56

bulldawgtownie

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 11:38 AM

The guy they helped was sort of blackmailed in which is a dark twist I sort of like for the moment. The guy who had you kill someone says you\'re on the wrong side, you may not believe him. After you have to join a team you don\'t want to, there could be second thoughts there.

Yes, that oh-so-compassionate doctor showed an equal amount of ruthlessness, didn''t he?

I didn't see it that way at all. Dr. Rosen was simply laying out the fact to Hick's,"you killed a federal witness and they are going to put you away for a long time", which is what Wilson was going to do. Dr. Rosen then offers a lifeline by telling Hicks if he joins their team he'll be protected. There was no threat because there was no possibility of him being able to simply walk away like he wanted to.

Nina's Backup Superpower of Kissing, I'll grant you, stinks of cliché

I'm not sure if this is serious but just in case it is; that kiss was not a superpower, it was just a way to temporarily distract Bill. The reason why he went unconscious soon after the kiss was because Dr. Rosen injected Bill with something.

I actually thought that Gary's weakness was the silliest. I hope it's not just a way to get in regular product placement for Nokia.

I agree that would be very lame if that were it but like others said it's not. I agree with Sandman that his inability to concentrate and function socially is most likely caused by sensory overload.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Jul 12, 2011 @ 11:55 AM.

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#57

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 11:58 AM

The guy they helped was sort of blackmailed in which is a dark twist I sort of like for the moment. The guy who had you kill someone says you're on the wrong side, you may not believe him. After you have to join a team you don't want to, there could be second thoughts there.


Yes, that oh-so-compassionate doctor showed an equal amount of ruthlessness, didn't he?


To be fair Callum Keith Rennie's (CKR) character was going to lock up Cameron (?) but Straithern seemed to have found a way to keep that from happening as long as he joined their group. So CKR's character is the bas guy in the equation. Or what bulldawgtownie said while I was typing this up.

Bill's lack of expertise at fighting makes perfect sense to me. Most of the strong guys I know rely on their strength to give them an edge when they get into fights;


He was in the FBI though, don't they get some kind of fight training?


That's why what's-his-face, the "hyperkinetic", was able to kick his feet out from under him and jump over his body.


He's a former Marine so he definately had to have some kind of fight training. Besides his power would also play a part in it.


I don't think that Gary is supposed to be a teenager, just someone with Autism that lives with his mother (and the actor is 30 years old).

Edited by IgnaMom, Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:11 PM.

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#58

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:10 PM

LOL, his real age has nothing to do with. Actors and actresses in their thirties have been playing teens for as long as I can remember.
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#59

Sandman

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:27 PM

Nina's Backup Superpower of Kissing, I'll grant you, stinks of cliché

I'm not sure if this is serious but just in case it is; that kiss was not a superpower, it was just a way to temporarily distract Bill. The reason why he went unconscious soon after the kiss was because Dr. Rosen injected Bill with something.

Well, no, I'm exaggerating a little - obviously the kiss was not itself a superpower, but the idea of "If all else fails, kiss the guy" is such a cliché that it would seem that the Hot Girl always has kissing/sexuality as a default superpower. (In my opinion, Emma Frost's real mutant ability? Getting her ridonkulous wardrobe to stay on.) I did notice that Rosen injected Bill with the anti-whammy serum, which is what made him pass out. But the minute Rosen mentioned the possibility of overcoming the Ghost's programming by engaging a primal response, I knew that Nina's sexuality was going to be in operation.

There was no threat because there was no possibility of him being able to simply walk away like he wanted to.

The threat wasn't of Dr. Rosen's making, but I'm not sure that means there wasn't one. Maybe he was only being a realist, but I thought there was at least the implication that if Cameron hadn't stayed, Rosen wouldn't have hesitated to let Don CKR have him.

Edited by Sandman, Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:28 PM.

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#60

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:51 PM

Watching it all I could really think of was "didn't they do this years ago and called it 'Mutant X'?"

The Alphas just didn't seem special enough. Hypersense girl just seemed like one of the many CSIs on CBS. Internet and TV guy could had been Abbie/Eric of the JAG/NCIS franchise, tech support with the super computer laptops. Strong guy pretty much just kicked in doors which every other TV cop does and for all his strength he wasn't so special at kicking ass. The super hypnosis was no more then any short con grifter used when cops go undercover for no apparent reason. And Bullseye who can't miss is a work in progress because at this point he does not have control and can miss.

Actually, the scope of their powers was one of the few things I could really buy.
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