Alphas Review: An Average Series Premiere

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Everything Alphas brought to the table has been done before.

A band of special individuals coming together, while fighting a group of evil superheroes? Sounds like X-Men. The use of these abilities to solve crimes? Hello, Heroes.

Alphas Premiere Pic

I suppose the X-Men tilt is to be expected because Alphas is from X-Men: The Last Stand writer, Zak Penn.

For the most part, the "pilot" was middling, but there was just enough from the characters to at least warrant sticking around for a few more episodes. Because if certain flaws can be corrected, SyFy has the potential for another hit.


Let's start with the characters. The best among them is easily David Strathairn’s Dr. Lee Rosen, the leader of the group. He juggles the intricacies of babysitting and work as a therapist with leading and getting results from his Alphas.

I hope some of Rosen’s home life will begin seeping into his work life. Watching him interact with Don offered bits of comedy that were lacking throughout the rest of the episode. It's something I hope can be translated into a better working chemistry for the Alphas.

Bill Harken as the strength-enhanced leader of the group? He felt mostly like the jock who just does what he wants. His chemistry with the team was lacking. That's what happens when you're more concerned with eating their food and ordering everyone around.

Gary’s power of reading wireless transmissions is a pretty cool. I hope to see more of it.

Nina and Rachel are easily a couple of my favorites of the team and probably have the best powers of all. Nina’s ability to influence people is awesome, if only because it’s basically a Jedi Mind Trick, while without Rachel's senses, the procedural elements wouldn’t work.

Finally, Cameron has the most potential. Consider the troubled past, a problem following orders and the impressive talent of possessing a mind and body in perfect harmony.

The average parts of the premiere were the story and overall mythology. Not much happened. I understand the need to take your time and introduce the characters and their interactions, but the interactions they had when they weren’t crime solving were mostly boring.

Granted, the case was fun, but I lost any interest as to why the villain was controlling them.

Overall, if Alphas can improve upon some of its core storytelling themes, it has definite potential. The cases need to be smoothed out and connected to the overall mythology in a more cohesive manner. The characters need to find a better rhythm for those moments when they aren’t crime solving, or perhaps those down moments should just be skipped.

Other thoughts:

  • They can’t afford a better minivan? Just how poor is this division? Can’t Nina mind bend someone into loaning them an SUV or cooler minivan?
  • Gary fixed the TV. I think he deserves the chance to drive.

What did everyone else think of the premiere? Is Alphas worth another shot next week?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (85 Votes)

Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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(also, they didn't solve crimes in Heroes. Mostly they ran away from shadowy organizations or serial killers)

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The reason I liked this so much was because it wasn't slick, and because the characters weren't all likeable with schticks and catchphrases. They all had believable interactions, and they all seemed like real people with actual motivations and thoughts going through their heads instead of a collection of powers with shitty dialogue thrown in. As opposed to Heroes, which was all about the 'mystery' aspect, and 'No Ordinary Family' which couldn't decide if it wanted to be fluff or not, this thing looks like a Robert Altman film brought to Sci Fi..and I'm really into that. I also like that their headquarters wasn't a slicked down, black and chrome, computer lined place with all kinds of techno gadgets that just got invented yesterday.. it seemed like the kind of thing you'd get on a government budget: expensive stuff that doesn't always work, offices that look like offices, Walky Talkys, with earpieces that have curly wires, and a "Dream Team" style van to shuttle everyone around in. It's refreshing. And he should get a chance to drive the car.

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My husband & I have been looking forward to this premier for a while. We were satisfied with it. I'm just happy to see Ryan Cartwright on TV again - and still a squint, sort of. The character of Bill did get kind of irritating after a while. We will definitely keep this one on our watch list.

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It was ok but I wouldn't say it really hit my excitement button.