And now we get Alcatraz. Produced by Abrams, directed and executive produced by Jack Bender, with several Lost writers on board, starring our beloved Jorge Garcia, this show's first episode (called "Pilot"... sound familiar?) features a supernatural event that happens on an island, where the survivors of a particular accident have time traveled to re-emerge in the real world and through flashbacks we find out who they are. They're being hunted and watched by people in a secret organization. All set against the instantly recognizable score by Michael Giacchino. And did I mention the lead survivor's name is Jack?
Oh, and it's brilliant. Compelling writing, a great ensemble cast, Giacchino's screechy violins that take us to every climactic break, twists we didn't see coming, backstories that fill in who these people are, and fast-paced direction. Oh my gosh, I think I've found my new Lost.
Now, being the spoilerphobe that I am, this is what I knew about Alcatraz: It was about Alcatraz. It starred Jorge Garcia as a comic-book store guy with some sort of expertise the cops could use. (I didn't even know exactly what that expertise was.) JJ Abrams produced it. Sam Neill was in it. And... that concludes what Nikki knew. So I was coming to this absolutely cold, knowing nothing, and they were going to have to pull me in. And they did so, IMMEDIATELY. I love the sci-fi element of it, the X-Files feel of the underground replica of Alcatraz where Hauser keeps his captures much like the Initiative kept hostiles in season 4 of Buffy. It's like his own personal adult dollhouse, where he pops the little soldier into their slots until he gets the full set. It's like one of the aspects of Lost has been flipped -- where on that show, the Dharma Initiative and the Others were aware of the survivors on the island, but the survivors knew little about them and neither did we, now we, the viewer, are watching from the perspective of the Others, tracking the survivors and watching the
My husband and I are considering doing a podcast, just because we had very different views of the show. While he, like me, really liked it, he thought the Lost stuff was annoying, and that the music was overbearing and far too Lost-like, that the silly references to numbers are getting tired (I made the mistake of noticing the room key in the building next to Cobb's was Room 423, and when I said it, he groaned and said, "When will they MOVE ON?!" I will admit, the references nine episodes in on Once Upon a Time are getting a little overdone).
But I don't know, maybe it's the Lostie in me, but hearing that music, seeing the dark stormy set, moving back and forth through time, watching the questions build up with no answers, seeing Jorge Garcia play a character who is at once useful yet unsure of himself, it just had a warm familiarity to it. And it felt like home.
I promise that in the weeks to come I'll be switching this to a more Lost-like post format. Next week I'm actually away, so it'll have to start with the fourth episode, but I wanted to let you all know that I watched this, LOVED it, and if you watched Lost, you really must be watching this show, too. Don't miss it. If you did miss it, Fox will be airing the Pilot episode (this week they played the first two eps, "Pilot" and "Ernest Cobb") on Saturday night at 11pm again.