This Girl's Voice

Monday, February 03, 2003  

•• Alias gets an alias ••

earlier tonight, i watched the 2nd episode of the uh, "new and improved" Alias on ABC, which in point of fact, is more like an alias of Alias as it has now been almost completely stripped of much that made it orginal and unique.

according to Salon.com's Arts & Entertainment writer Carina Chocano:

"Nobody really understands why "Alias" is not a ratings smash. Critics love it, fans are obsessed with it, ABC is behind it, and star Jennifer Garner has had more magazine covers than she's had hot meals. So what, exactly, is the problem? The only explanation -- and the brain trust's current thinking -- is that the plot is too confusing. And it is. It is staunchly, proudly and maddeningly impossible to follow. You can't just drop in and out of "Alias." You have to account for your whereabouts. "Alias" demands loyalty, devotion and the ability to keep even the most Byzantine convolutions straight. And once you get into it, you really want to. You want to do it for Sydney, the most beautiful, sensitive, ass-kicking, tortured and put-upon double agent in the history of fictional counterintelligence. But 9.3 million viewers aren't enough, so as of Sunday, after the Super Bowl, a new, revamped "Alias" hits the airwaves. Weekly cliffhangers will disappear and new episodes will be more self-contained, requiring less knowledge of the previous week's episode. ("Alias" is such a teased-out serial that each week's episode is preceded by a detailed rundown of the previous week's episode.)"

so far, i'm having a difficult time adjusting ... i feel a bit, well, betrayed. SD-6 in gone, so this means Sydney and dad Jack are no longer counterspies anymore.... adios to the mounting drawn out sexual tension between Sydney and Vaughn (cuz hey -- Sidney and Vaughn are now an item); speaking of complex character relationships: the Bristow family troika storyline has fallen under the radar and disappeared. don't get me wrong, i still dig all the characters, but some of the sudden character "shifts" and disappearances are quite the stretch: out of the blue Will has suddenly fallen into lust with Francie, and hey, i'm still mourning over the finality of the fact that the very sweet Francie is, well, dead, nevermind that she's been suddenly replaced with a genetic facsimile. i know that one of the kewl things i always dug about Alias is that it was a full-on action comic spy thriller starring hot babe Jennifer Garner (who rocks in this role -- pun intended btw), but this is waaaay too fictional to buy into.

so, since the Super Bowl, buh-bye to those cliff-hanging nail-biting weekly storylines with evolving character development. i think ABC didn't do their job in promoting this show from day one as a show that you have to follow with dedication from the beginning of - and to the end of - each season, much in the same way you do with The Sopranos and with last years' sleeper hit 24. Neither of those shows were episodic series, and last time i checked, their audiences were dedicated followers, had no trouble remembering complex evolving plots and character sub-plots. Alias requires - and won - the same sort of audience involvement, and that was *without* ABC promoting in the way that a show like 24 was advertised.

so, bad on ABC, who i'm still having trouble forgiving for having pulled the plug on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and replaced it with that waste-of-airspace-of-a-show The Jimmy Kimmel Show. uh, quite the unoriginal format there -- and nice programming fellas. i bet your numbers are down. way down. that said, i'm counting on Alias creator and exec producer J.J. Abrams and his co-exec producer and director Ken Olin to care about this baby enough to not let her get so cosmetically altered as to be unrecognizable. you go boys.

aside from the wonderful work of Garner and her Alias co-stars and cast members, at least one other thing has been consistent on Alias as of this date... the stellar roster of guest stars, starting with season one with Quentin Tarantino who played a really bad dude, the introduction of Lena Olin as Sidney's spy mum in season 2, then a few episodes back there was Faye Dunaway as an evil SD-6 bitch, then last week Rutger Hauer was the Sark stand-in and temporary head of SD-6, and tonight Ethan Hawke was in da house, and there was brief appearance by an old aquaintance of mine back in my l.a. days, Olivia d'Abo, who did a great job as the blonde CIA agent who had been strapped with explosives in one of the earlier scenes of this episode.

posted by voxpopgirl | 2/03/2003