Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Television: Prison Break

Over the past couple months, I've taken the time to watch the show Prison Break, which originally aired on Fox from 2005 to 2009. The entire series is currently viewable on Netflix.  After recently finishing the last few episodes of the series, I'm pretty taken aback at how incredibly captivating the show really was.

This show felt big budget.  I suppose that's rightly so, being on network television, with the later episodes budget being around $3 million per episode.  So many startling over the top twists and turns would happen in each episode, by the end I would be extremely curious as to what would happen next.  Like many of the suspenseful shows I've watched archived in the past, I can't imagine how suspenseful these episodes must have been for die hard fans watching each week, or waiting for the next season.

Prison Break really brings to the forefront what we often take for granted on a daily basis; that being our freedom.  Prison Break tells the story of two brothers, one being wrongly accused of a high profile murder and sentenced to death.  When there is no hope of stopping the execution by legal means, the other brother, a brilliant structural engineer takes matters into his own hands, landing himself in the same prison to attempt to break his brother out.  The brothers soon realize that they are in way over their heads and must try to clear their names while trying to just survive.

The complex dynamic story and well done character development, each with their distinctive unique personality, results in one really caring for the characters, even at points the antagonists.  The writers use this to their advantage to really shake things up from time to time,  by placing the characters in perilous situations.  Any time things seemed to be calm in the show, I started to get concerned and begin to brace myself because of the sheer fragility of the characters.  Any one character you may have paid attention to and grown to care about may be plucked away and gone for good in a matter of seconds.  While the vast majority of action and events in the show made a lot of sense and panned out very cleverly, there would be the occasional blip of some inconsistent action done by some character, or something that would happen that would seem utterly stupid which would cause upset because everything until that point would lead one to believe the characters or the show itself was too smart for that.  I think that just stands as a testament to the shows ability to mesmerize, when some inconsequential action could be picked up upon because the story called for close attention.  It often would leave you guessing whether a character was genuine or had their own ulterior motives.

A lot of what I'm describing may not make sense without going more in depth, but that would also serve to ruin plot points and surprises, so I'll stop there and finish with a resounding suggestion that if you haven't given this show a chance yet, you do so.  It's an amazingly suspenseful and intriguing series that may keep you infatuated with it until the end, leaving you wanting for more after such investment in the characters and story.


  1. I've been wanting to watch this for years but have never had the time!

  2. I am in the same boat as Bersercules. Also, apparently this show was real popular in China. Imagine that.

  3. I'll watch this after I catch up on Dexter :)

  4. I watched the first season of this and then kind of tapered off, I might have to give it another go.