Herc Is No Hostage
To CBS’ HOSTAGES!!
“Hostages” is going to remind a lot of “24” fans of that Kiefer Sutherland vehicle’s first season, which saw the wife and daughter of antiterrorist agent Jack Bauer held hostage while Bauer himself was dispatched to assassinate a man destined to inhabit the White House.
In this case, it’s the husband and children of a big-deal surgeon held hostage while that surgeon (the always-busy Toni Collette) is dispatched by the bad guys (led by a rogue FBI man played by Dermot Mulroo … er, Dylan McDermott) to kill the incumbent U.S. president during what was intended to be a life-saving surgical procedure.
“Hostages” is perfectly watchable, but the folks behind Jack Bauer did a much, much more entertaining job a dozen years ago.
The pilot, for the record, was scripted and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, whose writing credits include the 2004 blockbuster “The Day After Tomorrow” and the 2008 Don Cheadle thriller “Traitor.”
The serialized project, slated to run 15 episodes, at least demonstrates that even CBS execs may be tiring of their network’s seemingly endless supply of procedurals with their endless supply of stand-alone hour-long mysteries. (And a shift might prove good business for the CBS; I think its highly serialized 13-hour sci-fi summer series “Under The Dome” scored better ratings than all regular-season CBS dramas except “NCIS.”)
... Boy, did I hate this. … I do not care what happens to any of these people, so why do I want to watch them stuck in this claustrophobic tension dealing with contrived situations that will prolong it over a season? I would say it misunderstands exactly what it is that people like in serialized cable dramas, but then I think of the ratings for "Under the Dome" and "The Following," and wonder if CBS might not have a hit on its hands despite the terrible writing. Grade: D
... McDermott will always be an acquired taste for me, but his whisper-yell is reasonably reined in here, and Toni Collette is typically excellent as a capable woman out of her depth. As for the rest of the characters, they're a standard-issue broadcast network family so far. And that's where "Hostages" will stand or fall: If we don't care about the people in the title group, there's not much inducement to continue watching beyond week 2 or 3. …
... The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
… there's dad's extramarital affair. In a better written show, that last bit might be considered a spoiler, but if you don't see that one coming a mile away, you're not a regular TV watcher. … …
... handsomely made and yet patently ridiculous. …
... What makes "Hostages" such a disappointment is the overly familiar/lame dialogue and plotting. …
… Turns out everyone in this family — husband Brian (Tate Donovan, “Damages”) and teenagers Morgan (Quinn Shephard) and Jake (Mateus Ward) is hiding a secret — straight out of the “Days of Our Lives” handbook. ... The twist in the final moments suggests the series already could be catching a case of the stupids, in which case, no cast, no matter how talented, will be able to save this show. …
... Thanks in large part to the grounded, nuanced performance from Collette, tonight's introduction effectively establishes both the moral dilemma at the heart of the story and the chess match the show intends to follow between Sanders and Carlisle. In suitably suspenseful fashion, it also lets us know that the choices may be more complicated than Ellen imagines: There are things she doesn't know about her own family, let alone about Carlisle's plan. …
... I’m in for a handful more episodes of Hostages. It’s a pretty great first hour and if they can keep up the suspense before changing direction, it might be a feat worth watching every week. …
... There’s certainly a racing pulse in this Jerry Bruckheimer production, but the longer-term prognosis remains murky. … there’s a pretty good incentive to hang around at least a little longer, if only to get a firmer feel on where this might be heading, with family secrets and strained relationships clearly on the soapy menu to hold at least some viewers hostage.
10 p.m. Monday. CBS.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
- HERCULES ON THE RADIO!! Learn What Ain’t It Cool’s TV Critic Thinks Of The First Jack Bauer 24 Adventure Since 2010!! Plus GAME OF THRONES, MAD MEN, HANNIBAL, AGENTS OF SHIELD, And More!! And The Return Of FX MOVIE DOWNLOAD Star Sasha Perl-Raver!! Listen And Call In LIVE Saturday 8pm PT / 11pm ET!! -- 298 total posts 148 posts
- Capone feels slightly in limbo about HEAVEN IS FOR REAL!!! -- 427 total posts 146 posts
- Harry rambles fondly about Eli Roth's THE GREEN INFERNO a real red meat Jungle Cannibalism kinda movie! -- 317 total posts 71 posts
- ‘I Have Something To Say To The People Of Meereen!!’ The Stormborn Returns For Tonight’s Third GAME OF THRONES Of 2014!! -- 34 total posts 34 posts
- Capone desperately wants to pull the plug on TRANSCENDENCE!!! -- 247 total posts 27 posts
- Watch the Opening 3 Minutes of Joss Whedon's IN YOUR EYES! -- 211 total posts 21 posts
- Does This X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST International Poster Get you X-Cited?? -- 586 total posts 20 posts
- ‘Why Don’t We Just Start Our Own Agency??’ Sunday Brings One Of The 13 Final MAD MENs!! -- 13 total posts 13 posts
- So, what's Steven Spielberg's slate looking like these days? -- 205 total posts 12 posts
- 3rd week of April 2014's PICKS & PEEKS: Welles,Wilder,Svankmajer, Mann,Jeong, Sirk,Trier & more!!! -- 153 total posts 7 posts