Writer: Head Geek Furious
Only four episodes into this series and I am more impressed than I expected. ALPHAS, the SyFy network's merging of FRINGE and HEROES, seems to have a mostly winning formula of actors, characters, and mission-of-the-week stuff mixed into a quasi-serialized storyline. Here are my bullet points for why I will keep watching and also why I could stop:
- The different powers of the good-guy Alphas work well together and lend to a believable series of episodes where certain strengths are utilized. Sure, the stories are written so that powers have a convenient fit, but it works since the team was put together as a compliment of abilities. That helps a lot with suspension of disbelief, something HEROES suffered from a great deal as the show went on and powers had to be gained and stripped away depending on the opponent or situation.
- The show looks like they are spending network money on it. I don't know if that will be sustained throughout the entire season, but for now it doesn't look cable-cheap.
- There is an atmosphere of doom in much of the show that reminds me of early BSG episodes. It adds weight to the fear, confusion, and lack of confidence the team has, and also makes situations of loss feel more important than they might if the show was more upbeat.
- It takes itself seriously. It isn't trying to sell the audience on some comic book super power series. It is much like early FRINGE in the way it deals with story lines, including having an eccentric and socially inept member of the team who acts as something of the comedic relief (though, he is no Walter Bishop). However, unlike early FRINGE, this show seems to know what it is and where it wants to go.
- It is 5.7 times better than FALLING SKIES.
- The individual arcs of the characters start off lacking punch.
- Not all the main actors stand out in the crowd. HEROES was much better about clearly defining characters and making you want to see more of their abilities.
- The mission-of-the-week stuff could easily become tiresome if it isn't somehow tied to forwarding the serialized elements of the show. I mean, how many times can writers borrow plot points from X-FILES before it stops being fun?
- The show needs its big villain around.