Stephen Speicher

Prison Break (2005)

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17 posts in this topic

I think this is the best show on TV right now. It's another "24"--or close to it. The major difference is that the hero is fighting for a personal value primarily, instead of getting rid of evils that threaten the entire country. The political element is less important here, although it is becoming more of an issue as the story unfolds.

Like 24, its easy to get lost if you miss an episode, because the story develops over the entire season. I missed the first couple of shows, but the main story is about an engineer who gets himself thrown in prison on purpose, to rescue his brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder. He develops an escape plan, which necessarily has to involve other inmates who are not exactly trustworthy. The great part of the show is the way this engineer, Michael Scofield, deals with all the petty and malicious interference from those around him. He is always aware of his ultimate goal, and recognizes the reality of the people he is dealing with. Any time there seems to be an impossible decision to make between two innocent people, he comes up with an ingenious way to get through it.

There are some interesting visual elements in the show. There is a very strong contrast between the scruffy looking prison inmates and Michael Scofield, who looks like he belongs in...heaven, not prison. :) Also, the "escape route"--a series of tunnels and halls--is sometimes shown as a kind of metaphor for mentally working through a problem in your mind.

I really enjoy this show. I never thought "24" could be matched, but I am happy I was wrong!

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I think this is the best show on TV right now....

Previously I have never paid any attention to this TV show, but your wonderful description makes it seem superb. Since, as you mentioned, like "24" the story unfolds over the entire season, would you recommend at this late point that we just wait for the re-runs or DVD and catch it from the beginning?

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Since, as you mentioned, like "24" the story unfolds over the entire season, would you recommend at this late point that we just wait for the re-runs or DVD and catch it from the beginning?

Yes, I think it is best seen from the beginning. The first episodes did seem to be crucial--I'm sorry I missed them. I found out the fall series of episodes actually just ended--they said the next new episode won't be until March. :) If there are reruns of the show before March, hopefully Fox will air them in the right order.

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I watch it too and I have seen it from the first episode. As Jennifer points out, the main selling point is the Michael Scofield character who is highly intelligent, creative and purposeful in his efforts to rescue his brother. It is quite enjoyable to watch.

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Do any of you watching the show know if it will be re-run in its entirety after the final episode of the fall? I would like to TiVo it, but I don't want to miss anything.

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Thanks to everyone who recommended this show! I got the first season on DVD and was HOOKED for the several days I spent watching it.

Looking forward to the season 2 premiere on Monday, August 21st.

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I was similarly addicted to season 1, with the exception of the rap music which was sadly prominent in the first few episodes. (Fortunately, the "blacks vs whites" theme was removed from the foreground when more interesting plots replaced it as the season went on).

My expectations were low for season 2. The reason for this is that the show's premise really seemed to be a "one season" concept. The show was to originally consist of 13 episodes until it was extended.

However, with the introduction of FBI agent Mahone, who has come to be a sinister complement to Schofield, every episode has kept me suspensefully entertained. Although the long-range direction of the plot is still not apparent to me, I'm a lot more confident that the show's writers can 'keep it afloat'. There is the government conspiracy to unravel, after all - a fact I neglected to consider when dismissing the potential for season 2.

One complaint: T-bag's character is vulgar. They've made a point of highlighting his vices in the last few episodes, it's time they do something with it, instead of stringing it along. A few episodes back he had 'leverage' (when he ate the map), but once they found the money, I did not understand why they continued to grant him any respect. That, I believe, was the proper time to do away with his character.

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I really enjoy this show too. I started watching it last season around the time when they were showing how the prisoners got convicted and why. The scenes where we learn how Schofield planned the escape and the revelation of his genius were what made me know that I would admire Schofield. I agree that they, the escapees, should have executed T-Bag themselves as soon as possible. When they do, it would actually make the stakes for the executioner much more higher.

Mahone gives me the same feeling that Javert (Les Mis) does. However, I haven't caught on whether Mahone is corrupt and part of the conspiracy. When he shot the kid-prisoner-was that the revelation?

Anyways, I recommend this show. I actually think Wentworth Miller would make a wonderful Francisco D'Anconia in the movie.

Jose Gainza

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I'm pretty sure Mahone is going about his job as an FBI agent, investigating the break-out of prisoners. At no point have I been given the impression that he knew about the conspiracy. But when he does, it will be interesting to know where he stands.

The fact that he shot Tweener would confirm in the viewer's mind that he is evil, and certainly not concerned about breaking the law (or, more importantly, breaching morality).

I was hoping that the governor would be the one to uncover the conspiracy. His unbending faith in the justice system did not mean he couldn't have been swayed. But the writers killed him off most disappointingly.

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I have just finished watching the entire first season of Prison Break.

The plotting is very, very good. Overall, it's not 24 but is sufficiently stylized. Each character is unique in motive, ability, and delivery. The writing is far better than any other aspect of the show (I wasn't able to guess a number of successive plot twists, which is saying a lot); still, some acting performances stand out.

The top performance belongs to Wentworth Miller (whose enigmatic turn in The Human Stain brought him to prominence) as Michael Scofield, the genius who is utterly devoted, not to saving the world, but to saving his brother.

Where Bauer is mainly a military genius, Scofield is more of a universal genius. I must confess that prior to renting the DVDs, I had brashly thought Miller would simply sulk through the entire show. Shame on me, for Miller brings a supremely healthy, untortured charisma to the role, at least in the season's first half.

Sadly, since his saga takes place among the worst of men, sometimes it is difficult to bask in the mental and moral distinction of the character.

Prison Break is an intriguing show. During one scene, a vision of Miller playing Galt actually occurred to me.

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I'm pretty sure Mahone is going about his job as an FBI agent, investigating the break-out of prisoners. At no point have I been given the impression that he knew about the conspiracy.

*Eat, eat.*

Yes, I was wrong. The twists have once again taken me by surprise.

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Yesterday's episode was a very pleasant surprise and I can't wait until January, almost February, until it returns.

Now, I'm just anxious to see if our new saviour has committed more evil deeds than Bagwell. He must have, no?

Jose Gainza.

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I am a late comer to this thread yet can't help but say that I watched one random episode of the show and its high quality of production by way of style and editing was sufficient for me to convince that this would be a show worth watching. Wentworth Miller had already made a very positive impression on me in "Human Stain" as the young Anthony Hopkins so I was happy to get the season release on DVD.

I caught enough bits and pieces of the show on TV to have a fairly good idea of the storyline and I find it quite interesting.

Though I have yet to watch the entire first season I think that it has the potential to be an exceptionally good show though I don't quite see how it can be on par with "24". Also, continuing the story past one season doesn't sound like a very good idea if that indeed is the case. I hope I am wrong.

Wentworth Miller has a remarkable screen presence supported by an intelligent face as well as good acting potential but I wouldn't put him in the shoes of any of AR's characters without first lining up a worthy screenplay and a director ( not at all within the realm of the possible, certainly not with the talent in the market NOW).

I am most certainly looking forward to making time to watch the entire first season.

- Hema

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Wentworth Miller has a remarkable screen presence supported by an intelligent face as well as good acting potential but I wouldn't put him in the shoes of any of AR's characters without first lining up a worthy screenplay and a director ( not at all within the realm of the possible, certainly not with the talent in the market NOW).

Which actor today would you "put...in the shoes of any of AR's characters without first lining up a worthy screenplay and a director?"

Miller's two big performances - in The Human Stain and Prison Break - are portraits of unusually intelligent men in purposive defiance of gargantuan odds, the mere contemplation of which would cripple the psyche of all but a few men. That's a good description of a hero, I think.

To concretize Prison Break's hero, Miller delivers Scofield with a distinctive vocal style. Note, for example, the way he pronounces "brother." Watch the scenes where he's at his engineering firm talking to his brother's lawyer ex-girlfriend. Note the subdued physical celebrations of milestones achieved in the long struggle. There is no evidence that this style is the design of the scriptwriter or director. So, why assume he can't carry a film himself? What's to say he can't?

Furthermore, even though Miller was in sterling company in Human Stain (the top-quality film starred Anthony Hopkins), one has to admit that Prison Break features a largely unknown cast; yet, it's become a big hit; so big that today, the world is talking of Miller.

P.S. He has a rather interesting background.

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'Mercury' date='Dec 8 2006, 04:38 AM' post='45015'

Which actor today would you "put...in the shoes of any of AR's characters without first lining up a worthy screenplay and a director?"

None. For the simple reason that movies and T.V. are a director's medium. A good actor can only handle cosmetic patch up jobs because the "soul" of that particular piece of art is entirely in the hands of the director.

There is no evidence that this style is the design of the scriptwriter or director.

That would be a pity if true because only the director can decide the proper tone, naunces and style for any given production. Of course, actor can get involed more in the production than just blindly follow instructions but the job and the responsilities are that of a director.

So, why assume he can't carry a film himself? What's to say he can't?

But surely it was clear that I was not talking about just carrying a film!!

I was talking about movies as a works of art in its entirety which is steered exclusively by the director, be it successfully towards creating a brilliant 'romantic realist' work of art or towards shameful sinking in muddy and shallow waters.

Furthermore, even though Miller was in sterling company in Human Stain (the top-quality film starred Anthony Hopkins), one has to admit that Prison Break features a largely unknown cast; yet, it's become a big hit; so big that today, the world is talking of Miller.

That's great and one of the few joys left to watch that even today genuine talent in art does have a positive effect on people.

- Hema

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I recently finished the first season, and found the show enjoyable, but I was not nearly as entertained as I am watching 24. I gave the show a 7.

Michael Scofield is a great character, but he was the only one in the entire season that I cared about at all. A lot of the plot points seemed quite contrived to me, and I didn't care fro the psychologizing about Scofield's motives for breaking his brother out.

Likewise, the sinister plot seemed contrived to me, and while a lot of the twists were very good, a lot weren't, and I could see many coming. I also didn't care for the prevalence of rap "music" and the black prisoners vs. white prisoners angle.

Having said that, the acting is good in Prison Break (especially Miller's performance) though not on par with 24 and many of the villains are interesting and inventive.

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