TV Review: ALPHAS – Season 1 – “Bill and Gary’s Excellent Adventure”

Azita Ghanizada in ALPHAS - Season 1 - "Bill and Gary's Excellent Adventure" | ©2011 NBC/Russ Martin

Stars: David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, Malik Yoba, Alaina Huffman, Peter Wingfield, Melissa Hood Writer: Adam Levy, series created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow Director: Leslie Bibman Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM Airdate: August 15, 2011 It’s good for most shows to break from their internal formulas once in awhile, and on ALPHAS, an episode that involves solving an ordinary – that is, non-Alpha – crime is an agreeable change. On the upside, it’s fun and it lets us take a longer look at how the characters deal with issues besides what it […]Read On »

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TV Review: ALPHAS – Season 1 – “Rosetta”

Ryan Cartwright in ALPHAS - Season 1 - "Rosetta" | ©2011 Syfy/Ken Woroner

Stars: David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, Malik Yoba, Valerie Cruz, Lianne Balaban Writer: Zak Penn, series created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow Director: Karen Gaviola Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM Airdate: August 1, 2011 Credit ALPHAS with using science fiction to good and controversial allegorical purpose, although this episode has a pivotal plot twist we can see coming. It’s hard to blame writer Zak Penn for this – there’s a moment where we realize that the story can go down one of two paths, and he naturally picks the more interesting […]Read On »

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TV Review: ALPHAS – Season 1 – “Anger Management”

Azita Gahnizada in ALPHAS - Season 1 - "Anger Management" | ©2011 Syfy/Ken Woroner

Stars: David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, Malik Yoba, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Devon Graye, Callum Keith Rennie Writers: Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe, series created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow Director: Nick Copus Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM Airdate: July 25, 2011 While not as morally gray as last week’s episode – maybe because this week’s antagonist has caused much more harm with much less cause – “Anger Management” has a lot of strong scenes. Director Nick Copus seems to have picked up on some thematic similarities with 28 DAYS LATER/28 […]Read On »

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TV Review: ALPHAS – Season 1 – “Cause and Effect”

David Strathairn in ALPHAS - Season 1 - "Cause and Effect" | ©2011 Syfy/Steve Wilkie

Stars: David Strathairn, Malik Yoba, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Ryan Cartwright, Laura Mennell, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Valerie Cruz, Will McCormack Writer: Julie Siege, series created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow Director: Constantine Makris Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM (note: pilot episode is 90 minutes) Airdate: July 18, 2011 ALPHAS is only on its second episode, “Cause and Effect,” but it shows nerves of steel in presenting us – and its characters – with the kind of moral gray zone that was last seen with regularity in these parts on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. A heavily chained Alpha, Marcus Ayers (Will McCormack), […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: Malik Yoba is one of ALPHAS males

Malik Yoba in ALPHAS - Season 1 | ©2011 Syfy/Justin Stephens

In Syfy’s new series ALPHAS, airing Mondays at 10 PM, five very different people with unique mental abilities have been brought together to work for the government. The only one of the group who has previous government experience is Malik Yoba’s character Bill Harken, a former FBI agent who can summon super-strength at the cost of being depleted afterward. New York-born Yoba has played law enforcement types before – he starred as NYPD Detective J.C. Williams on four seasons of NEW YORK UNDERCOVER and more recently as Jeff Goldblum’s deceased partner on RAINES. While Yoba has also portrayed an astronaut […]Read On »

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TV Review: ALPHAS – Season One Premiere – “Pilot”

Ryan Cartwright, Laura Mennell, Malik Yoba, David Strathairn, Warren Christie and Azita Ghanizada in ALPHAS - Season 1 | ©2011 Syfy/Justin Stephens

Stars: David Strathairn, Malik Yoba, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Ryan Cartwright, Laura Mennell Writers: Zak Penn & Michael Karnow Director: Jack Bender Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM (note: pilot episode is 90 minutes) Airdate: July 11, 2011 Shows about people with special abilities come in all flavors. ALPHAS is much lower-key than HEROES or even SANCTUARY, while still having a solid grounding in science-fiction. Moreover, the characters created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow are engaging on their own and in their interactions. David Straithairn as neurologist/psychiatrist/team leader Lee Rosen is so unassumingly erudite and supportive that you pretty […]Read On »

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TV Review: BONES – Season 6 – “The Hole in the Heart”

Tina Majorino and David Boreanaz in BONES - Season 6 - "The Hole in the Heart" | ©2011 Fox/Patrick Wymore

Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Ryan Cartwright, Tina Majorino, Arnold Vosloo Writers: Carla Kettner & Karyn Usher, story by Carla Kettner Director: Alex Chapple Network: Fox, Thursdays @ 9 PM Airdate: May 12, 2011 BONES has been doing the will they/won’t they dance for the entirety of its six-season run. It’s a measure of the skill of “A Hole in the Heart” that the matter is finally addressed, but quietly, so that our emotions and sense of suspense are both fully engaged elsewhere at the time. Booth (David Boreanaz) is still […]Read On »

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Breaking News: The new Syfy series ALPHAS is the flipside to the superhero team

Malik YOrba, Azita Ghanizada and David Strathairn in ALPHAS - Season 1 |©2011 Syfy/Ken Woroner

With movies and TV fascinated with superheroes, it’s about time someone looked at the other side of being superhuman – namely the human side of things. That’s what the new Syfy series ALPHAS (debuting in July) hopes to accomplish. Created by X-MEN and THE AVENGERS scribe Zak Penn and Michael Karnow, the series follows five ordinary people who end up forming an extraordinary team helping out the Department of Defense. “I think superheroes have a lot of trouble on TV in general,” admits Penn while speaking today at NBC’s Summer Press Day 2011 in Pasadena, CA. “This show, from its […]Read On »

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