TV Review: ALPHAS – Season 1 – “Original Sin” – Season Finale

Valerie Cruz and David Strathairn in ALPHAS - Season 1 - "Original Sin" | ©2011 Syfy/Ken Woroner

Stars: David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, Malik Yoba, Valerie Cruz, John Pyper-Ferguson, Kathleen Munroe, Liane Balaban Writers: Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe & Zak Penn & Michael Karnow, story by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow, series created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow Director: Nick Copus Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM Airdate: September 26, 2011 HEROES left this until the very end of the series while TRUE BLOOD started here. ALPHAS has left it until the end of Season 1, but with Season 2 already set, “Original Sin” sets the […]Read On »

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TV Review: ALPHAS – Season 1 – “A Short Time in Paradise”

Malik Yoba and Laura Mennell in ALPHAS - Season 1 - "A Short Time in Paradise" | ©2011 Syfy/Russ Martin

Stars: David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, Malik Yoba, Daniel Kash, Garret Dillahunt Writer: Michael Chamoy, series created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow Director: John Showalter Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM Airdate: August 29, 2011 Given the premise of ALPHAS, it’s a natural fit that the show would explore someone using an Alpha ability to start a cult. ALPHAS being ALPHAS, the cult leader is no false prophet but rather a man of sincere belief, and “A Short Time in Paradise” raises some intriguing issues, albeit it tends to come down strongly […]Read On »

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TV Review: ALPHAS – Season 1 – “Catch and Release”

Laura Mennell in ALPHAS - Season 1 - "Catch and Release" | ©2011 Syfy/Ken Woroner

Stars: David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, Malik Yoba, Valerie Cruz, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Summer Glau, Jane Moffat Writer: Michael Karnow, series created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow Director: Kevin Hooks Network: Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM Airdate: August 22, 2011 Nothing is very straightforward for the ALPHAS gang for long. “Catch and Release” presents everybody with a set of moral dilemmas, with the various characters landing in different places along the spectrum. As a bonus, Summer Glau guest stars as an Alpha (though the writing/casting veers away from the obvious kick-ass possibilities). Skylar […]Read On »

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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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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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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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