Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Prison Break

My wife and I just finished the first season of Prison Break, and have started on the second.  Netflix is the best way to watch shows like this, because I would probably have gone crazy waiting week to week to see what happened next.  PB is addicting, exciting, entertaining... they get so much right with this show.

And so much wrong.

Maybe 24 spoiled the thriller t.v. genre.  Jack Bauer kicked ass, and he managed to kick all that ass in a tightly scripted window of time each season.  Having Jack do things in real time added so much tension to the story.  If something happened a few states away, you knew it would take 3/4 of the season for Jack to get there to work his magic.  Prison Break, on the other hand, doesn't pay any mind to real time, and I think its credibility suffers because of this.

Fact: It is physically impossible to fly to Washington D.C. from Chicago during a thirty minute lawyer/defendant meeting.  It is Physically impossible to fly from Chicago to Montana, rent a car, and be at an obscure location in an hour.  It is physically impossible to be seventy miles out of Salt Lake City, and then be in Tooele in a matter of minutes.  Also, it is not normal to be in Chicago and have it go from sweltering weather, to winter, to summer in a month.  Oh, and Mesquite NV is not one mile from the Utah border, and Tooele has mountains surrounding it, not flat plains and water towers.  Shame on you lazy t.v. writers.  Why couldn't you have done your research a bit better, and make Prison Break an excellent show, instead of just an entertaining one?

I realize 24's shtick was real time.  Of course Prison Break couldn't copy it.  But is it too much to ask that the writers avoid bending reality for their plot to work?  That they actually portray real settings if they're going to set scenes in unique places?  (One hour outside of Las Vegas isn't green farm land, people.  It's gray.  And dry.  And ugly.  Stop being lazy!)  They're lucky that I like the characters and story, or else I'd have been off the train twenty episodes ago.

If you haven't given Prison Break a watch, do it.  It's a good show.  It'll keep you on the edge of your seat most episodes.  And the characters are fully developed people, with motives, desires, and flaws.  Try and ignore the plot holes if you can.  I drive my wife crazy every time I point another error out.

That's all.


  1. Most of your followers are writers like you so they will notice the flaws. All of the others out there like me wont even notice and go on blindly watching:) I agree on your points but I still wouldn't have noticed if you didn't point them out. It does bother me that Hollywood is lazy though. They just want to make money the fast and easy way.

  2. Admit it, you like Prison Break because it reminds you of all your time in the pokey. All that man-on-man lovin... Eww...

  3. Tony, is this for the Huffle Puff comment?