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Review: Prison Break

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The first new show of the broadcast networks’ Fall season premiered Monday, and the most praise I can muster is, it could’ve been worse. Prison Break is just ridiculous. It’s just mind-jarringly, staggeringly ridiculous. But if you can kind of squint and pretend you don’t see all the malarkey, it’s not that bad.

Lincoln Burrows has been sentenced to death for killing the Vice President’s brother. Linc’s half-brother, Michael Scofield, believes he’s innocent, so he robs a bank and gets thrown in prison. The same prison as Linc! (Because he gets to choose which prison he goes to!) So he can bust them both out! Because it just so happens he helped design the prison! And he’s got the blueprints hidden in tattoos on his body!! And he smuggled in a helicopter up his ass!!!

Okay, not that last bit, but he might as well have. He planned everything else out, helped in no small part by extreme coincidence. Everyone Michael meets figures into his plans in some way, whether it’s the prison doctor, who happens to be the governor’s daughter, or the incarcerated Mob boss, who can hide them once they escape, or fellow inmate D.B. freakin’ Cooper, who has money stashed on the outside they can use. Or then there’s the warden (a surprisingly low-key Stacy Keach), who, in the most eye-rolling of coinky-dinks, just happens to be building a scale model of the Taj Mahal for his wife’s anniversary present — which structural engineer Michael just happens to be able to help him with, in exchange for favors.

It’s silly, and it’s going to get even sillier, it looks like. Lincoln is scheduled for execution in one month, according to Monday’s back-to-back premiere episodes, yet according to the coming attractions, it’s already been pushed back to 60 days. How will Lincoln keep getting a stay of execution long enough for Michael to carry out his plan? (Via very silly means, I have to assume.) And what if the show’s a success? How tedious will it become, as week after week Lincoln somehow avoids execution, and Michael keeps failing to actually break them out of prison? “Well, you’ve been here two years now, dude. How’s that brilliant escape plan of yours going?” “Shut up!!” And if they do escape, what happens to the “prison” part of the show? I guess they can always change the name to Prison Already Broken.

And still. I was able to disengage from the plot holes and implausibilities, and enjoy the show (not a lot, but enough). I liked it for its actors (even the hammy ones), its style, and its mystery: who really killed the V.P.’s brother, and why frame Lincoln? And Michael’s escape plan, though absurd, also intrigues me in spite of myself. Frankly, I’d rather see more of his plan in action, and less of the characters outside the prison. If we never see Lincoln’s rotten little snot of a son again, it’ll be too soon.

This show benefits greatly from its timeslot, and its early debut. Monday competition is fairly weak for the near future; in fact, it’s basically non-existent for another two weeks. That’s exactly how long Prison Break has to convince me to keep watching.

About Tom the Dog

  • schofield

    sick show ey>?

  • John

    Well, I am a fan of prison break and I am waiting for the day when you will write another review after the show has finished, prehaps with a more convincing opinion. Ever heard of oceans 11? Put that togethor with the exciting un-known mysteries behind prison walls and you have Prison Break. I rate it 5/5.

  • Shane Warne

    Oh, you bloody beauty, you gotta love this show its a little ripper, prob the only thing better then a double wickad maiden on an indian dusty pitch.

  • matiya mouralithiran (chucker)

    Look warne ure and old man now ill be getting hatricks while ure getting ure pension. catchya later buddy

    (sms me) ure good at that

  • Warne

    I wont have to get a pension buddy, ill be earning millions, everytime i do it with ur wife she pays me a doller

  • schofield

    On a serious note this show is the best ive seen since the 24 series (1,2,3 and 4). I give it 9.9 out of 10. I take a .1 mark of only because of that little point of hair that schofield has on his forehead, it shits me to tears, other than that its awesome.

  • http://tomthedog.blogspot.com/ tomthedog

    What the hell just happened?

  • Holly Fryer

    Wow. I completely dissagree with everthing you just said. Prison Break is a wonderful show! Even better when you compare it to all the crap on TV now. This is a show that actualy challenges it’s audiances, unlike The O.C, a show that is almost insulting to me and my generation.

    But it is your opinion and this is mine, so let’s leave it at that.

  • Norman

    The star, “Wentworth” Miller, shows emotional range from A to B. What is this, a total vanity vehicle for his mugging? As to masculine sex appeal, he looks like he was dressed by nuns. I can’t even tell if the guy is male, if you know what I mean. The plot is stretched too far. Implausible would be a kind thing to say.

  • http://www.happycrumb.com/category/prison-break/ John

    Prison Break is such a great show. Yah there are some unbelievable parts but hey, everything else is great.

  • TomHater

    who the hell is Tom the Dog? Im sorry its no queer eye for the straight guy. maybe they will stop by and remodel the cells for them. what the hell! this tom guy just pisses me off. What else would you rather be watching, this is one of the better shows on tv right now. Freakin homo! jeeez i love how these people who have nothing better to do make a whole story about how a tv show sucks! after one episode! move out of your moms basement! get a job like the rest of us and tell us what tv shows are really good. “silly” who says silly?

  • Dave

    “Prison Break” has to be one of the best tv shows I’ve ever watched; superb script writing and suspensful drama. “Silly” you say? I must ask… have you seen “The OC”? WOW. What moron thought of that fine piece of crap? I will rip my eyes out before i watch that show.

    I must say, this review is poorly written. You state the problems of the show but have no supporting arguments. It’s like a child whining to its mother… sad.

  • http://www.wentworthmiller.com Stizzler

    This show rules – its so intense, a total nail biter. Not to mention that Schofield is effin HOT. I just wish they’d show him in the shower some time soon. And as for buddy complaing about what he wears…since when did people have a choice in prison?

  • Bob

    I also disagree with this review. I love this show, which I haven’t been able to do since maybe oz. It’s not a reality based show, or pretend reality show. I hate those shows so much……..Ok, so i wont vent about my utter hatered for those shows. Hopefully that discusting fad is over. I’m sure people will eventually be embarrased they ever watched them, like they are embarrased about mullets. Now look, i vented a little. Prison break is a great show and the “plotholes” don’t bother me at all. This show is refreshing and actually makes me want to turn on the tv. I don’t know of very many things that do that for me.

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    I keep trying to watch this show (I missed the pilot). But I seem to have fallen asleep during the second and third eps. It just doesn’t do anything for me. Plus, how would they be able to have a second season?

  • Grube

    Orison Brea is the greatest show ever!!!!!!!!! It totally rox sox. It’s the best show on tv in years. Plus Michael is sooooo sexy. Wow I would totally do him if I knew him. I love tatoos they are hott. So what the hell are you talking about the show is silly you’re silly you gay fag.

  • rebelde406fan

    I disagree with your opinion. Prison Break is the best show out there. It is doing extremely well and it is only in its first season. I’ll admit that the producers sometimes don’t seem to know what is going to come next, but the mystery aspect adds allure to the show. So, i think that you and everyone who doesn’t like the show, are judging it too quickly. See it until the end of the season and decide if you like it. If you still don’t like it, then i think all of prison break’s fans will know that your opinion sucks and doesn’t mean s.h.i.t.

  • http://musewatson.com Muse Watson

    I play Charles Westmoreland ( DB Cooper ) in Prison Break. I find the story exciting, the writing intelligent, and my character fun to work on. I enjoy my work and appreciate the fact that there seems to be alot of folks who enjoy watching it.

    Thanks.

    Muse Watson

  • enzik,jasen

    you guys do understand its just a freakin TV show right? ever heard of a little thing called suspension of disbelief. if we based it tall on facts we wouldnt have a little thing called fiction! heck look at MTV’s “the real world” none of that stuff happens in real life…
    lighten up!

  • charinko punk

    I shy away from most TV serials, but the prison theme is so seductive. Combine that with a labyrinth occultism of tattooed signs and sensational conspiratorial paranoia backed by shivs and the Secret Service, its enough to make any Freemason or Idaho militaman weep.

    I’m especially struck by the name Scofield, shared with the infamous “Cyrus I. Scofield” who authored the premilleninarial version of the Bible that has his name. A robust predispensationalist, this historical Scofield believed that an “invisible” church would emerge from the corrupt structures of contemporary Christianity on the eve of the Tribulation. His elaborately cross-referenced Bible had a great effect in shifting American Christianity towards an apocalyptic worldview. So our favorite convict-hero has the same last name and his skin seems to render an invisible truth out of his tattoo patterns. Is this a wry nod to the circular and obsessive labor of footnoting and indexing the apparent “self-evident” Biblical prophesies carried out by the historical “Dr.” Scofield of Kansas? If the body is a text, then it would seem there is some clever little jokes being made here by those ironic scriptwriters in Burbank. But then, it could all just be a coincidence like the rest of the show’s painstaking and painful twists.

  • The Theory

    >>is a show that actualy challenges it’s audiances

    Actually, the only tv show on these days that actually challenges it’s audience would be Arrested Development. But thanks for trying to make a valid point.

  • http://tomthedog.blogspot.com/ Tom the Dog

    I’m sorry, charinko punk. Maybe you didn’t get the memo about leaving comments on this entry. You’re required to misspell every other word (at least), and refer to me with homophobic slurs because I disagree with you about a TV show, while ignoring the fact that I actually said I enjoyed the show. There are very few intelligent, insightful comments allowed here! (Actual actors from the show are excepted — we’ve got Muse Watson, now let’s get one from Sarah Wayne Callies, or as I like to think of her, “Hot Doctor”.)

    In the future, you should use “Grube”‘s comment above as a template. Start with getting the name of the show wrong, and you’re halfway there!

  • http://tomthedog.blogspot.com/ Tom the Dog

    I see The Theory also did not get the memo.

    Thanks for making an actual valid point.

  • Paul

    All I can say about this show is that I’m glad so many people are responding well to a show that isn’t a reality show.

    Personally, I can find better ways to spend my time. And since a review is technically about opinions, the people who posted before should respect the reviewer’s. He didn’t make frivolous insults or unfounded claims, he gave his opinion, which is what you asked for by coming to this website.

    It’s funny that so many people get so defensive about a show they like seemingly only because it has moving pictures and an attractive lead actor. How many 15 year old girls just posted comments?

  • http://....Blah..... Casandra

    I found this entire thing very funny. first of all. all the insults to the poor guy who wrote the review. And then there is the review in it’s self. All of which cracked me up like an egg. And the comment about the fifteen year old girls. Priceless all of it. Though I disagree with Tom The Dog. I think everyone whom actually made a point (didn’t just say, you suck cause you don’t like the show) made farley valid points. But in the end, I’m a die hard fan of prison break. And to all of you whom have never heard of a limited series, I feel very sorry for you

  • Mark

    I can’t understand how American TV viewers can settle for such dribble. “Prison Break” is nothing more than a toned down rewrite of “OZ” with an impossibly ridiculous plot. At least OZ had sex and violence!

  • Jack

    I’m getting into prison break and the suspense is freakin’ killing me. However, rather than it being a rip-off of OZ, has anyone see the Shawshank Redemption???

    The framed murder, the lucky break being able to work with the warden, the intelligent main character, the dropping of the stones/dirt in the quadrangle, the need for smugglers (i guess that’s in all prison movies/shows) and the completely formulated, improbable escape. The only real difference, is the extra characters and plotlines.

  • Ms_LA

    I don’t care if PRISON BREAK is the same as OZ. I still love the show. It depends on who the actor was and how they portray the character. Definetely, Wentworth Miller is very good actor and as Michael SCOFIELD. And everyone entitled on their own opinion. If you don’t like PRISON BREAK fine but don’t Criticize the actor or the Show, First of all, they’ll not be on the show if they’re not good and last,Are you an actor or shall I say a writer. CAN YOU ACT???? Can you write a good STORY???? It’s like SIMON COWELL of American IDOL, love to criticized the contestant, but when PAULA ABDUL told him to sing on stage. HE refuse to sing, because He can’t sing. I believe that there’s a lot of people LOVE PRISON BREAK. That’s the bottom line.

  • Pete

    Prison break is awesome! Up there with 24 + lost. Does any one know how many episodes long it is?

  • J.S. Longwell

    Prison Break sucks. Arrested Development is one million times better and FOX will regret it’s recent decision.

  • bone jangles

    prisonbreak is the dumbest show on mondays!

    its just so boring and unrealistic-everyone on this show is so fucking assugly-except for marshall allman but im sick of him alreadly-like the episode where he was tied to that chair and the stupid killer-instead of killing him he lets him go-man how stupid can you get?

    fox should take this show off-it would do the world a favor-and im sick of hearing how hott wentworth miller is-hes a piece of shit-hes so fucking ugly-a dead body thats been rotting for nine years would be better looking!

    I heard that the producer of this pisspoor show killed himself on drugs-cant blame him-if I was producer of this lame show id off myself too!

    just proves that everyone involved in this show is an idiot-and everyone is too serious too!

    watch csi instead-at least its realistic-and they do research for episodes too-unlike the writers of boringbreak who are high on dope.

  • nick

    if that was the last episode, kill me now.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Prison Break returns in March. There are 12 hours left until the execution. How will the prisoners break out now?

  • nEns .

    I agree with the article.. At first I kinda liked the plot, but now I’m getting bored, they add all these new facts/elements, one after the other .. I mean: where is this going to end ? It reminds me of Alias and Lost..nice story in the beginning, but too quickly lost interest because the story isn’t going anywhere..I don’t need no fixed endings, but I like a consistent story..I have been asking myself already a long time how it comes there is no author (and hence very few shows)that can write a decent, intellectually challenging story, and then starts to film it, in stead of authors that have a concept, and then have to fabricate an episode to match last weeks one.. Even more, I don’t get it why there are so many people that do not see the flaws in Prison Break, it irritates me even when I’m not paying attention..Don’t think about what happens if I do..But anyway.. Keep on trying :-)

  • Batkehla

    wtf, this guy is a maniac i mean prison break has a good plot unlike this low life. He is gay SERIOUSLY who dosn’t like prison break?

  • god

    you are all weasels.

  • Daggwoodz

    How many episodes are there, anyone know ive just watch 22 last week and dont tell me its just 22 cause that just cant be right.

  • Leroy Jenkins

    Prison Break has got to be the worst show I’ve seen on TV recently. It’s badly written, it relies on dodgy logic, and the direction is mind-numbingly obvious.

    I agree with the Arrested Development call. That was a witty, funny, intelligent show.

  • http://www.prisonbreakscene.com PrisonBreakScene

    Whoo the season has finally started!

  • John

    I started watching prison break when all my friends started talking about this hot show.
    I could only go upto episode 15 of the first season. I got so bored of the whole thing, i just couldnt’ watch anything after that.

    It is damn frustrating to see same cheap plots shown over and over. The whole story is based on absurditities combined with extreme conicidence which happens in the nick of time.

    Seriously guys, that stupid hole they digg, how many episodes are based on that stupid hole? One too many ! And you know for sure they are never gonnna get busted doing that, despite the fact that most of the plots are based on this creepy hole!

    After watching the first 15 episodes I can concretely make up the following two assumptions about the whole series:

    1- Linc will never be executed.
    2- Scorfield and his co’s will never be busted, no matter what happens.

    Now thats waht I call great “SUSPENSE”!!!!!!

    To be fair, despite all this it does come interesting at times, mostly because of the acting and the different types of characters involved in the drama.

    But overall, based on what i’ve seen i would say this is a poorly written drama series.

  • http://www.boeys.net LOST RULES

    LOST RULES prison break is too cliché

  • BQ

    Just watched the entire season one in a single day. What a horrible decision. Maybe this show was better in small doses; but watching the entire season was just situational suspense with an extreme weak. Nothing that started every closed. Alas the starting premise was interesting but never went anyway. Too many coincidences and quickly wrapped loose end. I wish I had read this review before I gave up on day of my life.

    BQ44

  • KANDY

    I FIGURE PRISON BREAK HAS NEW CHARACTERS….THATS INTERESTING AND THE PLOT ALSO STARTS OF IN A VERY CAPTIVATING WAY. THE STORY IS NOT TOO CLICHE’….OK JUS A LITTLE BIT BUT I THINK ITS NEW AND I WAS ABIT TIRED OF 24!!!SO LETS GIVE IT A CHANCE AND SEE WHAT COMES OUT OF IT. THE GUYS ARE KINDA CUTE TOO ….

  • dillinger

    This show is so stupid that makes me feel sad
    about the number of people watching and _enjoying_ it. What a pathetic state of affairs that modern society has become.

    I watched half the episodes of the first season just for comedic value, laughing at all the plot holes and stupid lines. We were having a competition about predicting what characters would say next and we did pretty good…

    The whole story and characterization is so pathetic and stupid that it actually becomes funny. How come Michael finds himself in a cell with a nice and peaceful cellmate ? Why do the other newcomers get Big Bubba as their cellmate ?
    What would Michael do if _he_ was in a cell with Bubba ? Shove razors up his ass ???

    Why doesn’t the secret service guy rape Sarah before he attempts to kill her since he obviously likes her and she is a fine piece of ass ?

    Why are the idiot escape convicts running around
    in daylight with this kind of heat on them ?
    Why don’t they hole up somewhere and wait till things calm down ? They keep getting recognised
    everywhere they go.. Is everyone in this goddamn show fucking retarded ??!?!?

    Few things in this show make sense..

  • emz

    those who thinks that prison break is not a good tv show is right – it is actually a GREAT show!

    Probably one of the best show I have ever seen!!

  • jk

    I LOVE PRISON BREAK ITS SUCH A COOL SHOW! WENTWORTH MILLER IS SOOOOOO HOTT! HE IS THE PERFECT ACTOR TO PLAY HIS CHARACTER

  • j-leen

    Prison Break is an amazing film

  • http://@joeleen.com.au/yahoo j-leen

    mauri, from Kiribati.

    “Prison Break” is the best film I have ever watched. My family and I can’t wait to see the next episode (season 3). All the best to the crew of prison break espesially Mr Miller, who is very amazing in his role.

    Tia boo ao Tekeraoi (means Goodbye & All the best)

  • John

    Prison Break is the best show of today. If you have a brain to figure out what is going on it isnt that bad but if you can be bother focusing and would rather watch bob the builder, then it isnt for you. And if you think about it, season 2 would actually work well, breaking out was just the beginning. Plus linc abd scofiled ar brothers mot half brothers. Maybe if you watched the show, you might now.

  • Rahul

    This guy’s talkin like the worst show in the world LOST is actually more probable to happen than prison break!! gimme a break!!