Friday, July 20, 2012

'Alphas' returns for more "super" fun

When it comes to television, SyFy isn’t exactly known as a quality provider.

Don’t get me wrong, it has had some decent shows through the years.

It’s also had some real duds.

And, if I’m being honest, I lost a lot of respect for the network when they start showing professional wrestling. We all know that’s make believe, but come on.

Anyway, one of SyFy’s better shows returns this Monday when ‘Alphas’ debuts its second season.

What is ‘Alphas’?

The basic premise of ‘Alphas’ revolves around Dr. Lee Rosen (an always reliable David Straithairn) and his merry band of special helpers.

The term Alphas refers to individuals that have a heightened ability or sense of awareness.

Examples include Nina (Laura Mennell), a woman with “interesting” morals that can make individuals do what she wants merely by suggesting it or Bill (Malik Yorba), a guy that can essentially “hulk” out when he gets ramped up.

The most interesting talents belong to Gary (Ryan Cartright), an autistic young man that can not only see but help control television and radio waves and Cameron (Warren Christie), a man that has heightened agility. Essentially, Cameron can “see” the path through a war zone without getting hurt – even if it means jumping off a building onto a skateboard.

As an interesting side note, the weirdest ability goes to Rachel (Azita Ghanazada), a woman that can literally smell what you had for breakfast – a week ago.

The group spends their time tracking down other Alphas – ones that might not be using their abilities in the best possible way.

‘Alphas’ isn’t perfect.

In a weird way, it reminds me of ‘Heroes.’

That being said, the ensemble has good chemistry and Gary offers an innocent comic relief that is engaging and entertaining. His banter with Bill is especially funny.

The first season of ‘Alphas’ was a mixed bag. It had a solid beginning – but then it started to spiral out of control with a big “conspiracy” storyline.

I know a lot of people hate “freak of the week” episodes – for lack of a better term. I think ‘Alphas’ should stick to that format, though, instead of getting into a heavy mythology. I think that’s going to turn more people off than they realize.

For me, the summer programming I usually enjoy is light and not too dense. If ‘Alphas’ goes too dense, I’m going to be prone to dropping it. I just can’t get into anything heavy after the end of the regular network season. Quite frankly, ‘Falling Skies’ is already taxing me.

‘Alphas’ has a lot of potential to help improve the SyFy pedigree. As it stands now, though, the show is perched on a precipice.

Let’s hope these heroes don’t fall.

What do you think? Are you going to tune into ‘Alphas’ on Monday?


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