"Prison" Breaks My Eyeballs: 3.13
The roomie and I just watched Fox's new show "Prison Break". You can't have missed the ads: a pretty boy goes to prison to help his brother escape. It wasn't an irredeemably bad premise [see the WB's "Just Legal" for that], but this show has some major problems.
I'll quote the roomie for the first problem: "If someone that pretty [Wentworth Miller] went to prison, he'd be, like, gang-raped the entire time." Now, weird homoeroticism aside, that's quite true. Also, how someone who looks like that ended up a 'structural engineer' is a bit of a stretch as well. Plus, did anyone catch the scene in the infirmary where he pretends to have diabetes? The guy resorts to extraordinary measures to free his brother, and he can't manage to NOT grin like the village idiot when his ruse works.
I will give this to Wentworth Miller-- he's not a bad actor. In fact, he gets props since I didn't realize he was British until I looked him up on IMDB. But if the lead actor can handle the part, that's good, right? Well, yeah. But there are tons of other ways to screw up a show. You can write cliche dialogue [check], re-hash old ideas--badly [check], or establish a coterie of one-dimensional supporting characters [check].
But I've pretty much decided what the main problem is. To wit:
Brett Ratner. WORST. DIRECTOR. EVER.
Seriously, Brett, what was up with all that CSI sh*t? By 'CSI sh*t', I mean where the camera 'dives' into whatever important object is nearby to end the scene. You know, as opposed to doing what's known in the business as a 'transition'.
My God, Brett, you are just a horrendous director. There were scenes that just seemed randomly inserted into the story, scenes where I felt like I was supposed to have just figured something out, but didn't. Brett, you don't need to 'establish' that we're at a friggin' prison every twenty seconds. Of course, you may have forgotten in your Vicodin/pot/cocaine haze, but the show's title pretty much reminds us if we forget. And lens-f*cking Wentworth Miller doesn't solve your problems. [seriously, do you want me to admit I'M attracted to him? Because if it means that we'd have gotten less close-ups of him, I totally would]
So, Brett, please, for the love of cinema and all that is holy, stop directing. You've already ruined a mildly-promising show and when X3 hits theatres, you'll have ruined a strong franchise that Ho'wood could really use to stem the tide of box office drain.
Verdict: Overall, Prison Break is a POS. The concept is strong enough to last maybe a season. Hopefully, Fox will pull the plug before that. Don't waste your time on this show-- save it for Veronica Mars. [see below]