The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Alias Overview

The spy that keeps on kicking, Alias. Alias, a show that if must be described in one word would be "twisty". This show has more twists and curves in it than well, um, twisty things? CIA agent Sydney Bristol, Jennifer Garner, must live the life of a spy that she has to hide from the people she loves in order to face the dangers and dangerous assignments she will go on. This all occurs in a giant cloud of mystery about her past and pretty much everything else about her. If there is one thing to know about this show it is, "Trust No One". Well, yea, that's from the X-files, but the same thing can be said but more like "Trust nothing you believe to be true".

This show has a very good writing staff because, well, there are tons of plot twists and still the overall plot is still very strong, and still quite mysterious at that. The show is written in a very distinct manner, every few shows have its own plot line that drives it for a few episodes and this plot line plays into a larger season plot line. So every 3-4 episode has its own little plot line, and the remnants of that plot line linger on for the entire season. This style of writing almost punishes you for even missing a single episode, as I learned from Season 1. Missing a single episode leaves you far behind in vital plot information and keeps you playing catch-up the remainder of the season. Luckily, in these days, the days of Bittorrent and Tivo, you will never have to fear missing a single episode and will never be in the dark again. If you wish to get into this series you will absolutely have to rent/buy the DVD of season 1-4 to catch up, or download them via Bittorrent. Another slower manner of catching up is to catch the reruns now being shown on TNT, or infamously known as the "We know Drama" network, which they really don't.

From there, the gaps between each season are quite large compared to other shows. The gap between Season 2 and Season 3 was a two year period and the gap between Season 3 and Season 4 was a large period of change in character roles, enemies are friends and vice versa. My favorite gap of all is between Season 1 and Season 2 is that between life and death, as someone thought to be dead, throughout Season 1, is found to be alive at the beginning of Season 2. This style of large change in unseen time allows for a rich amount of storylines existing in the seasons in explaining the changes that occurred during the gap. I am going to refrain myself from making too many spoilers on the show, but to say the least, this is one of the few shows I have been waiting for to start up again. Simply put this show once it gets the hooks onto you, you will be dragged by it for good and bad, the only remedy previously would be to miss an episode and you'd be so far back you'd give up, but nowadays being able to catch up via Bittorrent/Tivo makes that cure impossible.

The primary reason I have been waiting so feverishly for the return of Alias was the elephantitis sized cliff hanger they left us on in Season 4. The cliff hanger in an outsiders view may seem whimsical and quite insignificant at best, but to a watcher of the series is quite on the giant side. Just like in previous seasons, a quite large gap of information is created, and unlike the gaps of time, life and death, or the change of character roles, this gap is focused on information. Without being too overt, the information gap is that the previously concrete reasons of actions a character made have become putty, and now the gap is why a character acted the way they did if not for previously thought reasons? Confusing enough? Well, in an example, let's say if I met you by accident and befriended you and we became best friends for many years, but it was later learned that our meeting was no accident and I planned for us to become friends for a specific reason. Would it not put every action that occurred between us be called into question? Now, you've got an understanding on the impact of such a revelation. Like I said, "twisty".

So those of you who wanted to be hooked and dragged by a show for awhile take a ride with Alias. It will be a very worthwhile ride, with a many a turns that are very large. Get a start by downloading Seasons 1-4 through Bittorrent, or rent/buy the DVD seasons.


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