Considering the fact that science fiction genre is one of my favorites, due to its very wide range of possible ways to portray supernatural things, I must love the SyFy channel to the end of the world and back. But funny enough, I have only encountered two of its original series, Haven and the current star of the post, Alphas. Although the show has all the elements I love (supernatural powers, variety of characters I enjoy and investigative story lines) I’d say I like it rather than love it.
My favorite character by far is Gary, the one featured on the first image – he has the ability to read signals but he also has autism. He’s a bit different and that’s what I like about him, cause he is who he is and that leads him to be the most thought-out character of them all. Gary is portrayed by the lovely Ryan Catwright, who also played one of my favorites in Bones.
The whole show is rather good on so many levels which is no surprise since one of the creators behind Alphas is Zak Penn. Those who don’t know the name should check out his IMDb page, he has pretty known movies under his belt as a writer/story creator – not all good but I will look passed that. So to start off, the things I like about Alphas is the whole idea behind it. I’m a sucker for an awesome story or a new angle to approach the overly done plot of superheros. Needless to say, there are a lot of superheros and heroes out there but Alphas manages to take a refreshed angle on the matter (kind of).
The powers they have are born with them (which is common) but it is explained in a way that human abilities are just enhanced. So nobody actually calls them superheroes but people with abilities beyond a regular person. Still, the powers are quite similar to the ones we have encountered before like manipulation, strength, reading electronic waves etc, but there is a downside – as it is explained in the show, the abilities affect the person in a negative way. Causing physical restraint or emotional weakness they are not always powerful and that makes them more human than heroes in my eyes.
That side of the plot I like, the whole enhancement rather than superheros but what lacks for me, the thing that stops me of loving the show, is the characters. While they do have some elements in them that I like, I still can’t see myself connecting to them on a fangirl level. The way some of the characters are written leaves me a bit worried and I kind of dislike the fact that when a story line is presented it doesn’t continue on as much as I would like. So from that front, it is a little bit messy at times and not the kind of messy you end up loving either, it is tangled to a point where I can’t even care for some of the characters. I feel obligated to say that I don’t think the reason is behind the actors/actresses, I think it is the writing that needs a little bit more attention. That being said, this is just based on the first season, maybe the second, which I’m going to watch either way (cause I’m weird like that), has already some improvements.
Visuals of the show are quite amazing as well, not to make this all about Gary who’s signal reading process looks genuinely cool, some of the small details Rachel sees are also well done. Not to mention the shows intro – god, I love that intro and its song which sadly doesn’t have a full version!
Therefore, the whole story of Alphas is loose and a bit rough around the edges, but that doesn’t mean the individual episodes are bad. On the contrary, I think some episodes, especially the one with the guy who could create the “cause and effect” situations (episode 2) are pretty amazing. It is just the back story and the history of the characters that needs more tiding up because a lot of the times I feel like I’m watching an episode rather that a story being continuously told.
In the end though, adding to the post that looks to be a really critical approach to Alphas, I want to say that I actually like it as a weekend entertainment. There is nothing wrong with it per say, it actually has a very high score on IMDb for a TV-show, it is just that I don’t feel it as much as I want to and what I have noticed is that I’m starting to miss Fringe now. Seriously, off the topic, Fringe’s last season is about to begin and that just makes me so sad! Back on topic, I recommend to try out Alphas, it might be just something up your alley or it might not – either way, it does entertain and especially the second episode, that one is by far my favorite!