3 items from 2014
Hostages might have made a gripping two-hour film, but it is wearisome over 15 episodes. Spinning out stories for as long as possible does TV viewers no favours
At some point in the genesis of most TV and movie projects, the creators will have to offer a "pitch": the compressed summary of the storyline that developed because of the inability or unwillingness of so many producers to read scripts or source material. This process has artistic advantages – encouraging writers to find the core of their characters or action – but can also be disastrous if it leads to the green-lighting of a series that is more compelling as a pitch than as a commission.
Hostages – which started its UK run on Channel 4 on Saturday night – already has the worrying feel of an idea that sounds brilliant as two lines, but wearisome as 15 episodes. Compare it, for example, with Homeland, a »
- Mark Lawson
Tonight marks the end of Hostages on CBS. Though the "limited series" has not been officially cancelled, the ratings have been so poor that there's just no way that they're going to bring it back for a second season.
On the two final episodes -- titled "Suspicious Minds" and "Endgame" -- Duncan (Dylan McDermott) discovers Sandrine's (Sandrine Holt) betrayal and decides to use her to save Nina (Francie Swift) and Sawyer (Lola Cook). Before Ellen (Toni Collette) operates on President Kincaid (James Naughton), the First Lady (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) confronts her and forces Ellen to tell the truth about the assassination plot.
What do you think? If you've seen the finale, was it a satisfying ending to the series? Do you think they could have realistically made another season -- either with some of the same characters or, with completely new ones? Would you have »
"Hostages" concludes with two back-to-back episodes Monday (Jan. 6), much the way the season has unwound. It requires leaps of faith from viewers as operatives triple-cross each other. Many die, and even those who are supposed to live happily ever after probably won't.
Ah, karma. Carlisle, of course, is the leader of a band of kidnappers who have been holding surgeon Ellen Sanders (Toni Collette) and her family hostage, demanding she kill the president during surgery.
Carlisle wanted in on the plot so he could harvest the president's bone marrow to save his wife, who is dying from leukemia. Nina (Francie Swift) is the daughter the president (James Naughton), fathered when he raped a reporter in 1978.
Carlisle has proven to be a decent man, »
3 items from 2014
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