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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The two first series are great, the third one is not too bad
(fortunately, Melissa George was here), but then it got really bad.
When plots got completely messy, zombies appeared and boring characters
were introduced, this show became SO rubbish !
The only reason I was keeping on watching was to finally understand the mystery around Rambaldi. But in the end, we'll never know because it's not explained. Not to mention that characters were totally lost in the ending (Irina wanting to destroy Washington and London to have power ??? Are you kidding me ???). It's really disappointing and lots of fans are angry about that.
Watching Alias is a waste of time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was quite amused by the first series of Alias and am now ploughing
through series 4, having seen the quality drop remorselessly since the
opening. Excess can be amusing in moderation but not episode after
episode after ... I was interested to see what happened with Rambaldi
but I think I realise now nothing ever will; we will just continue
going round in circles since any form of conclusion will kill any form
of suspense however minute. I now watch it looking to see how many
times they use the word protocol (loved the inferno protocol - hard to
top that for over-thetopness) and to see if the actors will surprise me
with a new expression beyond their stock-in-trade bemusement (Vaughan),
bewilderment (Jack Bristow) etc. Hard to blame the actors when the
script is so inane and one-dimensional. It reminds me constantly of the
parody-line in Notting Hill "inform the pentagon we need black star
cover". The whole script is full of this line over and over. And for a
bunch of supposedly mentally toughened CIA agents they do fall apart
when family comes up. It is clear if Sydney (or anyone else for that
matter) were to find out her mother had been hurt she would either
break down in tears (to a suitable song of course) or raze the whole of
the USA to find the antidote. I also carry in my mind a (slight
mis-)quote from the end of episode one which I am still waiting for
Jack Bristow to say; it sort of sums up the experience so far in this
show where nothing is as it seems yet everything is totally predictable
- "Sydney, I'm not your father, I'm your mother".
Well, I think I shall be leaving the show after series 4. It was amusing in the beginning but enough is enough. If it had ended after series 1 with a good resolution of Rambaldi I would have given it an above-average mark. Unfortunately episodes 3 & 4 dragged it down.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having watched all five seasons, the only reason i did that was because
i watched season 4 & 5 first so i had to watch the first three for
closure. All i can say is that i was really impressed with season 4 & 5
i think they were really well made however the preceding seasons were
ill conceived and patronising to anyone with real sense. This was
starting to look more and more like a Steven Seagal flick (only worse
this is a series) all the baddies are so generic they are either
waiting to have their asses kicked or get hypnotized into giving up
intel by Jennifer garner garner's hot body i can't say i am really
surprised since the creator is none other than J.J Abrams THE SAME MAN
RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST which like alias had a lot of potential but like
its predecessor is bricking itself in by trying to overstretch a
concept. Any way back to Alias the thing i find most frustrating are 1)
Arvin Sloane's implied sense of evil, honestly for a man who is
supposed to be so evil i expected gut wrenching evidence of his
villainy without this evidence i find it hard to detest this man, in
fact i find myself drawn to him and in most cases rooting for him to do
something to cement his credibility all ending in disappointment.
2) Sydney bristow - if agent Bristow is really the bleeding hard she is portrayed as why doesn't she have the heart to give Sloane a second chance in spite of his transgressions(the mind boggles). The condescending forwardness with which Sydney conducts herself is a miscalculated attempt to portray her an independent strong woman which backfires because we are all aware that such conduct wouldn't fly with any credible organisation let alone a government agency like the CIA , please,
3)Agent Vaughn's wooden acting, no doubt Vaughn is a cute guy but his face seems incapable of rendering an emotionally rooted performance
In conclusion i feel obliged to recommend to anyone who's planning on catching this show on DVD or tivo DON'T or you CAN'T but if you insist let someone who's watched season season 1 - 3 tell you what happens then watch season 4 & 5
From the very first episode to the series' final moment, 'Alias' never failed to keep me on the edge of my seat. Dramatic, funny, thrilling, action-packed and smart, it brings you through so many twists and turns that you may have to come up for air once in a while, but will undoubtedly find yourself diving in for more. Three years after its conclusion 'Alias' still remains my favorite show, thanks to a stellar cast, gripping score, intelligent writers and great production values; with the lovely Jennifer Garner being the glue that holds it all together, and of course, the brainchild behind it all, J.J. Abrams. Part James Bond, part Indiana Jones, Garner's Sydney Bristow is a hero for the ages. 'Alias' is at once epic, heart-warming, exciting, and ultimately unforgettable; a true gem in the history of serialized television.
I simply cannot understand anyone who slates this show, unless perhaps
they simply were not intelligent enough to follow it's superbly complex
and intricate story. The immaculate acting of both Victor Garber and
Ron Rifkin alone should be enough for anyone, but the incredible plot
twists and threads, superb character development and, dare I mention
it, exciting action sequences too, just add to this outstanding show.
Personally, I was hooked from the first episode, but I strongly urge anyone who has either never seen it, or seen a few episodes and dismissed it, to give it a chance. I agree it might be a little frustrating, particularly in the first two seasons, because (much like that other fantastic JJA show, Lost) each episode leads directly into the next and so missing an episode can be confusing, but it really is worth it.
Watching the final episode and understanding just how everything in the past five years has been building up to the conclusion made me realise just how talented the writers were. Although I am glad the show went out on a high (although there never really was a low point), I still mourn the loss of possibly the greatest television show on Earth.
ALIAS is the drama series I could never decide whether to be loved or
hated. Probably one the most entertaining shows I've ever seen on TV,
but also one of the biggest disappointments in my life. Now, how comes
that? Arguably, Alias is a great example on how to ruin a drama show
that started out with such a great potential. Not with a
ground-breakingly original idea (the show obviously resembles La Femme
Fatale Nikita and dozens of similar espionage stories), but with its
interesting characters and slightly unrealistic but rather clever story
lines and plot twists, it DOES manage to get you hooked, after just a
few episodes (provided you get to see the right episodes). It sounds
good so far, so what the hell went wrong?
Well, during its 5-years run, nearly everything. Too bad Alias never managed to become a mainstream show, somehow it always remained kind of underground, a cult show, having said that its ratings never were what network executives expected. Which, despite the initial hype around the show, really was a shame. That was why the network finally decided to tamper with Alias, and the results were somewhat mixed. So it wasn't long before the show started to lose its fanbase, its core audience, and since the show never had sky-high ratings, I consider losing its fanbase... well, the obvious downhill of Alias. For me, it definitely was season four, when ABC had an attempt to introduce Alias to a larger audience, so they had JJ Abrams reboot the show, yet again. Nothing wrong with that... except it went horribly wrong, in my opinion. ABC's idiotic mandates such as avoiding any potentially great long-term plot or mystery (including Rambaldi) made the show so simplistic, so dumbed down, that you might as well have watched any other drama series involving dumb CIA agents fighting dumb terrorist organizations. Gone are the plot twists, the interesting story lines, even the cliffhangers, Alias had lost nearly all of its elements that kept us watching it week to week, only to introduce awfully uninteresting, clichéd stand-alone episodes and dumb criminals that no-one ever cared about. Only when the fourth season came to an end, it was terribly disappointing too. The writers' attempts to make up for the boredom in the first half of the season were absolutely ridiculous, and I just couldn't believe why the same producers that banned Alias from being intelligent and creative (not to mention the Rambaldi storyline) let the season's (and apparently the Rambaldi storyline's) conclusion turn into something that resembles some low-budget 70's horror flick. Undoubtedly that was when I realised that Alias had turned into something it was never supposed to be, and I was praying that the fifth season would somehow make up for the disappointment of the fourth.
Sadly, it didn't. Banning Rambaldi again for about the half of season five (but at least not being so desperate about the self-contained format as in season 4), the network clearly had no idea about what they were doing and how much harm their tampering would cause to the show. However, it quickly became clear that Alias would be cancelled, so all we could expect that all the story lines and mysteries would finally be resolved. We also hoped that it would go out with a bang - with the same bang it was introduced to us. But every now and then, we were let down. Really let down.
Most of the blame should fall on ABC, for constantly dumbing down Alias and turning it into something it was never supposed to be, and JJ Abrams, who had abandoned the show and moved on to Lost, leaving his own 'child' for the dead (which you might consider a successful move if you are a Lost fan, but otherwise you might as well hate Abrams forever). They should have asked themselves the question: is Alias exactly the same great, intelligent, exciting, suspenseful drama that the audience came to know in its first season? And if there's even a slight possibility that the answer would be 'No'... then clearly, something has gone wrong. Horribly wrong. And it needs fixing. That is what the creators of Alias, along with the network, always failed to do. And this is what led to the ultimate destruction of a once-great TV show. So to answer my initial question: the show is to be loved, and the creators are to be hated for killing it.
(Let's be a little bit rude with the rating. The first 2 seasons were near-perfect, the third was a so-so, the last 2 were utter crap. Golden mean it is, I give Alias 5 stars.)
I loved watching Alias. It was one of the few series where I would
freak out if I missed an episode - it was just that good. Season 1
through 3 were the best seasons though and I think it got rather heavy
after that - ridiculous plot lines and Sloane's crazy obsession with
The cast are terrific - Jennifer Garner's such a terrific actress and she's surrounded by a stellar cast - Victor Garber, Michael Vartan, Ron Rifkin..
It really is a great show - if you don't mind the confusion now and again and just watch it with an open mind, take it for what it is - a really great series!
Although Alias may not be correct in everything it displays, what TV show is? it has everything a good series should have; action, romance, and characters that aren't idiots. Each character delivers something new and different to the screen. The plot is always moving and it's hard to tell where it's going, so when you arrive.. it's a complete surprise! With unending twists and turns, never knowing good characters from bad, the viewer simply falls into the plot and feels like they, instead of Sydney, are the main character. The only thing bad to say about the series is it sometimes takes a bit too much time to get into the plot- especially at the beginning of season 1. but, continue in and you'll find a series worth watching, a series worth buying and collecting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(Lots of spoilers here, so proceed with caution)
I have to admit that my initial motivation for finally sitting down to watch this entire 5-season, 105-episode series was the chance of seeing a hot woman like Jennifer Garner kicking all sorts of a$$ and performing wild stunts while being dressed in colorful wigs and skimpy outfits that reveal her fit body. And while that is, undeniably, part of the show's appeal, "Alias" is much more than that. In fact, my favorite character in the series turned out to be not Sydney Bristow, but the evil (?) mastermind Arvin Sloane: Ron Rifkin's exceptional performance turns this character's journey through the seasons into an almost Shakespearean tragedy about ambition, sin, loss, guilt, redemption, obsession and fate.
Season 1 is the most fun and traditional of "Alias": the emphasis here is on the action, the gadgets, the globe-trotting, and Sydney's efforts to avoid being exposed as a double agent for the CIA. Still, the show does not shy away for the dark sides of espionage (after all, the heroine does lose her fiancé AND some of her teeth in the first episode!), and Jack Bristow's (Sydney's father, also a double agent for the CIA) often morally questionable tactics remind us that this is a world where the lines between good and bad are not always clearly defined. My favorite episode: "Page 47".
Season 2 introduces Sydney's long-considered-dead mother, Irina Derevko (fascinating performance by Lena Olin), which creates further emotional and moral complications for Sydney and Jack, and halfway through it changes the initial premise of the show, taking off in a different direction. Family dynamics, unexpected enemies and intense action make this season arguably the most popular of the show. My favorite episode: "Passage".
Season 3 is my personal favorite, because it is the most Rambaldi-driven, puzzle-like and plot-heavy, because Sloane is at his most ambiguous, and because a twisted, amoral couple (Sark and Lauren) steals the show from the "official" leads, Sydney and Vaughn. Of course, these are the reasons that some people consider this their least favorite season; decide for yourself. The action begins to rely more on guns and less on kickboxing from this point on. My favorite episode: "Conscious" (special guest star: David Cronenberg!).
Season 4 has a frustrating start, because it puts most of season 3's plot lines on hold, and goes off in a series of "stand-alone" episodes that don't even end on the series' trademark cliffhangers. With that said, some of those episodes are enjoyable, the introduction (though technically it was done in season 3) of Sydney's little sister Nadia (the incredibly beautiful Mia Maestro) works well, and the pace does pick up in the second half. Trivia: Jennifer Garner made her directorial debut in this season with "In Dreams", and it's easily one of its best episodes. But my favorite is "The Index".
Season 5 is (or should be) the most controversial, especially for the way it handled the apparent death of a main character. It is also shorter than the others (17 instead of 22 episodes), which makes parts of it, especially near the end, feel rushed. The ultimate Milo Rambaldi secret is finally revealed, but most loyal fans will have already guessed it. Garner was pregnant in real life - and in the show - during the first half of this season, so most of the action was handled by the other characters, including some new arrivals who all have their merits, but not quite the personal connection to Sydney (or Sloane!) that Nadia had. The advantage that season 5 has over season 4 is that it returns to the puzzle-like, one-clue-leads-to-the-next format of seasons 2 & 3, which means very few slow spots. My favorite episode: "The Horizon".
"Alias" has its drawbacks: the main one is that it often requires MASSIVE suspension of disbelief, since nearly every character (not just Sydney) has abilities (physical, intellectual, technical, or all three) that are close to the supernatural. At the same time, "Alias" never - or almost never - forgets the motto: characters come first, action comes second. The action scenes - especially the vehicle chases & crashes - are often movie-level, but it's the dialogue scenes, and the superb acting from everyone in the (regular & guest) cast, that draws you into this world.
At its best, "Alias" is an extremely addictive TV series. At its worst, it's still better than, say, most of the James Bond movies!
Give or take, Garner was 30 years old when Alias hit the big screen and
there was no turning back for her.
Have heard so many different stories about how she was "discovered" in Tinseltown that I do not know which to believe.
What I do know is that, for a period of time, JG was the new "it girl", she could do no wrong, and audiences simply could not get enough of her.
Alias, which ran for 5 years, was simply an OK premise taken to heights of high-camp based solely on the star power of Garner.
She was hot, she could act, she could do stunts, she had great reaction shots, and she made it all seem so easy. Even her film roles in his period are worth a look (which is another section of the IMDb entirely).
Recommended for teenage boys of all ages.
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