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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Prison Break and MTV Awards

August 31, 2005

If prison is anything like it’s portrayed on television, then I’m not sure how Martha Stewart made it out alive.

The first new drama of the fall season, Prison Break, debuted Monday, with the show’s leading man getting sent to the hoosegow. The talented Wentworth Miller plays structural engineer Michael Scofield, who gets himself thrown into the pokey, just so he can break out his innocent brother from death row. Scofield’s brother is scheduled for execution for murdering the vice president’s brother.

Prison Break has all of the mandatory ingredients of a prison drama: corrupt guards, squeamish violence, and racial tensions. Why would anyone want to go to a place like that you ask? Well, family loyalty seems to be the answer in this drama.

Scofield undergoes some serious pain to make the sacrifice to free his brother and clear his name. First, our hero goes under the needle for a little body art - make that a lot of body art. (He has more tattoos on his body than a bar full of bikers.) Of course, the tattoos just happen to be a blueprint of the prison. Handy, for the structural engineer who helped design the place, wouldn’t you say?

The premise of this show is unique, unlike anything I’ve seen on television. It gets points for that. The acting is also terrific. Miller shines, as does Dominic Purcell in the role of his incarcerated brother, Lincoln Burrows.

I give it three stars out of four. It made me want to see what happens next. The show is not a wrap-it-up-in-one-week crime drama. It has a long story arc, assuming it survives long enough for the brothers to bust out of prison.

FOX may be getting the jump on the other networks by premiering this show so early in the season. There could be one minor glitch, though. It’s up against powerhouse Monday Night Football.

For those of you who missed the premiere, catch an encore at 8 p.m. on Thursday on FOX. The show’s permanent time slot is 9 p.m. on Mondays.

MTV Video Music Awards - Did you miss the MTV Video Music Awards? If so, here’s a brief rundown of the highlights:

  • Green Day and Kelly Clarkson received well-deserved awards.
  • Desperate housewife Eva Longoria made a bold fashion statement by presenting an award in a skimpy bathing suit.
  • Gangster rappers threatened one another on stage.
  • Show host Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, is now known as just “Diddy.”
  • And Beavis and Butthead, despite not getting any older or funnier, may be set for a comeback.

Originally published 8/31/05 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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