Hostages – First Glance

Hostages logo – Copyright CBS

The first big battle of the networks took place last night with The Blacklist versus Hostages. Now initial ratings seem to indicate that The Blacklist won that fight (source). But the trailer for Hostages did have me curious so while our Tivo taped The Blacklist, we recorded Hostages on our good old fashioned VCR.

You can read my full review for The Blacklist here, but one of the issues I had with that show was the pacing. It just seemed to be too fast. Boom, boom, boom, no down time. Well Hostages seemed to have the opposite of that problem.

Dr. Ellen Sandlers, played by Toni Collette, has been chosen to do a simple operation on the president of the United States. It’s an invasive surgery but Dr. Sandlers has no qualms (yet). She goes about her daily routine, we meet her family. Husband Brian, daughter Quinn, and son Mateus. A pretty standard family that has it’s share of secrets. But really, who doesn’t nowadays? Dad’s business doesn’t seem to be doing so hot, Quinn has boyfriend issues, and Mat is, well a stupid boy. Anyways, nothing life threatening.

Meanwhile FBI Special Agent Duncan Carlisle (the good lookin’ Dylan McDermott) is a badass. We see him smooth talking and suave in negotiations with some hostage takers (ironic). He has his own family issues. Wife is sick, young daughter doesn’t understand why, and well Daddy is at a loss.

And suddenly Daddy is taking Dr. Sandlers hostage. We don’t get a lot of explanation as to why or what is going on. Surely there is some sort of reasoning. We get a lot of hints that these hostage takers are not truly bad guys. They’re doing this for “the right reasons.” Whatever those reasons may be.

And that’s about it. That’s about the extent of what happens in the first episode. No joke. The last three minutes throw in a curve ball, but not a huge shocker. Nothing that’ll make you jump out of your seat. So 44 minutes or so later and not much has really happened.

Yes there were some great tension filled moments in the episode. But there are a lot of moments where there is tension, we’re in suspense… and this is taking too long, the fear is leaving. There are just too many moments that drag on way t0o long.

Hostages Episode One – CBS
Overall Score: C+ 40 points

Yes, it seems interesting. Yes, I want to know how Dr. Sandlers is going to save her family. Yes, I want to know why Agent Carlisle is doing this. But if every episode is going to be that slow? I can just read the description on Wikipedia, thanks.

The acting is great. Production wise it looks good. But it was just so drawn out. Give us tension but please, you have to release that tension or the fear goes away! We learned little to nothing in the hour. Sure I have questions but I don’t think those questions are strong enough for me to keep watching for episodes and episodes to come. I’ll give it another shot. We’ll see.

Hostages airs on CBS Monday nights.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below. Also, you can check out my Twitter feed for live mini reviews on movies and television shows.
Have a show/movie I should take a look at? Let me know!


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