Hostages is the new Dylan McDermott show. Yeah there are other actors but I don't care about any of them beyond Dylan. I guess I really really loved "The Practice". After two episodes I lost patience with the show. So I decided to wait until the season was over and marathon it like an entitled internet nerd. The show got better and worse. The only reason I can't say it got more bad than good is because it didn't start off that great.
The plot of the show is simple enough. For unknown reasons this crew hijacks a doctor's family. Said Doctor is in prep to do surgery on the American President (I'm not sure the American people would elect a president who needed surgery in the first place but that's perfectly reasonable suspension of belief). The crew wants the president to die and is using the family as leverage.
This is the scene that's set and then we wind up all the dolls and watch them go. As a premise it's not terrible. There's room for that to be an interesting show. It's just that watching it. I wasn't entranced. I felt nothing for anyone.
As a season there are three things that stand out as problematic for me. This will be getting into spoiler territory now.
First of all there was the insanely sudden shift in moods around episode 6. This family was functionally trapped and then suddenly around episode 6 they come down with a case of Stockholm Syndrom. Suddenly they've given up and everyone "just wants to cooperate". There's a whole attempt at dichotomy where the father is suddenly the only one who want to fight even though he was the first person on board with being meek at the start of the series in a weak attempt to keep his affair a secret from his family. Maybe it wasn't an issue to people who watched the show live but watching everything in a blitz it was rather jarring. There was no gradient between fighting and giving in.
The next issue I had was again character based. The crew develops a romantic entanglement. As a plot line it's perfectly reasonable. The problem here was the execution. When Dude Crewman falls for Dudette Crewman I buy it because he's the softy who obviously isn't a mercenary. When she falls for him however I assumed it was a joke like when Family Guy killed of Brian the Dog. It was just so out of nowhere and completely not in keeping with tone of the character that I just immediately assumed she was just stringing him along for some alternative motive we would later discover. But just like with Brian the Dog after a few episodes of the change not being reverted I realized we were expected to believe this tough-chick fell in love on the job (twice as we later learn that an 'office' romance is how she got her first child)
*redacted* you and your cliff hanger endings. They're stupid. They're stupid. They're stupid. Hostages like many shows before it (Prison Break, The Nine, Under the Dome, The Event, Flash Forward, The Killing) wears it's timeline in it's title. This is always always a terrible idea in American television because American television doesn't understand the concept of overstaying it's welcome. Every show would drag out for 6 seasons if they had the ratings no matter the plot line.
If we look at Prison Break for instance that was a two season show. Season 1: Prison Break, Season 2: The Escape. There's literally no story beyond this. So what happened? Season 3 = Prison Break again only this time without all the heavily thought out planning of the previous two seasons. Let's talk about "Flash Forward" whose plot line was everyone saw their future selves in 8 months or so. At the end of the season they caught up with that time period. Where do you go from there? The plot is over. At this point the title of the show is redundant and silly. So naturally the only solution is to have another Flash Forward which was even more idiotic.
Hostages first of all suffers from that same premise expiration problems. At the end of the seasons there are no more hostages. Based on how they ended the show there's room for another story where for instance now the police/FBI/SS are investigating the incident to find out what really went on. There's maybe ONE season of that. My problem here isn't so much with expanding the story into one more season. It's the cliff hanger ending. Rather than closing everything up. Hostages chooses to end on JUST enough of a rising note to be a cliff hanger. It didn't need to be. They could have just ended the series with a note of finality. All the plot lines are pretty much resolved. Dylan McDermott turns himself in knowing his wife will take treatment. The President is revealed. Romance is culminated. The Hostage are united (with Dog). It's a perfectly fine ending. Just end it. He goes to jail he's sitting in bars satisfied that he's done what he needed. Next season pick up behind bars and show what's going on.
Ending the series with Dylan McDermott walking into the police precinct isn't enough of a closer. It's... well it's a cliff. It's barely a cliff instead of barely not being a cliff and that frustrates me.
Also I think I find Toni Collette annoying to look at. I just couldn't stop looking at her jawline. And not in an attractive way. In a "why is she still here" way.
This isn't really supposed to be a review so much as a jumping off point for discussion but on the off chance someone is sitting there wondering what my rating it. I would give it
As much as I complained about those previous series not having staying power enough for 3-4 or 5 seasons. For that first season they were all thrilling. Flash Forward was a stupid idea for a TV show because there's no season 2 story but that Season 1 story was compelling. Prison Break is some of the finest televison produced season 1. Season 1 of The Killing was an emotional rollercoaster I never wanted to watch because it was so overwhelmingly emotional and yet anytime I did I never wanted it to end. Hostages didn't have that. Not even with Dylan McDermott on it's side. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't doing anything that demanded my excitement.