Pin It
Favorite

Remote Possibilites 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & Prison Break


Fox, Mondays, 8 pm





& lt;span class= "dropcap " & B & lt;/span & roadly speaking, there are two kinds of TV dramas. There are shows with plots and shows with a Plot. The former usually revolves around characters going about their lives. Things happen to them. Some of those things lead to other things, which develop across several episodes. But generally, characterization develops.





Shows with a Plot, however, revolve around a Big Event -- a plane crashes somewhere in the South Pacific, for example. Prison Break, the Fox drama that turns 3 in mid-September, has its event -- its whole story arc -- built right into its name.





One of the big problems (for network executives) with shows like Prison Break, is that the story has a natural, definite endpoint. The survivors get rescued, the prisoners get free -- that kind of thing. High ratings, though, often make people antsy to forestall the inevitable. The dilemma, then, is whether to give rabid fans what they want or to respect the art, respect sanity, and end the show where it should be ended. You can always get rich off the DVD sales later on.





In the case of the ridiculously-popular-for-a-summer-series Prison Break, Fox execs have decided to give us more.





The first two seasons of Prison Break fell easily within the scope of the series' premise. Michael Scofield got himself sent to prison to break out his brother, Lincoln Burrows. They succeed with the help of a ragtag group of sociopaths with hearts of gold. Season Two follows the brother's attempts to flee the country and their fellow escapees' attempts to get redemption, money or love, etc.





While hardly brilliant, there was a certain clumsy grace to the impenetrableness of the prison fortress and the showy, absurd lengths Scofield and Burrows had to go to get out and stay out.





Almost as soon as the show proved popular, though, the writers began expanding on a conspiracy thread that took a show already bordering on the absurd and plunged it, well, most recently, into a Panamanian Gulag.





With the Panama nonsense and all conspiracy signs pointing directly to the female (gasp) President (gasp again) of the United States, Prison Break's third season officially has more in common with Lost than Oz. Set to outstrip its natural conclusion, the show can just wind out its days chasing down conspiracies. If ratings are still high? Well, they can always discover new ones. That's the nice thing about conspiracies.





TiVo-Worthy


The Late Show With David Letterman


I seriously thought I'd never suggest watching this again. Letterman started phoning it in when he hit CBS and never hung up. Here, though, in the space of four days, my former favorite late-night host (in, like, sixth grade, when I discovered sarcasm) books Hillary Clinton, then Bill. Jay Leno is kicking himself for that decade of Monica Lewinsky jokes. (CBS, Friday and Tuesday, 11:30 pm)





Californication


Some 15 years after he began narrating and starring in Showtime's Red Shoe Diaries -- with a little show called The X-Files in between -- Showtime finally returns the favor, giving David Duchovny a series of his own. The plot? Same as every other dramedy on TV: powerful/famous/smart people have screwed-up lives, just like the rest of us. Duchovny, for the record, plays a novelist. (Showtime, Mondays, 10:30 pm)





The Power of 10


Here's a quiz show that doesn't actually require you to know anything. Drew Carey hosts an hour-long 1 vs. 100 look-alike wherein contestants try to guess the answers to inane questions such as "What percentage of women consider themselves feminists?" (CBS, Tuesdays, 8 pm)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Starting Small
  • Starting Small

    A village of tiny houses in Spokane Valley could serve as a model for fighting homelessness in the region
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Art on the Street

Art on the Street @ Spokane Art School

Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Continues through Aug. 27

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Luke Baumgarten

  • Chasing Whales
  • Chasing Whales

    Let's focus less on courting big companies and focus more on nurturing big ideas
    • Feb 5, 2015
  • Completely Repellent
  • Completely Repellent

    How can we expect people to find constructive uses for space that wasn't built for them?
    • Dec 30, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

green zone


marijuana


Briefs


election 2016


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • The Price of Progress
  • The Price of Progress

    Why the Spokane Tribe says it's still owed for Grand Coulee Dam
    • Apr 1, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation