Alphas - Anybody watching this?

It’s on Syfy on Mondays.

When I first noticed it, I was pretty sure it was going to be a crappy Heroes knockoff. I’m thinking that it was pitched to the network execs that way, at least. But a slightly interesting preview and a woefully empty DVR list prompted me to give it a shot.

So far it has exceeded my expectations. There’s some decent writing, well beyond what I’d expect for this type of show, and at least a couple of characters that I find interesting. Some of the characters are weak, IMO, but none of the actors are atrocious, and so I have hope that the writers will provide some character development worth watching. The long story arc so far seems to be completely unoriginal, but the individual episode plots have a freshness to them.

This week’s episode had a strong 28 Days Later feel (at least in the scenes for which that would apply). I was impressed by the savage intensity. Last week’s episode will probably turn out to be one of my favorites of the series - it hit a lot of notes for me. I especially liked the chess scene.

A lot of the point of the show hinges on abnormal psychology (the leader of the team is a psychologist, one of the characters fits somewhere on the autism spectrum, etc.). Most shows that have attempted this fail miserably, but I think fellow armchair psychologists would enjoy the way it’s being handled in this series, if they can keep it up.

And it looks like Summer Glau makes an appearance in an upcoming episode, so, there’s that.

Anyone else?

Its style reminds me of a slightly more exciting Rubicon. That’s a good thing, I liked Rubicon.

Yes! I was trying to think of a show that was similar, and you hit it. I miss Rubicon.

I read it as a superior X-Men knock-off: good mutants working with a frightened government vs. bad mutants who are probably correct in their assessment of their situation.

So far, so good.

Yeah, it reminds me of X-Men, too. I put it on the DVR schedule because it has Mr. Nigel-Murray from Bones. So far, I’m still debating if it will survive on my record list.

The second episode (the one with the chess pieces) reminded me a lot of the *Final Destination *movies. That was a definite good one.

This was what I was thinking as well, except it’s all the third-string mutants, with powers like mild super-strength, pheromone control, short-term hypnosis, and hyper-senses. No one who can shoot energy beams, fly, or juggle tanks. (Though I have no doubt that eventually they’ll get around to a big bad with really extraordinary abilities.)

I’m enjoying it.

This is why i like it. There is no “master of all space and time” there is no “i automatically get every single super power” there is no “i am immortal so there is absolutely no danger” characters. They have super powers within the realm of possibility, and with drawbacks. Super senses girl loses use of her other senses when she is using one, strong guy damn nearly had a stroke when he used his strength for a short fight, the guy with perfect hand eye coordination can’t do it all the time, i still don’t know what the drawback is for mind control girl but she is so hot i can forgive her. I was surprised at how good this show was.

In a sense, it is just a twist on the CSI/NCIS formula. They do with their talents what normal crime fighters do with technology: Mr. Nigel-Murry is just doing what McGee would have done with a computer, the Super Sense girl is doing what Abbey would have done in her lab, the persuasive chick is doing what DiNozzo would have done with some smooth talking, etc…

I’m digging it too. I’m hoping that they run into a few ‘good’ alphas who are adjusted to society and have jobs. (But don’t join the team on a regular basis)
I also like that the powers are not super powers. And that they come with limits. Agility guy loses control when he thinks too hard about it. Mind control girl might’ve gotten her limits under control with her “Dark Past” that they’ve hinted at.

I’m also liking the upcoming plot line with the FBI v the Alphas. Much better than a big bad out there. I hope it gets an audience.

I wish that one leader guy had kept his beard between the pilot and the next ep.

I could live without ever seeing him in a speedo again, though.

Me too, if that was unclear from my post.

I’m digging it. It’s nothing mind blowing but it’s fun. I’m happy they started with everyone already together as a group. Origin stories are fine in movies, but they’re ridiculously slow when it comes to TV shows. If this show was Heroes, they wouldn’t be forming the “Alpha” group until Season 2.

So, it’s being cancelled then?

He looks downright weird without the beard. I had to look him up on IMDB because I thought they just replaced him after the pilot.

I watched the pilot and it didn’t change my mind that it looked like crap.

Hence, I fully expect it to be a smashing success.

I had the same concerns, but was pleasantly surprised. I like the premise, which is “exaggerated biology” rather than outright fantasy/supernatural superpowers. I also like the mundanity of their personal problems - child custody, parental meddling, autism. And that the professor is initially naive about the compound.

The pilot was sufficient as a pilot, setting up the premise characters and mytharc. The second episode was fascinating, probably one of the better second episodes of any series. The third was a mix of MOTW and mytharc.

So far, so good. I look forward to more of this series, despite the original expectation of same old.

One of the ideas that they’ve touched on that I like is the whole idea that “being a superhero is boring.” It’s a lot of sitting around waiting for something to happen. Super-sense girl and digital boy can do research, but there’s not much for someone with super-strength or super, uh, aiming, to do.

I’m in, for now. I like that it’s a bit dark, and David Strathairn is always excellent.

I like Callum Keith Rennie, but I’m also glad that “Agent Sullivan” will be replacing him. I really liked Valerie Cruz on The Dresden Files.

I realize Asperger’s is sexy with TV writers now, but I’d be fine if Rain Boy was written out.

I tried it. I wanted to like it. But I didn’t even finish the pilot. The characters fell into two parts: dull or annoying (well three, because some of them were both.)

Yep, he’s my problem with this show. Overall I really like it so far, but that damn kid is so annoying that if I was a team member I’d either quit, or pound him. I feel guilty because I know he can’t help being how he is but that doesn’t stop me from disliking him.

I don’t feel guilty at all, in large part because his powers make no sense. Even if he could perceive all wavelengths of EM radiation, how does he resolve digitally-encoded (let alone encrypted) communications signals? And those apparently useless hand motions are, I figure, a rip-off of the user interface from Minority Report, among other sources.

I’d figure someone who actually had those powers might be able to tell that electronic communication was occurring but would have no way of translating the signal into something useful. Also, he should be able to walk around effortlessly in the dark, able to perceive infrared, or hold a box up to the sun and see the X-rays shooting through it, thus able to see the contents.

Thing is, if the character has Asperger’s, logically he will never get any better, thus if his verbal tics and obsessive-compulsive behaviour are irritating after just three episodes, look forward to getting the exact same for the next fifty-three episodes, if the show lasts that long. At least Abed (from Community) can show flashes of normality.