Sunnyskywalker (sunnyskywalker) wrote,

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What am I even watching

For some unfathomable reason, I started watching Alphas. I... well, I think I keep watching because there are things I like about the concept and I keep hoping the show will live up to what it could be.

But wow, there's characters who flirt with the dark side, and there's HOLY SHIT TERRIFYING WHY IS THIS PERSON ON THE TEAM AND WHY ISN'T EVERYONE TERRIFIED.

Nina walks around mind-controlling people whenever she feels like it. She's introduced in the very first episode forcing a cop to eat the ticket he just wrote her. While driving a car she "borrowed." Which she does frequently. She lives in a penthouse rent-free. Did I mention that she gives everyone she "pushes" microseizures? And it doesn't last very long? So, like, whoever owns that penthouse is having little seizures every single time they remember they ought to be charging her rent? (I almost hope she screwed someone out of millions and got the deed instead, for their safety.) And this is after she's supposedly reformed. At the beginning of the second season, after she's backslid, she takes a Van Gogh from... somewhere... and forces a cute guy to skip work to kiss her. If the team hadn't showed up to take her away, it's pretty clear she would have raped the guy. As she probably has others in the past.

It would be one thing if she were positioned as a terrifying villain the team doesn't recognize to their own peril, but she's positioned as a troubled but kind of fun and redeemable character who sometimes makes good points about how their government employers are actually pretty terrifying too and that it's messed up how they spend most of their time hunting down Alphas and throwing them into a secret facility. Which, yeah, it is, but... gah.

And don't even get me started on Dr. Rosen, Cult Leader. He has a lovable streak of hubris and makes mistakes, but he's really helped some people! Some of whom are so utterly devoted to him that they literally trust no one else in the world! And they now risk their lives to hunt down other Alphas despite some of them being untrained civilians whose mental health might be severely compromised by the job! No worries, he's not just their boss but their therapist too, which is definitely not a conflict of interest! And he believes in them. Just like he used to believe in a bunch of other people he later sent to the terrifying secret facility and never checked back to see whether they were being experimented on or anything. I'm sure no one on the team worries about "disappointing" him by appearing "too dangerous" and waking up in a cell... Oh wait they totally do.

I think the show is trying to sell this as a dramatic conflict, whether the main characters might be selling out a little too much to fascists, but it doesn't work when they keep hitting the reset button so they can get back to interpersonal drama and jokes about signing baseball cards and stuff. The conflict keeps fizzling, so I can't really feel like the show expects me to care. It's like, "Hey, our bosses are evi--ooh, a new case! Let's do some sleuthing and forensics and maybe shoot stuff!"

Though if I keep watching Season 2 and the less-scary characters break free and start running an Alpha safe house or something, and recognize Nina and Dr. Rosen as antagonists, (almost) all will be forgiven.
Tags: sf/f, tv

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