Probic Vent Ood For Thought

1Mar/100

Prison Break

More pithy TV stuff from Brown Jnr

To quote the American band Mercury Rev, do you ever get the hopeless feeling that you’re caught, like a fleeting thought, stuck inside Leonard Cohen’s mind?

A couple of weeks ago, an influential team of international scientists determined that we probably are responsible for global warming, and accordingly informed the US government, to whom the thought apparently never occurred. But that’s just American parochialism and self-interest kicking in.

In real life, the human race has known about global warming for decades! We’ve all known about it; it’s scientific fact! So it’s not a new discovery, like the sudden spate of programs and news reports from the BBC about the phenomenon seem to suggest! For the love of God. What next?

A worldwide report suggesting that cigarettes may not be good for you? A global treatise tentatively averring that catching your face on a barbed-wire fence might be painful? Ridiculous!

• Anyway, talking about American parochialism, about a year ago, I wrote a dismissive critique of Prison Break in which I basically accused it of being a ridiculously light-weight, reactionary piece of fluff (albeit fluff infused with cyanide). I concluded that it was a piece of dangerous nonsense that would, no doubt, receive countless awards and a massive fan-base. Recently I wondered if I hadn’t misjudged the show, so I decided to watch it again.

To recap, Michael Schofield deliberately gets himself sent to a top-security prison (which, luckily, he designed) in order to help free his brother, wrongly convicted of attempting to assassinate the vice-president. At the end of the first series, Michael and his brother succeed in escaping, and the second series tracks their attempts to stay ahead of the FBI.

To complicate matters further, there is a shadowy organisation known as ‘the company’ who are trying to track down and eliminate Schofield’s brother.

But really not a lot has changed in Prison Break. The direction’s still in over-the-top paranoid thriller mode. And it’s still, maddeningly, one of the most popular shows in the world. Schofield still looks like he carries an advanced hair-care kit, if not a manicure set, with him wherever he goes.

He still wears quite a lot of make-up, but then again, he surely needs to look his best for when ‘the company’ track him and his brother down, which will undoubtedly form part of the third series of the show.

• Next week I plan to write about ITV1’s Primeval, which sounds suspiciously like a rip-off of Doctor Who and Torchwood (although it probably isn’t – who’d bother ripping-off Torchwood?). Seeing as it’s a new ITV drama, though, it’ll be bollocks, so maybe I just won’t bother. Where’s Doctor Who when you need it?

Noel Brown

Hush child stop addlepating me!

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