TV Review: SyFy’s Alphas
I wanted to like Alphas, really I did. Sure, I am still seriously upset with SyFy over Stargate: Universe’s cancellation, but I still love them for Warehouse 13. The hour started off promising with the ever charming David Strathairn shirtless in the pool and Callum Keith Rennie as a mysterious agent with a bit of an attitude problem. There were some really interesting ideas being explored with the Alphas. They are a) normal people with amped up traits b) have weaknesses c) are played by some attractive people. I especially enjoyed Rachel’s character who has the ability to magnify one of her senses, but only at the expense of the others. While focusing all of her energy on a visual sweep of a suspect’s apartment, for example, she loses her hearing and cannot hear a cell phone alerting her to danger. Bill can become incredibly strong using adrenaline, but he has a temper and his body is shaken after each episode. In the show’s coolest visual, Gary can see all electronic signals and can “watch” TV in his own mind and flips the channels like an 8-year old hyped up on chocolate.
Two episodes in, I realized that I was kind of hating the show. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why, but I think it’s a mix of unlikeable characters without any real chemistry, somewhat cheesy dialogue and something about the tone that just rubs me the wrong way. It becomes clear at the end of the second episode that the show also lacks originality. All I could think about was that this was a lesser version of The 4400, not helped by the fact that Mahershalalhashbaz Ali makes an appearance. I’ve deleted this series off my DVR, although I certainly won’t judge you if you stick with it. I’ve got high hopes for the new crop of science fiction shows debuting in the coming months and I hope I can find some new shows to love (and mourn for when they inevitably get cancelled). If you can’t wait until then, start watching Warehouse 13 and Falling Skies this summer. They’re both far more compelling and you’ll find yourself rooting for the characters instead of wishing them harm.