TV Shows »Breakout Kings

on A&E

I’m always open to finding the next dumb TV guilty pleasure, and I am kind of hoping Breakout Kings works out to fill that Bones-like spot. The highly unbelievable concept – of quirky, likable convicts getting temporarily released to catch evil, not so likable convicts who have escaped could be a winning idiotic one.

With a show like this, however, so much of the success has to do with the cast dynamics and Breakout only got some of it right.

To the show’s credit – Herc from The Wire, Brooke Nevin and Malcolm Goodwin are good and their characters could grow to be more compelling, but the show really belongs to the creepy and charming Jimmi Simpson playing the only really interesting character as well as offering much appreciated comic relief.

On the other hand, Laz Alonzo has all the depth of a hunky background guy from a Toni Braxton video (which Alonzo was earlier in his career) and is just boring to watch on screen. If he’s meant to be the straight man to Herc’s loose cannon, he should at least learn a second facial expression besides “stoic scowl”.

Ugh, and then there’s the new lady with the made for Skinemax name, Serinda Swan, who replaced the more charming Philly character who was awkwardly dropped after the pilot episode. She’d do best to let her eyebrows take center stage, as they are the most interesting thing about her, though clearly from the posters of her strutting around in a tight tank, A&E was hoping we’d find her boobs as fascinating. Alas.

It’s only a matter of time before we see if this is a show that flourishes by finding it’s own voice, eccentricities, and character chemistry or if the flounders under generic blandness. I think the odds are stacked against them but at the very least, once it’s cancelled, Simpson will probably have a better time finding a good show to star in. But for whatever reason, I am optimistic that they might pull this one off.

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Posted on March 20, 2011

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