Posted by : Wendy B Wednesday, 24 August 2011

That's the conclusion I have just come to, catching up on my DVR collection. The easy path is to compare Alphas to Heroes or any of the many other normal-people-with-powers shows out there, but like so many reviews that lazily rely on comparisons, this is unfair.

The premise is simple: Alphas are people with special powers. The team, working as "DCIS," sort of works with the government to help Alphas and fight the bad Alphas that run with Red Flag. Unlike Heroes or No Ordinary Family, the Alphas who form the DCIS team are well established in their powers, save for Dr. Rosen, the team leader, who is a non-Alpha psychiatrist with a good heart. There is no need for awkward power moments or "OMG look what I can do!"

Aside from the obvious Red Flag versus DCIS issue, Dr. Rosen's good heart makes for drama with the government types who want to secure Alphas they deem dangerous and/or useful. Meanwhile, Red Flag has been revealed to be more than just The Bad GuysTM, with one of their hits being against drugs meant to prevent the birth of further Alphas.

There is nothing flashy about the show. I don't think there are any special effects (well there are some, and they are a bit cheesy, but we can forgive that). The actors are very people-off-the-street with very human feelings and flaws. Gary was an immediate favourite, though I still sometimes call him Mr. Nigel Murray. Rachel has become rather endearing too, and ... well as each one's personal life and issues come to play, they become even more real, more normal and thus far, more likable.

The plots for each episode are self contained and follow a fairly standard process that offers a reasonable amount of predictability, but they move cleanly and quickly, with each character pulling their weight.

I have a special fondness because it is filmed in and around Toronto (that bowling alley in the first episode is near my old office!).

I've added a few shows to the DVR list this summer, including Falling Skies and Torchwood: Miracle Day. Both of those have been dropped from the list, but Alphas remains strong.

WHAT IS THIS?

This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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