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Crisis, Season One - Pilot (2014)

Though my television watching is limited to DVD sets (because who has time for commercials?), now and again, I’ll tune in to watch the premiere of a new series, this past weekend that separation happened to fall to NBC’s latest attempt to up their ratings.  

It’s just a normal, bright, beautiful morning in DC that starts as any other for several of the high school students who attend an elite school – including the President’s son (Adam Scott Miller) whose presence guarantees a Secret Service detail follow the school bus carting the kids to their field trip. One of those agents is Marcus Finley (Lance Gross) whose first day on the job is about to get dangerous. Eager to do well, Marcus along with his partner (David Andrews) is willing to take a bullet for his protective only when something goes array and a group of masked kidnappers stop the bus to march the kids onto a trailer, Marcus is shot but before the kidnappers can get away with everyone, he manages to escape with one of the kids – Anton (Joshua Erenberg).  

As the kids of wealthy businessmen or politicians, the parents are immediately clamoring for the attention of the FBI and though she argues against being put on the assignment – because it would be a conflict of interest – Agent Susie Dunn (Rachael Taylor) comes face-to-face with her past when she has to work with her sister, Meg (Gillian Anderson) to insure the safety of her niece, Amber (Halston Sage) and every other child on the bus. The FBI is dedicated to bringing everyone home but to do that, first they have to learn as much as they can about the victims… and their captors.

Shows that write up a plot involving a kidnapping are beyond my understanding of how they can enjoy any kind of long-term success – ABC tried it with Missing and I guess even CBS recently had a series about a group of hostages, and each time it doesn’t last beyond a brief run. Much as Crisis thrills, I don’t know how it will work if it gets a season renewal. Critics don’t seem pleased with this pilot – or are split at best as I’ve seen one good review, one damaging. I thought it was a really diverting way to spend the last hour of my Sunday night block of entertainment. 

Not only is the cast impressive – from British talent to one of the new Charlie’s Angels – the plot works itself up to a great boiling point and threw in more twists in the first hour than I expected! There were unexpected alliances, familial ties and the typical “mean” (or popular) girl character rising to surpass her expectations. Tampering that are shades of concern that crop up in very serious and dangerous issues today – like an inappropriate relationship, counterbalancing that is a bigger picture script that goes beyond just ransom demands. What I liked best about this script was how it seems like it’s going to be the making of several of its characters, yet it’s also presenting a stark reality that people have lived through and in that reality, the series takes time to showcase the emotional fall out of that. Circling back to the cast, also in need of mentioning in the cast (in addition to newbies who make their high school counterparts both pitiable and admirable) are Dermot Mulroney and Max Martini. 

Though the creator will likely serve viewers best (from a creative story perspective) by only striving for this to end as more miniseries than long-running season show, Crisis showed a lot of potential. Some of the filmmaking bordered on amateur – which surprises, though once things began to flow, I was impressed with the whole program. Without drifting into the horror-esque feel of terror, this writes a realistic story of a parent’s worst nightmare and because of that, the story has some emotionally thought-provoking moments.
What about you, readers - did you watch or are you interested in Crisis?
(Parental review: implications reveal that a teacher was flirting with if no involved with a student, another student is crushing on someone and one makes the crude comment that she’d even “do” the most popular girl in school. We learn someone has a child out-of-wedlock. Men threaten the kids with machine guns and there is a brief shout-out between an agent and kidnapper ending in a death – another man is shot and one person gets their finger cut off [not graphic]. There may be a minor profanity. The show is rated TV14.)
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  1. Totally agree with you about watching DVDs! ;) Commercials are way too time-consuming. I haven't heard of Crisis actually. Sounds like an interesting show, though I agree with you about the logic of starting a show with such a short-term premise. It's always a huge struggle for shows like that to continue on. Right now, I'm wondering if Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is going to make it (because of the whole short-term plot that could be resolved very easily in the first season). Great review, Rissi!

    1. *High Five*

      Who needs those silly commercials? I often laugh at myself reviewing TV shows because seriously by the time I watch/post the "current" (DVD) season review, it's time for the all-new season to premiere. ;)

      Crisis started off really well - chances are I'll just watch it on DVD but yes, while watching it, I wondered how on earth they'll turn this into a long-season... it just doesn't seem possible. Though someone did make a group of people stranded on an island last long term. ;) I think I've seen that 'Wonderland' being renewed is a long-shot though I'll watch it when it arrives on DVD, I'm pretty happy with Once Upon a Time and it sounds like this current season is "bigger" than its predecessors. Go, ABC!

      Thanks for reading, Faith - always appreciate you stopping by.

  2. I felt like they promoted this show very well, but I haven't seen the Pilot yet. I'll give it a shot :)
    xo TJ

    1. I agree, TJ. This was promoted very well - watching the Olympics was what piqued my interest about this one; it'll be interesting to see what comes of all that promotion. :)

  3. I have been interested in this series, glad you enjoyed it!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Cool. Enjoy if/when you see the pilot, Missie. :)

  4. I really enjoyed the pilot! I tuned in to watch it because they filmed part of the show at my high school. I wasn't expecting much besides a cookie-cutter network show, but I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting it was. I'm excited to see the next episodes. I do agree that it seems like a difficult concept to turn into a long-running show, but I've read that there are more plot twists ahead, so I suppose we'll see.

    1. Aw, cool! That's pretty awesome to have a connection like that, Kinga. Glad you thought it was impressive too - I liked that it wasn't a crime show (although this girl does love her crime series!) but was still about solving a mystery and great suspense. If this does survive, I hope writers have a lot of good stuff up their sleeve as the cast is fabulous. Time will tell.

      Glad you stopped by - it's been a while. I need to catch up on your blog! :)

  5. I'm not a big tv watcher but I really am enjoying Crisis. I wonder if it will continue after they wrap up this crisis! I hope so!!!

    1. I watch too many TV shows - just cannot seem to get enough. ;) I really enjoyed the Crisis pilot. It was entertaining and all kinds of potential greatness. Glad to hear it's still good.


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