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BREAKOUT KINGS Series Premiere Review

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BREAKOUT KINGS Series Premiere Review

Breakout Kings

Photo Credit : A&E

A majority of tv dramas are built on the idea of a familiar concept executed “differently,” hence the multitude of crime shows which depict a team of dedicated professionals out to solve the crime, catch the perpetrator and bring them to justice.  Every once in awhile, a show will come along and suggest a concept that is immediately intriguing, but may not always score high in rationality.  “Breakout Kings” is one of those shows.

   By : SHAWNA BENSON

A majority of tv dramas are built on the idea of a familiar concept executed “differently,” hence the multitude of crime shows which depict a team of dedicated professionals out to solve the crime, catch the perpetrator and bring them to justice.  Every once in awhile, a show will come along and suggest a concept that is immediately intriguing, but may not always score high in rationality.  “Breakout Kings” is one of those shows.

The faulty logic behind “Breakout Kings” is that the best way to catch escaped prisoners is to form a team of three convicts, put them with U.S. Marshals and have THEM go after the escapees, because they are so much more likely to find them.  While it is an intriguing notion, at no time is there a real justification or valid reasoning for pulling these people out of their prison cells to put them back out on the streets (and sometimes give them firearms, though they apparently try not to do that).

Breakout Kings

Photo Credit : A&E

The series is created and produced by Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora, who were involved with the Fox show “Prison Break.”  Like “Break,” “Kings” has an absurd premise about cons on the run, here two of the three cons aren’t very interesting

Interestingly, A&E boasts that Jimmi Simpson’s character Lloyd Lowery, a strange behavioralist with mommy issues who is recruited for this team of cons tested higher than any character Fox 20th has ever had (or something to that effect).  Clearly it was the enthusiastic response audiences had to this character in particular that kept “Breakout Kings” from dying after pilot season last year and allowing for it to find a home at A&E.  The trouble is, while Simpson is indeed doing wonderful work and his character Lloyd is the standout of this show, the rest of the characters are too flat and dull and the series too absurd to really make it worth watching.

If the show felt compelled to provide a reasonable explanation about why these three felons must be used to catch other escaped convicts, and it was more than a surface explanation (why are these three any better suited to the task than the myriad law enforcement types who are NOT in prison and seem to do just fine hunting down people in other shows), then we might be inclined to forgive the absurdity of the premise, just to go along with it and have fun.  If the show were more fun and the other characters, besides Simpson’s Lowry were more interesting, then we might care more about them.  As it stands, they are as compelling as plastic mannequins, with about the same amount of character depth and intrigue.  And another question that is raised: the cons are doing this as part of a work release to reduce their sentences; are they even being paid?  Seemingly not.  The list of inexplicable and unjustified decisions is fairly long, and as a result, there are just too many elements which would need to be addressed to make this show one to really watch.

“Breakout Kings” premieres on A&E Sunday, March 6 at 9 PM.

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