Fans of “#Prison Break” rejoiced when a fifth season was unexpectedly announced by Fox following the success of “24: Live Another Day,” which brought back their other hugely popular 2000s action drama as a limited series. And it seems like “Prison Break” viewers have been waiting an eternity for the new episodes (because they pretty much have). Now, it’s premiered at the South by Southwest multimedia festival in Austin, Texas, and the critics’ verdict is in. Here’s what they’re saying.
Cynics would say that “Prison Break” didn’t need a season 5 after going so horribly downhill in its third and fourth seasons with all the conspiracies and all that stuff with The Company, if the tale of brothers Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows wasn’t so damn endearing. So, even though the show got silly in the same way that “Homeland” and “The Walking Dead” have, the fans will always come back, because they love it.
The new season is even darker than before
There’s no denying that “Prison Break” has always been a dark show. You can’t have a light-hearted romp set behind maximum security bars. It just can’t be done. And so, a white supremacist paedophile named T-Bag became the show’s comic relief and one of its most lovable characters. That’s just how “Prison Break” rolls. But even considering that, the fifth season is grim.
The storyline of season 5 of “Prison Break” revolves around a plan to break out of a new prison in Yemen, which is timely given the whole Muslim ban fiasco that’s currently going on. The Yemen prison is even more bleak and dilapidated and horrifying than any of the other prisons Michael and Lincoln have found themselves in over the years. However, critics are saying that despite the excitement of the new setting, the new characters it serves to introduce are pointless and two-dimensional and uninteresting, and the reason Michael is there is left in the dark (so hopefully it will lead to a shocking reveal later in the season, which will consist of nine episodes).
“Prison Break” has always been a somewhat topical show, but now it seems on purpose. Yemen and the Middle East in general as the setting is by no means a coincidence. And at one point, a woman is harassed and beaten and assaulted by an Islamic State extremist. A Variety critic branded the Middle Eastern characters as “cartoonish,” which sounds like a nice way of saying racist.
Storyline feels very thin compared with absurd premise
Reviewers have also noted disappointment at the return of “Prison Break” for not going as nuts as it can with its premise. Earlier seasons took advantage of the bleakness of the story and the insanity of the fictional universe in which it’s set and the ridiculous level of complexity in the plot, but by comparison, this new season feels a little thin, and that’s a let-down for critics and it’ll certainly be a let-down for fans.
On a positive note, Robert Knepper is still giving a great performance as T-Bag, and Paul Kellerman’s back and he’s deliciously devious in it. Unfortunately, signature “Prison Break” mainstays C-Note and Sucre are criminally underused in at least the episodes shown as SXSW, possibly more later on. Overall, the critics seem to be suggesting that this new season of “Prison Break” is not what fans will be hoping for, especially given how long we’ve had to wait. So, isn’t that fantastic news? #Television #Celebrities