What to do on a Show Called Prison Break When You're Out of Prison
What to do on a Show Called Prison Break When You're Out of Prison
Prison Break recently finished a successful first season. Michael and Lincoln did it. They escaped. They executed a successful Prison Break. Done. Invariably, the question is now this: What is Season 2 going to be?
Will it solely portray the escapees on the run from the authorities? Will Michael and Lincoln be recaptured? Will the brothers be forced to break someone else out of prison in the name of uncovering "The Conspiracy�" Will the show's title have absolutely nothing to do, all season, with the action occurring on screen? Fans (at least the ones who've been paying attention since the season finale) know that season 2 will primarily be Michael and Lincoln on the run. In fact, FOX is contemplating retitling the show next season and calling it, Prison Break: Manhunt. However, given that next season (supposedly season 3 will be back in prison) will totally deviate from what was the crux of the first season, will viewers come back? And if they do, why? This is the problem for shows whose main focus is on the achievement of a long-term goal by it's characters. What happens when the goal is achieved? There are such long odds for getting any show/concept into production, that the producers would be foolish to think long-term. If a program is lucky enough, on top of getting produced, to become a hit, the creators are already playing with house money. I recall speculation about 24 after its initial season, wondering how they would repeat the format, some proclaiming it would simply be impossible to recreate the first season's intensity and flair. I, for one, having not watched the show but being familiar with the format, assumed that the second season, if there was one, would feature a whole new set of characters in a different setting, only remaining under the vague umbrella of thwarting terrorists and occurring in real-time. Kiefer Sutherland hadn't re-emerged as a star yet and I felt that the concept, since it seemed gimmicky, would be served best if the situation was different and fresh coming into each season. Obviously, my speculations were wildly misguided, 24 is one of TV's biggest hits, and Jack Bauer proved unmovable. It's about character, not plot. 24's biggest draw is Jack Bauer. Prison Break, now out of prison, will remain eminently watchable because the first season created characters that earned our respect and admiration. They've hooked us and, therefore, next year's setting doesn't matter. Had the show only succeeded on a superficial, shock-value level, we would have no reason to come back after the actual Prison Break aspect was stripped from it. However, Prison Break has given its audience dynamic protagonists who demand our attention and emotions. Prison Break will succeed, and it won't be because of the show's original concept, but because that initial concept spawned great characters and sowed the seeds of what should become a long-running, entertaining series. -Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

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