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Hostages: CBS’ Newest Thriller?

For the past few months I have not been able to get through one CBS show or walk down the street without seeing an advertisement on a bus or subway encouraging me to check out CBS’ “new thriller” Hostages. While I trust Toni Collette to flawlessly embody a character and personally believe we could all benefit from a weekly dose of sexy Dylan McDermott I’ve been concerned about the story line of this show. The plot itself seems pretty cut and dry, McDermott’s character (Agent Duncan Carlisle) wants the President of the United States dead and he wants Collette (Dr. Ellen Sanders) to be the one to commit this act of high treason. Collette, as the President’s main surgeon is in an ideal position to commit the crime and is incentivized to do so if she wants her family (who are now hostages in their own home) to live.

This, thus far, is all the viewers have been presented on this show which raises several questions that prevent me from getting overly excited about it. Questions that were not pacified in the least by the pilot.   

The most fundamental of these questions is: if the pilot opens with McDermott taking Collette’s family hostage and demanding that she kill the president in surgery the next day, how long can this show realistically last without being completely unbelievable? While I had this concern before watching the show I’m even more concerned after watching since McDermott’s character has been initially portrayed as an arrogant agent who acts on his gut instinct in order to get a job done without considering contingency plans in the event that his gut is wrong. If this is who we’re really dealing with, I can’t imagine he’s going to let Collette stall or deviate from the plan that he wants and believes he’s adequately prepared for. The premise therefore has a short time-frame if it seeks to stay realistic and therefore remain what I classify as watch-worthy.

I will say though that as far as characters go they’ve piqued my interest. McDermott’s character seems the most multidimensional and oddly likable thus far, although the crew he brings into the house to complete the mission are not the most likable or believable acting crew. Collette is being her fabulous self so she’s fine and a lot of secrets are revealed during the pilot about each of her family members. The family she’s fighting to protect is a little unnecessarily complicated, but perhaps their independent dramas will provide useful subplots to a main one that, like I said, is alarmingly basic and finite. We shall see.

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