Alias is a wonderful show - with the death of Buffy (in terms of a series rather than in terms of a dead vampire slayer), it perfectly fills the void that has been left. Ironically for something that I started watching as a replacement, I feel that in many ways it is a better show that Buffy ever was.
The dialogue is razor sharp, the acting (while somewhat hammy at times) is compelling, and the characters are memorable. However, where Alias really excels is in the over-riding plot arc - the episodes are links in a chain of breath-taking cliff-hangers. There's something very appealing about a show that leaves you with your mouth open while you inch ever closer to the edge of your seat every time the credits roll.
The villans in Alias are more than the simple 'baddy of the week' stereotypes popularised in many shows. They are complex and multi-faceted - something that is inevitable considering how densely layered the plot is. Your perceptions are constantly shifting as the characters react in terms of their own personal agendas and their often complex emotional attachments to each other.
Arvin Sloane for example is rephrensible in almost all of his actions, but as a man you can't help but be impressed by his determination, his fortitude, and his devotion to his duty as he sees it. He has a deep affection for the main character (who despises him), which causes him considerable anguish when he must take steps that will harm her.
This is a most excellent show - you would be doing yourself a service if you checked it out.
on 10 August 2003
Your dad's a spy whose lied to you and shut you out for years, your love life has been ruined cos' of it, and worst of all, you cant even tell your friends the cool stuff you get to do: who'd be a spy?
Sydney Bristow, played by Jennifer Garner, that's who.
What can you say about Alias? This show is hip, sexy, and as Quentin Tarantino, who guest stars in the two-parter, "The Box", puts it, "It fulfills the promise of Man From UNCLE". That isn't to say it's corny and stars David McCallum, either, but rather that it's a globe trotting, action packed drama, with the fantastical spy-devices of Bond, the romance and intrege of a top notch drama, and the suspense of a man on a high wire with no safety net and no experience. And that doesn't even get to the plot, which is a twisty, turny, shocking and exciting story which even puts the shows action in the shade.
What else can I say? Well, the first and last episodes of this season are on a par with anything to have been released at the cinema... ever. The final episodes final cliffhanger is a work of genius. Any one who says Casablanca has the best final line ever, obvious has never heard the final, loaded for bear, line of Alias season 1.
Do your self a favour - buy this and then buy the next season. If you dont, you'll just feel left out.
on 27 May 2004
This is the first review I've ever written! Should have been writing my MA essay, but a friend kept going on about ALIAS, so I ordered it, & I was sorry I put the dvd on, as the study was forgotten big time! I ended up watching the whole series 1 in 3 nights, which surprised me as I thought it wouldn't be my cup-of-tea.
What can I say, funny, sad, kickass action with subtle undertones. Being a romantic, I just can't wait for series 2 as I'm dying to see Syd & Vaughan together!
Why did I along with half the population miss this series? It's just soooo good. Hope you enjoy!
Sydney Bristow’s life is going along fine. She’s just become engaged to a wonderful guy and she’s doing well in her graduate English classes. There is her secret job, but it’s not a problem working for SD-6, is it?
When she makes the mistake of telling her fiancée, however, she learns the truth. SD-6 is not part of the US Government but really deals in organized crime. Now, she must join the CIA as a double agent to try to take down the people who have been lying to her for six years.
But life is not that simple. She now must work closely with her father, someone she hardly knows and doesn’t trust. She must fight her attraction to her CIA handler. And a friend is investigating a story that gets him closer to finding out her secret and putting his life in danger.
I absolutely love this show. There are multiple stories going on all the time, but the writers keep all the balls going believably, balancing action with the stories of what’s happening with her friends and giving us very real characters. And you can’t miss a moment. All the actors are top notch, keeping what could be an over-the-top concept real. Extra kudos must go to star Jennifer Garner who makes Sydney real as an action hero with a very vulnerable side.
When I got this set, I intended to watch just a few minutes and then dig it out when I’d have the time to really enjoy it. Didn’t happen. Even though I’d seen every episode here twice, I got pulled right back into the story. Of course, the cliffhangers at the end of every episode certainly help.
This set is any collectors dream. It contains the pilot and the rest of the first season, and the episodes, presented in surround sound and widescreen, look and sound incredible. Each episode is broken down into several chapters, mostly around commercials breaks, although they aren’t listed anywhere. There are four audio commentaries with various members of the cast and crew. Especially fun was the commentary on the finale featuring the entire cast. Since the commentaries were recorded as season two drew to a close, they provide some interesting insight into both seasons and helped me understand a little more about their choices this last year. Also included are a few deleted scenes, bloopers from the season, looks at the stunts and the filming of the pilot, and more. About my only complaint with the set was that no where did they tell you where to find these special features. While most are on disc six, I had to put each disc in to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.
I can’t recommend this series highly enough. It’s highly addictive fun that you’ll come back to time and time again.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear the pilot calling me again.
on 1 February 2005
When Alias came on (dutch) tv for the first time, I have watched a few episodes here and there. I didn't think it was bad, but it didn't grab me either. Untill last week my friend Stephanie, from the US, convinced me to give the show another go. She has great taste, so I ordered this first season from Amazon. And now I am hooked. I just couldn't stop watching. I finished watching it in 5 days. My husband is hooked as well. We ordered the second season yesterday .. I can't wait.
It has a great storyline, great stunts, great acting and well, looking at Michael Vartan (or Jennifer Garner if you are a guy) is not a bad thing. Each episode-ending makes you want to watch the next. It didn't do much for me on tv, but the DVD box defenitely enhances the viewingpleasure. So enjoy!
on 3 February 2005
The main reasons to watch Alias are that it is action packed (almost to overflowing) and fantastic fun (actually that may not be the main reasons for many... but we will come to that).
It is the story of Sydney Bristow, a brilliant young college student who has been recruited by SD-6 (a group posing as a division of CIA) who discovers that SD-6 is really a criminal organisation (after they kill her fiancé) and is recruited by the CIA to work as a double agent. To complicate matters further her father (from whom she is effectively estranged) is also a double agent working for SD-6 and the CIA.
Series 1 follows her story through a series of capers, mostly attempting to retrieve various artefacts created by Rimbaldi (a renaissance genius) for the CIA while appearing to work for SD-6. This is set against the backdrop of her difficult personal life; a personal life made more complex by a nascent romance with her CIA hander, attempting to form a proper relationship with her father and the problems of lying to her friends.
All the episodes are full of action (they seem to pack twice as much into a single episode as most series), the sub-plots are great fun (if a little silly at times) and the tension of being a double agent is maintained throughout. As usual some suspension of disbelief is required (is Sydney really the only agent in either SD-6 or the CIA?) but that is not hard; it is so much fun that you don't really care.
The supporting cast a uniformly excellent but the series belongs to the preternaturally beautiful Jennifer Garner (who is probably the 'real' reason people like the show) and her amazing collection of wigs and costumes. She is an excellent actress who appears to be equally at home with the physical demands of the 'action' as she is with the actual acting.
Really good fun (and the second series is even better)
on 29 March 2004
This is a show I always wanted to watch but never could due to bad time slots so I'm ecstatic at finding it at a beyond reasonable price.
I NEVER write Amazon reviews despite the amount of junk I watch and buy so you know this one is special. Finally we have a Good action show on TV, particularly something old-school that doesn't need magic and effects, just simple ass-whooping. So if you're into spy stuff, buy it. Whilst good price and stock lasts.
on 27 February 2006
When my friend first told me about Alias, I was a bit dubious, the plots she described seemed a little too overimaginative but once I had watched the first episode I was hooked.
After reading some of the previous reviews, I was shocked at what some people had said as from my experience every single person who has seen at least one episode has not been able to keep away. Yes the plot lines may be extravagant but isn't that what makes good TV? If they were anything less, people would say it was a boring show.
Although the series do get more interesting, series 1 is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone.
on 1 October 2003
Never, in all my years of television viewing, did i come over such an amazing, intellegent, witty, suspenseful, action packed, emotional and dramatic television show. Infact this is such a fine show it puts every movie ive ever viewed to shame.
With ALIAS reaching its third season in America, and Five showing ALIAS SEASON 2 over here, maybe its about time you caught up with Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber, Merrin Dungey, Michael Vartan, Ron Rifkin, Amy Irving, Lena Olin and guest stars such as Quentin Tarrintino and Faye Dunaway with Roger Moore popping in too!
The Plot (No Spoilers)
Sydney Bristow is a college student who leads the secret and thrilling life of a Double Agent for the CIA and a secret terrorist group named SD-6. Sydney's problems dont stop there, her father is also a double agent and her flatmates are beginning to suss her real identity. As well as that, not all is what it seems with her long deceased mother, Laura Bristow, and the season builds up this epic storyline to a jaw-dropping finale that was only rivalled by that of Season 2'S Finale.
Sydney is a highly developed character, and each of the other characters has their own themes to them, everyone from quirky Marshall to the dangerous Sloane and his cancer stricken wife, Emily. Sydney is strong and independent, and in season one, very much out for blood. But watch out for Season 3 When it comes to UK, Rumour has it Sydneys darker than ever...
Alias OOZES style at every edge. From the beat of the technospy music to the dark, gritty feel and the astounding cinematography. Its a real experience watching this series.
24, CSI, Law and Order. None of them can compare, or come anywhere close, to the astoundingly crafted, jaw drapping, cliff hanger ridden, fast paced, heart wrenching storylines of every episode. Where ever Sydney goes, in a red wig, a blue dress, a chinese maid outfit, everywhere, she brings oodles of intellegence with her. The whole thing has obviously been PAINSTAKINGLY planned out, and to great effect.
Overall Scored : 100% (1st place)
Alias is simply THE best television show of all time, bar none, You wont believe how quickly youll get hooked. And thats not all, the show also stars the Jaw Droppingly Beautiful Jennifer Garner who is a hollywood superstar in her own right as well as an all star ensemble cast. Astounding Acting, Production, Direction, Scripts and Characters make this highly watchable series a classic
BUY THIS DVD!!!!
This isn't going to be a long and detaled critique. Quite simply, once you've been through all your 24s and Sopranos (more than once), you need something to fill the void. I was a bit wary before buying Alias at first, never having heard of it on TV, but it turned out to be a really entertaining show and a worthy addition to the big two. The plots are outrageous, as are the stunts, but it certainly is action-packed. The skills and talents of the lead girl are so over-the-top you just have to suspend belief and go along with the ride. She's like Jack Bauer with feelings, an enormous wardrobe, an olympic physique and superhuman talents. We're now on Season 2, have 3 on order and will definitely buy the rest.