Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pilot Review: Containment

Containment (CW)
Premiered April 19 at 9pm

Don’t we already have a show about a virus outbreak in Atlanta? I guess a zombie apocalypse is different from a potentially terrorist-initiated pathogen that just kills its victims. I’m all for shows about society’s descent into madness as it heads towards a dystopian future, but this one feels much bleaker and more fatal than necessary. I question the value of sending an entire bus full of children into harm’s way, and I don’t think they’ll end up with quite as sunny an ending as the juice box lifesaving moment from the pilot of “Jericho” a decade ago. The bigger problem with this show is that there’s so much here that has been seen before on other shows. There’s nothing particularly original or enticing here, and the characters all feel too stale. There are elements of the show that are far too casual since they’re supposed to contrast with the severity of what’s to come, namely the over-under bet that all of Lex’s friends have on whether his girlfriend Jana was going to bail on their decision to move in together. The operative aim now for everyone is to maintain order and calm, and I’m not sure that Lex telling a man concerned about his girlfriend being on the other side of the fence was a helpful move since now everyone realizes that something truly bad is going on. Separating a population has happened before in shows like “Under the Dome,” and I don’t see it working too well here. Those who love viral outbreak plotlines might like this show, but I don’t expect anyone else to find it too appealing.

How will it work as a series? The quick series of violent flashes at the end of the episode indicate that there is plenty of chaos to come. Something tells me that containment is just the beginning, and things are only going to get worse on this show that won’t possibly be able to find its way back to civilization as we know it.
How long will it last? The CW recently renewed its entire slate, and this was the only show yet to premiere at the time. Its ratings were pretty good in its first two airings, and the fact that it’s starting just as most other series are ending actually works very well in its favor. I’m not sure a second season is in order since the CW has so many success stories, but it does seem likely.

Pilot grade: C

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