Saturday, July 25, 2009

Alias: The Complete First Season

Alias: The Complete First Season

The television series Alias aired from 2001 to 2006, and was a spectacular action/espionage show. By the end of its run, it had become a little top-heavy, with way too many bizarre plots and character reversals. But the episodes of first season were fresh and sharp. Jennifer Garner played Sydney Bristow, a brilliant college student who gets recruited (and then forced) to become an intelligence agent. Complicating matters is the fact that the agency that recruits her is actually the "bad guys", and she's then approached by the CIA (the good guys in this case) to serve as a double agent. Alias featured characters with shifting loyalties, and stories with layers upon layers of secrecy and subterfuge. Garner was perfectly cast -- bringing both a sense of vulnerability and a steely determination. And her constant changes of appearance (hence the title Alias) were astonishing. Other standout performances included: Victor Garber as Sydney's father, a long-time spy who's concealed that fact from his daughter; Ron Rifkin as Arvin Sloane, the leader of the "bad guys", with an obsession with pseudo-mystical Rambaldi devices (a plot element that grew to be a bit of a joke in later seasons but was still intriguing the first year); and Michael Vartan as Michael Vaughn, Sydney's CIA handler and eventual love interest. The production design, stunts and computer graphics were all superb, and the plots ranged from multi-episode story arcs to stand-alone episodes. This DVD set also includes several useful extra features...but it's worth watching for just the episodes! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ Official Alias DVD web site ] | [ Episode Guide at ]

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