NBC's Crisis: Pilot Review (Without Spoilers)

By TrevPlatt

Feb 18, 2014

Due to premiere on the 16th of March, NBC's Crisis is a new drama about a school bus of teenagers getting kidnapped by a well armed and seemingly well organised group, but these teenagers aren't just any old random group of hormonal young adults, no, they are the offspring of some of Americas most influential people, including the son of the POTUS.

Despite some early pilotitis, which is an unfortunate necessity to get things rolling, I was really impressed with this latest effort from NBC (I don't get to say that very often). With good production values, although I do hope they improve the background effects for when they are filming in vehicles before it airs, there's nothing ridiculous about the plot, which could have been very over-the-top considering the premise, and judging by the way the pilot panned out I'm very interested to see where they are going with this. Some of the dialogue was a little lazy and there were a couple of “did they really just say that?” moments but I'm going to put that down to a symptom of pilotitis and move on.

The cast is good and while I suspect Rachael Taylor will once again have her usual detractors I think she may have actually found a role that suits her as an FBI Agent and sister to one of the parents. That parent happens to be played by the always brilliant Gillian Anderson who adds a giant dollop of credibility to the show. Rounding us out are the surprisingly good (I'm not his biggest fan) Dermot Mulroney as one of the parents kidnapped with the kids, Lance Gross as one of the Secret Service Agents detailed to the Presidents son and One Tree Hill alum James Lafferty as a school teacher who was also kidnapped with the kids. Playing our leading adolescent hostages are the great Joshua Erenberg (Suburgatory's A.J.), he's the one in the trailer who escapes into the woods with Gross's Secret Service Agent, along with Halston Sage as the leggy blond over-achieving class President (although mercifully she isn't bitchy, well done writers) who is the daughter of Anderson's character, Adam Scott Miller as the son of the POTUS, Stevie Lynn Jones as the daughter of Mulroney's character and Max Schneider as her bestie, all of whom did well.

Initially I thought this was going to be another by-the-numbers typical hostage drama about some horrible teens and we'd all end up rooting for them to die, but none of the teens are overly unlikeable and there is a nice twist halfway through the pilot that instantly improved the plot and gave me hope that there is a lot more to this than a load of annoying filler episodes until the season finale (ahem Hostages!). I enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to more. Well done NBC!
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  • student29 Mar 23, 2014

    Garbage. Another show to manipulate the public - instill fear and prime the people to accept drones and other unconstitutional methods under the patriot act. Enough already

  • MarlboroMagpi Mar 15, 2014

    I purposely waited a while to watch this. Me and my wife finally did and we were very impressed with the pilot. We already liked many of the cast so we are bias but the pace and story is exciting as well. We liked the twist in the middle and was genuinely surprised !

    We are so looking forward to episode two. Luckily we did not watch this last month or we have to wait longer.

    I do hope they can keep the pace throughout. It is challenging considering the premise of the show.

    I also hoped it will not be procedural like The Blacklist now. My wife already stopped watching blacklist and I am barely hanging on.

    I read production was stopped so they could re-write the later episodes to be more in tune with the pilot. That sounds good.

    Is it 13 episodes? It will be easier to keep the pace if it was just 13.

  • TrevPlatt Mar 17, 2014

    I haven't read anything about an episode count, but I agree with you that the first season should probably be limited to 13. Looking at the cast for this show I can only see it getting better, unless they start to drop out. As for The Blacklist, that is one show that is really trying my patience! I initially gave up after four episodes but because a lot of people recommended I gave it two more I decided to carry on, and those people were right the next few episodes were a lot better, but the last few have been crap. With Crisis and Believe starting up at least there is a potential replacement if it doesn't get back on track.

  • MarlboroMagpi Mar 17, 2014

    Believe may not interest me as much as it sort of follows the same formula as Intelligence which I have stopped watching. I might give Believe a few more episodes. I am definitely in for the whole season for Crisis.

    I liked Resurrection both episodes and interested to find out more.

  • TrevPlatt Mar 17, 2014

    I've not got around to watching Resurrection yet! I've been away for five days and I've now got about 25 shows to catch up with!

  • Ugmiwatogla Mar 13, 2014

    I am SO looking forward to that one. I hope it won't be a disappointment like Intelligence.

  • TrevPlatt Mar 17, 2014

    You and me both!

  • Badforthefish Mar 07, 2014

    The trailer and general premises made me roll my eyes months ago, so it's a relief to hear this is better than expected. I would have watched for Anderson anyway. I can't believe I missed that pilot!

  • TrevPlatt Mar 07, 2014

    Have you seen it now? I could PM you if not. You interested in Believe as well?

  • Badforthefish Mar 13, 2014

    Sorry for the belated reply. Yes, I've seen it and you were right, it than I expected indeed. Anderson's character is edgy and fun and the rest of the cast is not bad either. I will keep watching. What's Believe?

  • TrevPlatt Mar 17, 2014

    Again, sorry for the belated reply (I was on holiday for the weekend). If you've still not seen it yet I can PM you a link, but it's started on Sunday nights on NBC.

  • TrevPlatt Mar 25, 2014

    @Badforthefish Sorry, I accidentally flagged you (I'm not sure how many f*cking times I'm going to do that to people).
    I think that Crisis still has potential, I'm a fan of the Four Episode Test so I'm giving it at least another two. One thing I have noticed this year is that a lot (most) of the pilots are a pretty solid 3 out of 5. I gave The 100 a 3/5 as well but it was almost a 2. The dialogue was terrible and some of the stereotypical characters were a bit too predictable, but it's a pretty exciting concept, if they can improve the writing and avoid some of the over-the-top survivalist tropes I think it could be a hit for The CW.

  • Badforthefish Mar 25, 2014

    Thanks. I have a link for Believe but haven't watched it yet. Underwhelmed by the second ep of Crisis. You? Did you catch The 100 too? Haven't quite made up my mind about it yet.

  • TrevPlatt Mar 07, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • SalmanKhalid1 Feb 22, 2014

    Really impressed with the first episode. I have to admit that having read the premise of the show, I wasn't expecting it to be this good. Remember Hostages?

    I'm really glad that the kids were portrayed as somewhat "human", if you catch my drift. Would have been a little clichéd if teen angst was mixed in with the story.

    Looking forward to how the story pans out. My only concern with it, like any other series, is that hopefully they won't kill the pace and take ridiculous turn of events.

    Loved seeing Gillian Anderson... She's marvellous in Hannibal. And Dermot Mulroney, who somehow we don't get to see in that many productions.

  • TrevPlatt Feb 22, 2014

    I was (and still am) a bit concerned about how the teens would be portrayed but they were all fairly normal, although I still have a horrible feeling that despite being held hostage they will inevitably end up following the same high-school drama crap - hopefully I'm wrong.

    I didn't know Gillian Anderson was in Hannibal, I'm try to catch-up with it before the new season starts - I'm only on episode 5, so I've got 6 episodes in 6 days!

  • SalmanKhalid1 Feb 25, 2014

    Hannibal is superb! Gillian Anderson's in more or less a guest role. I believe she'll be back in Season 2 too...

  • Grumpyclown Feb 20, 2014

    There were a few premises that made my brain go "Really??", but it was better than I expected and a big step up, ( plot wise at least ), to Hostages.

    It needs less work than the other NBC pilots I've seen, but the twist at the end of the episode could be a weak point for the series.

  • TrevPlatt Feb 21, 2014

    Yeah, I wasn't sure about that final "twist", but I did like the one half way through!

  • Vicky8675309 Feb 20, 2014

    Another good spoiler free review!
    The pilot was entertaining and l agree with what TrevPlatt says. I wonder how long the series can run with this story but since the name is Crisis, rather than Hostages, it opens it up to more possibilities.
    Yeah, the teens were fairly likable (most of them) considering they were teenagers;-) I liked how the class president was not only smart and pretty but also very mature in conduct and nice (not a bitch which would of been cliche)

  • streetsahead Feb 19, 2014

    The whole thing sounds a bit cheesy to me. Might give it a shot though.

  • Vicky8675309 Feb 19, 2014

    I never watched Hostages (premise sounded bad) but I'll give this one a shot (4 episode test).
    Thanks for the review without the spoilers:-)

  • caesteckered Feb 19, 2014

    Good review! I've been waiting for this because of Gillian Anderson reasons. This should tide me over until The Fall returns.

  • TrevPlatt Feb 19, 2014

    The Fall was great. I was surprised at how good Jamie Dornan was considering his appearance on OUAT as that wooden Sheriff. Goes to show what a difference good writing can make.

  • caesteckered Feb 19, 2014

    Ah yes... Jamie Dornan was genuinely creepy and scary on The Fall. Its unfortunate now that all the goodwill and acclaim from that performance will probably be lost amidst the notoriety of his upcoming 50 Shades of Grey gig.

  • TrevPlatt Feb 20, 2014

    Yeah, I forgot about that - poor Dakota Johnson, Ben & Kate wasn't that bad that she deserves this!

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