A Hostages Community
CBS (ended 2014)


Even with DVRs, Hulu, and that secret government technology that only some of us have, there's simply not enough time to commit to all of the fall TV season's new shows. Thankfully, we've done you a solid and watched everything very closely. So closely, in fact, that we're now deeply familiar with Dylan McDermott's permastubble. I'm here to give you the lowdown on CBS's only new drama series of the fall, the 15-episode event something-or-other Hostages


So everybody's a hostage or something? What is this show?

Kind of. Hostages is thriller about a high-profile surgeon and her family who are taken hostage; their captors are a group of goons led by an anti-hero-y, rogue FBI agent. She's ordered to "accidentally" let her next patient die on the operating table, or the bad guys will kill her family. That patient? The President of the United States. DUN DUN DUN.


Who are the hostages, the hostage-takers, and the Hostages-makers? 

Being CBS and all, this is one of the season's better, more high-profile new casts. Toni Collette, last seen just slaying fools on United States of Tara, stars as the conflicted, terrified doctor. Dylan McDermott (American Horror StoryDark BlueThe Practice) is in full McDermott mode here as the complicated FBI agent who in one scene solves a hostage situation by making a bold choice, then visits his sick wife in the hospital, and then takes the Sanders family hostage. Dude's complex. Tate Donovan plays the husband of Collette's character and he's basically an older, tamer version of The O.C.'s Jimmy Cooper. Day After Tomorrow scribe Jeffrey Nachmanoff adapted the script from an Israeli project, and CBS's go-to drama-series bro Jerry Bruckheimer is an executive producer. 



When do negotiations begin? 

Hostages debuts on Monday, September 23 at 10pm, booting Hawaii Five-0 from its timeslot of three years. The competition won't be easy, as ABC will trot out Castle at 10pm for yet another year, while NBC plans to counter with its own high-profile new drama starring another former star of a David E. Kelley show with James Spader and The Blacklist. In what is still a pretty novel idea for CBS, Hostages will run just 15 episodes, straight through, in an attempt to create a cable-like adult thriller in a later hour.


Who will be taken (ZING) with Hostages?

Probably your dad. More seriously, Hostages feels a little outside the typical CBS wheelhouse, which is obviously the point. Some of the sequences recall various moments from 24's run, even though it never reaches that level of intensity. If you liked Jack Bauer, this is probably for you. And in a general sense, this wouldn't seem too out-of-place on FX's schedule, so if you especially enjoy that network's more adrenaline-pumping programming, Hostages might be a nice Monday fix. 


What about Hostages will give you Stockholm Syndrome? 

Toni Collette, mostly. The pilot doesn't give her as much to do as it should, considering how central she is to the story, but she manages to make weak material better by sheer force of will. Although this role is nowhere near as complex as her performance on United States of Tara, she acclimates herself to broadcast drama pretty well. And despite concerns about its longevity, the show's premise is, theoretically, compelling. The pilot follows a decent structure that introduces relevant characters before jumping into the hostage conceit, and though none of it is particularly original, it's solidly executed in the early going. 



What will make you want to escape?

So, about that premise. The last third of the opening episode is mostly stupid, and just when you've spent most of the hour wondering how the show will get around its obvious storytelling hurdles, the final moments reveal that Nachmanoff and Bruckheimer have no problem just taking the easy way out. The conclusion is a "Well, duh" moment, even though you'd expect the show to have a better plan than that in Episode 1. 

Unfortunately, it seems like the way Hostages plans to sustain itself for multiple episodes is to uncover a whole slew of secrets about individual members of the Sanders family, but they're already boring. The two kids aren't particularly promising, and they're hamstrung with lame stories about "scandalous" love and drugs. 

Worst of all, though, is McDermott. I can appreciate his kind of strong-jawed staring-and-yelling style of acting, but the script certainly doesn't do him any favors. He's a walking anti-hero cliche as the inherent Good Man Doing Bad Things for Good Reasons. I noted that Collette doesn't get that much to do in Episode 1, and that's because it's so focused on McDermott and his sullen eyes and leather jackets. He doesn't play by the rules! But he loves his sick wife! It's not hard to imagine this character hanging out with the dudes from Low Winter Sun after hours, just really FEELING THE WEIGHT OF IT ALL, MAN. 


So, should lock myself into this 15-week ride or not?

Despite my criticisms, there's a chance that Hostages could be entertaining in future weeks, for better or for worse. I can imagine a world where it's like an anthology of all the really terrible episodes of 24, with multi-level government conspiracies and lots of white guys yelling at people to do things OR ELSE. Or maybe the writers will realize the inherent silliness in the premise and just put the pedal to the metal, giving us a dumb but entertaining thriller. Plus, the shorter episode order makes it a little easier to commit up front, at least for a handful of episodes. 


Can I spy a trailer?

You know it. Here it is.




Hostages premieres Monday, September 23 at 10pm on CBS.

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 1/6/2014

Season 1 : Episode 15

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this might the worst plot for a tv show since that blind cop show,remember the cop who is blind with a seeing eye dog and a loaded gun,lol. who thinks of these plots. i find myself watching because i cant believe what i am watching are they serious, it is a shame since the cast is talented but the plot lines are absurd. i wish it would come to an end soon since it is going nowhere and in a perfect world the whole cast i mean all of them are killed off in the end. by a lone gun man, hiding in a grassy knoll
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I was going to comment about the *brilliant originality* of the family problems, so rare to have a philandering husband, a pregnant daughter, a son who sells weed. It is as original as the idea of extorting a surgeon to kill the President under the surgeon's knife -- which was used in a book as long ago as the Fifties, though I can't remember the title or author.
But then I realized that because this idea isn't a new one, there is a slim chance that someone in the Secret Service has at least a 100 I.Q. and would realize that this is a possibility. Therefore they would investigate any surgeon being considered, and the secrets would have been well known -- they aren't the sort of things that would be well hidden against a professional investigation, just something kept from the eyes of busy parents or wife. So they might have ruled out the surgeon, or just caused an extra amount of vigilance on her, enough so that the home invasion would have been caught.

As for the question of someone choosing the President over his own family, no surprise at all. (There was a blog entry, again wish I had marked down where I saw it, but just this week, about some members of the 72 Miami Dolphins refusing to appear at the White House. The blogger said, as I will, that there have been Presidents I despised -- as a Liberal Democrat, I'd start with Nixon. But the office is separate from the man, and I would always respect it, and the holder as the President. And yes, had I had a choice of saving Nixon's life or a family member -- or my own -- I would have loved my country enough to spare it the worse horror of an assassination, and felt my life would have been blessed at the chance to save the despicable (word not allowed in these columns).

Dumb show, curious enough to wonder how they'll stretch, but only curious enough to read comments, not to suffer through another episode, I expect.

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Didn't Dylan McDermott just play this same guy in Olympus Has Fallen?
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so this is a show about one hostage situation and it runs for 15 episodes?
What at the end of the season? Will the second season, if it comes, be about the same hostage?
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Staff
EVERYBODY IS A HOSTAGE
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I suspect McDermott will reprise his role from the recent movie Olympus has fallen where he also plays a government agent gone rouge.
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He was wearing blusher?
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i will check it out for at least 3 episodes
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I feel like "should i watch" fills the same need as the "PREview" and I'm never interested in both. "Should I watch" gets more to the point, but if I've already read the other I don't need it anymore.
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Think it would've worked better like one of those series in the summer that airs an episode Mon-Fri and then would've been done lol but jut my opinion. Idk how the premise will last 15 episodes, much less if they pull and Under the Dome and make a second season! I'll pass on this one.
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I wasn't going to give it a look but I think I will now, I am doing the same with The Blacklist (Spader FTW!)
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Staff
BLACKLIST is better.
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I'll give them both a few episodes. I don't think I will stick with Hostages for long though, Blacklist I am not sure about either. So many comedies to check out this year.
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Never really been a fan of Collette or McDermott, so that's a big problem for me to surmount. I think I'll probably pass on the pilot, which means being freed from the entire series/event/whatever. Same goes for The Blacklist, which means Mondays at 10 are pretty much wide open at the moment.
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Against Castle and Blacklist? It's a difficult time slot but I will give it a try....
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Cory, thank you for your review. I will pass this viewing opportunity. (Perhaps an odd question. Is there anyway you can filter communications containing $ signs? Love viewing others' 'comments'. Despise "my roomate's half-sister makes $63 every hour.......")
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Staff
We are working on spam solutions. For now, the best thing you can do is flag those comments so we can take care of them as quickly as we can. Thanks!
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The spammers will immediately stop using $ and start using dollars. You can't beat spammers with a filter. It becomes an arms race. There are certainly ways, but they are complicated. No need to reinvent the wheel though. There are many spam recognition engines as well as other methods.
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Only thing to do is flag those comments - they are spam and the profiles are fake.
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Is the entire series going to be just the 15 episodes? Cause I know they call it 'an event' but you never know with a network's greed
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Na, they hope it runs for more than a season. Just 15 a season.
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I have to say, not surprise from tv networks! Hostages should have been only a 4 EPISODE EVENT! That would make them four episodes golden! I really don't understand how the writers can keep it interesting and bring the same level of quality every episode if it's a show about a family been hostages! For how long can they drag this story? This could end up been a worse fiasco than Under the dome!
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So basically all that talk about "limited events" (i.e. mini series) and shorter seasons (15 episodes is not short enough) was all a big sham? There is a good reason why cable networks stick to 10-13 episodes per season, but networks obviously still don't get it.

So not to leave anything unclear, having a shorter season (10-13 episodes) makes writers more disciplined, there is much smaller need to put in filler material, budget costs are much lower. Besides, it's easier to get bigger starts, as shooting periods are not that long (usually not longer than those for a feature film).

Yes, it also means a network needs more shows to fill up its schedule, but this should be seen as an opportunity to draw new talent, rather than reuse that old (and worn-out) formula all over again.
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Exactly, which is why so many of us got totally hosed with Under the Dome getting renewed and consequently feeling the need to resolve pretty much nothing at all.
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You get the sixth thumbs up from me!

And don't even get me started on Under the dome. Never in my life I liked so much the beginning of a series and ended up hating it. If you ask me, they could have completed the story and cover the entire book in just 5 or 6 episodes!
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I may try it out of curiosity to see how the are going to make it 15 episodes long.
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I am always amazed at how Americans love their presidents. Above spouses, parents, kids. No matter how bad or incompetent the guy in the big chair, you HAVE to die or kill for him. This would never work where I come from. Politicians are so corrupt and hated here, nobody, no criminal mastermind would even bother with this premise. It would never work. It wouldn't even work for a doctor protecting the sanctity of live in general, because the rate of here politicians ranks somewhere between mould and vermin. And I apologize to mould and vermin for saying this.
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Sounds like you're basing much of that impression on American TV shows. The reality is very different. I think that at any given time, a minimum of 50% of Americans can't stand their president. (This number should generally be much higher, in my opinion). The approval rating for members of congress now hovers at a little under 20%, and that's far too high. Overall, our pols are pretty much every bit as corrupt and hated as any other country's.
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Well, yea, obviously, TV shows and movies. I've never had the pleasure of visiting that wonderful country. But even so :) Just the thought, just the propaganda that someone would put the life of their president above the life of their husband seems funny.
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i think it looks ok. but i cant see how it goes past only one season. ill give it a go. you never know
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Hmm, sounds like I won't be seeing gratuitous shots of Dylan McDermott's naked butt. You can count me out.
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So on the fence about this...since it was a whole episode of POI last year and I swear the general story plot has been done. Honestly my thought has been if I can take Blacklist and James Spader I might rather that one. But then I'm like well what if I get attached and then what about Intelligence in the winter. But then I'm like isn't that show just Continuum where my main character has a computer in her head and I have time line issues to sort through. I'm almost totally to when does Lost Girl return and maybe til then I will just actually go to bed early.
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how about a 4th option, no thanks and you have to tie me down and force my eyes to stay open.
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I won't be watching this. It doesn't sound like something I'd like, and it's on the same time as The Blacklist (which also doesn't sound that great but I'm giving it a shot).
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Looks horrible. As for the actors, I like Toni Collette, but can't stand Dylan McDermott. All he does is yell and act like a weirdo, if he's even acting.
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Hostages has cancellation all over it, I seriously doubt they'll be a season 2 of hostages. But I've watched tons of shows that got cancelled after the first season or before finishing a whole season.

I like some of the cast so i'm watching the pilot and i'll see if its worth sticking with. Not many new shows this new that actually look good in the long run.
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So, what will happen in season 2? Different hostages?
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No season 2,Just a 15 episode run.
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Ugh. Sorry I just can't make myself like McDermott. I have never liked him in anything, I don't think I will ever like him in anything. I don't understand the appeal, not to the viewers and not to the casting directors.
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Women of a certain age like him.
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Yeah, thinking about it now, I realize I've never liked him in anything either.
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Super Runaway! - Dean Venture, clearly foretelling my reaction to this series. Maybe the president will end up on life support, requiring the FBI rogue agent to keep the family hostage but let them live their daily lives blah blah blah I don't care go away show.
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I voted "No, you'd have to tie me down". But, really, it doesn't sound all that bad. I won't be watching cause I just don't watch that much tv. But if I did, I'd give it a chance.
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Replying to myself again thanks to the lack of an edit button. I should have added that I don't watch shows that don't sound really, really good. I don't sit down and watch something every night.
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I wish I hadn't seen the 80% of the trailer that I saw before I turned it off. It's one of those trailers that tell you everything that's going to happen in the pilot episode. It will be a chore to watch the pilot now, even if it's good.
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By the way, there's something wrong with the notification feature. It says "1", and I don't see any way to get rid of it.
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Now it's at 2. It seems to be the "new episodes" notification feature that's messed up.
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i have question to you guys , why isn't there Open Captions anymore ?
luckily i found the above picture to be inspiring


spoiler alert
the mouse is The Hostage
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Love it!
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Hostages ... one season and gone the next....


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As long it goes the full 15 and doesn't mess up my dead pool I'll be happy
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