Breakout Kings

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Crimezine Breakout Kings

Breakout Kings LR: Lloyd, Shea, Erica, Charlie, Ray

Breakout Kings is the hot new crime crimetime offering from A&E. There is a lot to like about this show. The cast are hard edged and charismatic, the plots fast moving and the bad guys unredeemably nasty.

The show is an ensemble piece, concerning the exploits of a team of convicts on day release from the slammer, so they can hunt down crazed super crooks under the watchful supervision of fast talking,US. Marshall Charlie Ducahamp and the Shrek like Ray Zancanelli, who is a good cop, turned bad, gone good again.

Standout performances come from Jimmi Simpson, as Lloyd Lowery the smart alec super-genius and Laz Alonso who plays Charlie Duchamp the US Marshall with a dicky-ticker, a doctors-orders desk-jocky, tasked with the onerous duty of heading up this motley crew. We also get Malcolm Goodwin as Shea, the gangster with franchises in 40 cities: weapons, counterfeit merchandise, hooky gear, Shea can set you up with what ever you need. (No drugs though, so that’s all right). Fortunately Goodwin’s hard hitting performance transcends the lettuce-limp cliché of his backstory.

No modern crime show is complete without glamour puss sidekicks, Serinda Swan plays the icy and volatile Erica Reed,who looks like she has just come out of the nail salon, rather than the State Pen. Brooke Nevin counterpoints, as plain-jane computer dork  Julianne Simms. Thankfully the producers let this character exude an air of  Ms. Moneypenny normalcy, rather than the cartoonish stereotypes employed by certain other shows in the genre (how ’s it goin’ NCIS?).

So what are the downsides, I hear you asking Crimeziners?

The very idea that the US correctional system would let a bunch of convicts loose on public streets for a series of Leverage, meets the Dirty Dozen, meets White Collar, style escapades, is frankly laughable. The glossy mythologicised falsehood, that paints criminals as glamorous and misunderstood is reinforced with rare vigor here. And the idea that smart  career criminals would help the federal government, rather than themselves (even for time off their sentences) is pie in the sky escapism at its very wackiest. And while we are at it, there are the frankly racist jibes of mummy’s boy LLoyd to gangster Shea. Unacceptable. Even in the context of characterization. Are we really expected to believe a bad-assed character like Shea would let this pass? Quite.

Small gripes aside, Breakout Kings is a live one, check it out Crimeziners!

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