Hostages, CBS’s new limited-run thriller (meaning: shorter than normal, but not necessarily a mini-series) (meaning: nothing!), premiered last night, and boy does everyone have a secret! Dylan McDermott is a tough FBI agent/fashion expert who you know is a tough FBI agent/fashion expert right away when he shoots a person who we think is a hostage victim (not one of the Hostages hostage victims, a different one) only to reveal that it was actually the criminal dressed in the hostage’s clothing. How did he know? “Boots didn’t match the suit,” he says. Hahaha. What if he was wrong?! “I wasn’t.” Super smooth, super rule-breaker, super correct, Dylan McDermott. He also has a daughter, a father, and a wife in a coma, and he is the leader of the gang of hostage-takers who want Toni Collette, surgeon hand-picked to perform an operation on the president, to kill the president. The episode opens immediately on the family surrounded by the hostage-takers before it cuts to a “40 minutes earlier” title card, just to assure you that they WILL be held hostage in this episode, so please stay tuned!

Hostages, from the very beginning of its hour-long premiere, felt desperate in its attempt to get you to feel anxious and interested. Which is crazy, because it’s literally about people holding guns to the heads of a family and ordering one of them to murder the president. You don’t need to trick us into being afraid that someone is around a corner, and then show us that it is actually just a cat! (Which is something that happened!) You don’t need to show the hostage-takers taking the children and then pump up the scary music and make us think they’re about to take Toni Collette, only to have it actually be her husband who enters the bathroom while she is in the shower. WE KNOW SHE’S GOING TO BE TAKEN SOON, WE’RE ALREADY NERVOUS FOR HER, QUIT IT WITH THE UNNECESSARY FAKE-OUTS! (And, in that scene, why do Toni Collette and Tate Donovan [her husband] look at each other so tensely when they are talking about a pasta timer? You don’t know you’re hostages yet! The pasta timer is just a pasta timer! STOP IT WITH THE MUSIC AND THE FACES!)

Over the course of the hostage-taking we find out that the daughter is pregnant, the baby-faced son is a weed dealer, and the dad is cheating on his wife. Oh, brother. If you don’t have faith in your hostage-being-forced-to-kill-the-president story line, then just think of a new storyline! Don’t pack the storyline with stuff that we, the viewers, don’t even want to spend time on because who cares about it, considering. And if you’re going to pack the storyline with stuff like that, at the very least take a breath and spread it out, or have it be stuff that takes place outside of the hostage house. The pilot bought the storyline some time, as Toni Collette was able to postpone the president’s surgery from taking place the next day to taking place in two weeks, but that is still a very limited amount of time! It’s not impossible that Hostages will find a way to fill it, but from the desperate grasping for the audience’s attention in the premiere, it doesn’t seem probable. Plus, like CBS’s Under the Dome, the series seems to have only one big payoff: the reason the FBI and other people surrounding the president (or, at least that one guy) want the president murdered. Which is difficult. And there isn’t even a dome involved in this one! (As far as I know!)

So, we’ll see! It looks very silly (Toni Collette staring into the camera at the end FOR SO LONG after saying “I don’t give up that easy” legitimately made me LOL) and mostly bad, but we’ll see! DID YOU WATCH IT? Aren’t you happy about the dog? I was very relieved to learn about the dog.

Comments (27)
  1. I kept switching between this and The Black List trying to decide which idiotic show was more distracting and The Black List won out. As much as I like Toni Collette, James Spader is more entertaining. Speaking of Toni Collette, I’m totally on her side, but I think the only movies I like her in are Muriel’s Wedding and Velvet Goldmine and I don’t even like Velvet Goldmine. Mustard’s 2¢.

  2. “How did she know what news channel the hostage takers would be watching?”
    -me, to ladyGoose as the credits rolled.

  3. I watched the Black List, which I do not think is going to make the rotation. Mostly because I just don’t care for shows that use terrorist plots as plot points? Especially serialized? But then again, I love James Spader and that handsome husband from Dirt is very handsome and has a box of secrets. I do like secrets. I’ll probably just watch Sleepy Hollow again or read a book or something.

  4. I just searched for a while for an OC gif so that I could make a joke about how Tate Donovan is a terrible father or something. But since I couldn’t find one, I’m just going to say that I love Jimmy Cooper, and I wish TD would be in something I cared for. Like my pants. Okay, that’s it, bye-bye.

  5. I didn’t watch this. But what does boots didn’t match the suit even mean?! Has he been anywhere? Ever? People often never match. I mean…what sort of boots are we even talking about here? Because I see dudes in suits with Merrels, like, reguarly. I am not getting over this, mainly because boots not matching a suit is a huge pet peeve of mine but you don’t see me going and killing people over it.

    • You missed out on seeing a lot more of your pet peeves then. Especially if your pet peeves are “really boring television” and “really unnecessary expenditures of time and money” and “piles and piles of poorly drawn characters, plot holes and missed opportunities”

    • I am assuming it was pirate boots and the suit was most of a sports mascot (non-pirate) minus the correct feet.

      That, or if I ever meet Dylan McDermott he is going to kill me because I so rarely wear shoes that have anything do do wiht the rest of my clothes. But whatever, I love comfortable feet.

    • They were toeless boots. They looked like sandals/boots.

  6. This is why I can’t do “thrillers”: either they’re legitimately suspenseful and I can’t take the stress, or they’re just boring and silly. I’m a wuss AND a snob.

  7. Dylan McDermott’s been creeping me out since his debut on AHS.

  8. Maybe they should make a show where they have a family as fashion hostages and it’s a super fashionable family but they have to wear stuff that is just out of season and style so that they look lame and dated, but not in a clever ironic way but in a way that is 4 years ago. Maybe a fake Anna Wintour type? Forced to wear raver pants or the magazine blows up? I’m just thinking out loud.

  9. Also, is that family in the picture the family being taken hostage? Because they really just look like a family that has been put in time out.

  10. Derble McDillet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.