THE 4400: THE THIRD SEASON
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
The third series expands previous storylines and introduces a few more. Our investigators must track down a kidnapper of the 4400 children, a daughter grows up, and someone thought to be dead returns to reek havok.
Is it good movie?
When I received The 4400: The Third Season I knew I had some catching up to do. I had vaguely recalled hearing about the show and remembered the promo shot of the cast surrounded by fog and a giant glowing ball above them. Besides that, I didnít have a clue so after consulting the web for back story like any good reviewer, I dived in and came to an immediate conclusion. The 4400 reminded of two things, The X-Files and the X-Men, which arenít exactly bad things to base a new show off from. Sure, the idea of government conspiracies and outcasts looking for placement in the world isnít exactly new, but it isnít standard TV fare either. While the X-Files succeeded with aliens and bad guys and conspiracies, it mostly worked for its great two main characters. The same rings true for X-Men as the mutants werenít just spandex-wearing freaks; theyíre characters who stood out. They seemed real despite the ridiculousness of it all.
Now for USA TVís The 4400, the producers have done their best to create this. Each character has a very specific ability and character trait, but not to the effect of the other two. Frankly, some of the characters just didnít grab me in the way great characters should, well, grab you. They all have the goods to do incredible things, but thereís no Mulder, no Wolverine. Iím not expecting characters of this level (they donít come across very often), but there should be some characters who truly stand out. Unforgettable. They shouldnít all blend. With that said, I did dig some of the storylines in The 4400. Theyíve created enough characters and plotlines to not only keep the series running, but keep the audience as well. These arenít just soap stories, itís quite clear the writers have strived to create intellectual tales that challenge viewers and keep them interested, not to mention some decent effects and some genuine creepy scenes. And letís face it, most sci-fi plays down to the audience, but only the successful ones play to them, matching intellect. And thatís damn nice to see.
In case, youíre late to the party, The 4400 is about 4400 abducted people who all return together to earth via a giant glowing ball. Each person had disappeared at a different time and place, but theyíve all returned just as they left and with something new, an ability or super power. But these 4400 werenít abducted by aliens. Instead, humans from the future snatched them and sent them back to help guide the future of humanity. Of course, anytime people returned via a giant glowing ball, the government must get involved, which is where our main characters come from (Joel Gretesh and Jacqueline McKenzie), an investigator and a medic (Mulder and Scully anyone?). They lead us into a world now filled with healers, killers, assassins, and genuine freaks. Iíll stop there because if you havenít seen the show, why the hell would you want me to ruin it?
Video / Audio
Video: 16x9 Letterbox Version
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital
I was pleased with the amount of extras here considering the season just aired ten months ago. There are four featurettes, four commentaries with the cast and crew, a gag reel, and an episode script.
The Architecture of Series Storytelling: Twenty minutes of interviews with the cast and crew explaining the story process. This is good and informative for anyone who digs the writing process. Just watch out for producer Ira Steven Behrís blue goatee. Talk about scary.
Powers Grid: An analysis of the superpowers on the show, from the main characters to the guest spots as this shows how complicated things can get when keeping track of so many damn people.
TVFX: Great look at the special effects for a cheap TV show. I always love this type of thing. There should be more of this for TV shows, in my opinion. Itís amazing how fast and inventive these people are.
4400 Character Tree: You can go through each main character and get insights into each one. All shows with a massive cast should have this.
A decent show here that I could see grabbing viewers and not letting go. While this won't enter into the classic territory like a X-Files, it will fill part of the void left behind until the next cult classic arrives. Be forewarned, probably not great to down drinks with as it could cause drowsiness at times.