‘Hostages’ premiere review: Toni Collette stars in intense, insane drama for CBS

How was it? -Well, did you see a show this intense coming on the air after a Chuck Lorre comedy? “Hostages” launched tonight on CBS, and it proved that it was one of the best new shows of the season by showing us some great performances, a complex storyline, and something that could make for an Emmy-worthy show if the quality stays this high.

The basics that you need to know here are as such. You have a hostage negotiator-turned hostage-keeper in Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott), and also a famed surgeon in Dr. Ellen Sanders (Toni Collette), who is basically told to kill the President; otherwise, everyone in her family dies. What makes this infinitely more complex is that all of these family members have secrets. Her husband is a cheater, her son is a pot dealer and her daughter is pregnant.

Carlisle and his team have thought of almost everything when it comes to the hostages that they keep, and clearly, so has the show. While there are a few TV coincidences, nothing in this episode felt completely forced. Instead, it was just consistent entertainment throughout as we got to know the characters. It was uncomfortable, but very smart as Carlisle managed to subtly convince all of Sanders’ family to convince her to go through with it. But did she? Not yet. Rather than completing the surgery or killing the President, she fought back; with that, this becomes a waiting game.

Ultimately, there is still a significant concern with this show. Can it sustain a full 15-episode season? We’re not even going to worry about a season 2 yet, but when you have a story that is this serialized, you run the risk of having a few duds in there.

For now, though, a massive round of applause must be given to CBS for even going against their typical grain of “same old” crime dramas, and giving us a new and super-intense show. It’s difficult to watch at times, but “Hostages” is a network show that almost feels like cable. In an age of declining broadcast ratings, that is very much a good thing.

What was your take on the pilot tonight? We want to hear some of your thoughts below!

Photo: CBS

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