When it come to TV, I’m always late to the party. Before I go much further, I want to say this. The actors of the CWs first and only season of Containment were some of my favorites. One of those episodes is covered in the entertainment section of Design and Trend. If you’re looking for a recap…
You could call this a review of sorts, I suppose. A critique of story writing is more accurate. Bear in mind, I love disaster trope, so I’m primed to like this stuff. Yet, even I, couldn’t get past a few glaring issues.
First, I had to double check on the description that it took place in Atlanta. Have you ever heard an accent from the Deep South? They are far thicker than mine, Y’all. So, why were the only southern accents a couple of asinine, survivalist mouth breathers looting stores and packing heat? Perhaps, because they wanted their characters to “seem intelligent”, and conversely, the mouth breathers were stupid, therefore… Okay, really? It’s not like I haven’t encountered the bias before, but, damn, Y’all? Name calling is not nice.
Suspension of disbelief is when a writer asks a lot of the audience to mechanically make a story work by suspending what they know to be real for the duration of the story telling. This one required too much. Okay, so, above hot guy is caught in the zone with just a few cops. Fourteen to be exact. He’s uncertain, not willing to take command inside. They are out numbered, so here’s a stash of weapons. That’ll help, right?
You asked me to believe that in a huge sector of Atlanta you don’t have more first responders to organize? Firemen, off duties, county sheriffs, highway patrol, retired and trapped inactive national guard? This list is not exhaustive. There were no on the ground contingencies in place? Maybe, because of my accent you thought it wouldn’t occur to me? Had you shown a realistic on the ground base of operations, active first response efforts, I’d have been right there on board. As it was, I kept waiting for a punch line.
Next, your blogger. Okay, I get it. You wanted the conspiracy angle, but, basically, the whole thing was a libertarian argument against government containment measures, which admittedly suck because diseases suck and pandemics are bad. The first four episodes, which was where I stopped, were a collection of condemnations of federal overreach, and where were the CDC and FEMA crews again? Not on the streets over reaching apparently. Green seems to be making nonsensical emotional pleas with the cop to what? Break quarantine? Because, over reach? He claims everyone is lying, and the truth should be set free, but then never actually produces any quantifiable proof of cover up. It’s just quarantine is bad, which we know. No one wants a disease that makes you bleed from the eyes.
I actually found the premise that patient zero wasn’t patient zero, and the occasional insinuation that the government was somehow involved in the production of the virus, an intriguing selling point. But, in four episodes, it went nowhere, just like those first responders. I kept waiting. The problem there was that that plot point realistically would fall to agents outside the handling of the actual disease, therefore it played no real role in this story, which is about containment of the disease. Here’s the thing, no matter how the disease happened, it must be contained, as Claudia Black’s character points out. Essentially, the story lacked coherent fusion of real world inter-agency communication and knowledge of actual disaster contingency.
Details. It all hinges on details. And, usually, for TV you can do without a few of the details, but, in this case, they went for a parallel universe of crazy people. Clearly, they weren’t southern, so, maybe I missed the whole multiverse angle. Perhaps, I should try again. Nah, accents or not, a lot of these people were just stupid.