Shaken and Spied- The televisions series Alias.

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Shaken and Spied

Exotic lands, disguises and secrecy distinguish the intriguing world of espionage.     The knowledge of spies is a mystery to many, leaving us lusting for answers from Hollywood, who in return capitalize on satisfying our need for these “hidden truths.”  The realm of intelligence outlets was, however, “shaken but not stirred” when J.J. Abrams created the television series, Alias.  In a gutsy but not surprising move for the twentieth century, this young producer satisfied the feminist movement by creating a strong, independent female spy and main character, Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner).  With a modern sophisticated plot, this action-packed television show parallels classic James Bond films, while strumming the cords of restricted romance movies and simple-humor comedies.  These elements, undoubtedly, make Alias one of the best forms of entertainment.  

The show, which is often praised for its complexity, revolves around the character Sydney Bristow, a college student recruited to work for SD-6.  Naive to the truth, Sydney assumes she is working for a branch of the CIA.  The bitter reality is revealed to her, however, after the death of her fiancé, Danny.  It is then that her estranged father exposes that SD-6 is part of the Alliance, a black-market organization that specializes in selling weapons, secrets and drugs.  This deception, leads her to contact the real CIA where she and her father operate as double agents.  Their mission is to take down SD-6, which they accomplished on January 26, 2003.  Once the SD-6 operation was destroyed, they have now focused their efforts to finding Arvin Sloane, the SD-6 operator who is trying to fulfill his own deadly prophecy.  

Action is a key ingredient to conjuring up an element of suspense for any quality show.  One is drawn to the edge of his seat to witness good ultimately conquer evil.  This form of adrenaline produces an excitement that cannot be aroused with basic dialog.  

When one is asked to name an action film, it is no surprise when the character James Bond is mentioned.  These movies set the standard for the way action films and television series are created.  One of the first and most entertaining of the Bond movies was From Russia With Love.  Unlike most of its predecessors, this Bond contained a well-written plot, realistic villains, and an attractive Sean Connery leading the reigns.  In the first scene of film, the audience witnesses a Russian agent compromise James Bond with a lengthy and horrific strangulation.  The adrenaline once experienced turns to shock, after the audience believes the main character is killed within three minutes of the opening credits.  Yet, it is soon revealed, with much relief, that another agent was donning a Bond mask.  James Berardinelli, a film reviewer, comments that the most memorable scenes in this movie involve action.  Suspense is earned with the “inventively choreographed fight sequence with Bond and Grant going at it in the confined space of two train compartments. Shortly after that, there's a death-defying chase between Bond and a helicopter.”  It is the encounter and conflict that overwhelm an audience, contributing to scene effectiveness.  Action is priceless and imperative when trying to create an exciting and thrilling form of entertainment.

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Comparative to the inventive nature of Bond, Alias combines the elements of combat to further engross its audience.  When Sydney Bristow punches, kicks and jumps her way out of a situation, one is left feeling excitement.  The build up to a fight is the most crucial element J.J. Abrams uses to captivate the viewer.  This was exhibited in the episode airing after the Super bowl, which was hailed by, USA Today television critic, Robert Bianco as fabulous, full of “action, suspense and a last-minute twist.”  The episode entitled “Phase One,” opens with Sydney Bristow stranded on a plane undercover as a ...

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