MARCH 29, 2017

I admit that I'm a Prison Break fan from the Netflix generation. In 2005, I was in college and it was a year of transition. I clung to my shows of old and new like Lost and Alias. Prison Break had gotten lost somewhere in my Queer as Folk obsession. But many, many years later, I got all caught up, and boy, did this show take me for a ride from start to finish. I think without knowing that much about it and not hearing other people's opinions about it, I went in completely blind, and marathoned it over a period of a month or two. While Season 1 was its strongest, I didn't hate everything about the subsequent seasons. Only later did I learn of contentious creative decisions like WHY WOULD ANYONE THINK KILLING SARAH WAS A GOOD IDEA? (Spoiler alert, not really.) By learning more about the behind the scenes goings on was I able to piece together a more complete picture of the series. Regardless, I loved it. I was really into The Flash which had made its strong freshman debut just months before where I was introduced to Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell. Of course I'd heard of them. I had to be living underneath a rock not to have known who they were. But only when I'd watched Prison Break did I really understand how special it was to get these two working in the same room together under a different set of characters. And I suppose they felt the same way with the revival of this series!

I bought my Paley membership this year specifically for this panel. As soon as it had been announced, I knew I was going. I wanted to see the first episode and being in a room with its series creators and cast had been a bonus. The main theater sold out quickly with additional tickets sold to watch the panel on a closed-circuit television just outside the small theater. Without giving away any spoilers, I found the first episode interesting. I'm really curious to see where this is going. Unlike the entire run of the show, this series event has only 9 episodes to create a story. But building a story in a short amount of time is what television is about these days. I was a big Looking fan and they created so much within a half an hour timeframe with 10 episodes in the first season and 12 in the second. So it's not impossible! The first episode mostly deals with catching up with fan favorite characters and, of course, discovering that a certain dead character is probably not as dead as we originally thought he was. He's alive! Is he well? That's yet to be seen. Watching everyone slip into their old characters really did feel like a homecoming. It's been two years since my original marathon and even I felt nostalgic for them and I haven't waited nearly as long as other people have! Robert Knepper really deserves his own award for just being a badass. T-Bag is terrible and I don't know how he's alive and out of prison, but you know what? DON'T CARE. He's a delight.

Now I have to wait TWO WEEKS for the newest episode. I know. Someone please start playing the world's smallest violin.

I don't want to give away anything so just watch the premiere on April 4th.

If you've read previous interviews or seen the small clips that they've been giving out on the Prison Break social media pages, there wasn't any new information gleaned from the panel itself. But it was really great getting a small glimpse at how the original cast is handling the new series and how excited the new cast members are! New cast members at the panel included Mark Feuerstein, Inbar Lavi, and Augustus Prew. Their spirit and their energy was just infectious and for any Veronica Mars fans out there, Mark is basically the Piz and Michael is always the Logan. But Mark accepts his place in life so good on him. No, I'm just kidding. I don't know how that story will end or pan out! But, you know, Team Michael. It's also endearing how much love members of the original cast still has for this show. Wentworth and Dominic set the wheels in motion, but having people agree to come back was certainly a treat. Anyone is free to move on after completing their time on a series, but to come back really shows love for what the show had and its characters.

As a fan, I certainly felt love in that theater. Wentworth was kind enough to stay long for every single person who wanted a photo with him. A line formed against the wall and selfies galore. Having attended a few panels in that theater, it's really rare that that happens, and I know everyone appreciated the time. I certainly did! Just getting to be in a room of fans as the new series unfolded on the large screen was memorable, being able to see the cast immediately afterward is unforgettable. I really do hope people watch the new series because I won't mind Prison Break 44: Even Breakier.



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