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Containment - Series Premiere Advance Preview: "Looks Better Than My Car"

17 Apr 2016

Due this coming Tuesday on The CW is the premiere of the new miniseries, Containment. The series is based off a Belgian television series named Cordon, and is a pretty neat addition to the spring television schedule. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals creator Julie Plec wrote the series premiere which is directed by Emmy Award winner David Nutter.

Set in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, Containment's primary storyline is set around a highly contagious and extremely deadly disease wreaking havoc in the city. The disease first appears in the city's hospital via a Syrian man who spread the disease he has to three others in Atlanta Midtown Hospital before leaving without a trace.

The CDC response is led by Sabine Lommers (Claudia Black), a high ranking doctor experienced in the management of infectious diseases. A sizable area of the city is cordoned off by Lommers, with Major Alex Carnahan (David Gyasi) of the Atlanta Police Department tasked with instigating the cordon and enforcing it.

Trapped inside the cordon is Carnahan's girlfriend, Jana Mayfield (Christina Moses). Her workplace, a data management facility, is just blocks from the hospital. Also inside is Carnahan's close friend and SWAT member Jake Riley (Chris Wood), and grade school teacher Katie Frank (Kristen Gutoskie), along with her class of students who were at the hospital for a tour. Finally, pregnant teenager Teresa Keaton (Hanna Mangan Lawrence) and her mother find themselves inside the cordon, but her boyfriend is stranded on the outside. Victor Cannerts (George Young), a doctor, feeds information to the CDC and manages the infected patients inside the hospital.

The cast of Containment

I've had a look at the series' first seven episodes and enjoyed them a lot. It becomes clear early on that the mysterious disease is not something to be messed with. Victims die painfully within hours, developing boils on their skin and coughing up blood. There is no known cure either. It's a bit cliche but it doesn't distract you from other matters at hand. The characters all see solid development and have to battle through their fair share of conflict, along with the ever-present threat of infection for those within the cordon. The inevitable conspiracy theories occur surrounding the withholding of information at the federal level as well as the origin of the infection and possible bioterrorism, but they're well thought out and provide good material for character development.

While Containment isn't the most spectacular freshman series to go to air this year, it's definitely much better than most of the other cannon fodder series new in 2015 and 2016. The storyline keeps moving and evolving rapidly and the characters face some genuinely tough challenges along the way. The writing, directing, cinematography and special effects are all of a high standard, and a cast of mostly unknowns hold their own in their lead roles pretty well. Not many things in life could be worse than being locked in a small area with thousands of others to shield yourself from as well as a deadly disease. The premiere is worth watching for the epic opening scene alone - you'll have to watch the episode to see for yourselves.

In all, Containment is a pretty good looking series, and will give me something to keep an eye on on my nearly empty Tuesday nights. It looks much better than my car does, which had its driver's side window caved in by some lowlife mongrel while I was writing this preview. The police dog didn't manage to track him down, but I'm hoping his karma might one day come in the form of a deadly disease.

The series premiere of Containment airs Tuesday, April 19, 9|8c, on The CW. Check back next week for a preview of Episode 2.

About the Author - Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan lives in New Zealand, and works in the IT industry. He is an avid follower of drama television and has a keen interest for television ratings and statistics. Some of his favorite shows right now are Person of Interest, Scandal, House of Cards, Orphan Black, Mr. Robot, Suits, The 100, How To Get Away With Murder, Elementary and Castle. You can visit his television ratings website, or follow him on Twitter, @SeriesMonitor.
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