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Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

Showbiz

Teens living on the edge

The Straits Times | Tay Yek Keak | Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

Amanda See/ Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany broke through with her performance in Canadian series Orphan Black.

AMERICA - Couch Grouch, what will you do for your child? How far would you go?" goes the challenge here.

Well, for one extremely anxious American parent, it went as far as strapping on a suicide- bomber vest right in the CIA building lobby. And I thought that buying an iPad for your kid was going the distance.

In Hostages, the American president's surgeon and her family are held hostage in their own home.

In Crisis, it is the president's son who is kidnapped, along with a whole bunch of other kids from an elite Washington DC private school who are children of the super rich and very famous of American society.

Their parents are the sort of unloved, ultra-rich who are so overprotective and paranoid that they implant GPS chips into their children which need removal by their captors.

Bottom line: Crisis is like summer camp for the juvenile high, mighty and snooty - but with armed guards led by bitter ex-CIA analyst Francis Gibson (My Best Friend's Wedding's Dermot Mulroney). Everything is provided for, including bunk beds and medication for the highly stressed (a funny modern touch for today's edgy youth).

The teens - a locker-room mix of chicks, jocks, jerks, nerds and one stereotypically plump Asian whiner - are seized from a school bus and locked up in a big mansion where search drones fly past and the kidnappers hidden in adjoining rooms are so tech-savvy they can send those planes crashing.

"My problem is, you took kids, children. What kind of person does that?" says Secret Service agent Marcus Finley (Lance Gross), the rookie agent shot on his first day of guarding the president's son.

Still, chances are that the bad un-PG things will happen only to the adults in this series since American TV audiences really do not wish to see teens - even an over-privileged brat pack like this - getting grievously harmed.

Finley fronts the search for the kids, alongside FBI agent Susie Dunn (Australian actress Rachael Taylor from Charlie's Angels and 666 Park Avenue), who has a personal stake in the matter as her niece is one of the hostages.

She also has to deal with her estranged mega-cold sister, Meg Fitch (The X-Files' Gillian Anderson), depicted here as the CEO of a corporation so powerful she pursues her own secret and unauthorised means to secure the release of her daughter, Amber (Halston Sage).

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