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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 30, 2001
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Starring: Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly, Merrin Dungey
  • Summary: Sydney Bristow was recruited as an undergrad to work for SD-6, which she thought was a government agency. However, when her fiancĂ© is killed by SD-6 agents, she finds out that SD-6 is actually a counter-government agency. Sydney approaches the CIA and becomes a double agent, which means that she goes on SD-6 missions, but passes the information about her missions to her CIA handler, Vaughn.

    Sydney's father, Jack Bristow, is also an double agent. Both had a distant relationship for years, but their present situation brings them closer together. Sydney and her father spend the first season trying to foil SD-6's missions and preventing them from getting their hands on what they are determined to get. For years SD-6 has fought against FTL and K-Directorate, two crime organizations that are also in the pursue of various artifacts build by the 15th century scientist and prophet, Milo Rambaldi. However, when a new player referred to as "The Man" comes to town, FTL and K-Directorate are put out of business and SD-6 engages in the pursue of this new mysterious opponent.

    After eliminating SD-6 and all of the other SD cells, Sydney, Marshall, Dixon, Jack, and Vaughn are now fully working for the CIA.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure, Suspense
  • Creator: J.J. Abrams
  • Show Type: Ended
  • Season 1 premiere date: Sep 30, 2001
  • Episode Length: 60
  • Air Time: 08:00 PM
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 14, 2013
    The whole show is complicated in a fun, brain-teasing way, and having seen the second episode, I can say it only gets funner. I know that's not a word, but I'm saying it anyway.
  2. One of the best pilots from a new show this season -- a wild, stylish ride through Sydney Bristow's unraveling life. You have to suspend disbelief, but this series promises to be one nifty piece of entertainment. [28 Sept 2001, p.5E]
  3. Reviewed by: Amy Amatangelo
    Mar 15, 2013
    Alias is one of those rare action dramas where all the elements - plot, characters, production design, costumes, soundtrack and performances - come together to form one perfect hour of television. [30 Sept 2001, p.56]
  4. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Mar 14, 2013
    Alias is so captivating because the actors and the writers make you believe in the characters, the situations and the jeopardy. There's a lot of humor, too, in both the romantic relationship and the James Bond-style spy gadgetry. And there are plenty of surprising turns. [28 Sept 2001, p.149]
  5. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Mar 15, 2013
    Somehow it works, thanks in part to a tangled intrigue that pulls this lowly matriculator into a conspiracy of the highest order. [29 Sept 2001, p.E1]
  6. Reviewed by: Phil Gallo
    Mar 14, 2013
    Garner played Felicity's new friend in that series' first two years, and here she replaces character's earnestness with ferocity, confusion and concealed pain. She plays the more human side with aplomb, but gets stuck in fight scenes that are so stagy one can count out the steps.
  7. Reviewed by: Adam Buckman
    Mar 15, 2013
    For me, the problem really is casting. Next time one of these shows gets developed, I hope producers will resist the temptation to cast one of these skinny little pouty actresses in these commando-type roles.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Nov 10, 2011
    This show is awesome! The entire season is like a roller coaster ride that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The twist and turns will leave you in awe. The acting is superb from Jennifer Garner to Bradley Cooper. The Bradley Cooper storyline was amazing. I knew he was going to be a star one day from this season alone. This show is light-hearted version of 24 with more drama and sexy costumes. The pilot episode is arguably the greatest pilot episode ever---well may be only J.J. Abrams' other hit show Lost is better. Expand
  2. Nov 1, 2012
    "Alias" is one of my favorite shows. Spy shows are usually a dime a dozen, but the difference with "Alias" is that 1) each episode ends with a cliff-hanger, 2) is features consistently sharp writing, and 3) the characters are always relatable. Sure, there might be a bit too much action once in a while, but the show in always thrilling and dependable. The cast gives great performances and Jennifer Garner as the beautiful protagonist is perfect. Expand
  3. Jun 28, 2013
    Alias seems to not have received enough credit. It is continuously captivating, though I will not make the claim that its consistent. It on the contrary, continuously has these crazy twists (that are sometimes ridiculous) and after 5 seasons of running after the same guy you never really come to care about, I can understand the complaints people have; however, I think the show has gripping individual stories and is still able to preserve so much mystery, suspense and drama in every episode. Spy shows claiming to be more "realistic" have come out since Alias last aired, but this "spy-fi" show stands its own ground rather well. Expand
  4. Oct 28, 2011
    The first two seasons of Alias were a nonstop, jaw-breaking thrill ride. The acting on this show was superb with numerous emmy nominations. Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber, Ron Rifkin, Lena Olin, and Bradley Cooper was terrific. Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino were big fans of the show. Steven requested Jennifer Garner to make a cameo in his film Catch Me If You Can and even did commentary for the series dvd boxset. Quentin, on the other hand, guest star in two awesome episodes in season one and one in season three.

    However, Alias went downhill after season two due to various reasons. J.J. Abrams left the show to work on Lost and MI:3. Ratings forced the producers to dumb down the show. Lena Olin and Bradley Cooper did not return after season two. Garner got pregnant which eventually ended the show. And not unlike Lost, the mythology just got out of hand---too the point not only did it confused the fans but also the writers and producers. Watch the first two and a half seasons and skip to the series finale. The cliffhangers for season one and two will leave you on the edge of your seat. Season 1: 10
    Season 2:10
    Season 3: 7
    Season 4: 6
    Season 5: 6
  5. May 20, 2013
    Convoluted plot that makes the story progression ridiculous to follow and prevents any real depth or structure to most of the characters.

    But the camera work is good, the action scenes are effective and fun, and the dialogues are not bad.

    So if you like spies, double spies, triple spies and have an extremly disfunctional family, maybe you can relate to this show.

See all 6 User Reviews