• Network: A&E
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 6, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28

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  1. Mar 21, 2011
    7
    I've seen three episodes now, including the one in which Robert Knepper's T-Bag escapes yet again, and I like the show well enough. Of course, the premise is ludicrous (and overused), though I don't think there's anything wrong with making the point that US prisons house a range of criminals, from decent people with problems better addressed therapeutically to homicidal sociopaths. Most of the characters are weak, however. The two not in jail are burdened with serious health and legal problems--a sign of inadequate characterization when it happens in the pilot. You can almost hear a writer say, "I know, let's give him a heart condition!" but it's hard to care when that's his defining trait. And the mostly bland cast doesn't help much, except for Jimmi Simpson, who is great as the brilliant-but-feckless MD/PhD. Domenick Lombardozzi is the other actor who stands out, but it's because he's doing Herc from The Wire, which just makes me miss that show. But "Breakout Kings" almost gets it that there's something fascinating about prison breaks, a moral complexity for onlookers who admire the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the escapees while horrified by their crimes. So far, the show has come down heavily on the "horrified" side by depicting particularly brutal escapes, but I hope to see a few cases that challenge the felon-marshals' commitment to the cause. And it wouldn't hurt to change up the cast a bit--easy enough to do given their many problems. Expand
  2. Apr 13, 2011
    4
    So much potential wasted here. Despite a decent cast, apparently the writers can't break out of the formula they are using. Whether by design or sheer lack of imagination, every episode follows the exact same pattern. Guy or gal escapes, hurts/kills people in the process, heads immediately to rendezvous with friend, relative, or acquaintance for [insert reason here], marshals arrive only to find out they have narrowly missed the suspect. Repeat a few times. Catch up and capture bad guy. Solve personal problem of one of the cops or cons that was alluded to earlier in the episode. End.

    I could forgive a lot for a show that casts a veteran of "The Wire", but unfortunately they go a step further and pretty much put paid on this already troubled show with a completely laughable lack of continuity. They don't pretend to be following even "make believe" law enforcement procedures, let alone real ones. (Crazed convicted child molester is going to the office of the social worker who testified against him. "She doesn't answer her phone? Oh, we better get driving." Followed by the inevitable, " Gee, we just missed him...." Why not...I don't know...call the local cops to go babysit her and make sure she's safe. Or something.) I know sacrifices need to be made in order to spin a good yarn, but one can't help thinking that your average high schooler could sign on to the writing staff and turn out more plausible stories.

    The last thing that bugs me a little bit is that a fair few of the episodes drag discussions about racism into the show for some reason. This typically wouldn't bother me, but in this case it seems a little ironic and meaningless coming from a show about convicts breaking out of prison. ~14% of the U.S. prison population is Caucasian, yet 100% of escapees on the program are white.Any way you try to come up with a logical reason for that decision stinks to high heaven.
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  3. Mar 21, 2011
    10
    So far I have only watched the first three episodes and they seem, entertaining. They keep me interested during the whole hour and the characters seem okay. Hopefully as the show progresses we get to see more about the characters personalities and maybe that will bring more people to watch because so far they don't actually seem like cons. It still feels like they could just be cops as well that have bad attitudes like other shows and the show hasn't shown what they really bring to the table that cops couldn't. That's just my opinion. Expand
  4. Mar 28, 2011
    10
    I love this show. It is not a reality show, or a sitcom. I sit every Sunday with my boyfriend and look forward to seeing this show. I hope that it keeps on, because some shows are worth it and some are not. This one is definitely worth it.
  5. TVG
    Apr 11, 2011
    0
    Apparently the default score is a '10', that is a little ridiculous in itself. I'm correcting my scored opinion. Well, looks like I haven't made my 150 character 'minimum character' count yet...
  6. Apr 12, 2011
    8
    Laz Alonso is solidly cast as the leader of a band of misfit convicts that specialize in catching dangerous escapees, but Jimmi Simpson's portrayal of a narcissistic genius convict really stands out. I've only seen 4 episodes thus far and I am hoping for a lot more character development, especially for Shea. Seem like a keeper so far, with each episode providing good action, good humor, or both.
  7. Dec 30, 2011
    7
    It's a very likeable show, Enjoyable characters that are entertaining to watch. The acting is good as well. The storying telling...not so much. Its a rather generic and over used plot to the series "Using criminals to catch other criminals" and the episodes are rather generic as well but its really the acting and the chemistry the actors have with one another that keeps this show afloat. I enjoyed season 1 and I cant wait for season 2. Expand
  8. Feb 28, 2012
    8
    I like the show. Its interesting to watch, Funny at times as well. The characters are very likeable as well. However, It can be a little bit predictable at times. Also the acting is as good as I would like it to be, It gets better as the season goes on but it struggles at first. Its still a good show to watch though, I cant wait for the next season.
  9. Jan 17, 2014
    10
    Get another season going of this show my husband and I are going nuts without it. This show was awesome and must be back on please please please. We are hurting without this show. How much longer do we have to jones for more breakout kings. The actors are excellent and they make us want more. Isn't that what the tv station should want? We are addicted to this show that no longer airs even watching each episode two or more times. Is there anything us the public can do? If anyone should know please post it. Thanks for reading. Expand
Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 10, 2011
    50
    Not a bad concept, but the casting is out of whack. [21 Mar 2011, p.46]
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Mar 7, 2011
    50
    There are no television breakthroughs in Breakout Kings, a pretty pat procedural that tries a little harder than some of its predecessors.
  3. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 7, 2011
    25
    Breakout Kings is not only dumb and mind-numbingly silly, but what makes it all-the-more terrible is that all this silliness has been stolen from other mind-numbingly-silly shows.