Robert Taylor

“Prison Break:” I Want Out. Now.

Fox, Mondays at 9

I was prepared to like “Prison Break.” Really, I was.

I love twisted plots, and I’m a big fan of the actors, writers and director of the show. Therefore, I was psyched to watch the two-hour premier.

At the half hour mark, I lost interest. “Prison Break” wants to be this year’s “24” so much that it goes out of its way to be overly edgy, gritty and melancholy. “24” is all of those things, plus heart, and its stories are actually worth sitting down and becoming interested in; two things “Prison Break” is sorely lacking.

Here’s the lowdown: Dominic Purcell is convicted of killing the Vice President’s brother and sentenced to death. To save him, Wentworth Miller sets himself up to join Purcell in the prison and break him out. All of this while Robin Tunny does all the hard work on the outside, trying to clear Purcell’s name.

The leads, Miller (“The Human Stain”), Purcell (the much-missed “John Doe”) and Tunny (“The Craft”), are all amazing actors, but they are too broody and emotionally detached that there is no reason to care about their plight.

When Miller gets his toe chopped off or almost stabbed, you think of how stupid he was for literally allowing himself to get in this position instead of just doing work to clear his brother’s name outside of prison.

Purcell gives the viewers no reason to care about the fact that he is going to be put to death soon; maybe he’ll actually show some emotion then. Where’s the ancillary character I can laugh at and root for? Where’s “Prison Break’s” Chloe?

And because I don’t care about the main cast, I could care less about the war between blacks and whites that is constantly brewing, or what the prison’s doctor is hiding. It’s fairly well written, beautifully directed and competently acted, but I just can’t bring myself to care. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go rewatch the third season of “24.”

“Big Brother:” The Hero Dies In This One

CBS, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8, Tuesdays at 9

As much as I wanted to like James, because he was playing the game very wisely after his early screw-ups, he became grating in his last two weeks. He complained and mocked every single thing that happened in the house and game, sucking the fun out of every situation. So, when he finally was unanimously voted out on Thursday, I found myself completely indifferent.

I had cheered at the screen when Jennifer got her comeuppance, booed when Rachael left, but James getting evicted left me completely indifferent.

And yes, I cheered when Beau was given the boot.

Now, let’s talk about The Friendship deciding the game must be fixed because America loves Janelle so much.

Can’t they get the hint?

They conspired to call Michael a sexual predator, when he wasn’t, so that the spotlight would be off them in the second week.

America voted Kaysar back in after The Friendship evicted Kaysar, only to have the group backstab him until he was evicted one week later. The group mocked the viewers by telling each other, “This isn’t America’s game, it’s our game.”

Then, when Janelle gets a phone call from Michael, Ivette runs to her room and screams “I hate her! I hate her!” and April and Maggie tell her that the game must be fixed because America could never hate them, going so far as to say that the viewers were pieces of $#!+. Wow, they are both self-righteous and in denial. I wonder what their reaction will be when they get out of the house and see their approval ratings. The way they behave when they don’t get what they want immediately further confirms that they don’t deserve even one iota of my respect.

And now Ivette is Head of Household. But my girl Janelle has the Power of Veto, ensuring her safety for one more week. And if she gets evicted next week, rest assured it will be my last episode of Big Brother.

Contact ALL correspondent Bob Taylor at [email protected].