Streamline recommends “Escape at Dannemora” as the show you should watch this week. Showtime premiered the first season of this show on Nov. 18. As the year ends, new shows aren’t premiering with the normal frequency, so I’m circling back to recommend this stand-out that still has a few more episodes to air.
Premise: A retelling of the real escape that took place in 2015 from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. It made national headlines. Two prisoners befriend two employees ― in different ways ― and ultimately use these connections to break out.
Stars: Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano, Benicio Del Toro; Ben Stiller directed.
How excited should you be? Stiller made an effective choice to capture both beautiful, sweeping shots of this town as well as claustrophobic close-ups of the trapped protagonists. This also looks like it has a movie-sized budget, which makes each scene visually stunning in its own way. All the actors operate on a level you’d expect from such talent. Paul Dano got ripped and became Swoll Dano. You have to at least check this out.
Any reasons to be skeptical? The runtime can be a bit obnoxious. At seven episodes of about an hour, sticking with this through the end become a real time commitment, especially when you already know the protagonists’ fates. Being in jail also means the characters don’t have much variation in their lives, which makes it a little hard to get lost in the narrative as a viewer.
Will everyone be talking about this? The star power should make this noteworthy. But Showtime remains a niche service.
You can watch the trailer for “Escape at Dannemora” below.