Crisis: TV review

NBC's new thriller is nothing more than a middling '24' clone
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Photograph: NBCRachael Taylor as Agent Susie Dunn, Gillian Anderson as Meg Fitch in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCHalston Sage as Amber Fitch in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCLance Gross as Agent Marcus Finley in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCMax Martini as Koz in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCDermot Mulroney as Thomas Gibson in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCHalston Sage as Amber Fitch and Joshua Erenberg as Anton Roth in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCStevie Lynn Jones as Beth Ann Gibson and Max Schneider as Ian Martinez in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCJoshua Erenberg as Anton Roth and Lance Gross as Marcus Finley in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCAdam Miller as Kyle Devore in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCRachael Taylor as Agent Susie Dunn in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCDermot Mulroney as Thomas Gibson in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCGillian Anderson as Meg Fitch in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCMax Schneider as Ian Martinez, Stevie Lynn Jones as Beth Ann Gibson and Halston Sage as Amber Fitch in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCDermot Mulroney as Thomas Gibson in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCGillian Anderson as Meg Fitch and Rachael Taylor as Agent Susie Dunn in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCAdam Miller as Kyle Devore and Stevie Lynn Jones as Beth Ann Gibson in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCGillian Anderson as Meg Fitch in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCRachael Taylor as Agent Susie Dunn in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCStevie Lynn Jones as Beth Ann Gibson in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCGillian Anderson as Meg Fitch in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCMichael Beach as FBI Director Olsen in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCRachael Taylor as Agent Susie Dunn and Lance Gross as Agent Marcus Finley in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCRachael Taylor as Agent Susie Dunn and Michael Beach as FBI Director Olsen in Crisis
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Photograph: NBCLance Gross as Agent Marcus Finley, Michael Beach as FBI Director Olsen and Rachael Taylor as Agent Susie Dunn in Crisis
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Premieres Sunday, March 16 at 9pm on NBC.

It's been nearly four years since 24 went off the air, long enough that the terrorism-fueled drama series on the verge of making its return. And yet, Fox's competitor networks are still trying to capture that same brand of lighting in a bottle. With Crisis, a thriller with a premise more convoluted than a Die Hard sequel, NBC has succeeded at putting forth yet another in a long line of middling 24 clones.

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The titular crisis begins when a busload of Washington, D.C. high school students and their chaperones are kidnapped on their way out of town for an extended field trip. Many of the kids are the children of government officials and corporate titans, including the son of the POTUS. This puts FBI Agent Susie Dunn (Rachael Taylor) in the awkward position of trying to solve a major crime while wrestling with the demands of a group of powerful and desperate parents, including her own sister (Gillian Anderson). Joining her in the fight is Secret Service Agent Marcus Finley (Lance Gross), who takes a bullet on his first day while trying to protect the First Kid.

With lots of twists and changes of loyalty, Crisis is borrowing a lot of tricks from the 24 playbook, but Agent Susie Dunn is no Jack Bauer. Taylor makes for a very flat and uncompelling heroine, sleepwalking through the drama's uninspiring turns. Gross fairs better but his easy charisma struggles under the weight of some impressively clunky dialogue. Of the more marque stars, Dermot Mulroney fares best, doing a decent job of humanizing a cartoonish character, while Anderson is completely wasted.

Much like last fall's disasrous Hostages, Crisis is a limp series that relies too much on plot contrivances and fails miserably at connecting with its audience.

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