Now that it's streaming for free on Amazon Prime, I'm making this my pick of the week. (Spoiler-free)
"Alias" was the brainchild of super-producer, writer, and director JJ Abrams.
It's one of the most underappreciated and awesome television shows ever made.
After "Felicity" ended, Abrams shrugged off the typical TV formula and instead infused his new show with twisty, mind-bending action, global conspiracies, 15th-century Italian mysticism, and an incredible cast that keeps you riveted from episode to episode.
The double-length pilot called "Truth be Told" is one of the all-time greats. It functions more like a movie than a prequel to the entire series.
Killer fight scenes, colorful bad guys, high-tech gadgetry, and secret lairs provided all the genre trappings for a good time, but with its first episode “Alias” established the real consequences of the lifestyle, asking viewers to empathize with a woman who seems accessible and yet alien all at once.
Led by Jennifer Garner's star-making performance as Sydney Bristow, "Alias" seems at first like your typical CIA procedural. But then Abrams pulls the rug out from under the viewer and turns the show into something completely different.
It's a show you'll want to binge-watch in as few sittings as possible.
Here's a terrific podcast interview conducted by David Tennant with Jennifer. She explains how she became an action star.