'Containment': A Lotta People Get Really Sick

·Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment

Another addition to the viral-outbreak genre, Containment, premiering Tuesday night on The CW, is about an epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta, infecting a remarkably high percentage of attractive young characters who flirt as much as they express fear.

The players arrive as pre-digested morsels of motivation. There’s the police official (David Gyasi) caught between civic duty and his responsibility-avoiding superiors. And there’s the deeply caring young elementary-school teacher (Kristen Gutoskie) who seeks advice and solace from the deeply caring young cop (Chris Wood) who may or may not have anger issues.

Containment frequently seems constructed from bits and piece of other disaster/sci-fi/poor-health-habits TV shows and movies such as Outbreak (1995), Contagion (2011), and the CBS show Under The Dome without Stephen King’s gift for distinctive characterization in even the smallest roles.

To make sure we understand just how high the stakes are, the dialogue is studded with declarations such as “It’s highly contagious and fatal in 100 percent of its victims!,” “This is now a matter of national security!,” and “But he was fine! He just had a bad cold!”

Based on a Belgian TV series and developed by producer Julie Plec, who’s done so well for The CW with The Vampire Diaries, Containment has a reasonably suspenseful pilot as directed by David Nutter (Game of Thrones, The X-Files). But as the series proceeds, it just becomes more repetitive and tedious.

What this show needs is a network crossover, stat: I would suggest that The Flash speed around the city giving everyone booster shots, and the whole thing would be over in a few seconds. Either that, or go for broke and turn the whole mess into a musical: My Coughing Ex-Girlfriend.

Containment airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on The CW.