I must admit that I watch less and less TV when it is actually on. I tend to catch up with stuff later, watching box sets of things I like. That is how I missed Alias. I ignored it at first because it appeared far too Buffy for my liking, but last year picked up season one on DVD for a tenner. It's been sitting there forlornly on the shelf for a year.
For reasons that are too boring to go into, I was laid up last week and decided to watch it. And do you know what? It's pretty good.
Jennifer Garner is kind of perfect for the role of Sydney. She has a chameleonic face that seems to sway between very young and old and takes make up well. She is pretty but somehow unintimidating with it. Even when she dresses up as a dominatrix, she gives the impression that she is only kidding and would rather be wearing fluffy pajamas with bunny rabbits on them, indulging in nothing more wicked than a tub of chunky monkey.
Anyway, as well as being kind of gripping in a light and watchable way, Alias has thrown up several questions and observations.
1. Is there a policy that you should only shoot someone if you can't tranquilise them or even better, kick-box them into submission? Surely it's better, and more cost-effective to kill the baddies if you get the chance.
2. Does this CIA policy extend to the evil SD6? Seems so.
3. Why bother spending time and money tracking terrorists and other evil-types throughout the world anyway? All you really have to do is bug every nightclub that plays not-very-loud techno music.
4. If Sidney is such a genius, why does she not seem to know that every man within about 100 miles of her just wants to get into her pants? Actually it's worse than that. They LURVE her. This is ironic, because at least once in every episode she deliberately uses this knowledge to gain access to secret operations centres and reel in lecherous villains.
5. If your life is already a tissue of lies, deceit and secrets why even have a room-mate to complicate things further. As well as causing yet more tension lies deceit and the need for secrecy, it's obvious that at some point they will be exploited by the enemy and replaced with a genetically altered evil twin.
6. In Aliasworld, male age is denoted by shaving. Young men don't shave, but once you reach about 40 then it is compulsory.
7. Geeks don't count in this, so Marshall and Weiss are clean shaven. Actually now I think of it Sloane sports grey whiskers constantly. So scrub that whole theory.
8. In order to secretly infiltrate the nightclubs playing not very loud techno music, it seems that Sydney needs to wear elaborate disguises - most often including a swish and sexy outfit that's rather impractical for kick-boxing lecherous villains into submission and a radical, often oddly coloured, hairstyle. Yet her male companion agents dress the same as they always did and are never recognised.
9. If somebody would just shoot Sloane and Stark then everyone's problems would be solved. It's not like nobody ever had the chance.
10. Whatever exotic and faraway places the CIA goes in the world to mount an operation, it never rains.