It’s Pilot season in America. There certainly seems to be more shows that at least have the potential to be intriguing. There’s the can’t miss in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the LOST clone in NBC’s The Event, the waiting-to-see-if-it-can-deliver in AMC’s The Walking Dead and a host of other intriguing new shows. I may not drop thoughts on all of them, but I will try to give my initial thoughts on some of those that catch my eye. On Tuesday, I reviewed NBC’s The Event. Today is NBC’s spy series, Undercovers.
While The Event was marketed directly as a LOST clone, Undercovers isn’t really promoted as a direct draw on a prior show. That said, it has a feel that draws directly off of two recent shows: the currently running Chuck and the since departed Alias.
Relative newcomers Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in and carry Undercovers quite effectively.
Undercovers is the latest draw from the team over at Bad Robot (JJ Abram’s production company that produced such smash hits as Alias, LOST, Cloverfield and Star Trek). The basic plot line is part Mr. & Mrs. Smith, brought to the small screen. Steven and Samantha are married former CIA agents who left the life in order to run a catering company and have a quiet marriage. The gag about Samantha’s sister trying to add pork to the menu at an Orthodox Jewish wedding aside, the pilot script isn’t weighed down by anything unnecessary. This show knows what it is and what it has to rely on: light-hearted spy action and sexiness.
The show has no pretenses for higher level, deep plot lines. While LOST is the standard bearer there, even Alias extended down the rabbit hole with the Rambaldi story arcs. No such worries here. Yes, there are going to be overriding story arcs over the entirety of the show’s run — e.g., the handlers indicate that Sam and Steve might not really be working for the CIA, a plot line run through with Alias and also the unaffiliated Rubicon (click here for my Rubicon posts). Yet this seems secondary to the real point of the show.
We’re likely to get self contained story lines as the focal point with a hefty dose of Q style spy tech, well constructed action sequences, and light hearted banter between the show’s stars, who are a ridiculously good looking couple in a Zoolander kind of way.
Click on through for some quick hits. Read more…