Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Why I'm not watching Undercovers

I gave Undercovers a shot, but it didn't grab me.

I'm watching a lot of spy shows right now. Chuck and Nikita are both airing new episodes, Burn Notice will be back shortly, and I'm re-watching Alias on DVD. It's not that I'm getting tired of spy shows, because I'm not. It's that if I'm going to add another one, it's going to have to be really, really good. And Undercovers isn't.

As the commercials indicated, the show's mainly about the relationship between the two leads. I've only watched the pilot, but the spy plot was so sloppy that I was convinced it was an afterthought. The show asks you to be attracted by these two people and oh, by the way, here's some guns and kicking and stuff.

I mean, Alias could sure string some goofy stuff together, but it always made sense, at least to the internal logic of the show's world. And it eased you into that world. It didn't lead with Rimbaldi or any other the other, wilder elements that it later became known for. In Undercovers, we're asked to believe that an encrypted flash drive can tell you the current location of the computer that it was last connected to. I have a hard time with that, especially in a pilot episode where I'm not yet invested in the characters or what they're doing. If Alias had tried to feed me that in Season Two, I would've groaned, but moved on, because I was already hooked.

Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are extremely pretty people, there's no mistake about that. But as Tanner says over at Double O Section, the writers need to work a lot harder on Steven and Samantha Bloom's dialogue:
For this series to work, they will require some genuine banter, not lame jokes about “sexpionage” (a word that Abrams and his co-writer Josh Reims seem to think that they made up–and also seem to think is much funnier than it is–which, here, is not at all). “You look pretty hot yourself” simply doesn’t cut it as romantic repartee; the writers of Undercovers need to brush up on their Thin Mans if they want to figure out how to generate genuine romance between married adventurers.
As it is, I didn't hate the couple, but I also didn't like them nearly as much as I was being told I was supposed to. And with a lame, unbelievable plot on top of that, there's no reason for me to keep watching. I'll hold out for JJ Abrams' show about Locke and Ben Linus as former black ops agents.


Jay said...

Yeah, this one looked like a pass to me too. We're grovin' on Chuck though, which seems to reinvent itself with great success each season.

I've adopted only one new show this season (Hawaii 5-0) but I've heard that the new Michael Chiklis superhero show is good too.

Michael May said...

I'm liking Hawaii Five-0 too.

I've also heard good things about No Ordinary Family, but that was also the case with Heroes and I couldn't make it through the first six episodes of that. If everyone still loves No Ordinary Family by the end of the season, I'll try it out on Netflix when it comes out on DVD.

Kal said...

I like No Ordinary People too. Chiklis is so watchable and the effects are amazing for television. I hope it stays like the 'Incredibles' and does not become 'Heroes' which drowned under the weight of it's own mythology.

I have a pet peeve that 'Undercover' fell into last week while I was watching the last five minutes while waiting for another show to start.

"Is this the end?" "No,it is just the beginning?" - I HATE that line of dialogue as much as I hate rappers who tell me 'get my hands in the air and wave 'em like I just don't care."

Hawaii 5-O is very good. Are you wantching Stargate SGU? That is probably my favorite show from last year and this year it is just as hard for that crew to find any hope in their situation. I would like them to have one SMALL victory and the fact that I am asking for that shows that I really care about these characters. That is all I ask from my programs - make me CARE

Michael May said...

I haven't been watching SGU, though it looks like my thing. I love Robert Carlysle, for example.

It's my special, nerdy brand of OCD that's keeping me from it until I catch up not only on the original series, but also on Atlantis. Sad, I know.


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