TV Review - Undercovers ("Pilot")

Airs: Wednesdays at 8/7c on NBC
Genre: Spy action comedy
The Set-Up: 5 years after falling in love on the job and retiring, a married couple (Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kodjoe) are reactivated as CIA agents to locate an old chum and, you know, save the world.  Lots of sexpionage ensues.  But what's the real reason behind their reactivation?  Created by J.J. Abrams and Josh Reims.
The Good: There's something immediately comforting and enjoyable about a J.J. Abrams show opening with a rooftop chase scene set to a Michael Giacchino score.  Abrams' keen eye for casting remains intact: Mbatha-Raw and Kodjoe make for appealing leads and are both, in the words of Derek Zoolander, "really, really ridiculously good looking."  Smartly plotted, excellent production values, terrific music.  Abrams directed the pilot.  Awesome location transition postcards.  Undercovers offers breezy, escapist fare, and a break from all the police/legal procedurals that clot up the airwaves.
The Bad: Another spy show?  Really?  Feels a bit derivative of Abrams' own Alias - though less mythology-heavy and more cheerful.  The term, "sexpionage" is actually used in the pilot.  Multiple times.
The Verdict: It's a J.J. Abrams show, people!  Of course you should watch it.  The man created Felicity, Alias, Lost, and Fringe.  He knows how to make compelling television.  Undercovers is no exception.  ***1/2 stars.


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  • I'm not sure about this one. It's too run of the mill spy show. I had high hopes for JJ Abrams' new project, but there was nothing special about it. And the European sets looked really fake. I'm going to give it another chance because the guy is good looking, but its probably going to lose its slot on my DVR.

  • In reply to Ashby:

    I agree that maybe we've seen it before, but it's smartly done and executed with flair. I wouldn't pull it past Abrams and company to have a few tricks up their sleeve.

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