Undercovers Ain’t No Lost, But That’s Okay

How sick do you think JJ Abrams is of people comparing everything he does to Lost? I would imagine a lot, considering he reportedly came up with the basic idea and then handed it off to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse who ran the show for its entire run. Hell, the dude’s gone on to rejuvenate the mostly dead and bloated Star Trek franchise and produce a string of other TV shows and movies. He’s a great creative mind and I look forward to seeing where his future endeavors take him, endeavors like his new NBC spy show Undercovers. First up, let me reiterate what I wrote over on my Maxim TV column for this week: the world doesn’t need another spy show what with good ones like Burn Notice and Covert Affairs and even boring ones like Rubicon and, with another spy show already in his resume, I’m not sure if we need another Abrams spy show. But I’m giving it a shot because the dude’s earned tons of cred with me.

But hey, it’s pretty fun. The show’s not great and it doesn’t smack of Abrams-icity per se, but it is fun which is good enough to get me coming back for more. As I’ve mentioned plenty of times, I love James Bond movies specifically and the spy genre in general. Plus, I think it’s a lot of fun to see a show like this on the air. It’s got a good budget, so things look good. As you might imagine, there’s a mystery as to why main characters Steve and Samantha Bloom were really brought back into the spy game after being gone for five years.

Here’s a quick list of what else I liked:

1. The Blooms are really likable. Sure, they’ve got common problems: they feel like the spark in their relationship is dimming IE they can’t remember the last time they danced, but those are pretty common problems which will hopefully bring in more viewers in addition to the genre fans. Hey, think of it like this: there used to be so many spy shows on TV that Get Smart, a parody, could thrive. Why not now?

2. The Blooms are BOTH spies, which takes out some of the clunkiness that comes with the old and boring secret identity concept. Sure, they’ll have to keep things from their family catering business, but that’s okay by me.

3. It’s awesome seeing African American characters in lead roles. Sure, there’s Halle Berry as Jinx in Die Anther Day and Carl Lumbly’s Marcus Dixon from Alias, but I think this is the first time a pair of married spies in a movie or series who are black.

4. It’s not Lost and by that I mean I don’t feel like I have to watch every single episode or I’ll be completely confused when I watch the next one.Plus, I can watch the show while flipping through a magazine or checking my Google Reader and still follow the action.

5. Something’s amiss. Like I said, the guy who brings them back into the spy game (played by Major Dad himself, Gerald McRaney) has another reason for bringing them back that they don’t know about. Now, because I watched Alias, I’m thinking that it might be that he’s not really with the CIA and they’re being played but I hope that’s not the case because, well, Abrams has done that already. It’s not an all-engrossing mystery right now, which is good because, like I said above, I don’t know if I’m looking for another highly-involved and complicated show.

So, I’m interested enough to keep tuning in, which is better than I felt after watching The Event.

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