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Thomas Haden Church,
The Cold War is over and the world's biggest threat is the growing amount of unemployed (mostly laid off) spies. A retired secret agent is pulled back into service by a young rookie working for E.C.H.O.. He is constantly amazed by the changing rules of the spy game... Written by
Steve Richer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thin on character and plot, but catchy theme song!
"Spy Game" seeks to emulate classic spy shows like "The Avengers," "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," and "Get Smart." But these shows were far more simplistic in their depiction of espionage, far more black and white. We had not yet been exposed to the many shades of gray that more complex story lines presented in movies like "Three Days of the Condor," and "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" or television shows like "The Equalizer" and "Reilly: Ace of Spies" where the enemy could just as easily be a trusted comrade as it could a foreign agent.
If a show is promoted as being campy action-adventure that's not meant to be taken seriously, then it should honor its limitations. I can accept fantastic plots of vengeful ex-spies turned assassins, human detonators, killer androids, deranged psychiatrists, and sexy spies with names like Honey Trapp. Just don't expect me to keep up when the show gets maudlin about the horrors of death and deceit in the espionage business. You'd never see John Steed needing therapy, or Napoleon Solo feeling remorse over an assignment gone wrong. That's because they weren't real spies, they were TV spies who were highly entertaining.
Also, some of the roles were miscast. Bruce McCarty's a fine actor, but his relative youth and guileless appearance made it difficult to accept him as Micah Simms, head of an independent spy organization with experience and contacts in the world of intelligence. Actors like Daniel Benzali (The Agency, Murder One), Paul Guilfoyle (CSI, Secret Agent Man), Miguel Sandoval (Murder One, Clear and Present Danger) or Tony Todd (Candyman movies, Babylon 5: A Call To Arms) would have been more credible in the role. Not to mention John DeLancie and Mitchell Ryan, both of whom had guest-starring roles on the show.
While I had no problem seeing Linden Ashby as war-weary ex-CIA agent Lorne Cash, Allison Smith's role as counterspy Max London seemed a bit of a stretch. Her fight scenes were less than convincing. It would have been more believable (and more comedic) to have her play a bureaucrat-turned-spy whose relative inexperience would contrast sharply with Cash's history in the field.
So what did I like about this show? The guest appearances of actors like Peter Lupus, Patrick Macnee, Dana Delany and John DeLancie were quite entertaining. And I love the theme song! It has such cool spy music. Come on, say what you will about the show, but you've got to admit that the theme song that was composed by Christophe Beck rates up there with I Spy, Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Mission Impossible.
So remember, if you get a chance to see "Spy Game," don't miss the opening credits; the theme song is not to be missed.
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