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I might give this show one more chance just because JJ has shown merit in the past but if the next episode is the same quality as this one then I won't bother giving it anymore attention.
This new couple is fun to watch and Mr. Kodjoe is GREAT to look at (Gugu is pretty too).
Most TV isn't fun to watch anymore, i.e., cruel "reality" shows, twisted comedies with sick/demented characters, etc.
Watching Undercovers was fun and exciting. It's nice to see characters that have traits one would actually aspire to cultivating in oneself. Looking forward to more!
I won't bother going into details about the pilot, mostly because the plot was dragging and not engaging and I was so bored with what was going on that my mind would drift off and I found myself having to rewind to catch up.
Im a huge fan of J.J. Abrams and was sorely disappointed that this show was so bad. Maybe it will get better but I wont be watching.
1). The catering service angle and the attached characters need to go. Here, Stephen and Samantha Bloom act like they belong in a sitcom. Everything is a setup for some profanely banal gag, and all of the story lines involved with this setting are extremely inconsequential. Too top it all off, none of this is remotely amusing. In short, this setting hinders by taking away from both how the show is marketed and what the audience wants—intrigue and action. Just get rid of this backdrop and focus solely on the Blooms as special operatives coming out of retirement.
2). The action needs to be amped up. "Hawaii Five-0" is the highest rated new show this season. A large part of that is because it delivers on the action front. Sadly, despite being a show about specialized intelligence operatives, "Undercovers" doesn't really have memorable action. To be what they are, it seems the Blooms would likely have received a high level of training in weapons handling, demolitions, close quarters combat, evasive driving, infiltration, and surveillance. But we don't see that here. What we get is this: Steven punches some random guy in the face, and the dude falls out cold; and Samantha chases someone down, tackling him to the ground at gunpoint. It's not all that interesting. Maybe Kodjoe and Raw could do some more, in-depth training with the onset fight choreographer and weapons handler to give these scenes a bit more oomph.
3). The characters need to feel more in line with the darker backbone of the show. The Blooms really do feel as though they were lifted from a UPN sitcom, and that just doesn't feel right giving what they used to do for a living. They should skew a little darker in their outlooks and interactions. "Chuck" is a comedy/action hybrid that shows how seasoned spies are going to be a little different from the rest of us. Since "Undercovers" supposedly has a harder edged premise, it should really start getting with the program. Make the Blooms more imposing and give them a penchant for gallows humor. As for their pal, Leo Nash, he's little more than a "shagged your wife" plot device. His character and this show could probably be better served by him being graduated from a third wheel to something else.
4). Boris Kodjoe is, admittedly, not a bad looking guy, and I could easily find myself watching Gugu Mbatha Raw do whatever she wants to do (be it on NBC or the BBC). However, this show simply has too many gorgeous people in it. Gerald McRaney and Ben Schwartz look like real people living in a real world. But too many of the supporting players look like models. Too many of the guest stars look like models. Too many of the extras look like models. Due to this, "Undercovers" feels like a graduate of the "Baywatch" school of casting. The show drastically needs regular looking and unattractive folks, because we do exist. Balancing us with the model types would base this show firmly in the reality the audience lives in, and make the Blooms seem even more dynamic to boot. Also, Kodjoe looks waaay too streamlined to possibly blend in anywhere on Earth. Have him grow his hair out somewhat and maybe gain a five o'clock shadow to lend something of an average guy vibe, and cut him down a bit.
All of this can be done pretty easily. Maybe Leo could make a serious play for Samantha. Steven and Leo might then get in a very brutal confrontation, resulting in gunplay. It's possible that Leo could escape the injured Bloom and then rat the Bloom's out to enemies. Then, while the Blooms are being sequestered at a base, the bad guys could possibly have their home and business bombed. Faced with the utter demise of their civilian lives, the Blooms might then escape their protective detail to locate Leo and find out who else was involved—and make them pay dearly for it.
This would eliminate the bothersome characters and plot threads introduced by the catering service, since it and the people who work there would be no more. The action would get a serious shot in the arm as the Blooms search would lead them headfirst into some pretty heavy situations. The Blooms would come off as being more intense and proactive, instead of blasé and reactive, since their goal would be retribution. Even Leo would get the boost he needs to become a character of at least some depth. This, combined with a greater eye for realism in casting, would make "Undercovers" as interesting to me as it first sounded when in development.
I'd like to see "Undercovers", at the very least, remain on the air long enough to find its groove. But seeing how competitive this T.V. season is, I realize it may not. However, should it get a full season commitment, I hope that someone reading this finds one or two of these suggestions to have some merit (since IMDb is public domain, you never know who reads these posts). As the show is now, I can only give it a five. That's pretty generous seeing as how the first three episodes have one major thing in common—putting me to sleep.
I can only conclude that this is an Abrams knock off. I think NBC has been doing so poorly in the ratings that they went out and bought the equivalent of a fake Louis Vuitton purse (the kind you by on the streets of Shanghai or Beijing).
Now for the basic plot, the whole show revolves around 2 spy's who have left the CIA a while back and are now a normal typical married couple, and beyond that... thats it. There is no twist no element of surprise, and if that weren't enough the dialog is bland and boring. Please PLEASE someone bring back puns because these screenwriters are murdering my eardrums. 5/10 since it still lives up to the "standard" of a typical spy show.
The show has very high production values, but the recycled plots do nothing to cash in on them. Locales and set pieces are interchangeable as the by-the-numbers plots unfold. There's nary an original idea to be found.
This might not be such a problem if we at least had good characters, but Undercovers is lacking there, too. We get only the most cursory back story for our leads. They seem to exist only in the moment. Even what we know about their past doesn't seem to jibe with what we see. First, they show no indication that they were ever highly trained operatives. They carry themselves like second-year agents, not the top spies who had to be reactivated because no one else could handle the job. Also, Samantha had a relationship with two characters on the show, but she has absolutely no chemistry with either of them.
And that is the nail in the coffin for the show. All the other weaknesses of the show could be said about a similar cheesy mystery show from the 70s/80s: Hart to Hart. But the two leads in that show had chemistry, and it carried the entire series. The only thing that carries Undercovers is Gerald McRaney...but his appearances are too brief to do anything more than remind us of what this show could have been.
Zzzz. Was there anything in the pilot we hadn't seen dozens of times before? Has JJ Abrams been watching too many 1970s TV reruns? The plot is old, the main characters are more glitzy than interesting, the dialog is boring....
I think we're supposed to give the show high marks because the main characters are a black married couple, which is on the original side. But that's not enough. They have no deeper motivation than they miss the excitement of being heroes. But a good hero has vulnerabilities and obstacles. He/she is not perfect. He has a back story, often involving the loss of a family member, that makes him sympathetic to the viewer. I can only hope that will show up in the episodes after the pilot, because, right now, the best thing that could happen to the show is if Boris gets killed and Gugu has to carry on without him.
And what's with the characters names? Samantha Bloom was a character on VR.5,whose sister and star was named Sydney. JJ Abrams already had a series with a Sydney, so now...? Maybe halfway through the series, Abrams will reveal this is all happening in virtual reality or a parallel universe. Now that would be interesting. :-)
Did I mention our hot CIA agent is married? Sounds like her personal life is over :))
I have enjoyed the past few episodes, and I believe the show has developed quite a bit, but it just didn't have enough umph in the first few tries to keep an audience entertained.
Firstly, the main characters are boring, there is no chemistry, and as the story goes, they are supposed to be experienced spies but their skill is shown as less then average. I guess the main premise of this show was to put few nice looking people on the show and let's wait and see what happens. And what happened was a big mistake.
The only character that is worth something is Hoyte and I am wondering why he isn't given more space in the show.
This show, like any spy show had potential, and I guess JJ got this on behalf of his previous success stories, but I will be absolutely stunned if this show goes beyond the first season, I wouldn't be even surprised if it was canceled in the middle of the first season, it's that bad.
Besides, no one ever watches NBC anymore!