Well, the pilot exceeded my expectations. No, the depiction of the Academy is not perfect, but some of the scenes were eerily similar to what I experienced. While most viewers would assume that surely the romances and flings in the show are purely silly fantasy fluff, I can assure you that those types of behaviors did occur at the FBI Academy (infrequently, yes, and with much more average looking people, yes). Funny enough, my biggest gripe was how "nice" the instructors are in the show; I cannot begin to imagine what would have happened if someone was talking on a cell phone at the firing range. FBI Academy instructors in reality are incredibly tough; I still have scars on my knuckles to prove it (but they are some of the best and most dedicated individuals on the planet). But minor gripes aside, the feeling of being back in college in a dorm but with the structure (physically and mentally) of boot camp is what it was really like.
Sure, the storyline is far-fetched, but this is a fictional TV show. It is not the next Homeland; I do not expect it to clean house at the next Emmy Awards show. But for what it is, it is well done, and feels like the show writers at least had enough input to keep the story in line with the "real" side of the FBI.
In summary, this is an admirable effort, especially for a major network; the pilot gets a nice 8 out of 10 from me. If the show goes downhill (which is definitely possible; it seems like one of those shows that might be best as a one-season-only run), I will update my review accordingly. But for now, I will continue to be entertained for an hour each week with the escapism that the show offers.
*** UPDATE ***
It saddens me to have to update the review, but I feel it is my responsibility to do so since I have elected to stop watching the show. Bottom line, it feels like this was written by somebody who is paid by the plot twist, and at some point it cheapens the show to not being watchable. Also, I have to agree with another commenter who felt like the show must be a Shonda Rhimes production (nothing against her, but the show looks and feels much more like Grey's Anatomy than Homeland). I finally had to stop watching because of the gross inaccuracies about the lives of the NATs at the FBI Academy. The show still has entertaining moments, but with so many great shows out there, I am having to pull the plug on this one to make room for others. I suspect that will be the fate of this show; it started strong and has a full season 1 order, but I would be surprised if it made through a 2nd season. But then again, Grey's Anatomy is still on ...