"Covert Affairs" on USA HD - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 387 Old 06-12-2010, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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In COVERT AFFAIRS, USA's newest original series, we meet Annie Walker (Piper Perabo), a young CIA trainee who is suddenly thrust into the inner sanctum of the agency after being promoted to field operative. While it appears that she has been hand-picked for her exceptional linguistic skills, it may be something from her past that her CIA bosses are really after. Christopher Gorham plays Auggie Anderson, a CIA military intelligence agent, blinded while on assignment, and Annie's guide in this world of bureaucracy, excitement and intrigue. Peter Gallagher is Arthur Campbell, the formidable director of Clandestine Services for the CIA. Sendhil Ramamurthy plays Jai Wilcox, an agent with a rich family history within the walls of the CIA. Anne Dudek plays Danielle, a married mother of two and Annie's older sister who knows nothing of Annie's life as a spy. Kari Matchett plays Joan, head of the CIA's Domestic Protection Division...and Arthur's wife.

From Universal Cable Productions, COVERT AFFAIRS is executive produced by Doug Liman (the "Bourne" trilogy, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "The O.C.") and Dave Bartis ("The O.C.," "The Heist") through Dutch Oven and written and co-executive produced by Matt Corman ("Deck the Halls") and Chris Ord ("Deck the Halls"). James Parriott (Grey's Anatomy," "Ugly Betty") executive produces. Jonathan Glassner ("Stargate SG-1," "CSI: Miami") is co-executive producer and director. Tim Matheson (USA's BURN NOTICE, PSYCH, "Criminal Minds") directed the pilot.

http://www.usanetwork.com/series/cov...irs/index.html

It's a comedy version of Alias!

That's what the trailers have me thinking so far. Will this be the show that stretches the USA formula too far? Hard to say, but based on USA's track record it will be worth at least checking out if you like the rest of their action/comedy/drama hybrids.

Starts Tues July 13th, 10 pm EST after the season premiere of White Collar.


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post #2 of 387 Old 06-12-2010, 10:36 PM
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I'm definitely going to check it out. So far USA has done no wrong, so I'm willing to give any of their shows a chance. Same goes for FX.
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post #3 of 387 Old 06-13-2010, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Imp View Post

I'm definitely going to check it out. So far USA has done no wrong, so I'm willing to give any of their shows a chance. Same goes for FX.

I agree entirely it seems USA just keeps coming out with good shows I can't wait.

You can never judge a show by its pilot episode or the half season following it.
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post #4 of 387 Old 06-13-2010, 10:51 AM
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I actually kind of think this looks good, too.

I'll at least give a spin.
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post #5 of 387 Old 07-11-2010, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Variety review:

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Somehow, USA keeps taking stale-sounding concepts and manages to infuse them with surprising energy and verve. So it is with "Covert Affairs," casting Piper Perabo as a fledgling CIA agent -- plucked from the academy in training, a la "Silence of the Lambs'?" Clarice Starling -- thrust into a web of confounding internal politics, espionage and wrong-way chases. There's nothing remotely new here, yet the extended pilot (which can claim a production affiliation with the "Bourne" franchise) moves so efficiently -- while dangling a key serialized thread -- that "Affairs" could blossom into a longterm relationship.

A pretty actress with a made-for-comicbooks name, Perabo is introduced in a tropical setting where her Annie Walker is involved in a whirlwind romance, only to have her b.f. disappear, leaving the cryptic note, "The truth is complicated." ("X-Files" fans have always been told it was "out there," but never mind.)

Fluent in seven languages, she signs up with the CIA, but is abruptly plucked from her trainee class, ostensibly to capitalize on her linguistic skills. After some brief orientation by a blind tech whiz (Christopher Gorham) and her tough, disapproving boss (Kari Matchett), Annie is dispatched to retrieve intel from a Russian assassin, mostly because she A) speaks Russian and B) can pass for a high-priced call girl. That's what you call a "win-win."

The ensuing hijinks -- including an awkward dinner orchestrated by Annie's sister (Anne Dudek), who knows nothing about her secret life -- don't really matter much in the details. But as directed by Tim Matheson (who has worked on USA's "Burn Notice") from a script by Matt Corman and Chris Ord, the pilot rumbles forward on crisp action and light-hearted humor, while hinting at higher stakes that offer room for narrative growth.

While easily dismissed as another "Alias" (like Jennifer Garner, Perabo can do wonderful things to a simple skirt and heels), the show also makes clever use of Walker's newbie status. By that measure, she's eager to exhibit initiative but not immune from fear or always fully capable of handling the threats she rushes to face.

Having played a spy previously in "Jake 2.0," Gorham also makes for a nice sidekick, with some soapy doings (perhaps the pilot's weakest element) involving Matchett and the Domestic Protection Division's director, played by Peter Gallagher.

Like any good spy mission, ultimately, a TV series comes down to the execution. And based strictly on this first assignment, USA -- which will launch the show behind the similarly themed "White Collar" -- probably won't have to worry about "Affairs" remaining covert for long.

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117...Latest+News%29



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post #6 of 387 Old 07-11-2010, 06:35 PM
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casting Piper Perabo as a fledgling CIA agent -- plucked from the academy in training, a la "Silence of the Lambs'?" Clarice Starling

If only, if only this show had a whisper of the suspense and drama of that film... but being USA Network it will likely be just another soft dramedy like the rest of their stuff. Of course, it's definitely worth a few viewings just to see Perabo, who is quite pleasing to look at.
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post #7 of 387 Old 07-12-2010, 05:54 AM
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I'm actually working with USA to help promote the show. Glad to hear you guys are excited for it. There's an exclusive scene up at the official page, that any fans of Piper Perabo will want to check out.
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post #8 of 387 Old 07-13-2010, 10:07 PM
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Watched the premiere episode and liked what I saw.
Now have it set up on my DVR.
All the sudden Tuesday's are looking much better with some Piper..
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post #9 of 387 Old 07-13-2010, 10:48 PM
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I DVRed it and intend to watch... but wasn't ready to watch earlier tonight.

I agree the previews reminded me a lot of Alias. There actually was a lot of humor in Alias, although they played the show as being "real" and not a comedy... real life has humor.

As much as I liked Alias, it did go off the rails a bit with its "supernatural" strangeness... and I always thought it could have been an even better show if they'd kept a lot of the strangeness as just "unknown"...

If this show fits the mold of other USA shows and intends to be character driven, then maybe it can avoid the pitfalls that befell Alias.

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post #10 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 02:52 PM
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I enjoyed it. Works well with White Collar. Took me awhile to recognize "Cutthroat Bitch" as Annie's sister.
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post #11 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 03:44 PM
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There must be a new rule that beautiful female government agents must be named Agent Walker.

There's Renee Walker, Sarah Walker, and now Annie Walker. Who would win in a Battle Royale? Renee would probably kick both their a**es, but since she is dead, Sarah is the winner, followed by Annie.
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post #12 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbathespud View Post

I enjoyed it. Works well with White Collar. Took me awhile to recognize "Cutthroat Bitch" as Annie's sister.

Thats why she looked so familiar.

You can never judge a show by its pilot episode or the half season following it.
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post #13 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 05:05 PM
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ehh, i'm not sold. pretty much everything they did to bring out her "character" I found annoying rather than endearing.
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post #14 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 05:49 PM
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For my taste it has a little too much "Burn Noticeness" Just too hard to take seriously and as a result it never goes beyond a casual viewing (at best). Again that's my preference and they have every right (rightfully so?) to reach for another target market.
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post #15 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rjcc View Post

ehh, i'm not sold. pretty much everything they did to bring out her "character" I found annoying rather than endearing.

I agree. Not bad once it got going. The trip to the morgue with a blind guy was really over the top, as is a huband and wife team as "co supervisors".

Basically, she talks too damn much.

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post #16 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 05:59 PM
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This is really tangential and petty, but as an increasing number of shows are now pretending that they take place in the DC Metro area, I am moved by how little anyone actually tries to find places that replicate either the look or the feel of this city.

Are all cities this poorly represented on television (besides NYC and LA)? It seems like the extent of their interest in making us think this was DC was lamely naming the hotel Capital Grande.

Besides that, I kind of enjoyed it.
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post #17 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 06:42 PM
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I liked it, too. However, I can do without the contrived CIA husband-wife crap.

If it can reach the level of Alias, that would be great, as the characters in that show were very well defined. It was the Rambaldi stuff that dragged it down.
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post #18 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mikey mo View Post

Basically, she talks too damn much.


that was exactly my thought, every time she was talking it was too long and not funny or interesting or even story related.
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post #19 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeewing View Post

I liked it, too. However, I can do without the contrived CIA husband-wife crap.

If it can reach the level of Alias, that would be great, as the characters in that show were very well defined. It was the Rambaldi stuff that dragged it down.

It will never reach the level of "Alias", this is USA Network after all, they simply don't do any real drama, it's all drama-light/comedy. It's all about the characters, not the story, just like their promos always say. About the edgiest thing I've seen on this network is Law & Order: CI, and it's a carryover from the NBC Network.

I hope the show does well, but it's pretty much the same old thing USA always puts up, just different settings/characters.
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post #20 of 387 Old 07-14-2010, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought it was okay. I started getting the impression it was trying too hard to be a spy show for women, with fashion references, the "women in the workplace" banter and the Lilith Fair soundtrack.

Hopefully the upcoming episodes will be tighter and better paced because my attention drifted during the pilot and not just because it was very predictable. It certainly didn't hit the ground in the way Alias did which was twist-packed and full throttle out of the door and it didn't spark the way White Collar did by having a charismatic lead who had a snappy rapport with the characters.

I found their leak too.

Everyone who goes to that bar.

All the reporter has to do is sit in the bar and they can listen to the CIA employees discussing Russian assassins, what they did at work today and profiling techniques. Doh.


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post #21 of 387 Old 07-15-2010, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAnetwork View Post

I'm actually working with USA to help promote the show. Glad to hear you guys are excited for it. There's an exclusive scene up at the official page, that any fans of Piper Perabo will want to check out.

I'm not sure I'd brag about it. Anyway, welcome to the FORUM.

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post #22 of 387 Old 07-15-2010, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mikey mo View Post

I'm not sure I'd brag about it. Anyway, welcome to the FORUM.


Why not? It's better than a lot of the drek that passes for TV entertainment these days.
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post #23 of 387 Old 07-15-2010, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeewing View Post

If it can reach the level of Alias, that would be great, as the characters in that show were very well defined. It was the Rambaldi stuff that dragged it down.

That's what I was saying earlier... Rambaldi and pseudo-magic tore at the credibility of Alias sometimes.

I watched Covert Affairs last night finally... and I'll stay with it to see what happens. It was even more reminiscent of Alias than I thought it would be... although in Alias Sydney was a a more established spy by the time we started the adventures... whereas we are catching this show in the main character's first day on the job.

I have to admit... that I am wondering if the blind guy is really blind. Something about his character's personality is leading me to believe the blindness might be a "cover" so people let down their guard around him.

I could be wrong.. but my gut kicked in.

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post #24 of 387 Old 07-15-2010, 02:24 PM
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I had the same feeling HDMe2, but we'll have to wait and see.
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post #25 of 387 Old 07-15-2010, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post

This is really tangential and petty, but as an increasing number of shows are now pretending that they take place in the DC Metro area, I am moved by how little anyone actually tries to find places that replicate either the look or the feel of this city.

Are all cities this poorly represented on television (besides NYC and LA)? It seems like the extent of their interest in making us think this was DC was lamely naming the hotel Capital Grande.

Besides that, I kind of enjoyed it.

I've noticed the same thing. "Criminal Minds" would have us believe that the Metro runs out to Quantico. "Bones" does a half-decent job, better than most. "The West Wing" did a solid job but, then again, it was depicting a very small slice of life here.
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post #26 of 387 Old 07-15-2010, 04:09 PM
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Even LA doesn't get a proper representation if you're a native, none of the navigation ever makes sense.
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post #27 of 387 Old 07-15-2010, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

I have to admit... that I am wondering if the blind guy is really blind. Something about his character's personality is leading me to believe the blindness might be a "cover" so people let down their guard around him.

I think you are detecting his secret nanobot enhancements (Sorry, old Jake 2.0 reference)

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post #28 of 387 Old 07-15-2010, 05:42 PM
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I watched ep. 1, like it so far. Will watch again next week.

Boy this is a great time of summer...The Closer's back on, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar, Memphis Beat, Rizzoli and Isles, and The Glades. I'm enjoying them all.

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post #29 of 387 Old 07-16-2010, 10:31 AM
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Kept thinking "why don't they give her a gun?" throughout the entire pilot.

For what it seems to want to be, this show is pretty solid. I agree with the advance reviews in that the multi-episode arc they're attempting to set up looks pretty flat, but the action sequences were quite good. The beginning scenes seemed rough, especially dialog-wise, but that might have just been me needing to adjust to the style of the show.

On my own internal scale I give it a B-/C+ and will definitely watch again. Considering the fact that this was a pilot, I'd bump it to a B+. I've seen worse pilots for series that I ended up liking a lot.
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post #30 of 387 Old 07-16-2010, 10:34 AM
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why does everything have to have a multi episode arc now?
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