We don’t have Sky, so we tried Netflix for the purposes of watching their new version of House of Cards. Once you start using Netflix (which I’m enjoying – particularly revisiting old series such as Jonathan Creek), they start recommending things. Many US shows on it I’d not heard of. You’re not getting them up-to-date, so you’re often watching early series of shows that may now be defunct, or currently up to series five or six. I liked Lie to Me with Tim Roth, and a Twitter friend put me onto Modern Family, a classy, superb comedy I’d heartily recommend to anyone with good taste (and in fact will, when I get round to writing another post on it).
The early episodes of Covert Affairs, on the other hand are neither classy nor superb. They are so cheesy, in fact, watching it feels very much like eating a massive bag of Wotsits. You feel sick, you’ve had far too much, yet still you keep sticking your hand in, munching mechanically away. A guilty, occasionally heave-inducing pleasure.
There are good things about it. It’s fun. Anne ‘The Book Group’ Dudek is always great. She plays the sister of fresh new CIA operative, Annie Walker (Piper Perabo), who works for tough DPD (Domestic Protection Division) boss Joan (Kari Matchett) married to top boss Arthur Campbell (Peter ‘Sex Lies and Videotape’ Gallagher). There’s lots of internal politics and scheming. We have ambitious operatives such as Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy), son of previous big CIA boss, who has a tense relationship with Arthur. There are many TV drama cliches in play at all times.
Annie’s bezzie mate in the CIA is Auggie, played by Christopher Gorman, an operative who supposedly lost his sight in Iraq and is therefore desk-bound these days. There are many fine visually impaired actors I’m sure, but CG isn’t one of them, by which I mean he has no visual impairment in real life. His key role in Covert Affairs seems to be to take his shirt off. Nothing wrong with that. He has a fine chest, and a winning way with the ladeez to be sure, and why not? But his character isn’t really pushing the envelope of disability awareness I don’t think.
Piper Perabo is fine. A bit skinny, but pretty kick ass and all that. But the fact that she wears Loubotin shoes at all times (is it just me for whom those flashing, lacquered red undersides are reminiscent of a come-hither macaque bottom?) when she supposedly spends half of every episode chasing, or being chased, by bad guys in all manner of major international cities is just stupid. So stupid in fact that I find myself singing “stupid shoes” to the tune of Horrible Histories Stupid Deaths song every time I see her running in them. She’s a self-inflicted broken ankle waiting to happen, like an opening of a Casualty episode. And I bet she gets bunions. PLUS she supposedly travels all over the world with false passports and presumably money and all that, yet wears skintight pencil skirts with no pockets and never carries a handbag let along a standard carry-on size overnight bag. Where’s her stuff, eh? Tickets? Where they hell is she keeping her boarding passes, eh? Lipstick? Toothbrush? Spare pants? Blister plasters? Tampons FFS. Crazy.
Yes, yes I know. Suspend disbelief in the name of drama. Bond doesn’t have a manbag either.
But the MOST annoying thing of all about these episodes of Covert Affairs is the fact that they are clearly sponsored by the appalling and deeply uncool Bud Light, the label of which every character overtly flashes when in bars. When someone buys a round, that’s all anyone drinks. Even the ‘blind’ Auggie carries his bottle obviously label camera-wards. It would be like Steed overtly chugging Watneys Red Barrel. Really embarrassingly heavy-handed, poorly judged product placement there.
And yet, and yet. I keep watching it. Addictive. And quite enjoyable really. If you like it cheesy…
Posted by Inkface