Tag Archives: Covert Affairs

The Golden Globes?

Basically, the Golden Globes results are really…weird. But there are a couple excellent things. And FINALLY, the reigns of Mad Men and 30 Rock seem to be coming to an end.

 

Best Picture, Drama: The Social Network
Didn’t Win: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The King’s Speech

I have not seen The Social Network. I forgot it existed.

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy: The Kids Are All Right
Didn’t Win: Alice in Wonderland, Burlesque, Red, The Tourist

Given this list of nominees, is anyone surprised by the winner? (God I hope not.)

Best Director: David Fincher (The Social Network)
Didn’t Win:
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), Christopher Nolan (Inception), David O. Russell (The Fighter)

Give Christopher Nolan pretty shiny awards, dammit!

Best Actor, Drama: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Didn’t Win: Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), James Franco (127 Hours), Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter)

YES. GOOD JOB, GOLDEN GLOBES.

Best Actress, Drama: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Didn’t Win: Halle Berry (Frankie and Alice), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Well deserved…based solely on the performance itself, not through comparison to the others.

Best Actor, Comedy or Musical: Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version)
Didn’t Win: Johnny Depp (The Tourist, Alice in Wonderland), Jake Gyllenhaal (Love and Other Drugs), Kevin Spacey (Casino Jack)

I have seen none of these movies.

Best Actress, Comedy or Musical: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
Didn’t Win: Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs), Angelina Jolie (The Tourist), Emma Stone (Easy A)

Mostly I am just happy that Emma Stone didn’t win. That would have made me cry.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Didn’t Win: Michael Douglas (Wall Street 2), Andrew Garfield (The Social Network), Jeremy Renner (The Town), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

I was rooting for Jeremy Renner, personally. But it’s good that Christian Bale is getting some recognition for that whole He’s A Hell Of An Actor thing.

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Didn’t Win: Amy Adams (The Fighter), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Mila Kunis (Black Swan), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Didn’t Win: Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours), Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right), Christopher Nolan (Inception), David Seidler (The King’s Speech)

Whatever.

Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3
Didn’t Win: Despicable Me, How To Train Your Dragon, The Illusionist, Tangled

I am embarrassed to say, I’ve only seen one of these. And it is not Toy Story.

Best TV Series, Drama: Boardwalk Empire
Didn’t Win: Dexter, The Good Wife, Mad Men, The Walking Dead

…crap. Four of these are on my Need To Watch list. I should get on that. (In better news, MAD MEN DIDN’T WIN!!!)

Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical: Glee
Didn’t Win: 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, The Big C, Modern Family, Nurse Jackie

If Glee was just nominated for last year, I would be totally down with this. Given that it includes the first part of season two…I have my reservations. But I’m not complaining.

Best Actor, TV Drama Series: Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Didn’t Win: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), John Hamm (Mad Men), Hugh Laurie (House)

…hopefully Steve Buscemi won because he is good and not just because he’s the only new nominee in, like, ever.

Best Actress, TV Drama Series: Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy)
Didn’t Win: Juliana Margulies (The Good Wife), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Piper Perabo (Covert Affairs), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)

…wait. Covert Affairs is classified as a drama series? Wtf.

Best Actor, TV Comedy or Musical Series: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Didn’t Win: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Steve Carell (The Office), Thomas Jane (Hung), Matthew Morrison (Glee)

Yay!!!

Best Actress, TV Comedy or Musical Series: Laura Linney (The Big C)
Didn’t Win: Toni Collette (United States of Tara), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Lea Michele (Glee)

Why does Lea Michele keep being nominated for this? I mean, she’s good. But she’s not THAT good (and she’s not really the lead because it’s a freaking ensemble cast).

Best Supporting Actress, TV Series: Jane Lynch (Glee)
Didn’t Win: Hope Davis (The Special Relationship), Kelly McDonald (Boardwalk Empire), Julia Stiles (Dexter), Sofia Vergara (Modern Famliy)

Best Supporting Actor, TV Series: Chris Colfer (Glee)
Didn’t Win: Scott Caan (Hawaii Five-0), Chris Noth (The Good Wife), Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), David Strathairn (Temple Grandin)

YESSSSSSSS. (But Scott Caan nomination? Possibly even better.)

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This Week 9/5 to 9/12

Guys, guys, FALL TV STARTS THIS WEEK. GET EXCITED.

Tonight:
9pm – Rubicon on AMC
9pm – Leverage on TNT (season finale!)

Please note, the exclamation point after the ‘season finale’ after Leverage actually indicates despair, not excitement.

MONDAY:
8:30pm – CBS Fall Preview on CBS (special)
9pm – Friday Night Lights on ABC Family (network premiere!/pilot!)
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

I have never watched Friday Night Lights. I don’t know that I would like it. But ABC Family is airing the whole series starting anew, so here’s an opportunity.

TUESDAY:
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA

WEDNESDAY:
9pm – Dark Blue on TNT (2 hours!)
10pm – Terriers on FX

I neglected to mention Terriers in my Fall TV preview post (reason: I didn’t know slash forgot it existed). Terriers is, to the best of my opinion, a sort of unconventional cop show of the general FX variety – so, a wacky mix of hicks and major criminals. That part falls pretty well under the take-it-or-leave it umbrella. The reason you should watch Terriers is, it stars Donal Logue (lately of Life)! He’s a funny man. Still confused? Understandable. See a preview here.

THURSDAY:
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW (season premiere!)
9pm – Nikita on the CW (pilot!)
9pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

I guess my foray into actually watching the CW is going to have to wait; I’ve signed away all my Thursday nights for September to Doing Real Things. But I will still make sure to watch these in a timely fashion! (And also finally get around to seeing The Vampire Diaries‘ S1 finale…)

FRIDAY:
9pm – Eureka on SyFy
10pm – Haven on SyFy

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

SUNDAY:
9pm – Rubicon on AMC
9pm – 2010 Video Music Awards on MTV/MTV2


What you can expect from me this week:

  • Review of Leverage season finale/season as a whole
  • Review of Nikita
  • Review of Terriers
  • special post of some variety

This Week 8/9 to 8/15

Tonight:
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

Where did the rest of Monday night go? The Teen Choice Awards ate it. Way to be, FOX.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA
10pm – Memphis Beat on TNT

I should really get around to actually seeing if I like Pretty Little Liars or Memphis Beat one of these days.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX
9pm – Dark Blue on TNT

Okay, so I kinda screwed up on the whole Oh I’m Def Going To Review Dark Blue thing last week. But this week for sure!

THURSDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (2-hour finale!) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on the CW
9pm – Project Runway on Lifetime
9pm – Burn Notice on USA

FRIDAY:
9pm – Eureka on SyFy
10pm – Haven on SyFy

And you could also watch Night At the Museum on ABC at 8. Because it is awesome.

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing tonight. Watch Spike’s Star Wars marathon. Or USA’s House marathon (which includes the pilot at 8pm!). Or, you know, go out and do something. Whatever.

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels on ABC
10pm – The Gates on ABC

Did I miss something? Whoops. This was done in kind of a hurry.

Enjoy your week!

Jews Always Win Me Over

There are four episodes of Covert Affairs now, and it has actually started growing on me. We’re talking serious in-roads toward me liking it. The pilot was okay, the episode after was pretty lame, the episode after that was even worse, but “No Quarter”? Actually pretty almost awesome. I feel like Covert Affairs is finally a spy show.

I’m still sort of stuck on the compare-it-to-Alias thing. I can’t help it! I mean it’s a show about a female CIA operative and her awesomeness. And Covert Affairs seems to be trying to use the same three-quarters-techno soundtrack device that made Alias work so well. THAT SAID, I am no longer looking upon Covert Affairs with unquestioning disfavor in comparison. I mean, for one thing, it is a hell of a lot funnier. I don’t want to punch the heroine five minutes because her life is So Angsty. (Although if I did, I wouldn’t be afraid of her kicking my ass six ways to Pluto.)

Annie Walker is actually an incredibly personable character, not the ultra-lame girl next door I was afraid she was going to be. She has yet to become particularly remarkable, but she is credible for the time being. There’s just the right mix of excellence and fallibility in her skills. Instead of a horrible Mary Sue who is ultra-talented and super fashionable and never ever loses a fight, we have an extraordinary-but-mostly-believable human being. Awesome! And Piper Perabo has so far been able to pull off the whole multilingual thing without sounding like an improperly accented moron (see: Mark Valley in Human Target).

Even better than Annie Walker: Auggie. I am in love with Auggie. I know I am supposed to be in love with Auggie and that that is about 75% of his purpose as a character. But seriously. I love him. He is a nonstop fun-train of irony-based humor. And the issues with I Want To Be A Field Agent But I Can’t See And It Sucks And I Don’t Mind Saying So are really well handled so far – treated with more respect than if they were just token character angst, and not blown so out of proportion that I want to lose all empathy toward him. I’m still having kind of a hard time accepting the whole Blind Guy As Lead Techie thing – watching him at the computer takes a concerted effort of suspending disbelief – but I suppose I’ll just have to get over that.

Other things I have to get over: the married couple issues. They don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Which is sort of frustrating on the one hand, but the acting is good and the storyline (for what it is) isn’t too terrible, so I suppose I’ll manage.

That said, I’m ready for the REAL story to get underway, please. You know, with the possibly-a-rogue-agent Tahiti boyfriend? Yeah. Can we get going on that? I’d really like a real story to cling to. Not that this last episode with Eyal The Mossad Agent (Oded Fehr) wasn’t fun. He and his rapport with Annie are largely responsible for turning my opinion of this show definitively to the positive side – the bondage gear gag and the Swiss wedding might have helped a bit as well. Also the action scenes like the elevator escape (speaking of the bondage gear). I could definitely be happy with more episodes like that. BUT I STILL WANT REAL STORY, PLEASE.

At the very least give me some Sendhil Ramamurthy. Because he seems sneaky and good for an at least slightly interesting side-plot. Plus, he is The Most Beautiful Man In The World and I want to watch him be beautiful.

…is it a problem that this is a sort of a go-girl type show but I love the male characters most?

This Week 8/2 to 8/8

So there’s this thing called “Shark Week” you may have heard of…

Tonight:
8pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – The Good Guys on FOX
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – Warehouse 13 on SyFy
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA
10pm – Memphis Beat on TNT

I do not watch Warehouse 13. But I mentioned it just so that I could share with y’all the whispered plan for a W13Eureka crossover.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance (Top 4) on FOX
9pm – Dark Blue (2-hour season premiere!) on TNT

Is it just me, or is there something inherently silly about airing the movie Next twice in a row? Way to go, FX.

THURSDAY:
9pm – So You Think You Can Dance (results) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on the CW
9pm – Project Runway on Lifetime
9pm – Burn Notice on USA

Wait, when did a new season of Project Runway start? (And, I ask as I do every week, why does everything air at 9pm on Thursday?)

FRIDAY:
9pm – Eureka on SyFy
10pm – Haven on SyFy

SATURDAY:
8pm – Persons Unknown on NBC

SUNDAY:
9pm – Rubicon on AMC
9pm – Leverage on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels on ABC
10pm – The Gates on ABC

I’m actually going to do stuff this week, I promise! And by “things” I mean I will, at the very least, be watching and reviewing Dark Blue. So excited for that show! I was terrified it was going to get cancelled after the first season but NO! SAVED! And now Tricia Helfer has joined the cast! Looking forward to the increased sexy awesome? Oh yes.

Also, going to look into Rubicon and catch up on Persons Unknown, Eureka, and Haven. That last one just because I want to give it another chance before giving up entirely. (Speaking of giving up entirely, folks may notice the absence of Rookie Blue from this week’s schedule. I watched five minutes of the pilot and wanted to die so that was the end of that.)

Enjoy your week.

The Glades: the crimes are boring, the lead is irritating, the secondary characters are boring, and the non-procedural part of the plot is like a Harlequin novel but without any sexiness. Sorry A&E but the truth is, this is just a big unhot mess of epic fail

This Week 7/19 to 7/25

Aw man, I was so good at things the beginning of last week we just knew it couldn’t carry over to the weekend/a more timely This Week.

…in my defense, I had a bummer of a cold and was basically just zombie-ing my way through daily necessities and then sleeping.

ANYWAY.

This is what’s up coming up:

Tonight:
8pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – The Good Guys on FOX
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

And FX is airing 27 Dresses. Again. I don’t know why they keep doing that. (I also don’t know why that movie has a crack-like grasp on my mind.)

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA
10pm – Memphis Beat on TNT

Shows that keep showing up on this schedule only because I haven’t seen them yet and intend to at some point, sorta: Pretty Little Liars and Memphis Beat.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX

Anyone who can explain to me why HawthoRNe is airing on TBS (you know, the comedy network) wins a cookie.

THURSDAY:
9pm – Rookie Blue on ABC
9pm – So You Think You Can Dance (results) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on the CW
9pm – Burn Notice on USA

Also airing, re-run of Glee “Mash-Up.”

FRIDAY:
10pm – Haven on SyFy

SATURDAY:
7pm – Buffy the Vampire Slayer on VH1
8pm – The Bridge on ABC
8pm – Persons Unknown on NBC

That is the original 1992 Buffy movie. It is hysterical and if you have ever seen Buffy the series (especially if you liked it), you should watch this movie. Also, I have no idea what The Bridge is, but it seems somewhat intriguing.

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels on ABC
10pm – The Gates on ABC

I think that’s it for this week. No specific Melted Brain goals – just tuning back in to Haven, Covert Affairs, Rizzoli & Isles, and Persons Unknown and giving them some take-two consideration.

Enjoy your seven-day period!

First Glance: “Covert Affairs”

This show is about as good as anyone could expect it to be, if the pilot is anything to go by.

The concept doesn’t leave a whole lot of space for the unexpected and original: cute girl with so-exceptional-they-are-almost-unbelievable talents gets her dream job for the CIA, tries to balance her secret career with tame home life, and – because that would be too boring – it turns out she’s actually a pawn in some sort of plan by the higher-ups. Uh-huh.

I guess I wasn’t expecting, or even hoping for, much in the way of original storyline. Because, honestly, who does anymore? But I guess I was so steeped in Alias and the fact that the executive producer of Covert Affairs, Doug Liman, is also the guy behind the Bourne movies, I was expecting something a little more…serious? This show is definitely not serious. I mean, it has its moments of semi-intensity because it is a show about spies and spies like to be intense. Mostly, though, Covert Affairs is like the chick flick version of spy fiction. A good quality chick flick (oxymoron?) with redeeming qualities, true, but it is clear that the main target audience is lacking in Y-chromosomes.*

Consider the main character, Annie Parker (Piper Perabo). In previews she was touted as “the girl next door” turned secret agent. Well…yeah. The part is definitely well cast. Piper Perabo is defintely Hollywood attractive, but she isn’t stunning enough to be threatening; she’s the friendly sort of More Beautiful Than Most People (yes, this is a matter of opinion and I’m sure there’s someone out there who thinks she’s the most beautiful person on the planet – I do not). This is what makes her a female protagonist female viewers can enjoy. For the male viewers, we open with a racy (by television standards) sex scene and use repeated flashbacks of Piper Perabo in a skimpy bikini. Physical attributes aside, she has those qualities most desirous in a good-girl heroine: spunk, humility, smileyness, and the occasional moment of vulnerability.

Speaking of vulnerability, though, I’m afraid I’m going to have to step up on my soapbox for a moment. This is another thing where I’m only displeased because I had such specific and (it turns out) wrong expectations, BUT: Frankly, I find it kind of insulting that the only things they have done with the Annie character so far is have every other male hit on her, put her undercover as a hooker (whoops I mean “call girl” whoops I mean is there any other euphemism for this occupation?), focus on her shoes, emphasize her dating life, arrange her first fight scene so that she needs the help of her mystery-ex-boyfriend DiD** savior, and reveal that said mystery-ex-boyfriend is the real reason she was recruited to this division of the CIA at all.

“But wait!” you say,*** “What about her badass driving skills they made sure to point out?” Sure, it is just grand that they’ve given a female character badass driving skills. Given the Bourne-series link, one would naturally expect some epic chase scenes are in the works. But she still drives a stupid girly red car, which rather lessens the impressiveness of this choice.

This is probably a good time to state for the record that, despite the fact that I do believe everything I’ve said thus far, I AM ACTUALLY ENJOYING COVERT AFFAIRS AND PIPER PERABO. Seriously, I’ve never liked her before but she charmed me within thirty seconds so, yay! The aforementioned displeasures are just my critic brain grumping/Devil’s Advocating.

Now here’s the genuine displeasures:

1) The Joan/Arthur martial strife sideplot.
BOOOOO-RING. Seriously. Much as I enjoy the presence of Peter Gallagher and Kari Matchett, I would be more than happy to do without.

2) Brand-name dropping.
I mean really. Starbucks. Listerine. I know there was at least one more I can remember at the moment. This in-show semi-subliminal advertising is getting a little ridiculous. TV networks, I know y’all need money just as much as the rest of us, but come on now. You could at least try to be sneaky about it.

3) Auggie being blind.
I expect I am going to get a lot of disagreement (read: outrage) from saying this but, the blindness thing is totally unnecessary. It is nothing but a cheap gag and I am calling Covert Affairs out on it. Christopher Gorham is perfectly hilarious on his own merit. The character is extremely well-written and well-performed in general. So WHY does he need to be blind? It makes ZERO sense to have a blind tech guy, and besides, loss of sight is approximately the lamest injured-in-action injury ever. If Auggie *had* to be disabled in some way (and that is definitely questionable), couldn’t he have at least lost a leg or something?

I found some genuine pleasures in the show too. Mostly related to casting. All the actors previously mentioned in this post are excellent. In addition there is Sendhil Ramamurthy to look forward to in coming episodes. Also Eric Lively (Conrad), who is creepy and caddish (which is cool) and kind of a douche (which is even better), and who I spent the entire episode agonizing over the facial familiarity of until I realized it was happening because he looks rather like young Cary Elwes. And I’m especially delighted that this show is finally giving Anne Dudek a much-deserved starring role, even if it does has to be as the Token Clueless Family Member. Plus, guest appearance by the always lovely Emmanuelle Vaugier, who presumably is actually involved in the plot!

All things considered, I’d classify Covert Affairs as Pretty Good. It is far from being brilliant (room to grow?) and it definitely has its flaws (quirky charms?), but I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone from watching. I could even be pushed into recommending it if the next few episodes end up being better.

Quotes:

“Hookers in DC are pretty conservative. What you’re wearing now is fine.”

“You want me to take a polygraph? I’ve got one in the closet.”

“Ladies love a blind guy. Think we don’t care about looks.”

“Yeah, I shuck my own oysters. Have you ever shucked an oyster? I would *love* to shuck some oysters with you.”

*Like how I’ve now made a genetics/science reference two days in a row? Classy stuff, reusing jokes. No.

**”Sounds like your typical DiD: Damsel in Distreeeeeeeeeess!” Hercules reference, anyone?

***This new and slightly aggravating manner of address comes courtesy of me reading Narrative Addict. Which you should read if you think you will get any sort of enjoyment out of wacky stories from the Middle Ages retold in amusingly irreverent vernacular.

This Week 7/12 to 7/18

I caught up on some stuff! Not a lot, but some!

Tonight:
8pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – The Good Guys on FOX
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles (series pilot!) on TNT

TUESDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – White Collar (season premiere!) on USA
10pm – Cover Affairs (series pilot!) on USA
10pm – Memphis Beat on TNT

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – So You Think You Can Dance on FOX

THURSDAY:
9pm – Rookie Blue on ABC
9pm – So You Think You Can Dance (results) on FOX
9pm – Moonlight on the CW
9pm – Burn Notice on USA

FRIDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

SATURDAY:
8pm – Persons Unknown on NBC

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT
9pm – Scoundrels on ABC
10pm – The Gates on ABC

Goal for this week: watch and review the premieres of Rizzoli & Isles and Covert Affairs. I’d like to do a lot more. But I could realistically actually accomplish this. Anything more is just a bonus for everyone!

Enjoy your week!