J.J. Abrams has been a wildly successful television producer over the last decade and every new series from his production company Bad Robot is met with hype and high expectations.
With “Undercovers,” Abrams is getting back into the spy game. His last effort in the genre was the hit “Alias” which started strong then got bogged down towards the end. Unfortunately, “Undercovers” did not get off to a good start.
The series follows two married and retired C.I.A. agents, Stephan (Boris Kodjoe) and Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) Bloom, who now spend their humdrum days running a catering business.
When an operative friend is captured by some Russian evildoers, the couple is asked to return to their former careers. They mull it over and both realize their lives need a spark.
What follows is the couple jet-setting across the world looking for clues about their friend’s whereabouts using high tech toys and fighting some baddies.
My early reaction to the pilot was “Undercovers” is a good-looking, well shot show (directed by Abrams) that’s basically “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” for the small screen. After watching the whole episode, I was not only disappointed, but highly annoyed.
“Undercovers” attempts to blend high-flying action and humor which wouldn’t necessarily bother me, but the comedy is utterly atrocious. Literally, not one laugh; only teeth grinding and “Man, that was bad.”
It was so bad, not even the very well done, face-paced action sequences and honest chemistry between the leads could make up for it. Gags even ruined the sexy moments reminiscent of "Alias" with a joke about "sexpionage."
If big changes are made to the structure of the series—losing the bad jokes—“Undercovers” might be worth watching. But, I still have reservations about how many times we can watch the C.I.A. call the couple for a mission before it gets old.
“Undercovers” 8 p.m. Wednesdays on NBC 2 stars