Sunday, September 19, 2010

NBC's The Event & Undercovers: A Few Observations


YAAAS! Black people are on tv and they're in leading roles! That may not be big news to the masses but considering the LACK of black actors on the small screen (and other non-whites) this is good news. And that isn't the best part! The best part is these new roles aren't in sitcoms! We've got a two gorgeous spies and a handsome United States president. Thanks NBC! But before you pat yourself on the back, I do have some comments.

So here's my review of "The Event" which premieres MONDAY NIGHT with Blair Underwood and "Undercover" which airs WEDNESDAY with Boris Kodjoe and British newcomer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

The Event

The Good
  • "Lost" and "24". If you like those shows, you may like this one.
  • Great casting
  • Suspense, drama, intrigue
  • Interesting Sci-fi element
Not-So-Good
  • If you didn't like "Lost" nor "24", then you may not like this one. This story has multiple plots that are interconnected, exactly how they connect is hard to totally figure out. Probably as the series progresses figuring it out gets easier.
  • The flashback element. We start in the presence, then flash back a week, then cut back to the present, then flash back a month with different characters, then a year. Did I lose you? If the screening audience expressed annoyance with this way of story-telling, how will people respond at home?
  • Trying to kill two racial birds with one stone. Yes, NBC I have to call you out on this one! In your efforts to appeal to the demand for diversity you cast a well known black actor in a role as a Hispanic president. Then cast a Hispanic actress as his wife. So which racial group are you REALLY appealing to? I'm feeling a little hoodwinked! That said how much diversity is behind-the-scenes writing scripts?

Undercovers

This show has soooo much potential! Truthfully, it was the series I was most excited about between the two. Spies, international espionage, sexy characters. To look at the trailer it has everything for a tv hit, but...Let's start with the positive.

The Good
  • Remember "Hart to Hart"? If you liked it back in the 80's you might like "Undercover" now. Personally, I loved "Hart to Hart" as a kid.
  • Equally gorgeous actors, Boris Kodjoe and newcomer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, look great together on screen. Both have international backgrounds..
  • Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw have great chemistry on screen
Not-So-Good
  • Where's the high action? "Undercover" pilot lacked the spicy action throughout that grabs our attention and holds it. Where are the gadgets, the superhero-esque stunts? Though this is tv, I expect the same action I pay to see at the movies. Am I wrong to expect it? This show is a J.J. Abrams production ("Alias", "Fringe") so I know it can be done.
  • Ok! They love each other! I ain't hating (much), but do we need to be reminded of it each time one of them enters a dangerous situation? Leave the lovey-dovey stuff alone on the job.
  • Learn to damn tango! You're spies not Soul Train dancers! Again, what I see Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt do on the big screen, I want to see "Undercovers" do on the small screen.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was at the screening too. I saw you there, but didn't say anything because I was too concerned with getting my SWAG.

I am a LOST fan, but I'm not a fan of "The Event." The other shows had great characters that really brought you in and made the sci-fi mystery element secondary. Plus, we were discovering things as the characters did.

The Event was just a hodge-podge of this and that. A killing here, a kidnapping there with a government cover-up on the side, add in a spice of a supernatural element, and a hint of extraterrestrials. It was too much for me. I didn't care deeply about anybody. In fact, I don't remember any of the characters personalities.