23 July 2010

Covert Affairs stars Piper Perabo, of Coyote Ugly fame, as CIA agent Annie Walker. She's new to the department and her guide is Augie Anderson, played by Christopher Gorham, a blind officer. In the past, she met and spent three "sensual" weeks with this man in Sri Lanka. One morning (after), she woke up to find him gone, leaving behind a cryptic message. I think that is why she decided to join the CIA, to find out the truth -- to find him.

Two episodes in and I have two words for you guys: MARY SUE. Fuck, you don't even need to get through half of the pilot to realize that. Ten minutes in to the second episode and they introduce a Gary Stu character in the form of a teenager in college who is a computer genius uncovering codes which were "impossible" to detect in the past. Really? That's what you have? The CI-fucking-A could NOT detect such radio waves when a KID could? Later in the episode, the CIA was able to "crack" the code. Huh. Whatever.

But going back to the pilot. Why "Mary Sue"? Well:

  • Annie is a young CIA trainee who is suddenly promoted to field operative in order to help capture her ex-boyfriend, unknown to her (Wikipedia, 2010). "Trainee" ei? She seems to me that she's handling field operations well.
  • she can speak 6 different languages. How did she learn them? By traveling. And "language class" in university. This is entirely possible in real life but... coming from someone who has (unintentional) experience with writing Mary Sue characters, trust me. This is a go-to trait for all Sues.
  • she seems to be the BEST in everything that she does. And she fucking knows it. And rubs it on to the audience's face about ten minutes into the pilot. It's like she could do nothing wrong... until she got to play with the big boys. She bumps people, tables, and other inanimate objects. For someone training to be a CIA agent, she didn't know about security passes and protocols. Really? A little consistency here, writers. She should at least know those things.
  • She follows the same path as Alias' Sydney Bristow took (thus making her less likable): she thought she's the only/most important person in the world. "I'm Annie Walker, uh... I work here?" in that annoying "duh" tone when guards were checking her ID at the gate. Yeah, you and another hundred or so people.
Casting-wise, my favorite cast member and character is Christopher Gorham's Augie. He's the ONLY genuine character in the show - not overdone. He's probably the only one whom I felt something for. The others, I don't give a fuck. Joan Campbell (Kari Matchett) is Annie's boss and she's this paranoid "wife who works for the CIA - and NOT a CIA-wife". She's married to Arthur Campbell (Peter Gallagher) who also works for the CIA in a different department. They're in marriage counseling. Sheesh, I cannot begin to tell you how unnecessary this part of the plot is.

Piper Perabo's acting is nothing to write home about either. Unlike Jennifer Garner in Alias, she couldn't carry the weight of the character. Trying to act badass but it doesn't cut it. It comes across as overbearing and it's annoying.

I mentioned Alias and Sydney Bristow. I fucking loved Alias. LOVED. I abstained for any CIA-related TV shows and movies after it got... abandoned. I happened to watch Covert Affairs because I needed new stuff to watch. I might continue watching because, while so predictable, it has interesting stuff. Interesting enough to keep my attention and carry me to the next show.