Fall Pilot Review – UNDERCOVERS on NBC

What? From acclaimed writer/producer/director J.J. Abrams and executive producer/writer Josh Reims (“Brothers and Sisters,” “What About Brian”) comes a sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world’s most dangerous partnership.

Outwardly, Steven Bloom and his wife, Samantha, are a typical married couple who own and operate a small catering company in Los Angeles — with help from Samantha’s easily frazzled, handful of a sister, Lizzy.  Secretly, the duo were two of the best spies the CIA had ever known, until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired.  When fellow spy and good friend Leo Nash  goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss and agency liaison, Carlton Shaw, to locate and rescue Nash. With assistance from resourceful CIA field agent Bill Hoyt, whose professional admiration for Steven isn’t hard to miss, the pair is thrust back into the world of espionage, disguises and hand-to-hand combat. Following leads that take them to cities spanning the globe, Steven and Samantha quickly realize that perhaps this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides exactly the kind of excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing.

Who? UNDERCOVERS stars Boris Kodjoe as Steven, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Samantha, Mekia Cox as Lizzy, Carter MacIntyre as Leo, Geral McRaney as Carlton, and Ben Schwartz as Bill.  UNDERCOVERS is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television.  Abrams directed the pilot and co-wrote it, along with Reims.  They also serve as executive producers along with Bryan Burk (“Star Trek,” “Fringe,” “Lost, “Alias”)..

Where/When? NBC, 8/7c Wednesdays, before all new episodes of the LAW & ORDERs.

Why (Why Not)? Undercovers?  Color me underwhelmed.  From the brilliant mind of JJ, I expected a pilot that rivaled ALIAS in action and excitement and this one just fell flat.  It was trying more for the fun-loving CHUCK of it all, and just doesn’t get there.  Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw are gorgeous and clearly have some modicum of chemistry, but the writing feels clunky and the show seems slow.  Gugu’s accent is flawless, so that’s at least something positive.  I was left feeling unsure of my love for JJ and that’s a big deal.

How? Not a bad DVR show.  Catch up on weekends.