KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Recommendation: Covert Affairs (2010)

[not kdrama related...
...but totally worth dishing]

Funny and fast U.S. show that...feels like a kdrama
Despite the fact that kdrama watching can take up a lot of my time (as I often fall quite behind), I do try to make space for other things—you know, reading books, penciling in face time with friends, inhaling the fresh air of seasons passing, etc, that sort of thing. Part of my diversifying naturally includes watching other types of shows. Personally, I think American television is suffering like our economy and going through a famine. When it comes to any kind of originality or creativity, there just aren’t very many offerings, and woefully few that excite me. For one, a lot of mainstream interest seems to focus on reality shows or mock-doc types of scripted stuff, which I’m not really patient enough to watch. But the new fall tv season is about to start so I’ve been paying more attention, keeping an eye on those adverts for the new network lineups. 

Well, I stumbled onto a real gem of a show recently. I caught a pre-season marathon of old episodes and I am really truly excited about this series...airing here in my own backyard! And it feels like it’s been forever and an eternity since I’d been so smitten by an American series! I heartily welcomed this one into my weekly routine.

I want you to meet a little show called Covert Affairs, which has already aired a 6-episode first season and their second season kicked off yesterday (Aug 24, 2010)* which is a relatively young show, currently in the middle of its first season. It’s brought to us by USA, which like me, has been diversifying their portfolio of late with other successful shows under its belt like Burn Notice and Psyche (though admittedly, I watch neither). Covert Affairs is an action spy show with a thumb on the funny, but it strives not to be stupid, which I always appreciate. 


We follow Annie Walker, our main heroine, who is a newly installed CIA agent dealing with her unexpected recruitment as a field operative into a high-pressure niche of the CIA called the Domestic Protection Division (DPD). She tries to balance her duties to domestic security all the while trying to manage a normal family life and mend a broken heart from a mysterious man who vanished on her. She is excellently portrayed by Piper Perabo. Think Jennifer Garner of Alias but way more convincing (remember that subpar but amusing Jennifer Garner spyfest?).

Among the great cast of supporting characters, her main counterpart and quite the funny highlight of the show is August Anderson (Auggie) played by the always darling Christopher Gorham. Here, he glides around Langley as a blind CIA genius techie. Gorham’s aged quite nicely, I must say. Glad he’s back on the tele. Aside from the fact that August is quite possibly the coolest name ever for a male tv character, he’s also the most awesomely snarkily capable blind character to ever feature in a spy romp.

Now, please take what I’m about to say next with a vial of sodium. I’m not sure if the connection I’m about to make is a result of too much of that salty kdrama consumption having completely infiltrated my sense of taste but...it’s actually quite strange…there was something about this show…that reminded me of a kdrama! Its tone was so familiar...the way it breezily developed the characters, the way it focused on the interpersonal development of the people with some nifty splash and flash plot work, the way it wanted to involve heartwarming family life moments, etc...it all felt so comfortable. I had the same happy kdrama feeling while watching. And, of course, let’s not forget the clincher: a female lead who has two handsome and capable men circling her immediate sphere with some definite hints of romantic tension (including a lost love out there somewhere pining away)...and she’s actually pining for mystery guy as well.

This was the story of a good girl gone tough. She wanted love but got burned so is now intent to guard her heart and focus on the navigating of a secret agent life instead, which will likely not happen (the guarding her heart part). It’s cleverly humorous, a bit wacky, but manages a sustainable storyline with reasonably realistic characters…all the actors feel well-detailed and comfortable with their roles. There was a wonderfully campy seriousness about it, the kind of light-hearted but adventurous tone often found in the kdrama thrill rides. Its name even sounded like a kdrama! Come on, Covert Affairs?

This show was pure guilty pleasure, minus the guilt, because it’s actually good! Definitely worth checking out when you feel in need of a good ol’ bite of hamburger between all that kdrama gluttony!

1 comment:

  1. OMG!!! thanks so much for the recommendation... ive must been living under a rock (called college and dramas and hot boys) since ive never heard of this! will definitely check it out.. NOW! XD


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