Although, Covert Affairs hasn't been aired yet (it premieres Tuesday, July 13 at 10/9c), I've been really lucky to watch the pilot in advance and I can guarantee you that the USA Network's new spy series will definitely draw your attention this summer.
Leading the cast, we find actress Piper Perabo, who debuts as a leading lady after some guest starring spots in shows like Law & Order: Criminal Intent and House and a quite prolific career in cinema (who doesn't remember her in Coyote Ugly?), Christopher Gorham (forget him as Henry in Ugly Betty, here's a new version of him and I love it), Erik Lively, Kari Matchett, Eion Bailey, House's Anne Dudek, Heroes' Sendhil Ramamurthy (you won't see him in the pilot but he's definitely a part of the show), and Peter Gallagher.
Created and written by Chris Ord and Matt Corman and produced by the man behind the Bourne trilogy, Doug Liman, Covert Affairs is centered on Annie Walker (Perabo), a world-traveler and multilingual rookie CIA agent who is assigned to leave The Farm (a super secret facility where she's receiving her CIA training) for some hours and go to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia for an assignment. Under the orders of Joan Campbell (Matchett), Walker (and the audience) discovers in her first mission that the CIA is not as cool as she thought it'd be. Her inexperience might be the key that leads her to "fail" such a simple exchange of information with a Russian assassin but with the invaluable help of blind CIA tech Auggie (such a charmer!) Anderson (Gorham) and Walker's own resourcefulness and intelligence, she is able to finish her assignment successfully and get a taste of what it's like to be a CIA field agent.
This pilot has a good pace in its storytelling; we get the presentation of Walker and the people surrounding her in the agency and at home. Not too much background on each of them but not too little either, just enough to make us look forward to more. Just one thing: the action sequences have to be polished, they need more energy and rhythm. Having a female spy in the leading part makes us think of Alias involuntarily but Covert Affairs is a whole new thing.
Alice Walker is the girl next door who we would never think of as a spy; she is funny, fresh, friendly, and vulnerable but at the same time really competent. We sympathise with her from the first, especially when she's going through the difficulties of her first day at work in the CIA, because we all have been a bit clumsy and disoriented on our first day in a new job. We can also empathize when Annie's sister, Danielle (Dudek), sets up a dinner and forces Annie to meet a new guy she's invited so Annie can abandon her single status. At the end of the episode, we see that Walker has a great future as a CIA agent, she just needs some time to get familiar with how everything works in the agency but questions like has she really been promoted because of her skills or is there something else behind this premature promotion come to mind swiftly. We shall see, I'm sure of it! The show looks promising!
Don't forget to tune in Tuesday, July 13 at 10/9 c on USA Network for the series premiere! Are you going to watch it?