Covert Affairs, “No Quarter” and “In the Light”

I mistakenly forgot to post thoughts on the last few episodes of Covert Affairs, which I certainly apologize for. But in another way, I know why I didn’t post anything — the series isn’t really offer up much to talk about.

I didn’t love the pilot episode like I did the pilots for Burn Notice and White Collar and unlike those series, Covert Affairs hasn’t really improved upon anything in subsequent episodes. So although “No Quarter” and “In the Light” are better episodes than the two before, there still isn’t much discuss about them. The series looks great, the cast is coming together fine and I’m mostly entertained when I watch, but more than any other series I’ve been watching this summer, Covert Affairs leaves absolutely no lasting impact.

And I hate to point fingers, but I think most of my ambivalence towards the series comes from Piper Perabo’s performance. She’s obviously attractive and most times charming, but that’s it. She can’t really handle any emotional moments with much skill, even though this USA series doesn’t call for much of that. But because Perabo doesn’t keep my attention when she’s on-screen, my enjoyment of individual episodes relies almost exclusively on the quality of the guest star. That’s probably why the second and third episodes were messy and sort of lame while the last two (with guest stars Oded Fehr, Eriq La Salle and Gregory Itzin) seemed more exciting and enjoyable.

But even then, I’m not really sold. I know the series isn’t striving for much, but Covert Affairs feels more like Royal Pains than White Collar when it comes to the quality scale of new USA series. I’ll keep watching (mostly for the awesome Christopher Gorham), but I’m ready for the series to show me something, aren’t you?


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