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Herc’s Seen USA’s New Romantic CIA Drama COVERT AFFAIRS!!

I am – Hercules!!
A romantic CIA drama from “Deck The Halls” writers Matt Corman & Chris Ord, USA’s “Covert Affairs” stars piping hot Piper Perabo (“Coyote Ugly,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”), Christopher Gorham (“Jake 2.0,” “Ugly Betty”), Keri Matchett (“Invasion,” “Studio 60,” “ER,” “Crash”), Peter Gallagher (“The OC”) and Anne Dudek (“House,” “Mad Men,” “Big Love”). Spoiler alert! Just like Sydney Bristow and Clarice Starling and the FBI girl from “Haven,” it looks like Perabo’s character’s big brain is not the only reason she’s getting a few choice assignments. I loved “Alias” and like Perabo and thought the “Covert” pilot started well, but by the end I grew convinced the project was just too airy to make me bother with its second episode. USA Today says:

… Beautiful young female spy, sad romantic past, conspiracy-filled future: Surely by now you're thinking Alias. And certainly when Perabo pops up on screen in her more eye-popping outfits, that's where your mind will wander. Still, in keeping with USA's sunnier outlook, this is a far lighter show than Alias: less complicated, less morally complex, less deep and, while fun, just simply "less." Even on its own simpler-pleasures terms, Covert could use a little more heft. In the pilot, Auggie's blindness plays like a gimmick; Joan's marital problems (with husband Peter Gallagher) don't play at all. Plug the holes, and this could be an Affairs to remember.

The New York Times says:

… “Covert Affairs” is fun and clever and Ms. Perabo has panache in the role. The show has a bad habit of blasting maudlin pop ballads to signal Annie’s moodier moments, but the action scenes — particularly a hotel room barrage of sniper fire in the pilot episode — are first rate. The series is not as taut or intense as “24” or the “Bourne” trilogy; at times it’s closer in spirit to “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.” But at a moment when the nation seems nostalgic for cold war simplicity, this espionage drama answers the call.

The Los Angeles Times says:

… may not have the revenge factor of "Burn Notice" or the bromantic banter of "White Collar," but it's fast-paced, fun and every bit as charming. … Neither as bumbling as Chuck nor as predictably lethal as Bourne, Annie is a convincing novice, with just enough special training (not to mention all those languages!) to keep her alive but not so many to make her Angelina Jolie scary. At its heart, "Covert Affairs" is about Every Woman Starting a New Job. Because of course it isn't just the bullets and the high-speed car chases that have Annie so frazzled, it's the internal politics, the possibly double-agent new colleagues and Annie's inability to forget That Guy. …

The Chicago Tribune says:

… things on USA shows aren't ever supposed to get too heavy. So why does "Covert Affairs," a new USA show that features tropical beaches, skydiving and spy games, feel so leaden? True, it's not exactly heavy, but it also isn't particularly engaging. There are quite a few chase scenes and action sequences as newly minted CIA spy Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) gets on-the-job training in the pilot episode, but those scenes end up being quite boring, because the show and Perabo's performance don't do much to make the viewer care about Annie or her goals. During one chase scene, I found myself more concerned about the random passersby that Annie might careen into than in the spy herself. Less action, more character development and a more charismatic lead might have helped "Covert Affairs" stand out from the crowded summer cable calendar, but as it is, I can't see a reason to tune in again. …

The Washington Post says:

… Predictable espionage procedurals are not exactly the cure for predictable murder procedurals, but compared to "Rizzoli & Isles," USA's new series "Covert Affairs," debuting Tuesday night, has a lot more zip to offer. … Bullets fly, Annie runs around a lot, the BlackBerry gets lost, then found. And then there's this and then there's that, requiring Perabo to play cute and tough and sexy and smart all at once -- which, by gosh, she can do. A perpetual motion machine, Perabo is fun to watch. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

… a propulsive and entertaining if somewhat bland 90-minute pilot … Pretty much every character and character trait will be old-hat to regular TV viewers but director Tim Matheson makes the pilot episode hang together pretty well. The actors are likeable and writers/creators Matt Corman and Chris Ord do a decent if unexceptional job of introducing the characters, their relationships and situations. Like so many USA shows, "Covert Affairs" is an entertaining enough diversion without depth -- upbeat, spirited programming that's the TV equivalent of junk food.

HitFix says:

… The pilot script by Matt Corman and Chris Ord (whose work belies their only previous screen credit, "Deck the Halls") strikes a smart balance between the relationship scenes (there's obvious chemistry between Perabo and Gorham, and Annie also takes a shine to a handsome young agent who works for Arthur) and the actual spy mission, which involves a Russian assassin named Stas who wants to come in from the cold. (And in this post-9/11 era, it's almost comforting to hear such a phrase from Cold War days that seem so much safer in hindsight.) Perabo has a lot of unfortunate titles on her resume, first making a splash (sort of) in "Coyote Ugly" and "The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle," but she's quite good here. The polygraph scene is there to dump a lot of exposition on the audience in a short period of time, but there's a nice moment where the interviewer, clearly trying to judge her self-control as well as her honesty, asks her whether the sex with an ex-boyfriend was good. Annie smiles, not phased or embarrassed at all, and says, "It rocked."… for all that “Alias” fans complain about the nonsensical story arcs in retrospect, if they weren’t there at the moment and the show was just Garner fighting in various wigs and fetish outfits, would the show have been half as addictive? The trick isn’t to ditch serialized stories, but to do good serialized stories. Maybe the bigger “Covert Affairs” arc will turn out to be a dud, but in Perabo, her co-stars and this world, the show has a solid foundation to build on.

The Boston Herald says:

… Compared to the network’s other mild fare (“Psych,” “White Collar”), “Covert” stands out as the most handsomely produced and gifted with a superior cast. Boston native Anne Dudek (“House”) plays Annie’s older sister, a married mother of two who is clueless about Annie’s work, and “Heroes” veteran Sendhil Ramamurthy joins the show next week. Gorham has never had a better role. Perabo’s cheekbones could probably cut your TV screen. If the show can strike a balance between chuckles and capers, “Covert Affairs” won’t be a secret. It will be USA Network’s biggest hit.

The Boston Globe says:

... “Covert Affairs’’ is essentially a lightweight version of “Alias,’’ with a far more sexed-up star, a simpler story line, and a more openly comic tone. … The mood is bright and whimsical — easy to take and just as easy to forget.

The Hollywood Reporter says:

… perfect summer television -- just turn off the excess brain cells and let Agent Walker do the seduction, and the shooting, for you.

Variety says:

… based strictly on this first assignment, USA -- which will launch the show behind the similarly themed "White Collar" -- probably won't have to worry about "Affairs" remaining covert for long. …

10 p.m. Tuesday. USA.

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Readers Talkback
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  • July 13, 2010, 4:15 a.m. CST


    by theGoldbergV

    people are idiots

  • July 13, 2010, 4:58 a.m. CST

    The title alone

    by Prisoner_Zero

    ensures that I will never see this garbage. It makes me quite sick.

  • July 13, 2010, 4:59 a.m. CST

    Never judge a series by it's pilot.

    by CCon99

    To much network input and the creators trying to impress the suits to get picked up. I usually give a show 4-6 episodes before giving up on it. I dreaded Spartacus' pilot, but stuck with it long enough for the payoff that was one of the best shows on TV and the best season finale I saw in years that still has my jaw laying on the floor. I'll give this show 4 episodes to win me over, USA has been on a pretty big roll lately with quality TV so I'll give them a commitment of at least 4 weeks.

  • July 13, 2010, 5:54 a.m. CST

    I'm still going to give it a chance

    by adml_shake

    And be checking out at least the first few episodes. And I agree with what CC0N99 said. Sometimes it takes a show a while to get going, aren't USA shows pretty short in the seasons anyway? I liked Alias, and don't really expect this to be a straight replacement for that.

  • July 13, 2010, 6:04 a.m. CST

    I'd watch it for Keri Machett

    by Xiphos_2

    and I don't even like blonds all that much but damn she ain't to shabby.

  • July 13, 2010, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Low rent Bourne . . . YAWN... Who cares about shit like this?

    by JonChambers

  • July 13, 2010, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Well, I'll watch at least the first episode...

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    ...I've waited ten long years since Coyote Ugly to see Piper Perabo in "eye popping outfits" again.

  • July 13, 2010, 6:36 a.m. CST

    One difference between this and Alias...

    by tonagan

    The star of Alias was a broad-shouldered, square-jawed, deep-voiced man of a woman.

  • July 13, 2010, 6:36 a.m. CST

    The young, hot, female spy or FBI agent genre needs to die!

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    Shit is so fucking unbelieveable I can't understand why some support that shit?<p>Look at the commericals for Angeline Jolie Salt and tell me you don't laugh at the irony!<p>I mean Salt is supposed to be a spy but in the trailers she practically calls attention to herself and even have the walking in slo-mo to boot!<p>Aren't spies supposed to blend in? Look at The Long Kiss Goodnight and you'll understand why Geena Davis character was absolutely great!<p>Look like a regular housewife and stay a housewife til her memories was completely back, then she was even more badass than before!

  • July 13, 2010, 6:36 a.m. CST

    Where's the HR derby and Allstar game talkbacks?

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    They are only the two biggest televised events airing last night and'd think we'd get a talkback to discuss them. Come on Herc

  • July 13, 2010, 7:26 a.m. CST

    "Never judge a series by it's pilot."


    I agree. Lost's pilot was great and that ended up being horrible.

  • July 13, 2010, 7:51 a.m. CST

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  • July 13, 2010, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Piper's "pair-a-boobs"

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    I Absolutely adore this girl, but I have to agree with HollywoodHellraiser...This genre is worn out.

  • July 13, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Another gal who I thought would have a nice career..

    by Jack Black

    ..10 years ago. But I've been wrong before (Rachael Leigh Cook, Jordana Brewster, etc)

  • July 13, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST


    by optimus122

    Jennifer Garner takes shits that look better then anything you have banged.

  • July 13, 2010, 9:52 a.m. CST

    her revealing outfits?

    by jack_effing_bauer

    piper's a quite bit on the skinny, with the figure of a 7 year old boy side. What's there to look at? at least Garner could fill out her skimpy outfits.

  • July 13, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    we live in a fallen world

    by Dradis Contact

    when Alias is the target for a spy show

  • July 13, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Total rip off of CHUCK

    by kickyouinthenickels

    Pipers character name is AGENT WALKER?! **CHUCKS blonde love interest whos an agent and named Agent Walker. Pipers sidekick in the show is a computer geek.....come on! its so obvious , im surprised NBC hasnt filed a lawsuit yet.

  • July 13, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST

    by Omar B

    Though I'm kinda thinking this might suck, USA has been kicking ass for the past few years. Monk, Psych, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar. It's worth a shot for me.

  • July 13, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST

    "romantic CIA drama"

    by HoboCode

    Fuck this stupid stupid world. Fuck it up its stupid stupid ass. Hey why not just make it a period piece with the CIA's ousting of democratically elected Chilean leader Salvadore Allende and call it "Romancing Pinochet."

  • July 13, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Oh and fuck you, Outlaaaaaww.

    by HoboCode

  • July 13, 2010, 10:59 a.m. CST

    What is hell?

    by SmokingRobot

    An endless series of spy and vampire shows. Ok, purgatory, maybe.

  • July 13, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST

    does anybody know where I can get a handbag?

    by johnnyangelheart

  • July 13, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    The lead actress looks like Garner

    by vadakinX

    Anyone notice that? I'm sure this article mentions her name but I couldn't be assed scrolling back up. But doesn't the lead look like Jennifer Garner? At least in the trailer.

  • July 13, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Always the amateur . . . to excuse dumb-down.

    by kabong

  • July 13, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST

    You people seem to know a little too much

    by gotilk

    about the figures of young boys. No summer camp jobs for you.

  • July 13, 2010, 1:52 p.m. CST

    24 meets SITC

    by estacado1

    And these shows misses both demographics. Just get me that Spielberg dinosaur project.

  • July 13, 2010, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Needs more dudes & makeup playing synths

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    to qualify as New Romantic in my book.

  • July 13, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    I'll check it out for Anne Dudek

    by Sonny_Williams

    She has an unconventional look but she makes my pee-pee feel funny!

  • July 13, 2010, 2:42 p.m. CST

    kickyouinthenickels - NBC won't sue...

    by Mr. Profit

    They own USA...

  • July 13, 2010, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Herc will never tell us about the EVENT

    by BillboeFett

    ....because Joss Whedon didn't make it

  • July 13, 2010, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Don't talk about your mom that way, optimus122

    by tonagan

    Comparing her to feces. For shame!

  • July 13, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by Majereuk

    Glad that jumped out at someone else, too! I'm not one to call shenanigans at a new show- especially one I'll probably not get to see for some time- but the 'Agent Walker' name was at the very least unwisely picked.

  • July 13, 2010, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Piper Perabo

    by NippleEffect

    comes across as very charismatic<br> I have yet to see a performance of hers that I didn't enjoy<p> Anne Dudek is always fun<p> I'll tune in even though it has jake 2.0 guy and his moe hair cut

  • July 13, 2010, 3:38 p.m. CST

    How much do newspaper reviewers get paid

    by kabong

    to lie?

  • July 13, 2010, 4:52 p.m. CST

    She would be so hotter . . .

    by SkidMarkedUndies

    if she had some boobs. Oh well. PASS.

  • July 13, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST


    by HapaPapa72

    Damn that was funny. Thank you.

  • July 13, 2010, 7:30 p.m. CST

    wow, still no All-star game talkback?

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    you are a douche bag herc, biggest event on network TV tonight and no mention? Are you sure you should be running the TV column?

  • July 13, 2010, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Err...Am I working for the CIA

    by jump88

    So you work for the CIA, didn't have a good day so you talk all about it openly at a bar over drink with other recruits? Count how many times the word CIA is mentioned and then take a vodka shot. Guaranteed to be drunk after 10 minutes. Lazy writing, boring, one of the worst shows in this year's crop of new shows.

  • July 13, 2010, 9:13 p.m. CST

    I always wanted to bang her since Rocky and Bullwinkle

    by terry1978

    I have no idea why though. I think that gap in her front teeth kind of makes her attainable.

  • July 13, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Her Boobs

    by NippleEffect

    are perfectly cromulent

  • July 13, 2010, 10:42 p.m. CST

    fuck this shit boring, she aint pretty either

    by DioxholsterReturns

    hate it when they merge spy stuff with personal relationship stuff. spies get married and thats it, unless they are one of those spy whores.

  • July 13, 2010, 10:59 p.m. CST

    DioxholsterReturns = studman69

    by NippleEffect

  • July 13, 2010, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Why can't they do a CIA show with total corruption?

    by kabong

    Every agent cheating, drugging, betraying, killing . . . <P> I'd like that. I bet you would too. Don't deny it.

  • July 14, 2010, 12:04 a.m. CST

    who the fuck is studman69?

    by DioxholsterReturns

    and btw, I'm intelligent enough to differentiate between pretty women and ugly women. The actress in this show has the face of a pony, and im not sexually attracted to ponys.

  • July 14, 2010, 12:16 a.m. CST

    check that tinyurl

    by NippleEffect

    and like someone said upthread about another actress but it applies here<p> She's taken shits hotter than anything you've ever hit

  • July 14, 2010, 12:22 a.m. CST

    I guess you are easily sexually attracted to people

    by DioxholsterReturns

    I on the other hand am not. I know prettier girls than her and I dont even consider them beautiful.

  • July 14, 2010, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Covert Affairs the new definiton for bland

    by Xiphos_2

    Judging by the pilot that was USA Networks first big misfire for a summer show. The pilot didn't make me want to watch another episode. Keri Matchett is still very fuckable.

  • July 14, 2010, 1:22 a.m. CST

    she is fuckable?

    by DioxholsterReturns <p> meh whatever, i guess its a step up from morning street hooker.

  • July 14, 2010, 4:32 a.m. CST

    diox once you have sex

    by Xiphos_2

    then you have a place at the table until then keep jerking off to slags on all the various canceled Stargate shows.

  • July 14, 2010, 4:34 a.m. CST

    and by slags I mean

    by Xiphos_2

    All the male characters.

  • July 14, 2010, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Karl Rove Just Outed Her

    by thound3

  • July 14, 2010, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Chris Gorham has the showkiller gene

    by The McPoyle Clan

    not as bad as an Eric Balfour, but beware.

  • July 14, 2010, 9:39 a.m. CST

    The McPoyle Clan

    by optimus122

    Man you nailed that, I didn't watch the pilot yet but seeing Gorhams name involved tells me it may have a real short shelf life. Same with Haven and Balfour. I love Emily Rose but Haven, at least based off of the pilot, is slow going and boring. It better pick up a bit this week or I will remove it from my DVR.

  • July 14, 2010, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Well that was even worse than expected.

    by HoboCode

    Talk about some cookie cutter shit. You could literally take the CIA out of this show and replace it with a high-end law firm or some other corporate vacuum and have the same fucking tripe of a show usually mass-marketed to lonely women. It'll probably be a massive hit.

  • July 14, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST


    by optimus122

    I am half way in or so and I think its pretty entertaining. I love Piper in this role. She does remind me a lot of Garner. Both have a similar look and way about them. I wonder how the ratings were? I hope it does well, would love to catch Mrs Perabo every week for a while.

  • July 14, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST

    BTW ratings were..

    by optimus122

    through the roooooooof :)

  • July 14, 2010, 7:15 p.m. CST

    I was looking forward to Haven...

    by allykatD

    but it was really really bad. Boring. It's pretty obvious why she's there. Oh look... here's your secret past. And I didn't buy Emily Rose for a second as the FBI agent Audrey Parker. Put her in a cheerleading outfit, and yeah, I'd buy that. But come on! I haven't watched Covert Affairs yet. Alias ... ah what a fantastic show, great female lead that you could believe in. Piper Perabo? Why do they cast these women? You know, us women need strong female leads we can believe it. That's why so many of us loved Alias. Can't they cast an actress who is hot (for the guys) and believable (for the women)?

  • July 14, 2010, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Few more things

    by optimus122

    Gorham was pretty convincing, I actually liked him in this role. And at the end when Piper is dancing in that bikini with that guy from the beginning of the show? I had one thought watching that..<p> DAT ASSS DAT ASSSS <P> Man she has a great assssss. I will be watching next week.

  • July 14, 2010, 7:34 p.m. CST


    by optimus122

    Trust me, Piper was good and believable. Give it a chance, its not Alias but its good summer programming.

  • July 14, 2010, 10:41 p.m. CST

    the 'greys-anatomization' of yet another genre

    by brechtsky

    add this to rookie blues

  • July 14, 2010, 10:43 p.m. CST

    and does time matheson OWN usa network?

    by brechtsky

    i swear he guest stars and directs in episodes on practically every show they make

  • July 14, 2010, 10:43 p.m. CST

    er, tim matheson

    by brechtsky

  • July 14, 2010, 10:52 p.m. CST

    blind guy is gorham, yeah?

    by brechtsky

    i've liked him in other stuff but I was not a fan here ... anyone notice him make eye contact with perabo a few times, and clearly grab newly placed things without reaching or fumbling at all ... plus a guy whos been made blind a few years ago wouldnt be strutting down the halls like hes been blind his whole life, nor would he be in charge of tech or anything else remotely ground-breaking at the cia... hed probably still be in bed learning braille. And RE perabo, her character was written like a moron in the first few minutes ... volunteering to her superior shes scrwing another instructor? Asking the guy for details on her assignment? Please, anyone who got the best scores in decades wouldnt walk into that office like a ditz with her head up her ass. So yeah, not a fan of this craptacular show, or at least its pilot.

  • July 15, 2010, 12:46 a.m. CST

    So underwhelming, 1 and done for this show.

    by Saen

    Rather go rewatch season 1 of Alias then sit through that boring shit. No sense of tension at all; its just so bad.

  • July 15, 2010, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Hmmm shocked

    by optimus122

    Amazing that on a lot of other boards people think its a decent show especially for Summer time. But surprisingly the douchebag talkbackers have to keep up the front that all tv shows suck in fact everything sucks. Its amazing this site is still up and in this business with how idiotic the talkbackers are.

  • July 15, 2010, 9:35 a.m. CST

    I Liked it :)

    by codecrackx15

    It is kind of Alias light but it was fun and I like the little jokes mixed with the action. I'll be tuning in.

  • July 15, 2010, 10:03 a.m. CST

    pipers ass

    by roustabout99

    will keep me watching,plus it was fun,and kari from invasion is blazin hot as well

  • July 15, 2010, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Optimus122... I take it back...

    by allykatD

    I really really enjoyed Covert Affairs. There was something about how Piper played her character that I totally bought into her. when she was running down that assassin, she didn't run in some stupid girly way, but REALLY went after that guy. I was a bit disappointed that she didn't do a better job of taking him down (after all, they did mention she dated her martial arts instructor). However, overall, really nice show. Perabo is pretty without being too pretty, athletically built and well... I'm sold. I'll be tuning in again and have it on my DVR record list.

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