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Covert Affairs: Season 1 - Review

Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

COVERT Affairs comes bearing the name of Doug Liman as producer, the man responsible for kick-starting the Bourne film franchise. But it’s a completely different kettle of fish, albeit one that’s still set in the spy world.

Rather, Piper Perabo (of Coyote Ugly fame) plays Annie Walker, a freshly recruited CIA agent who unexpectedly finds herself thrust into the inner sanctum of the agency when she is promoted to field operative early and propelled into a shadowy world full of cons, killers and international crime rings.

But while it appears that she has been plucked from obscurity for her exceptional linguistic skills, there may be something, or someone, from her past that her CIA bosses are really after.

While there is plenty of intrigue and action to be found in the series, there’s a definite lack of grit. This is a CIA world in which everyone conforms to the impossibly good looking mode of recruitment and where agents have no problem running in high heels.

It’s also the type of world in which supposedly super assassins (who the agency have spent years tracking because they would never allow themselves to be caught, let alone seen) place themselves in situations where they can only really get caught by Annie (as per the pilot).

Taken with a pinch of salt, the series is an easy, if forgettable watch. It looks good, boasts some gutsy action sequences that aren’t too effects reliant and has an amiable cast.

Perabo is endearing as Annie (even though she’s one of the least convincing spies on the box), Christopher Gorham makes an amiable friend and colleague in the blind Auggie Anderson and Peter Gallagher is as reliable as ever as the CIA boss.

Look out, too, for Anne Dudek as Annie’s sister, former Heroes star Sendhil Ramamurthy as another colleague and Kari Matchett, as a supposedly mean-spirited boss, and you have quite a decent cast filling out the ensemble.

Hence, while Covert Affairs won’t win awards for originality or freshening up the spy genre, and may well generate more smirks and groans than anything else, it’s a diverting enough series that has done well enough States-side to warrant a second and third season.

And by the time you reach the climax of this debut season, you may well enjoy the prospect of hanging out with Annie and her CIA chums a little bit more.

Certificate: 12
Number of discs: 3
UK DVD Release: June 18, 2012