Sunday, April 11, 2010
J.J. Abrams and NBC's Undercovers
Enter J.J. Abrams, the creator of LOST, who has decided to direct the pilot of the upcoming NBC spy series Undercovers. Some hope! Something to hold on to! And he's already picked his leads. Actress Gugu Mbatha-Ra and actor Boris Kodjo. This is exciting! Undercovers is going to be similar to the Brad Pitt film Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) where two spies live together and yet do not know that their spouse is a spy.
If you're troubled about whether or not this show will make it, I suggest you trust in J.J. Abrams. Networks have been afraid of serial programming for years. ALIAS started out as a procedural spy program with serial elements, but once it gained a definite following it was a serial. Fringe is still a paranormal procedural medical program, but in the last several episodes it has developed a strong serial storyline. LOST started out as almost an homage to reality TV's Survivor, and after several seasons Abrams snuck some heavy theoretical physics in the back door to make things incredibly interesting. Furthermore, with the advent of on-line viewing of past episodes, television on-demand, TV on DVD and sites like Hulu, it's not too difficult to get caught up on serial television programs.
If you ask me, good television should be about really sticking to the story and nurturing interesting characters. This is why all the Law and Orders and CSIs and so on are just bad television. What I expect from Undercovers is that J.J. Abrams will show NBC his procedural face as a distraction while he sneaks in a serial story full of interesting science fiction ideas. My other prediction is that Undercovers will deal with alien communications and technologies from outer space.