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Undercovers: JJ Abrams Does Spies…Again


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#271

akg

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Posted Oct 14, 2010 @ 9:10 PM

I prefer Leo to Hoyt. Although he does need to stop asking both Blooms if they'd shared why each left the agency.

I really wish the writers had included a line about the buyer last night just looking for the seat or the dress so we wouldn't be wondering about him needing a blonde. I do like that they're not making a big deal about race on this show but there are times when it could be an issue.

#272

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Posted Oct 14, 2010 @ 10:46 PM

I thought the last episode was good as well. Hoyt and Leo cracked me up, and I still love the Blooms. Didn't like the sudden 'human lie detector' bit as it felt forced. We should have by this point known something like that, especially as secondary characters were used to reinforce it. The talk at the end was good though, and Sam's right. If they chose not to discuss their previous work, now that they're back and relying on each other, they absolutely need to know each other's strengths and weaknesses in the field.
I've not had much experience following NBC shows, except for Friday Night Lights, which was always rumored to be on the brink of cancellation, so I don't know how the network deals with shows that might be under-performing. Is there a chance of changing the time slot (later would seem more appropriate) or airing on an NBC-owned channel other than the main one? I believe they did that for FNL with BRAVO at one point. I think Undercovers could do fairly well with a little tweaking.

#273

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 11:04 AM

I've not had much experience following NBC shows, except for Friday Night Lights, which was always rumored to be on the brink of cancellation, so I don't know how the network deals with shows that might be under-performing. Is there a chance of changing the time slot (later would seem more appropriate) or airing on an NBC-owned channel other than the main one? I believe they did that for FNL with BRAVO at one point. I think Undercovers could do fairly well with a little tweaking

It's not good that the ratings for this show aren't better but the one good thing is its on NBC and all of NBC's shows do poorly in the ratings and NBC can only cancel so much stuff. Also what really saved FNL is that NBC was able to get Directv to split the production costs in exchange for allowing Directv to air new episodes of FNL on their service and therefore NBC could afford to keep it on the air despite the show only averaging around 6.3 mil viewers per week. Hopefully they can find someone willing to make a similar deal, this time with Undercovers. Just moving the show to one of their other channels won't help because the production costs would remain the same

#274

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 11:08 AM

The show is getting better. I can actually watch the entire episode now. That was not the case with the first two eps. I am especially liking Gerald McRaney, my favorite Simon Brother, but the ex-boyfriend -- I can't even think of his name he is that useless a character needs to either be revamped (have him be the secret villain -- his interactions with our married spies does raise questions about his intentions with them) or simply write him off of the show.

#275

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 11:27 AM

This is one of the reasons I don't watch TV shows on a network. To them if a show doesn't do well by episode 2 then it's history. I mean Happy Days took years to build an audience. Too many TV shows are considered "hits" but when they get to season 2 they burn out.

#276

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 12:42 PM

I was very underwhelmed by the pilot so am waiting to watch some more episodes as I get time. I'm probably still bitter about Alias, to be honest. It's a shame the ratings are tanking but I really found the first episode to be completely formulaic. No surprises. And the main actor/actress are pretty but didn't seem to generate any real chemistry.

#277

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 2:42 PM

Didn't like the sudden 'human lie detector' bit as it felt forced. We should have by this point known something like that, especially as secondary characters were used to reinforce it.

See, I thought this has been alluded to since the pilot - at least, specifically regarding Steve and his perception of the sister (can't think of her name at the moment). He's had side commentary about her from the beginning, and hasn't really trusted her.

Someone else mentioned why he didn't catch Irish Girlfriend/Duplicitious Wife's lie about the text message, but I thought she was talking to Sam and he wasn't listening at that moment? But yeah, given the "lie detector" anvil, you would think that was a prime opportunity to see his skills in action. But then, we wouldn't have had the "don't negotiate with terrorists" scene, which revealed some underlying issues with the Blooms' don't ask-don't tell policy about their pre-marriage lives.

#278

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 2:53 PM

It's not good that the ratings for this show aren't better but the one good thing is its on NBC and all of NBC's shows do poorly in the ratings and NBC can only cancel so much stuff.

The problem is that Undercovers is doing the worst out of all of NBC's dramas in the 18-49 demo, so it's probably at or near the top of NBC's cancellation list.

Also what really saved FNL is that NBC was able to get Directv to split the production costs in exchange for allowing Directv to air new episodes of FNL on their service and therefore NBC could afford to keep it on the air despite the show only averaging around 6.3 mil viewers per week. Hopefully they can find someone willing to make a similar deal, this time with Undercovers.

But FNL was critically acclaimed- the critics are much more mixed about Undercovers.

#279

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 5:33 PM

Well, that was better but I still can't say I would be heartbroken if it gets canceled. If the secrets start to get in the way of the perfect spy marriage, I think that's when this show becomes interesting.

Right now, it's still hard for me to stay with it throughout an episode since I don't get the sense that I miss vital information when I get something to eat from the kitchen. Two more, I think and then I'm out.

#280

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 5:45 PM

The problem is that Undercovers is doing the worst out of all of NBC's dramas in the 18-49 demo, so it's probably at or near the top of NBC's cancellation list.

The Leno debacle set NBC's pilot development schedule back at least two years. They cancelled Outlaw because it was on a Friday, and it's cheaper to expand Dateline to two hours on that night and call it a day. NBC does not have ANYTHING in the pipeline that could reasonably fill Undercovers' timeslot.

#281

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 5:56 PM

The Leno debacle set NBC's pilot development schedule back at least two years. They cancelled Outlaw because it was on a Friday, and it's cheaper to expand Dateline to two hours on that night and call it a day. NBC does not have ANYTHING in the pipeline that could reasonably fill Undercovers' timeslot.

The same could be said for Chase, and it seems very possible that both shows will be cancelled. I wouldn't call NBC a rational actor. They could very well cancel Undercovers and fill it with reruns of something else or some cheaply produced reality tv. For all I know, they might poach from USA and steal one of its shows to fill that slot.

#282

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 8:59 PM

The Leno debacle set NBC's pilot development schedule back at least two years. They cancelled Outlaw because it was on a Friday, and it's cheaper to expand Dateline to two hours on that night and call it a day. NBC does not have ANYTHING in the pipeline that could reasonably fill Undercovers' timeslot.

They might not be able to cancel Undercovers (and Chase) right away, but NBC might just let them run 13 episodes and not give them a back order.

#283

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 9:10 PM

That's my guess as to what they'll do. In the meantime, they're rustling something up for the spring.

#284

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 9:50 PM

This is one of the reasons I don't watch TV shows on a network. To them if a show doesn't do well by episode 2 then it's history. I mean Happy Days took years to build an audience. Too many TV shows are considered "hits" but when they get to season 2 they burn out.


I agree. X-Files, Senfield, J.A.G. are just a few shows that became huge hits but started off really slow in the ratings. Many of these shows didn't really start to be hits until their 2-3 seasons. I know TV is much different than what it was 10-15 years ago, but its a shame good and sometimes great shows get canceled before they have an opportunity to build an audience.

#285

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 10:04 PM

The counterargument is that the producers should know not to leave the best episodes for the middle of the season. Whedon kept telling everyone how good the seventh episode of Dollhouse would be. The problem was, by the seventh episode, there weren't enough viewers to last more than a second season. Similarly, Abrams decided to produce three mediocre episodes of Undercovers and save his best work for the fourth episode. I don't blame viewers for not wanting to sit through three or six mediocre episodes to get to a good episode.

#286

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Posted Oct 16, 2010 @ 6:31 PM

The problem with this show is that it's on regular TV. Cable networks are so much better. A show gets 13, 12, 10 episodes and they show the entire season. If the show sucks they don't renew it. That's what the networks should do. Each show gets 13 episodes, then go to the next show. That way you have less bad episodes and more shows.

#287

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Posted Oct 16, 2010 @ 6:54 PM

The problem is that Undercovers is doing the worst out of all of NBC's dramas in the 18-49 demo, so it's probably at or near the top of NBC's cancellation list.

That's true but what leaves me with some hope that we'll get at least one full season of Undercover's is that it has boosted NBC from fourth to third among African-American viewers

#288

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Posted Oct 16, 2010 @ 7:23 PM

I watched the recent episode, it was fine. Still not something I would make a point to watch, but fine to have on while ironing. Im surprised to see Boris hitting his stride as he has always been so wooden. Good for him. I would really prefer to see someone else in his wife's role, however. That actress seems to have no other face but wide eyed and pouty lipped and it just doesn't work. She looks 17 and her acting is flat. I wonder how Garcelle Beauvais would have done in this role.

#289

girlwhoknits

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Posted Oct 17, 2010 @ 2:12 PM

I think the chemistry/romance awkwardness between the leads is maybe their lack of experience playing romantic roles. They may be plenty hot looking individually, but just not be good enough actors to fake it well.

After all the only time I've ever seen Boris do romance is in roles where he played opposite Nicole Ari Parker, who is his real life partner/wife. Can't be that hard to fake it when you actually dig the girl. :)

#290

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Posted Oct 17, 2010 @ 3:53 PM

Oops. Nevermind.

#291

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 2:15 AM

I like this show. I like the leads, who are doing a good job to me. The non-leads are doing their job as well. I like that the leads are very, very easy on the eyes. I like the potential. So I think I'm going to stick with the show.

To make me really happy that I've stuck around, they need to get rid of Leo. He serves no purpose other than to annoy Steven and Samantha. And by extension Mr. Nicepebbles and I. I feel like TPTB must have a white face on the screen as much as possible. Like, 'There are black leads but look we haven't forgotten about you out there.' He's smug, too. What's with him always needling Steven? I thought they were friendly, if not friends. And what's with "Have you told Sam/Steven why you really quit?" What's it to you Leo? Shut up.

For two spies that have been out of the game for 5 years, they've done pretty well. (Sam seems to have gotten back in the game faster than Steven, which I'm not sure makes sense. I mean scaling a wall like it's nothing.) Sure they've had hiccups, which shouldn't be surprising. You'd think that those in charge would want them to get some reintegration training. So Leo doesn't need to be there. I mean he missed Matthias being the device and he's been in the game consistently.

Also on the make me happy list, have Hoyt bring it down a notch. We get it. You have a mancrush on Steven.

And the writing needs to step it up. Like little nitpicks that really add up. Or the fact that I think by now perhaps we should've gotten some motivation as to why they decided to keep taking the jobs. I'm not completely buying the financial part of it since Sam so willingly gave up $700 to her sister. (The business isn't doing well so you shouldn't be giving up money so easily. Besides the fact that you should verify that your sister is in fact going to cooking school. I'm guessing as recovering alcoholic, she has credibility and trust issues.) It doesn't seem to me that there marriage was so boring or whatever that they needed to spice things up with getting back into the business.

It also seems like they are getting cases every week, which doesn't seem realistic to me in that it doesn't seem to cause any problems with the business. Hopefully, we get to see that.

I really think they need to put Shaw in his place so to speak. He needs them but he's always ragging on them. Like if you think we are so incompetent and what not, why are you here every week asking for our help? I can't fathom why the agency would want them back. I don't have high hopes for that reveal.

I like that the show is fun. But it also be realistic in that this couple is going to have conflict because they are a couple and they work together, especially in one field that is fraught with danger and communication is so very important.

My fanwank is that they are so focused and happy to back in the game (for whatever reason) they aren't really taking the time to think about what they are doing, i.e., the consequences for the future and what can come out about their past. They are having little conversations here and there ('don't you think it'd be weird us being spies together?', 'maybe our pact to keep things secret wasn't a good idea.') Sometimes a show really takes time to get going. I'm hoping this is one of those shows.

I'm not confident that if this show fails, race won't factor into decisions to greenlight future shows featuring POC.

#292

MichaelFi

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 1:35 PM

I really think they need to put Shaw in his place so to speak. He needs them but he's always ragging on them. Like if you think we are so incompetent and what not, why are you here every week asking for our help?

Except that we saw him in a conversation with his bosses and he admitted the Blooms were not unintelligent when they weren't around. Shaw's true feelings about the Blooms are probably more complicated that the image he projects to them.

Additionally Undercovers got a script order for four additional episodes.

http://tvbythenumber...uck-chase/68737
Note that is a script order, not an episode order. If ratings continue to fall, those additional episodes won't be shot.

Edited by MichaelFi, Oct 19, 2010 @ 1:38 PM.


#293

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 1:39 PM

Ausiello also posted about the script orders.

#294

Enero

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 8:07 PM

I'm really surprised they ordered a full season of Chase since its ratings aren't much better than Undercovers. I guess NBC needing to fill that timeslot might be another reason for the decision to give it a full season.

I'm glad Undercovers got the script orders. I hope the shows are actually filmed and air. I wish NBC had done more to promote the show. They promoted it a lot during the summer, but it seemed as if right before the fall season started the promotions for the show fell off while The Event seemed to be everywhere. And since the season of Undercovers has started I've hardly seen any commercials for it. Maybe on the day its due to air, and those are usually a brief 8-10 sec spot, but that's about it.

#295

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 1:17 AM

MichaelFi: Except that we saw him in a conversation with his bosses and he admitted the Blooms were not unintelligent when they weren't around. Shaw's true feelings about the Blooms are probably more complicated that the image he projects to them.

Except they don't know what he says to his bosses. Person x can praise me to person a and I have no idea because all I know is how person x disses me to my face so it doesn't really matter from my perspective what they say to person a. I would need to put person x in their place. I'm not really sure how high praise is 'unintelligent.'

Enero: I'm really surprised they ordered a full season of Chase since its ratings aren't much better than Undercovers.

I saw a headline about Chase and Chuck being renewed. I know that Chuck was discussed earlier in this thread as in, 'NBC gave Chuck a lot of chances so they should do the same for Undercovers.' I've never even heard of Chase.

#296

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 8:15 PM

Note to writers- since you cast black actors as the Blooms, it might not be a good idea to send the Blooms to countries where black people would stick out like a sore thumb- like North Korea.
Shaw's "Nice job" was further evidence that he DOES respect the Blooms.

#297

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 8:26 PM

Anyone not Asian in North Korea is going to draw attention though. It's not like it's the land of a 100,000 white people either.


Arrrr! Freakin backstabbing Canadians! Solid ep but not as good as the previous one. I'm glad they are trying to explain Sam's relationship to her sister. She's not keeping that promise so I'm not even sure why she made it.

#298

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 10:20 PM

Arrrr! Freakin backstabbing Canadians!


*cough* Just to clarify, the Blooms posed as Canadians, the backstabbing couple was French. :)

#299

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Posted Oct 21, 2010 @ 1:15 AM

When the second couple showed up I at first thought it was Leo with a new partner, and that the show was stretching credulity way too far. As it turned out I liked the seemingly evenly matched foes. Not a bad episode. I still think, though, that if it is to continue, whatever the government is paying the Blooms (they are getting paid, right?) needs to be funneled into the catering business so that their absences can be explained as generating revenue for the business, and therefore doesn't have to explained/apologized for to the sister. (Though the sister being suspicious and attempting to find out what exactly they are doing could make for subplot, since they could use one or two.)

#300

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Posted Oct 21, 2010 @ 8:25 AM

I don't understand about "Chase" either but we are talking about NBC.

I found myself looking forward to "Undercovers" on Tuesday. They're bringing the characters, and us, along slowly but I like what they're doing so far. The sister is sooo shaky it's ridiculous.

I think Shaw is doing the right thing. They've been away five years, an eternity in the espionage business. He can't always sing their praises because that kind of overconfidence could get one or both of them killed.

I like that they have secrets from each other. I like that their return to the field has rekindled the fire in their marriage.

I like that Sam is the innocent looking wide eyed bad ass in the equation. And Hoyt is simply great at the role he plays with the Blooms.

The fact that Boris brings the pretty doubles my viewing pleasure.