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TV Series Review

Spies are a reclusive bunch. It’s pretty much part of the gig. You need to be able to blend in, even disappear. Drawing attention to yourself isn’t just unwise: It’s potentially lethal.

Apparently Will Chase and Frankie Trowbridge both missed the first day of spy school.

Secret Agent Man … and Woman

Will and Frankie, the two agents who head up a super-secret spy team, can be described a great many ways, but subtle is not among them.

Will is about as subtle as his codename, Whiskey Cavalier, would suggest. He saunters into danger as if he’d consumed way too much of the stuff. Not that he’d ever drink on the job, mind you. (Well, not much.) In fact, the agent has a reputation of being something of an Eagle Scout around the agency—and an emotional Eagle Scout at that. He watches rom-coms. He tears up at weddings.

“They look so happy, don’t they?” He says between shootouts, as he watches a couple of strangers tie the knot.

“You want to stick around?” Frankie asks him wryly. “Catch the bouquet?”

Frankie—a no-nonsense CIA agent—is no Scout. Nor does she have use for weddings, or romance, or even flowers. The only blossoms she cares about are the blooms of blood that spread across a terrorist’s white dress shirt after she shoots him.

Or, at least, so she says. For now. Even as Frankie recoils from relationships, and Will heals from an extraordinarily bad breakup, it’s clear that the two spies share some chemistry. Even their adversaries can feel it. “There’s a lot of sexual tension in this car,” one handcuffed hacker tells them as he stews in the back seat.

With the help of a few coworkers—former NSA computer whiz Edgar Standish, top-notch profiler Susan Samson and CIA gadget expert Jai Datta—Will and Frankie aren’t so much secret agents as agents of chaos, making the world a little safer one spectacular shootout and rollicking car chase at a time.

Even James Bond might tell these two to tone it down a bit.

You Think the Ferrari’s a Bit Much?

As the era of prestige TV stretches on, and as premium cable channels and streaming services pepper viewers with deeply unsettling dramas (I’m looking at you, True Detective), ABC has decided to engage in a bit of counter-programming and double down on what network TV has always done best: giving viewers a little escapism.

Whiskey Cavalier is Exhibit A. This light spy thriller is all flash and pop and witty banter—an hour-long exercise in thought-free entertainment. Cars careen around corners. People get thwacked and cracked in the noggin. Bad guys get shot and die, and it all feels about as consequential as deciding what sort of toothpaste to buy.

But even purposefully inconsequential shows carry consequences. In fact, wrapping problematic content in such a light, frothy package might arguably make it more problematic. At least in True Detective, actions have consequences. Not so much here.

The show isn’t overtly sexual, but we may see some skin and suggestive romance, depending on the episode, and that “sexual tension” between its two stars will likely grow with time. The violence doesn’t push any boundaries, but we still see plenty of it, resulting in everything from bloody wounds to sudden death. Language can be a mite harsh, too. This show doesn’t strain networks’ censors, but neither does it commit to keeping things clean for discerning families.

You could say that Whiskey Cavalier is a bit like an aged glass of its namesake drink. It goes down easy enough. But it just might burn something awful.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Feb. 27, 2019: "Pilot"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Scott Foley as Will Chase; Lauren Cohan as Frankie Trowbridge; Ana Ortiz as Susan Samson; Tyler James Williams as Edgar Standish; Vir Das as Jai Datta

Director

Distributor

Network

ABC

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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