Most of my TV guilty pleasures are on basic cable–there are a slew of programs on places like TNT, FX, A&E and USA, summer-starts designed to catch all the folks looking for something after the traditional networks go into reruns: Leverage, The Glades, Memphis Beat, Royal Pains, White Collar, Rissoli and Isles, The Closer, In Plain Sight. Some of these are outright goofy, some not bad, and in the case of Justified, which is done for the season, as good as anything else on the non-pay-cable tube.
Probably we enjoy Memphis Beat the most of the current crop. Great character actors and music, and while it's about as accurate a cop show as Barney Miller used to be, you gotta love Jason Lee's portrayed of Dwight, the too-honest-for-his-own-good detective. That's Keb Mo doing music behind Lee on last week's episode.
The latest of these to catch our attention is Covert Affairs, centered around a newbie CIA operative, Annie Walker, played by Piper Perabo. This one is in the comic-book fantasy category, since Annie didn't even get through her training before they sent her into the field, and she makes James Bond look like a dullard on tranquilizers.
Silly? Aside from the fact that Annie's control, Auggie, is blind, that she does all kinds of illegal crap by working inside the continental USA, a thing expressly forbidden to the CIA, and that there doesn't seem to be anything that MacGyver could do that she can't do backwards and in high heels? The idea that they'd be trusting her on some of the missions still wet-behind-the ears is worth a lot of outright mirth.
She can handle it, her supervisors say, as they nod sagely.
Yeah, yeah, the electronic gadgets and real-time spycams and other instant-gratification gear are a given, if not on the same gosh-wom level of sci fi as Leverage. That Annie's sister and her boyfriend think she works for the Smithsonian Museum kind of keeps a B-story going, but it's approaching lame.
Last episode, Annie and her boss–right, her boss at Langley goes into the field–plus an ex-boyfriend travel to Mexico disguised as a TV crew to rescue some hostages, including an undercover CIA female op. The scene where the undercover op and Annie's boss beat the crap out of four guards armed with submachine guns, now that was believable, yessir ...
Oh, well. That's what a guilty pleasure is, isn't it ... ?