Don't look now (or do), "The Agency" is really hitting its stride

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason Seaver, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    It kind of got buried at the beginning of the year, what with being up against "ER", being pre-empted and shown out of order numerous times due to real-world events being reported on or too close to the stories, and lukewarm reviews. And I can kind of see why - compared to the other spy shows that debuted this year ("Alias" and "24"), it seemed plodding and perhaps overly optimistic; Tom Clancy compared to James Bond. No cliffhangers here; everything was wrapped up nicely by the end of the hour. After a few epsiodes, it started to get predictable - a problem would be identified, the hypercompetant operatives would investigate and deal with it (with some help and maybe comic relief from the support staff and their super-cool version of Photoshop), maybe a b-plot about their personal lives, and done.

    The only obvious change to the show is that two weeks ago, in a fairly low-key move, Ronny Cox's character was removed as the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence), and from the opening credits and cast as well, replaced with Daniel Benzali, due to "embarassing failures of intelligence-gathering". Other characters have mentioned 11 September more explicitly. As much as I liked Cox and his character, though, the change has added a lot of tension to the show, allowing for conflicts between characters other than the spy-vs-spy type.

    Anyway, if you haven't been watching this show, gave up on it early, etc., and like a good espionage story, it's worth checking out, especially if it's running new episodes while NBC subjects us to the hell that is US Network TV Olympic coverage next month.
     
  2. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I think the show suffers too much from lack of realism. It's advertised and hyped to be "take a look inside the CIA" as if we'll be treated with how they "really" do things. But then the entire case gets solved by some artist doing impossible tasks in "photoshop" that miraculously turns out to be correct. One of my biggest spy movie peeves is when they resolve someone's face from a source that doesn't have a high enough resolution.
    Example: Last night's episode had them taking someone's face from a very small reflection in a metal bowl. No way the camera had that kind of resolution. Then they recreate the scene from the opposite perspective in the room. [​IMG]
    Then later this "uber-artist" deconstructs a girl's reconstructive surgery by pure guess work and it happens to be a perfect match to a known terrorist.
    Another minor grievance I had was when a father and son who are Greek are talking to each other on the phone in English.
    Of course I like this kind of thing in James Bond or other spy dramas (except the foreigners speaking English to each other) when it's suppose to be pure fantasy. But when the show pretends to be giving you a "peek" and invents this (currently) impossible technology it just aggravates me.
    I do like the characters for the most part. The new Director of Central Intelligence reminds me of someone I used to work with that we all hated (also a director). He's written and acted well...you can't tell if you should hate him or like him. I also like the Jackson Haisley character (played by Will Patton). But I don't like the Matt Callan character because I don't like Gil Bellows or anything he's ever done. He's a stiff actor and just looks so smug.
    Will I tune in again?...Oh yeah, it's really a fun show. But I'll still continue to criticize the way they market it as "real" then fill it with fantasy tech.
     
  3. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Yeah, last night's really pushed the envelope with what they were doing in SuperPhotoShop, and the number of exact hits; I'm not sure why they never do what "Law & Order" does, getting a list and then showing us the name on the list that's right. Still, I'm all for anything that gives Paige Turco screen time. [​IMG]
    I hadn't realized they were marketing as realistic (the wonders of the Replay 30-second-skip button), although it's way ahead of "Alias" or the like. I'm guessing that the general procedure is fairly accurate, but the details are simplified.
     

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