Double O Section is a blog for news and reviews of all things espionage–-movies, books, comics, TV shows, DVDs, and everything else.
Nov 17, 2014
State of Affairs Premieres Tonight on NBC
The next new spy series of the season, State of Affairs, kicks off tonight on NBC at 10/9c. Katherine Heigl (Killers) stars as Charlie Tucker, the CIA officer responsible for briefing the President on the intelligence issues of the day. Alfre Woodard plays the President in question. So far, that sounds like a good premise for a spy show to me, since we've never seen one focused on that particular level of the Agency, and even those exploring the intersection between espionage and politics are fairly rare. (And when they do come, it tends to be with spy storylines on political shows, like Scandal, rather than vice versa.) But that's not the end of NBC's premise. These two powerful women have something else in common besides a healthy interest in secret intelligence. Heigl's character was once engaged to the President's son, who was killed in a terrorist attack. And now both women want revenge. That's where things start to sound a bit dicey for me. Obviously you need a personal angle to hook viewers, but this particular one threatens to steer the show away from its potential as an intelligent desk spy saga into the realm of Alias and 24. Not that there's anything wrong with Alias and 24 (I loved both those shows), but they're shows that we've seen before. (To put it another way, it sounds like Covert Affairs if it had launched immediately with Season 4, rather than started out with the fresher, earlier seasons, which dealt more with CIA office politics than larger-than-life threats.) I'm crossing my fingers that State of Affairs proves to be something new instead. To help draw your own conclusions, here's a trailer:
Though I post here under the name Tanner, my real name is Matthew Bradford, and I'm a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. I'm coauthor of the graphic novel Night and Fog and I co-wrote and co-produced the 2014 horror feature Dead Within.