Somewhere between NBC's Chuck
and USA's Covert Affairs
the new spy dramedy from CBS premiering tonight at 8pm. It's not what
you'd expect from the network full of crime procedurals, and that
refreshing change of pace is what makes it a delightful surprise.
centers on a new CIA recruit named Rick Martinez (Six Feet Under
Freddy Rodriguez), a lovable but somewhat clueless guy who gets sucked
into a group of outside-the-box agents in Clandestine Administration and
His new team is like the offspring of two Bradley Cooper films: Imagine if the gang from The Hangover
was The A-Team
. There's a know-it-all leader Michael (Eric Close), a wacky Scottish transplant named Billy who provides comic relief (James Murray) and Casey (O Brother, Where Art Thou?
's Tim Blake Nelson), nicknamed the Human Weapon.
This rogue's gallery of CIA agents pick their own missions and operate outside traditional guidelines, much to the consternation of the director, played by the always reliable Kurtwood Smith (Red from That '70s Show
Aside from the cast, Chaos
has a very impressive creative pedigree. The pilot is directed by film director Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour
franchise), whose only other series directing credit is the pilot of Prison Break
. It's created by Tom Spezialy, who has worked on shows like Desperate Housewives
and Parker Lewis Can't Lose
. That combination provides an interesting mix of styles and a particular eye for the blend of comedy, drama and action that works perfectly on Chaos
The tone of the show moves from a quirky workplace comedy full of the kind of guy humor you might see in the movie Office Space
to a strange action comedy with the gang fighting evil terrorists.
For CBS, it's something completely different. It doesn't quite fit with anything the network has on its schedule and it's a bit of a mystery why they would take a chance on something so unique. While that may be its downfall, it's also what makes is so damn enjoyable.Chaos
is like a manlier version of Chuck
, replacing the nerdiness and emotional depth of that spy dramedy with a frat boy mentality. With an oddball cast and smart writing, the show works surprisingly well and should offer a refreshing change of pace for anyone who tunes in expecting the next NCIS
.(Image courtesy of CBS)