Also available for weddings and bar mitzvahsUndercovers
is a lighthearted espionage drama from J. J. Abrams
and co-creator Josh Reims. Word from NBC
is that it will avert the Noughties Drama Series
formula of Abrams shows like Alias
and increasingly Fringe
, concentrating on self-contained episodes.
Steven and Samantha Bloom are a married couple operating a catering business in Los Angeles. They are also once-formidable agents with the Central Intelligence Agency. Through assistant director Carlton Shaw, they are re-enlisted to rescue—or capture—missing agent Leo Nash.
The show was canceled midway through its first season.
Undercovers provides examples of the following:
- Action Girl
- Amoral Counterparts: In "Not Without My Daughter" Steven and Samantha run into a married couple of spies from the DSGE who are willing to hold a defecting North Korean physicist's daughter as collateral to secure an important piece of tech.
- And would have killed father and daughter both, as well, had they gotten what they wanted.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Samantha's sister Lizzy who works at their catering company.
- Ascended Fanboy: Hoyt.
- Battle Couple
- Black Best Friend: Inverted, for obvious reasons.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Leo Nash, at least according to Steven's description.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Samantha frequently pretends to be English, using Mbatha-Raw's real accent.
- But Not Too Black: The two leads are both mixed race and have very fair complexions.
- The Cast Showoff: Averted because, being a spy, there's logical story reasons for Boris Kodjoe to display his fluency in French and German (and some ability in Spanish).
- Chase Scene: Samantha decides to avoid drawing this out. Her car-stopper tool of choice? A rocket launcher.
- Deadpan Snarker: Director Shaw, who turns abusing sarcasm into an art form.
- Leo, especially when teasing Steven about his past relationship with Samantha.
- Mr. Fanservice: Unavoidable when your male lead is Boris Kodjoe.
- Fake American: Gugu Mbatha-Raw is English. Boris Kodjoe is a naturalized American: he was born in Austria with a German mother and Ghanaian father.
- Fake Defector
- Fanservice: This is an equal opportunity show; case in point, "Instructions" features a scene where Sam, Leo and Steven all strip down to change to blend in at a conference.
- Fridge Logic
- The phone bomb in "Instructions". The test bomb is shown to blow up a car rather impressively and have enough force to toss two other cars and three men standing perhaps 50 yards away. The men, however, are relatively uninjured. The real bomb is shown to be identical and planned to blow up a conference of business men. However, cellphones are confiscated before hand and taking to a security room. The timer itself is set to go off during the conference. Meaning unless the bomb was somehow much more powerful, the worse that would happen is the security room blowing up.
- Steven mentions that he first noticed Sam during training and hacked into a CIA database to get her name. Due to a fellow agent telling on him, Steven was kicked out of training but otherwise remained in the CIA. This is highly unlikely as the CIA takes the identities of their agents very seriously. Simply revealing that you are an agent or that someone else is an agent to someone is grounds for treason. The -least- of Steven's problems over the incident would have been getting kicked out of training. To boot, the agent that told on him is painted as the bad guy when he was just doing the right thing and preventing a possible security risk.
- Good People Have Good Sexpionage
- Happily Married
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Samantha looks a lot like Martha's little sister Tish.
- And Steven looks like Luther.
- The Blooms run missions for Major Dad.
- In 1.02, Nate Westen took espionage lessons from his big brother.
- Julian Sark shows up in episode 7 as a reporter / corrupt oil executive. His name? Matt Hunt.
- Hoyt tried to buy a nightclub with Tom Haverford.
- Apparently Boyd and Victor are involved in busting and aiding (respectively) the world of counterfeit.
- Ho Yay: One sided by Hoyt to Steven.
Samantha: It's the wife of the man you're in love with...
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: Setting changes are announced by postcards come to life, complete with a modern Regional Riff.
- Ivy League For Everyone: Samantha was recruited while at Yale. Truth in Television, the CIA and other organizations tend to look for intelligent, highly motivated recruits and Yale specifically has a long association with the agency.
- Magical Computer
- Played straight and somewhat averted in the pilot. The leads recruit the services of a cryptographer to help decrypt computer files. He notes this will take at least six hours to do so. However, he also notes that he can find the computer the files were transferred from simply because he has the files and is able to do so right away. An analogy would be like copying a paragraph from a book to a sheet of paper and someone being able to tell you the specific copy as well as where that particular book is right now.
- However, whenever a computer makes a file, especially a document, it adds a tag to it with some information about the computer that it was on. Depending on how much of that data is available, and whether or not the computer in question is online, it may be possible to locate it.
- Metatags don't work that way. While you could get some information (generally things like the author, timestamp, and other information if the word processor and file format in question are set to do so (and only if entered)), this doesn't have anything to do with IP addresses, MAC addresses, or any other sort of Internet protocol or anything else of the sort. The best one could do is identify the computer it came from assuming you had the computer in question on hand.
- "Devices" has the team lift fingerprints off a untreated glass using a cellphone with high enough resolution to get a single positive match.
- Minored In Ass Kicking: Hoyt. At first you thing that Hoyt was just a techie, but he showed that he had game!
- The Other Marty: Mekia Cox replaced Jessica Parker Kennedy as Lizzie in the original pilot.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: The show has been described as Hart To Hart (or Mr And Mrs Smith) WITH A BLACK COUPLE!
- The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: Though episodes were still airing after the cancellation was announced NBC has held back on airing the season/series finale.
- Running Gag: Every episode has an ongoing fight between the Blooms, ranging from Samantha's "sexpionage" to Steven not-reading the directions for an espresso machine to reliance on technology.
- Shaw extremely reluctantly sending the Blooms on missions and hating the way they finish each other's sentences.
- Spy Couple
- Spy Fiction: Martini flavored.
- Stock Scream: Used in the pilot.
- Television Geography: In "Not Without My Daughter", there's no way the first scene takes place in North Korea - it's too well-lit. North Korea at night is a big black empty space above South Korea◊, not to mention that in Pyongyang, there is a mandatory lighting reduction after 9 pm at night.
- Anybody who has been to Madrid once could write a long list of things that are plain wrong with the pilot, but those 1970s-looking posters advertising The World Cup with grammar mistakes and a chubby guy in a three-piece suit sporting a mustache straight from The Edwardian Era note deserve an award. And just as we thought soccer was making inroads in the United States...
- Tempting Fate: The minefield scene.
Russian: I assure you, This is safe procedure. Follow me. *BOOM!*
Steven: We're gonna follow the dry creekbed.
Samantha: I'm not so sure that's such a good idea, honey.
Steven: Why not? Any mine would've rusted through by now.
(*Samantha tosses a rock. BOOM!*)
Samantha: Actually, the Russians switched to plastic mines in 2001.