Third-episode verdict: Chaos

In the US: Erm…

Well, I’m not sure how much point there is doing this now, given that it’s just been pulled from the schedules, but let’s go with a third-episode verdict on CBS’s slightly comedic spy show. The first episode, while not exactly perfect, still managed – after its initial doomed exploration of comedy – to turn in some decent spy moments, with double crosses and action aplenty. It also made us care for all the characters, who actually seemed interesting.

Unfortunately, episode two was an exceedingly dull affair, in which our team of spies have to go to North Korea to rescue a diplomat’s family so he can defect to the West. Here, we lost most of the things that made the pilot bearable. The characters really didn’t get much exploration, the two female characters suddenly had nothing to do, James Murray’s accent was on the fritz, and the action was lightweight to say the least.

Episode three was at least slightly better but suffered from the exact same problems as the second episode. It didn’t help that despite the fact there are three Brits in the acting team, not one of them pointed out that Art History is not a compulsory subject at Oxford and asking someone who supposedly went to Oxford “Where did you live on campus” when there’s no university campus per se, just individual college campuses, isn’t going to help you in the accuracy stakes.

The trouble with Chaos is that it doesn’t do comedy at all well. It does spy stuff pretty well and when it tries, it can do characters. But since it wants to do comedy, everything else is tarnished by its failed attempts. The spy stuff loses its edge and the characterisation doesn’t work as well.

The result is… well, it’s got cancelled, pretty much.

Carusometer rating: 4
Rob’s prediction: You don’t need to be psychic for this one.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.