In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC
In the UK: Not yet acquired
Ever since James Bond spotted Ursula Andress rising out shimmering Caribbean waters – and left her shaken as well as stirred – the spy genre has been associated with ‘sexy fun times’, as it is officially described. Lots of jetting around to foreign locations and lots of shagging, interspersed with the occasional murder. Sexy fun times.
Of course, once people cottoned on to the idea that women weren’t mere disposable objects, even the Bond movies had to change and try to make their female characters closer to equals.
One of the perennial solutions to this dilemma has been to make the female lead a spy as well. Think The Spy Who Loved Me‘s KGB agent Barbara Bach who knew how to drive Bond’s submersible Lotus Esprit because she’d already stolen the plans and was as liable to kill him as be seduced by him.
The question is how to do all this without removing the chemistry and without duplicating skills, making one of the leads a second-fiddle in the storyline. Here, Whiskey Cavalier actually has a good idea about how to do it – make them work for somewhat morally different services with different remits.
Despite being on ABC – the home of almost no good action dramas ever – and being a mid-season replacement (usually a sign a show’s not good enough to duke it out with other shows in the fall schedule) and having an eminently stupid name, Whiskey Cavalier is a surprisingly decent comedy spy drama from the sexy fun times sub-genre.
It sees Scott Foley playing a crack FBI agent with a “high emotional quotient”. Well, former crack FBI agent, since his French fiancée dumped him a year ago and he’s still blubbing his eyes out to tearful tunes of an evening.
Soon, this ‘Captain America of the FBI’ is sent on a mission to Moscow to recover former NSA analyst Tyler James Williams (Everyone Hates Chris) who’s stolen a list of CIA agents. There he bumps into tough, morally ambiguous CIA spy Lauren Cohan, who wants to render Williams to a black site for interrogation and is prepared to sabotage Foley’s efforts to do it, even though they’re working for the same side. The two are soon sparring to get control of Williams using their own highly different methods.
And maybe heading towards sexy fun times.