What its not, however, judging from its first season, is appointment television.
It might be if it started anyone other than Piper Perabo. As mid-20s CIA newbie Annie Walker, shes fine in the role, but ever since Hollywood tried to shove her down our throats in 2000 with the execrable Coyote Ugly, shes never clicked with me. Better the best friend than the leading lady, perhaps.
In its initial 11 episodes, Covert finds Annie the language expert attempting to get comfortable in undertaking many a mission, and youd be surprised and by that, I mean not really at how many of them involve her playing a prostitute, donning a bikini or engaging in some simple act of toned-bod exploitation in one form or another.
And, because all portrayals of young, single women demand it, shes somewhat of a naive, aloof goof.
But the better character is her erstwhile sidekick, Auggie (Christopher Gorham of TVs Harpers Island), whos blind. Seriously: a CIA intelligence officer whos blind? Now that sounds like a TV show. Others in the office dont fare as well: Kari Matchett (TVs 24) sleepwalks through her role as Annies boss, while Sendhil Ramamurthy provides much of the smarm and smirks he did as Evil Mohinder in TVs Heroes, just with less of an accent and in better clothes.
Annies home life is even less interesting, as shes unable to reveal her true self to her sister (Anne Dudek, TVs Mad Men). I found myself simply not caring about Annie not when there are other, better actresses dropping in and out of the show, and all having more fun. Among them: Emmanuelle Vaugier (Mirrors 2), Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil: Afterlife), Liane Balaban (Last Chance Harvey) and Anna Camp (TVs True Blood).
Like so many of its brothers and sisters on USA, Covert sports excellent production values, but the sassy, retro-spy opening credits promise a self-knowing dose of espionage that it doesnt always deliver. Rod Lott