USA Network has found itself a nice little programming niche: character-driven, action-packed, humor-infused dramas that don’t require you to think too much. (Summer programming at its very best.) Up until now, the “Characters Welcome” channel has welcomed mostly dudes. But next week, they’re expanding their female focus with the release of Covert Affairs, the much-hyped spy drama by Doug Liman (director of The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith).
I watched the pilot last week and I loved it. And here are ten reasons you’re going to love it too:
1) Piper Perabo
It’s no secret that gay ladies love actresses who love to play gay ladies. If Piper didn’t win you over in Lost and Delirious, she certainly won you over in Imagine Me & You, and don’t pretend you don’t own a copy of Coyote Ugly. She’s charming and she’s tough; she’s gorgeous and she’s fierce; she’s almost as sexy with a gun as she is shouting, “You’re a wanker, number nine!”
2) Everyone loves a plucky heroine …
In the first five minutes of the pilot, Annie Walker is in a plane full of CIA trainees. The instructor asks who wants to jump out first, and her hand shoots up faster than Hermione Granger at a Hogwarts: A History debate.
3) … who is also an underdog
She thinks she gets called up early to Langley because she’s a wunderkind. She does — but also because she can pass as a call girl.
4) Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows
I know and you know that you keep your Center Stage VHS in the shoebox with your Coyote Ugly VHS. I know and you know that you always stop on SoapNet when reruns of The O.C. are on. Well, I’m happy to report that Gallagher’s eyebrows are as vigorous as ever.
5) Agent Walkers are sexy.
Yeah, that’s right: Piper’s character is named “Annie Walker.” Agent Walker. Spy Vs. Spy? Agent Walker Vs. Agent Walker? Oh, the dreams I’ll dream tonight.
6) You still miss Veronica Mars
It’s OK, I miss her too. The blonde hair, the sass, the casual fearlessness, the fast-talking, the way she can get anyone do to her bidding with just enough flirting. That Veronica Mars movie is not going to happen, guys. It’s time to embrace a new blonde crime fighter.
7) Henry Grubstick
Ugly Betty did Christopher Gorham wrong, and please don’t make me talk about Harper’s Island. Gorham is Agent Auggie Anderson, and he’s even sweeter than you remember.
8) Did I mention Piper Perabo?
OK, just checking.
9) You may think you know …
USA is good at this. White Collar did it in its first season too. The story seems easy, the characters seem likable (or unlikable), and you’ve got it all figured out in the first half-hour.
10) … but you have no idea.
Except you totally don’t.
Here’s USA’s full trailer:
Covert Affairs premieres on July 13th. Are you in or are you in?