USA might want to consider changing its tag line from "Characters Welcome" to "Welcome to Summer."
Beginning with the groundbreaking
The network, known for its "blue sky programming," has six scripted dramas this year — five returning and one new. As it enters its final season, the terrific
FOR THE RECORD:
"Graceland": In the June 6 Calendar section, a review of the new USA series "Graceland" said that the pilot was directed by Renny Harlin. The pilot was directed by Russell Fine.
Based, apparently, on real events, "Graceland" revolves around a beachfront condo in Southern California that is home to an assortment of agents from the FBI, the DEA and U.S. Customs. Overseen by "legendary" FBI agent/surfer dude/Zen master Paul Briggs ("Rescue Me's"
Which we will get to know, as we so often do in such stories, through the eyes of the newcomer: in this case Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit). A newly anointed FBI agent who thought he had scored a desk job in
Radiating top-of-the-class geekiness, Mike's job for the first 30 minutes is to look wide-eyed and confused as he encounters his disparate new housemates: mischievous fellow agent Johnny (Manny Montana), cranky customs agent Dale (
Until, of course, an operation goes down in which Mike becomes a key player and everyone reveals their talent, quick-thinking and courage, not to mention a few secrets that will propel the show's larger narrative arc.
USA would like us to consider "Graceland" an expansion of the brand — a darker version of its traditionally light 'n' bright fare. Creator Jeff Eastin (
Eastin also, mercifully, avoids any sexual-tension-between-agents subplots. But for all its potentially serious border issues, "Graceland" chooses shade over shadow and remains true to the bromance canon — Paul may have a dark side, but he is very clearly a hero. One who surfs, so how dark can the show go, really?
"Graceland" is an entertaining addition to a strong summer lineup in which attractive people trade witty banter and engage in serious work that provides good clean episodic fun while teaching the main characters the importance of love and loyalty.
And what's wrong with that? Nothing at all. A show doesn't need an R rating to be good television.
When: 10 p.m. Thursday
Rating: TV-14-L (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14 with an advisory for coarse language)