The new series The Brave premiered this past week, and when I read the premise ahead of time, I gave it little chance. It was basically suggesting the show would be kind of Seal Team Six redux, i.e. elite undercover military heroes. It wasn’t entirely clear if it was supposed to be ripped from the headlines type premises, or straight up action, so I wanted to check out the pilot to see how it ran.
Surprisingly, it is kind of like Law & Order took on military ops. There is even an explanation like the SVU intro…there’s text that basically says there are two groups defending the U.S. — analysts and special ops. The only thing missing was the “These are their stories” wording plus a Kachung sound.
For the analysts, we’re talking major baggage storylines. The head of the unit, the Deputy Director of the CIA is just back to work after losing her soldier son ten days before in combat. Yawn. Anne Heche is the woman in charge, and she has almost no emotion through the entire episode. She smiles near the end, briefly. I like Anne in certain shows, not sure for this one. Feels too much like they said, “Okay we have a blonde in Homeland, a blonde in Ma’am Secretary, a blonde in that other analyst show, get me another blonde for this show”. Her team is mainly made up in episode one of an ex-field agent Hannah (Sofia Pernas from Jane the Virgin and Young and the Restless) and Noah (Tate Ellington who was so good in Quantico). Or I think she’s supported by them — while the rest of the actors are listed as being in the first six episodes, they’re only listed on IMDB as being tasked for the pilot. Ellington was the only one of three I had hope for in the future.
For the action team, there is team lead Dalton (Mike Vogel from Pan Am and Under the Dome), Preacher (Demetrius Grosse from Justified and Westworld), ninja Jaz (Natacha Karam), McGuire (Noah Mills), and Amir (Hadi Tabbal). None of the five members are particularly standout characters in the first episode, although Dalton comes the closest to being interesting. Except they are all perfect. No issues. No challenges to their plans. Everything runs perfectly. Yawn.
And overall that was the problem for the episode. I just didn’t care because there was no real “risk”. For a three-act model, you kind of need some tension somewhere and I never felt any. The damsel in distress of the week was okay, but every time she went to talk, they made her shut up. Kind of hard to bond with her.
I predicted that NBC wouldn’t extend or renew it, and I see nothing in the premiere to change that prediction.