In its current form, the TV landscape has too many shows. Many are forced to make difficult decisions about devoting their time and attention to new shows. Personally, I have a set of rules that I live by to dictate how my weekly TV schedule looks. For example, I only make room for one of each genre; medical, courtroom, political not skewing too far towards one particular niche with the exception of those with potential that need time to develop. Whiskey Cavalier is one of these shows.
Synopsis: After his emotional breakup, super FBI agent Will Chase is assigned to work with hard-hearted CIA agent Frankie Trowbridge. (IMDB)
Writer: David Hemingson
Director: Peter Atencio
Running Time: 44mins
Airs: Wednesdays at 10pm on CTV (Canada)/ABC (United States)
Whiskey Cavalier doesn’t offer anything new in terms of plot or action that you haven’t already seen in movies or TV of late, but these aspects of the show almost seem immaterial compared to what is truly its selling point – the chemistry. The show does well to show Whiskey (Scott Foley) as an overly-sensitive and hopeful FBI agent who still believes in the good nature of most people juxtaposed with Frankie, (Lauren Cohan), the cold lone wolf who does her best to keep emotional attachment out of any equation. Again, the characters are typical within this style of show, however, the chemistry between Foley and Cohan’s characters are wonderful against the backdrop the show’s other strength – humor.
Initially a show’s pilot is never its strongest outing nor the best sample by which to judge and while this is still the case for Whiskey Cavalier it still manages to set a free and light-hearted pace with its plot that manages to blend a healthy amount of sly humor and wit throughout. This helps not only aids in maintaining the pace of the show but also provides a continuity of laughs that kept me invested during the episode despite a lack of depth in other areas. Whiskey Cavalier quickly establishes an unspoken understanding that the plot will not be a major draw for repeat viewers and instead chooses to double down on the aforementioned components of chemistry and humor to bring viewers back each week.
As with other shows at or around this network caliber, apprehension with becoming involved with a show such as Whiskey Cavalier is easy to have, not because it isn’t entertaining or funny enough to watch each week but rather because of its sustainability over a long television season. ABC as well as other networks, have a poor tradition of picking up shows and ordering 20+ episodes over the course of several months. While they have blocks of time to fill, shows that are forced to adhere to this often struggle with a huge loss of momentum well into their seasons.
Whiskey Cavalier would benefit from a reduced season model but more than likely than not, it will not get that luxury instead being forced to fall into a very formulaic bad-guy-of-the-week-esque action-comedy that generates 22 episode seasons and loses any garnered investment with its audience somewhere after its eighth week. That is a worst case scenario but many have come before it serving as a cautionary tale for what it could eventually become.
Hopefully Whiskey Cavalier can succeed as its pilot episode was a fun watch and funny throughout. Its characters are simple and yet its leads have such wonderful chemistry that it almost compels me to continue watching each week. However, this could easily succumb to the overabundance of shows premiering in the coming months and getting lost in the shuffle that is our current TV landscape. Here’s to hoping it can withstand the onslaught but history is not on its side.